A Voice in the
order the book
Walk-thru the Bible
-- series --
Chapters - Topics:
- 1-2 - The Word of Jehovah (1-2)
- 002 - To a Rebellious House (ch2)
- 2-3 - The Messenger (2-3)
- 4-5 - Object Lesson: Siege and Affliction (4-5)
- 6-7 - Slain Before Your Idols (6-7)
- 811 - Israel's Abominations (8-11)
- 012 - Object Lesson: Exile (ch12)
- 013 - Whitewash (ch13)
- 014 - The Lord's Answers thru Idols (14:3-4)
- 14a - I Jehovah Will Answer by Myself (14:5~)
- 016 - Naked & Bare (ch16)
- 018 - Turning Away from... (ch18)
- 020 - I Will Not be Inquired After (ch20)
- 022 - Purity in Service (ch22)
- 023 - Carefree Multitude (ch23)
- 024 - Don't Cry (24:16)
- 028 - King of Tyre (28:11-19)
- 033 - God is Not Fair? (33:10-20)
- 33a - Kill the Messenger (ch33)
- 33b - Love Songs (33:30-32)
- 034 - Shepherds (33-34)
- 36a - Israel's Physical Restoration (ch36)
- 36b - And They Shall Know that I am Jehovah (36:38)
- 037 - Israel & Judah Rejoined (ch37)
- 038 - Gog/Magog (38-39)
- 043 - Requirements for God to dwell amongst (43-44)
- 47a - Waters from the Sanctuary (47:1-12)
- 47b - Israel's Kingdom Territory (47:13-23)
Re: The Word of Jehovah (Ezekiel 1-2)
"..the Word of Jehovah came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest...and the
hand of Jehovah was upon him there..." (1:3)
While, to most people, the notable thing about this first chapter of
Ezekiel is the vision, we are not going to address it, other than to
realize that Ezekiel saw it. How can we propose to understand something
which Ezekiel, himself, being the one who saw it, didn't fully
comprehend. His description is full of comments like, "the likeness
of", "this was their appearance", "their appearance was like", "the
appearance...as it were..", etc. When Ezekiel's reaction to "the
appearance of the likeness of the glory of Jehovah" (1:28) was to "fall
on [his] face", we cannot presume to understand it from Ezekiel's mere
But it seems that quite often, when God called some of His more notable
prophets to ministry, He shows a vision of Himself. Moses began by
being introduced to God from out of the burning bush. (Ex3) And as
Israel was getting firmly entrenched into their rebellion, just after
God has delivered them from Egypt, Moses asks God, "Please, show me
Your glory" (Exe33:18), whereupon God covers over Moses in a "cleft of
the rock" as He passes by and lets Moses see His "back". (vs22-23) As
Isaiah is about to be commissioned for service to a people with dull
hearts and "their ears heavy, and shut their eyes", before God calls,
"Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" where Isaiah responds,
"Here am I! Send me" (Is6:8-10); God shows Isaiah a vision of Heaven;
whereupon he sees his own vileness, "Woe is me, for I am undone.." (vs5)
So, Ezekiel reacts to God's glory by falling on his face. In his sinful
state, all he can do is fall prostrate. If we were to do a study of any
people to whom God revealed himself, we would see the same reaction;
one of falling prostrate. Even the disciple "whom Jesus loved", who
leaned against Jesus at the Last Supper (Jn13:25), in Revelation when
John sees Jesus' glory, he also "fell at His feet as dead". (Rev1:17)
But another thing we would see, if we did such a study, is that when
God speaks with His own, He does not leave them prostrate. Jesus lays
His hand on John and says "Do not be terrified; I am the First and the
Last". God speaks to Ezekiel and says "stand on your feet." (2:1) But
notice; apparently Ezekiel could not do so on his own strength. It says
that when God spoke to him, "the Spirit entered" him and "set [him] on
[his] feet". (vs2)
Regarding the Holy Spirit, we come to understand that there is a
difference between the O.T., and the N.T. for the Church. Ezekiel, in
his natural state, while being a Jewish priest, nevertheless when he
sees God's glory, falls prostrate, until the Holy Spirit enters him.
Now, for the Church, one of its characteristics is that it is indwelt
by the Holy Spirit. If a person is not indwelt, they are not a
Christian. (Rom8:9) Thus, we "come boldly to the throne of grace"
(Heb4:16) We "[have] boldness to enter the Holy of Holies by the blood
of Jesus" (Heb10:19). Thus, when the Church meets Jesus, do we come
prostrate, with our faces to the ground? Or when we see Him will we be
standing "on our feet"? 'Just a little something I wonder about, when
daydreaming, imagining what it will be like when we see Him.
But notice a subtle little -word- choice in 1:3. Depending on which
translation you read from it might say that the Word of Jehovah came
"to" Ezekiel, or that it came "unto" him. I came to notice this matter
recently while going through Ezekiel in the VW-Edition project. Of all
the books in the Bible, Ezekiel has the greatest concentration of the
expression, "..the Word of Jehovah came unto me, saying..."
So what, if one says, "to"; and another says, "unto"? Indeed, if you
look up "unto" in the dictionary, it's first definition is "to". It is
a matter of understanding how God's Word comes upon His servants. There
are many who claim to receive visions and 'words'. In ch13 God will
condemn them for receiving "..vanity and lying divination" as they
"hope that their word may be confirmed". (13:6) The typical expression
of false prophets is something of the order, "It suddenly came to me".
Something pops into their minds, and it comes "to" them. Does it come
from a demon? Or merely out of their own imaginations?
But when God gives a Word to His servants, it is as Isaiah describes
it, "The BURDEN against..." (Is31:1, 51:1, 17:1, etc) Where Ezekiel
speaks of the "Word of Jehovah UNTO" him, Isaiah speaks of the
"BURDEN". Jeremiah speaks of God's Word as a "fire", which when he
desired not to speak because his flesh was worn out from the abuse from
the hearers, God's Word could not be contained. He was "weary of
holding back, and could not" (Jer20:9) Those who penned the original
manuscripts of the Scriptures were "propelled along by the Holy Spirit"
If we understand the etymology of the word "unto", we see two words,
"on" and "to". God's Holy Spirit comes "upon" the servant. God lays His
word "on" them, as for Isaiah it was the "burden" that had been laid
"on" him. God's Word does not merely come "to" a person, so as to have
the potential to be confused as being the person's 'own' word. But God
lays it upon that person. Thus, when God brings a Word, it is -UN-to
So... The Word of Jehovah comes "unto" Ezekiel; and God shows Ezekiel
some appearances and likenesses of Himself and His glory. Ezekiel has
no doubt at all that this is Jehovah revealing Himself to him. God's
Word comes UNTO Ezekiel repeatedly throughout the book. And as we
progress, we will see Ezekiel being a rather unique prophet, of all the
prophets of Israel, when we see what God requires of him. When Israel
and the world see the fulfillment of the various prophecies, "they will
know that I am Jehovah". And as they observe how Ezekiel presents God's
Word, they will also "know that a prophet has been among them". (2:5b)
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Re: To a Rebellious House (Ezekiel 2)
"And He said to me: Son of man, I am sending you to the children of
Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and
their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day. For they
are impudent and hardhearted children. I am sending you to them, and
you shall say to them, Thus says the Lord Jehovah. As for them,
whether they hear or whether they forbear; for they are a rebellious
house; yet they will know that a prophet has been among them." (vs3-5)
Well, here we see two essential elements. 1) The audience, and 2) the
message. And an incidental addendum, 3) the messenger.
Ezekiel is being sent to "God's people". Israel. The nation that came
from Abraham's loins through promise. The nation called the "pupil of
His eye". (Zech2:8) The nation about which God said to Pharaoh through
Moses, "Let My people go!" (Ex5:1) The nation God delivered with His
"outstretched arm" and "great judgments". (Ex6:6) The nation of which
God says, "I have loved you with an everlasting love" (Jer31:3)
How does God describe them 'now'? They have "transgressed" against God.
In other words, they have been disobedient to God's Law. They are
"impudent". That means, they have "offensive boldness" before God. They
are insolent and impertinent. Shameless. They are "hardhearted". In
other words, when God tries to guide them, they refuse to hear. They
are "rebellious". They know the right way, but are stubborn, and
instead are going their own ways.
Hmm! This sounds like an entity we see today, doesn't it. An entity
which calls itself the "church". Pretty much what is described in the
book of Judas ("Jude" in other translations). So, while Ezekiel was
sent to the "rebellious" house of Israel, we will see a lot of
parallels to today's "church". The same "Spirit" which entered Ezekiel
to go to Israel is the same "Spirit" who "says to the churches" today.
And so, now that we know the audience... what is the message? When any
man of God proclaims to those claiming to be God's people, what is the
message? Gleanings from seminary notes, writings of famous authors, the
prescribed outlines ordered from the Sunday school publishing company,
summaries and quotes from commentaries, and ???
God says to Ezekiel, "I am sending you to them, and you shall say to
them, THUS SAYS THE LORD JEHOVAH." Remember in the previous lesson we
observed that the "Word of Jehovah came unto Ezekiel". If Jehovah gives
the Word as a burden, 'that' is the very Word the man-of-God proclaims.
The man of God is like a telegraph operator. The operator does not give
his own message; but the customer comes to the window, gives the
message; and the operator merely relays the message 'as given' to him.
Later in the book we will see God's judgment upon those acting as
prophets, proclaiming their 'own' thoughts. God condemns them for this.
And again, in this, we will see parallels to today. Most of those out
there today are not proclaiming, "Thus says the Lord". And this is why
I periodically exhort the readers of these writings to be sure to look
up the Scripture references. Don't just be lulled to sleep by the fact
that some references are included. Look them up. Understand God's Word.
Read the contexts. And yes, if I am not proclaiming God's Word, tell
me. But like I say at other times, if you want to challenge something,
be sure you are "rightly dividing the Word of Truth". (2Tm2:15) There
are some who write in, complaining about this or that, but in most
cases never bother to look into the Scriptures. In some more rare cases
a person may present Scripture, but they do so merely proof-texting
their preconceptions, not understanding that which they preconceive. Do
not rely on traditions, or the teachings of the great/famous men. Rely
upon the Scriptures.
And then, finally, the messenger. God says to Ezekiel, "..do not be
afraid of them nor be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks,
though they are a rebellious house. You shall speak My Words to them,
whether they will hear or whether they will forbear, for they are most
"..yet they will know that a prophet has been among them." (vs5b)
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Re: The Messenger (Ezekiel 2-3)
"..yet they will know that a prophet has been among them." (2:5b)
Yes, they are MOST rebellious. But proclaim, anyway. Don't be timid.
They may reject the Word. Proclaim it anyway. Some will hear, but
others won't. It may seem like wasted effort and time. Proclaim it
anyway. Don't "be rebellious like that rebellious house.." (2:8) If God
gives a Word to the rebellious house, and the prophet withholds the
Word, he is being disobedient. It is a thankless job. But the burden he
carries is from the Lord. Remember, the Word of Jehovah comes ON-to
If you have ever "thought about" the ministry, but "wondered" whether
or not you should..? DON'T! Don't bother! If you are merely "wondering"
about it, it is not from the Lord. When the Lord gives the burden, it
burns like a fire and you cannot get rid of it. A true prophet of God
lives, eats and sleeps the Word. Ezekiel was given a "scroll of a book"
to eat. (2:9-10) You see, God's Word becomes a very part of God's
messenger. There are no other "options" for such a person as to what he
does. It is God-ordained.
Oh, but you are so 'harsh and judgmental'! "..there was writing on the
inside and on the outside, and written on it were lamentations and
mourning and woe." (2:10) Oh, but, give us 'happy things' to think
about. Give us things that are 'uplifting'.
"Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces, and your
forehead strong against their foreheads." (3:8) To Ezekiel God says,
"..receive into your heart all My Words that I speak to you, and hear
with your ears. And Go! ...speak to them and tell them, Thus says the
Lord Jehovah, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear."
Ezekiel is sent to his own people. (3:6) Many of today's prophets are
sent to the "church". We do not speak of strange things, of mysteries.
It is not that there is a lack of understanding. It is like we often
say, they are "NOT WILLING TO LISTEN to you" God says "because they are
not willing to listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are impudent
and hardhearted." (3:7) Notice that word "all" in there. People often
complain when we essentially catagorize "all" the "church" as being
apostate. This is what Ezekiel was sent to. This is what today's
prophets are sent to.
Any of you who read this, who are also fellow-messengers of God, take
courage in this. Be strong in God's Word. Ezekiel was made "like
adamant stone, harder than flint" (3:9) in his presentation to Israel.
Yes, we are condemned by the hearers for being "harsh". But to whom do
we answer? Who called us to this ministry? What is the stark reality of
our responsibility? Notice...
"When I say to the wicked, You shall die the death, and you give him no
warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his
life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I
will require at your hand." (3:18) If you read the passage, you see the
responsibility. Warning the wicked to repent. Warning the righteous not
to fall into sin. The "job" of the prophet is not to make people "feel
good", but to "WARN THEM". If the prophet is faithful to his mission,
then the blood of each hearer is upon themselves. If they repent, they
are delivered from judgment. If they refuse, because "they are a
rebellious house" (3:27), they reap their own consequences. But you
have delivered yourself from retribution. What is God's judgment
against an unfaithful prophet? What does God mete out when it says,
"his blood I will require at your hand"? Dear prophet, do you really
want to have to find out? Yes, if you are unfaithful, the wicked will
still die in their own sin, because the "soul who sins shall die". (18:4)
But I would not want to have to stand before God with that blood on my
Related Topic: "The Calling of a Prophet" (Jeremiah 1)
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Re; Object Lesson: Siege and Affliction (Ezekiel 4-5)
"You also, son of man, take a clay tablet and lay it before you, and
engrave on it a city, Jerusalem. And lay siege against it, build a
siege wall against it, and heap up a mound against it; set camps
against it also, and place battering rams against it all around...lie
also on your left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel
upon it..three hundred and ninety days...and when you have completed
them, lie again on your right side..forty days [for the sins of
Judah]...and surely I will put bands on you so that you cannot turn
from one side to another till you have completed the days of your
And lest we end up quoting the entire passage, let me urge you to get
your Bible out and look up these two chapters and read them to get the
entire picture. Ezekiel is to lie on his two sides, bound there by God,
having his food and water sitting by him. God originally says that his
cooking fuel should be "human excrement" (vs12), and when he complains,
God relents and says to use cow manure. (vs15)
If Jeremiah is called the 'weeping prophet' because he continually
says, "Streams of water run down my eyes for the destruction of the
daughter of my people" (Lam3:48), Ezekiel is the 'object lesson'
prophet. He, Ezekiel himself, -is- continually the object lesson.
My, my! I wonder how many of us could be the kind of servant to God
that Ezekiel was. And actually, unless God had been forcing Ezekiel, he
might not have been doing what he did, either. Something we did not
address previously, when Ezekiel is sent to the Israeli captives, God
physically lifts him up and carries him away. And it says that Ezekiel
went, essentially in today's vernacular, kicking and screaming, "So the
Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the
heat of my spirit; but the hand of Jehovah was strong upon me." (3:14)
And furthermore, Ezekiel is sent as a prophet to God's people, but God
makes him a mute. God says he will be confined, but his mouth will be
closed so he cannot rebuke those who take him. (3:25-26) But then, when
it is time for him to proclaim "Thus says the Lord Jehovah" (3:27),
that God will loose his tongue so he can speak. And throughout the book
we will see his mouth being close and/or opened by God. In other words,
Ezekiel, while being God's prophet, does not have a will of his own.
When God wants him to speak, God opens his mouth. When he is done, his
tongue is tied. Somewhat as though God might have been reaching down
and turning him "on" and "off" like a water faucet. In other words,
whenever Ezekiel was to speak, all he was permitted to speak was "Thus
And so here, Ezekiel is tied down to the ground for over a year. He
ate his food "by weight" and drank his water "by measure" (4:10-11)
Stuck in one spot, not able to move. One wonders if he got "bed
sores"? Perhaps his joints all stiffened up from lack of movement?
Beating sun, shivering cold and rain... there was Ezekiel in front of
his G.I.Joe battle field, day and night. Cooking his food with cow
manure. Can you just imagine his own personal hygiene! (Use your
imaginations) And since he is being an object lesson, we can also
assume he is "wasting away" from malnutrition, in view of the people.
(4:17), because his eating "by weight" isn't really quite enough to
All for what purpose? The "iniquity of the house of Israel" (4:5) and
the "iniquity of the house of Judah" (4:6) All of this as "a -SIGN- to
the house of Israel" (4:3b)
Furthermore, when he gets done with this, he -really- "loses it"! He is
told to shave all his hair off, and start whacking at it all over with
a sword, and burning some in the fire. (5:2,4)
Again, why? When God called Israel out of Egypt, He set her "in the
midst of the nations and the lands all around her" (5:5) On other
occasions we have observed about Israel, that were all the continents
to be pulled back together into one giant land-mass as they were at
one time, that the location where Israel sits would be the
geographical center of the world. God set Israel there to be a witness
to the world of Himself. As a "light to the nations" (Is42:6, 49:6,
60:3, Ac13:46-47, 1Pt2:9)
But what did Israel do?
"And she has rebelled against My judgments by doing wickedness.." (5:6)
And notice... not only did Israel sin against God, what was the nature
of that sin? "..wickedness MORE THAN THE NATIONS,..because you have
multiplied disobedience more than the nations that are all around you"
(5:6-7) Israel was like the typical preacher's kids. It is said that
preacher's kids are either -real- "good", or -real- "bad". And when
they are bad, they often behave worse than the unsaved/unchurched.
And so, what is God's verdict? "Behold I, even I, am against you and
will execute judgments in your midst in the sight of the nations" (5:8)
Israel was set in the midst of the nations to shine God's Light to
them; but instead, they rebelled. Therefore, God is going to make an
"example" out of them before those very nations to whom they were
supposed to give God's Light. Do you ever wonder why "the Jew" always
seems to be hounded and persecuted more than any other ethnicity? It is
God's judgment against her. "..because of all [her] abominations" (5:9)
Just as Ezekiel was to have originally cooked using his own excrement
(that which issued from himself) as fuel, "therefore fathers shall eat
their sons in your midst" (due to the famine). Just as Ezekiel went
wild chopping up his own hair with a sword, God says, "I will scatter
[them] to all the winds". God was bringing upon Israel every
imaginable famine, pestilence, sword, exile. Not only were they
beaten, raped, killed, and tortured in other ways, and killed by wild
animals...when those left alive were taken exile, it is said that some
nations would chain the prisoners together; but not with mere
shackles. They would put hooks through the flesh/muscle above the
shoulder, and chain them together in that fashion. (2Ch33:11, Am4:2)
And you can be sure there were no pain-killers.
And God says to them, "My eye will not spare, nor will I have any
pity. Thus shall My anger be spent, and I will cause My fury to rest
upon them..." (5:11,13)
"..and they shall know that I, Jehovah, have spoken in My zeal, when I
have spent My fury upon them." (5:13)
And Ezekiel is the object lesson of what is 'going to' happen to them.
They will taunt him..."Oh, that crazy ol' coot over there, have you
seen the latest with that crazy prophet? Haw, haw, haw!"
Now... what is the whole point of considering these things about
Israel, when we are predominantly Gentiles, and many of you who read
this have a label as being part of Christ's "Church"?
Israel called themselves as being of Jehovah. But they rebelled.
Ezekiel was sent in the manner that he was, because they were "a
rebellious house". (2:5) Today the Gentile entity calling itself
"Church" boasts in its own self-righteousness. And Paul warns, "Do not
be highminded, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural
branches, He may not spare you either." (Rom11:20-21)
Remember these things! Are you listening? To whom is it that Jesus
promises the verdict of, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who
work out lawlessness!" (Mt7:23) ?? Those continually saying, "Lord,
Lord" (vs21-22), and doing what appear to be great miracles of God.
Yes, an entity that calls itself, "Church". Forget about grace, grace,
graaeeesss! If you are a pretender, a changeling, a wolf in sheep's
attire; intoning "Lord, Lord"... hear this warning...
"It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
What we read about Israel is an "example" to us. (1Cor10:6) Israel,
called by God's name, turned away from God and was judged as the
"rebellious house". All their rebellion and judgment is recorded for
us for what purpose? "Now these things became examples for us, so that
we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. Neither
become idolaters as [were] some of them. As it is written, The people
sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Nor let us commit
sexual immorality, as some of them prostituted, and in one day
twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us test Christ, as some of them
also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor murmur, as some of
them also murmured, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these
things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our
admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come..."
And now take heed to this next verse...
"Therefore let him who thinks he is [firmly] established take heed
that he not fall." (1Cor10:6-12)
Yes, yes, I know. When some of us proclaim this strongly, continually,
there are some of you for whom we just 'tick-you-off'. But I don't
know of any modern-day prophet (proclaimer/for-TH-teller) who has been
called upon to be subjected to what Ezekiel demonstrated to Israel. If
you remain hard-of-heart, no greater object lessons in excremental
graphic detail will melt you. As Abraham said to the "rich man", that
his relatives would not believe even if someone were to rise from the
dead back to warn them of the horrors of Hell (Lk16); it was proven
out, as Lazarus -was- raised; and rather than repenting and believing,
the rulers instead sought to kill Lazarus, too. (Jn12:10-11)
But the true man of God continues faithfully anyway, "whether they
will hear or whether they will forbear, for they are most rebellious"
But you know what? If you are of the rebellious sort and scoff at what
God is trying to reach through to you with, there will come a day when
you will "know that a prophet has been among" you. (2:5) Understand
that all the judgments God promises are sure; they are certain.
"Anyone who rejected Moses' Law dies without mercy before two or three
witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be
thought worthy who has trampled on the Son of God, counted the blood
of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and
insulted the Spirit of Grace?" (Heb10:28-29)
"I, Jehovah, have spoken." (5:17) Amen!
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Re: Slain Before Your Idols (Ezekiel 6-7)
"O mountains of Israel, hear the Word of the Lord Jehovah! Behold I,
even I, will bring a sword against you, and I will destroy your high
places... I will cast down your slain before your idols. And I will lay
the corpses of the children of Israel before their idols, and I will
scatter your bones all around your altars." (~6:3-5)
What were some of Israel's idols? The one that gets mentioned most is
Baal. The famous account of Elijah praying down fire upon the
water-drenched sacrifice was a "contest" between the Most High and
Baal. Remember who "won"? And Elijah had all of Baal's prophets killed.
Is Baal worshiped today? The evil Queen Jezabel was the one whose
little finger wicked King Ahab was wrapped around. They were Israel's
patrons of Baal. Thyatira is condemned for allowing "Jezebel to teach".
(Rev2:20) She calls herself a "prophetess". Isn't today's "church" busy
enthroning their Jezebel prophetesses? In considering the "Seven
Churches" we have seen her "host" offered on the altar, eaten as the
so-called "body of Christ". She is condemned for leading astray "My
servants to prostitute themselves to sexual immorality". Just the other
day one of my customers was one of these 'Jezebels', a leader of some
sort of "ministry", with "paint on the eyes" (2Kg9:30, Jer4:30), all
busting-out, with the demeanor and appearance of one who was "after
men", more than one serving the Most High.
There was Molech, part of their Baal worship. Throughout Leviticus
Israel was warned against letting their "seed pass through the fire to
Molech". (Lev18:21) And what was one of Solomon's faults? He "built a
high place..for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon" (1Kg11:7)
What did this mean, to "pass their seed through the fire"? The image of
Molech was hollow. A fire was built inside to where the image would
become red-hot. While the drums were beating loudly, the parents would
carry their as-yet-live babies and place them into the red-hot 'hands'
of Molech, where the babies would scream and thrash about until dead.
Is anything like this done today in "christian" America? We are not so
"barbaric" as to "burn" our babies. Oh, no! Instead, we hire
professionals to rip them, limb from limb, suck their brains out while
they are still kicking and screaming! We wail and mourn the barbaric
radicals who brought down our WTC towers, killing thousands. But the
same number who died on 9-11 are murdered -DAILY- in the womb! Offered
to the gods of convenience, life-style and immorality. In ancient times
they beat drums loudly to muffle the screams. Today, the screams are
muffled within the womb! Jezebel's followers have made their own bodies
into altars of sacrifice! And those who would seek to rescue these
babies are not hailed as "heroes", like NYC's firefighters. No! They
are hunted down to be imprisoned and prosecuted!
Solomon also worshiped the Queen of heaven. Even after most of Israel
had been taken captive, the remnants still rebelled, on their way to
Egypt, insisting that they -would- worship her. (Jer44:17)
Do we see her adulation today? How many so-called "christians" pray to
the one they call "Mary"?
You know, when Israel insisted on worshiping her, they said, "But since
we stopped burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink
offerings to her, we have lacked everything, and have been consumed by
the sword and by famine.." (Jer44:18) In other words, things were good
when we were in idolatry.
As I sat down to begin this study, to consider where the Lord might
take this series next, I first read a few e-mails that had come in.
Amongst them was a forward, and in it was expressed the current
Bush/Powell doctrines regarding Israel and a "Palestinian State".
Speaking of Israel as being "occupiers" of Palestinian territory. Of
Israelis who have built and settled in territories Israel won when Arab
countries attacked her in the past, as being "settlers". That the
current US administration is developing a policy of 'thought' that, had
the US been more involved in forcing Israel to give up some of its
God-given land to the Palestinians, that the attack on the WTC would
not have happened. Thus, one way to forestall further terrorist attacks
is to force a plan to legitimize the PLO terrorist organization into a
"viable" national entity.
Well, Mr. Bush, it is PRECISELY -BECAUSE- the US has been continually
against Israel (not to mention our other abominations!) that the WTC
attack happened. Notice how God responded to Israel's reasonings as to
why they worshipped the queen of heaven:
"The incense that you burned [all over the place]; did not Jehovah
remember them, and did it not come into His mind? Yes, so that Jehovah
could no longer hold back because of the evil of your doings, because
of the abominations which you have committed! Because you have burned
incense, and because you have sinned against Jehovah, nor walked in His
Law, nor in His statutes, nor did you walk in His testimonies,
therefore this evil has happened to you, as it is this day."
Well, notice God's judgment against Israel. (America, with similar
sins, are you paying attention??) Where their altars were, there they
would be slain. And notice God's attitude in the judgment:
"My eye will not spare you, nor will I have pity; but I will repay your
ways, and your abominations will be in your midst..." (7:4)
Oh-but! God is a God of luuuuuv! God accepts you "just as you are".
That is God's graeeeessss! Ahh, but! Those who have been proclaiming
these things are false prophets. God did not send them. "The prophets
prophesy lies in My name; I did not send them, nor have I commanded
them, nor did I speak to them. They prophesy to you a false vision and
a worthless divination, and a thing of no value, and the deceit of
their heart." (Jer14:14) Yes, God is love (1Jn4:8), but He is also a
God of "fury". "Now upon you I will soon pour out My fury, and spend My
anger upon you; I will judge you ACCORDING TO YOUR WAYS, and I will
REPAY YOU for all your abominations." (7:8) "Vengeance is Mine, I will
repay, says the Lord." (Rom12:19, Heb10:30)
"..then you shall know that I am Jehovah!" (7:4)
Oh, No, No, No! You have this all wrong! That's not how you get people
to make "commitments". Don't you know? "God luuuuvs you, and has a
wonderful plan for your life." (The "1st law" of the "Four") After all,
doesn't God say, "For I know the thoughts which I am planning for you,
says Jehovah; thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future
and a hope." (Jer29:11) This verse was part of the promotional
literature of the above-mentioned 'Jezebel' who came in to my store. A
ministry of "positive" things. Thing is, they have taken that verse out
of its proper context; after Israel has been punished for her sins, and
when God is then 'restoring' them, bringing them back from Babylon. But
how is Israel going to "know" their God? He must punish them with no
sparing and no pity. Only after they have been thusly punished, it
says, "And you shall know that I am Jehovah who strikes". (7:9)
Now, we have looked at some parallels between Israel and the apostasy
that is called, "church". We have also seen parallels for a nation that
many call "christian". If all this came upon Israel, how much worse
will be the coming judgment upon America and the false-church!
But let's focus back on Israel. Many of the so-called "church" boast
that Israel is done for. They don't care that our "christian" president
will go about to give Israel's God-given territory away to terrorists,
because in their minds, "Israel doesn't matter" because God's eye is
now on "the church"....and, oh yes...America! "God bless America"! [I'm
becoming increasingly nauseated by that mantra! I wonder how many times
I've been muttering "Oh, shut up!" of late?]
Notice that, even though "the slain shall fall in your midst" (6:7),
that God gives a promise. An enduring hope. "Yet I will leave a
remnant, so that you may have some who escape the sword among the
nations, when you are scattered throughout the earth." (6:8)
What will characterize this remnant? "..those of you who escape will
remember Me.." (6:9a) And how will they view themselves? "..they will
loathe themselves for the evils which they committed in all their
abominations" (6:9b) OH...QUICK! CALL THE COUNSELLORS! These people
need counseling to reinstate their 'self-esteem'. No! What kind of
heart gains God's favorable attention?
"But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite
spirit, and who trembles at My word." (Is66:2)
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Re: Israel's Abominations (Ezekiel 8-11)
"So I lifted up my eyes toward the north, and behold, toward the north
at the gate of the altar, was this image of jealousy at the entrance...
Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that
the house of Israel commits here, to make Me go far away from My
sanctuary? Now turn again, you will see greater abominations" (8:5-6)
When Manasseh became king at age 12, he brought some most horrendous
things into God's temple. He set up images in the court, sacrifices his
own offspring to Molech, and also set up an image inside the temple,
along with all his witchcraft and astrology which he practiced. All
the good his father, Hezekiah, had done in eradicating idolatry,
Manasseh reestablished, and added even more abominations. He was likely
the worst king before God. (2Kg21)
So, when God speaks of "image of jealousy" here, remember that when the
Ten Commandments were given, that when He commands not to bow to other
gods, nor make images to them, the explanation which accompanies the
command is, "I, Jehovah your God, am a jealous God, visiting the
iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth
generations of those who hate Me" (Ex20:5)
This is the state of affairs as Ezekiel has this vision. And notice a
comment which God speaks to Jeremiah a lot, "..this house which is
called by My name.." (Jer7:10, etc) Perhaps the reader will understand
our continual comments about the state of things today when we speak of
SO-CALLED "christians", or the "PRETEND church". It is -called- the
"church". They -label- themselves as "christians". But they are not.
Just as God's house had become defiled with pagan idols, such that God
speaks of what used to be (notice He is not saying "My house" as He did
when Solomon built it -1Chr28:6; or "My house..of prayer" -Is56:7) His
house as that "which is called..." It has the label. But it no longer
represents the real Presence of Jehovah, because Israel has rejected
God, in favor of their heathen idols.
Does today's "church" have images of jealousy? We have spoken of them
in the past in the "10 Commandments" studies and not long ago in
addressing Mythology. All the images of the cross, pictures of "Jesus",
symbols to paganism. At Xmass they bring in the pagan tree. We won't
re-address all this now.
Ezekiel is then shown their carvings of "creeping things, abominable
beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, carved all around on
the wall", along with the 70 elders worshiping with their incense.
(8:10-11) Israel's idolatry was not something that "the people" were
doing, and the leaders merely "couldn't stop them". But rather, this
idolatry started from the leadership-on-down.
The women were "weeping for Tammuz". (8:14) Tammuz was a sun god, the
"husband" of Ishtar (queen of heaven, middle-eastern mutation of
Egypt's Isis). And the worship had the women weeping, bewailing his
funeral. He was honored at the summer solstice.
"Have you seen this, O son of man?" and so he is brought to "the inner
court of the house of Jehovah" where he sees "25 men with their backs
toward the temple of Jehovah and their faces toward the east, and they
were worshiping the sun toward the east" (8:15-16)
Well, we know this is being done in today's "church". Recently we spoke
of the Easter sunrise service. You see, we have the whole -god-
"family". Worshiping Ishtar (easter) the "wife", and Tammuz (sun) the
"husband". Early on "easter" the [c]hurch worships Ishtar-Tammuz. Same
thing Israel was doing.
Related topic: "Anti-Semitism, Catholicism and Passover?"
So God asks, "Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it a trivial thing
to the house of Judah to commit the abominations which they commit
here? ...therefore I also will act in fury. My eye will not spare nor
will I have pity; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, I
will not hear them." (8:17-18)
Notice a couple of things here. If you notice in this passage (Please
be sure to get your Bibles out and read it to see the entire context.
These studies are not be-all, end-all unto themselves. They are
intended to point out a few highlights from these passages, but God's
Word comes from the Scriptures.), God is continually asking Ezekiel,
"have you seen this?" Why? Remember God's commission of Ezekiel as a
prophet? He was called to the "rebellious house", to go and proclaim,
"Thus says Jehovah". He was given a book to eat. (ch1-3) God's Word was
made a very part of his essence. He has God's Word within him, and he
is proclaiming God's judgments. But he needs one more element. He also
needs to see Israel's wickedness the same way God sees it. How can he
be an effective messenger and proclaim the message with all the
necessary 'force', unless in his very being he also sees the corruption
to the point of detesting it the same way God does. Thus, God shows
Ezekiel all Israel's sin. Thus, as he proclaims God's judgment, he
'understands' in his own mind that what he proclaims is "just". That
God is "recompensing their deeds upon their own head". (9:10) What they
are getting, they fully deserve.
So, how is God's judgment going to be meted out? Is He going to utterly
wipe out the whole lot? In the vision, those in charge come along with
their "destroying weapon" (9:1) But before God sets them loose, He
"marks" the righteous ones. (9:4) What is the basis of their being
marked? Are they the ones who are continually gathering and "praising
the Lord"? They are faithfully "worshiping"? They are "happy" and with
smiling faces are "dancing around"? They are having experiences of
"..put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the
abominations that are done.." (vs4) Remember the close to the
preceeding lesson. If you have forgotten, it is found in Isaiah 66:2
As for the rest, "Go..through the city and kill; do not let your eye
spare, nor have pity. Utterly slay [everyone who doesn't have the mark]
and BEGIN AT MY SANCTUARY.." (9:6)
You see, there is a parallel today. God's ways are NOT to pour out His
wrath upon His Believers. "He did not appoint us to wrath" (1Th5:9)
Today's pretend [c]hurch does not believe that Jesus is coming to catch
away His Believers. They think they are going through what they call,
"the tribulation". The thing they don't understand is that the time
that is coming is not merely "affliction" (Jn16:33), but it is God's
wrath. A time when He is judging the world. And since they are of those
who worship idols, turning their back upon God, facing east and
worshiping all sorts of pagan deities, they will, indeed, remain on
earth, and will receive God's judgment "without pity".
And notice another picture God gives Ezekiel. After Ezekiel has been
shown all the abominations in the house "called by God's name", then
"the glory of Jehovah departed from the threshold of the house.."
(10:18) Ezekiel was shown that, although the physical temple might have
existed, due to Israel's idolatry and rebellion, God was no longer
there. Thing is, just like Samson, most of Israel didn't know "that
Jehovah had departed from him" (Jud16:20) They religiously sing their
"worship songs", but they haven't a clue to the fact that God is not in
their midst. They have turned the back to God's Word and doctrine,
preferring instead to be "spirit-filled" and -feel- "blessed".
This is why we continually exhort Believers to "come out of her My
people" (Rev18:4, Jer51:45) God is not in those so-called "churches"!
He left a long time ago when they turned their backs on Him and His
Word and started worshiping the gods of experiences, self-esteem, and
every other abomination that exists today.
And also, these who worship the abominations, "devise wickedness and
give evil advice.." (11:2) are also the ones who proclaim, "the time is
not near; let us build houses. This city is the kettle, and we are the
meat." (11:3) Convert that to today: There won't be a Rapture. God is
sending revival. Be healthy and wealthy and thus partake of God's
"blessing". Instead of "purifying" themselves (1Jn3:3), they are busy
building earthly kingdoms, and engaging in such abominations as prayer
When Israel's leaders said such things, if you continue in the chapter,
you will see God's judgment against them. If God's judged His own elect
in this manner, what do you suppose is in store for the "wild olive
branches" that were grafted in! "Of how much worse punishment, do you
suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled on the Son of God,
counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common
thing, and insulted the Spirit of Grace?" (Heb10:29)
But, back to Israel...
Again, God's promised restoration. Even though God judged Israel, He
does not utterly cast them away. "Although I have cast them far off
among the nations, and although I have scattered them throughout the
earth, yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the lands where
they have gone." (11:16) And then, "I will gather you from the peoples,
assemble you from the lands where you have been scattered, and I will
give you the land of Israel. And they will come there, and they will
take away all its detestable things and all its abominations from
And how will this happen? God promises Israel, "And I will give them
one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you, and take the stony
heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may
walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall
be My people, and I will be their God" (vs19-20)
But notice that for those whose hearts insist on their abominations: "I
will recompense their deeds upon their own heads, says the Lord
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Re: Object Lesson: Exile (Ezekiel 12)
"Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have
eyes to see and see not. They have ears to hear and hear not, for they
are a rebellious house. Therefore, son of man, prepare for yourself
vessels for exile, and go into exile by day before their eyes. And you
shall be exiled from your place to another place before their eyes. It
may be they will consider, though they are a rebellious house." (vs2-3)
A couple of things we can see here. First of all, how "negative" is
this message! How full of "personal attacks"! I mean... doesn't God
know better? Doesn't He know how to "win friends and influence people"?
Over and over and over God calls them "rebellious". It's as though He
seems to think there is nothing 'good' in Israel. Aren't we supposed to
"look for the good in everybody", and "if you can't say something good
about a person, don't say anything at all"?? We are supposed to 'luuuv'
people into the kingdom. If God were posting this message to any
message board, the monitors would remove it for being so venomous and
being such "hate speech".
The other thing is the repetition of the phrase "before their eyes".
Early on in his ministry Ezekiel was required to be "locked" into
place, lying first on one side, and then the other, as he "laid siege"
to a portrayal of Jerusalem. (ch4) 430 days he was lying on the ground
with God's "bands" laid on him so he could not move. (vs8) Now, he is
pretending again. Going through the motions, "acting out" being taken
into exile. What Ezekiel was illustrating was a portrayal of what God
was telling Israel was about to befall them for their rebellion.
It was one thing for God to send prophets to Israel, imploring them to
repent, "rising early and sending". (2Ch36;15) But they would not
listen. They would say, "we WILL DO" what we want. We WILL NOT obey
God, but we WILL DO our own devices. (Jer44:16-17)
So, God tries something else. God already knew that 'visual' aids are
more effective than -mere- 'words', even before modern teaching
theories 'discovered' it. It's one thing to hear the words of warning,
but to 'see' what captivity might look like... that should grab 'em
where they tremble. Ezekiel, do these things "before their eyes".
Why? "..IT MAY BE they will consider.." (vs3) Ezekiel, we have been
talking to them till we're "blue in the face", but they are so
rebellious. Let's try another method...see if we can get their
attention. See if even ANYTHING AT ALL will sink in, even though they
are so rebellious, let's give this a try. Maybe...Sigh...just MAY-BE..
Well, history has shown the outcome. Israel continued to be rebellious,
and were taken captive.
But notice God's faithful servant. Poor Ezekiel had to go through so
much abuse throughout his 'career' in the ministry. We are not told
what his attitude was about doing this particular object lesson, but we
know that he drug his feet to even -be- a prophet originally. God had
to forcibly "lift [him] up" (3:14) to take him where He wanted him. And
Ezekiel went "in bitterness, in the heat of [his] spirit".
But God labels Ezekiel, "I have set you as a sign to the house of
Israel". (12:6) What is the purpose of a sign? To either point the
way, or give instruction.
Dear fellow-Believer... do you sometimes wonder "why" certain things
happen in your life? When there was no sin in your life, the Lord gave
you illness. When you were being faithful, the Lord gave you financial
hard times. Perhaps you have been placed in the middle of a bunch of
scorpions (2:6) who snap at you, and you find yourself continually in
confrontation, standing on God's Word, and the scorpions attack you
with their deceitful venom. Anyone who is a Believer, and lives on this
earth, is a "witness" of Christ to the world. (Lk24:48) We are
"lights". (Mt5:14) Perhaps you don't much like the attention? You'd
just as rather live a peaceful life, "minding your own business"?? Well,
lights are not designed to be hidden. (Mt5:15) The various situations
the Lord puts us in are for the purpose of showing forth His glory. If
we are in illness, His strength is shown through (in spite of) our
weakness. (2Cor12:9) If we are attacked, God's wisdom is shown through
our ignorance. (Mk13:11) So that they might see that we are "with
Jesus". (Acts4:13) That they see "not I, but the grace of God with me."
What is the outcome of the faithfulness of God's servant? "He who
hears, let him hear; and he who stops his ears, let him stop; for they
are a rebellious house." (Eze3:27) You see, that person you are
witnessing/ministering to and praying for may likely never come to the
Lord in repentance.
But "they shall know that I am Jehovah". (12:15) Amen!
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Re: Whitewash (Ezekiel 13)
Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy, and
say to those who prophesy out of their own heart, Hear the Word of
Jehovah! Thus says the Lord Jehovah: Woe to the foolish prophets, who
follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! (13:2-3)
Jeremiah says similar things, "Woe to the shepherds who destroy and
scatter the sheep of My pasture! says Jehovah" (Jer23:1) While we might
combine these two chapters into one study, I think Ezekiel gives us
-quite- plenty to chew on for this lesson. But you might wish to read
Jeremiah ch23 to get a fuller picture.
Remember a couple studies ago (ch8-11) we observed that it was Israel's
-leaders- who were guilty of abominations. When God's destruction went
out to kill, He commands, "and begin at My sanctuary" (9:6) Now, God
addresses those who proclaim to the leaders. Yes, the priests and
Levites served before the people unto God in the temple in all the
worship rituals. But the prophets were a "notch above". The priests
performed the prescribed rituals as written down in the Law. But the
prophets would receive special messages from Jehovah to proclaim to the
priests, kings and people. Certainly, the people were condemned for
their rebellion and idolatry. But some of their error might be
'understandable', because it might be considered that they are merely
-following- what the priests said. And while the priests and scribes
should have known better because they had the actual scrolls of God's
written Law to read, which the common people did not... the prophets
were the ones God anointed with His Spirit with God's Word directly to
the people. It was -prophets- who actually 'wrote' (or dictated to
scribes -Jer36:4) the words of those scrolls.
Notice the condemnation: they "follow their -own- spirit" when, in
fact, they had seen nothing. They see "vanity and lying divination"
(vs6) "Divination" is an occult practice of fortunetelling or
conjuring. It works in the spirit realm. They claim to receive their
messages from "the divine", thus, "divination". But if God is saying
that "Jehovah has not sent them", what is the source of their visions?
If it is not God, there is only one other source. Satan and/or his
Notice regarding their conjuring, "..they -HOPE- that their word may be
confirmed". (vs6b) Whereas, God's Word is the "-SURE- Word of
Prophecy" (2Pt1:19) When Daniel stood before Nebuchadnezzar, he
proclaims confidently, "..the dream is certain, and the interpretation
of it is sure" (Dan2:45)
The best today's "christian" conjurers can boast is 70%. So, when they
make their boastful proclamations, there is always that 30% doubt that
what they proclaim will come to pass. They can only "hope" their word
at that particular moment will fit into that 70%. Thus, God calls what
they do, "lying divination". (vs7) It is -NOT- of Jehovah!
God's judgment to those of Israel was "they shall not be in the
assembly of My people, nor be written in the record of the house of
Israel, nor shall they enter into the land of Israel" (vs9) Translate
the same judgment to the "[c]hurch"... They will not be part of the
Rapture to "meet the Lord in the air" (1Th4:17), They will not be found
in the "Book of Life" (Phil4:3, Rev13:8, 17:8,etc), and they will not
be allowed entrance into Heaven, but Jesus will say, "I never knew
you". (Mt7:23, Lk13:25)
What are prophets supposed to be doing? They are to "close up the wall
and stand in the gap" (22:30), they are to "build walls" (13:5). What
was the purpose of the city walls? To keep the enemy out. To keep
plunderers and robbers out. To keep the residents safe from harm. When
a prophet is doing God's counsel, he causes God's "people to hear My
Words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from
the evil of their doings." (Jer23:22)
But the false prophets certainly do "build walls". They have an
appearance of being "holy" and a pretense of being "great men of God".
But when they build these walls, how do they build? When they proclaim
"Peace! when there is no peace" it is like building with stones, but
instead of using mortar to hold the stones/bricks together with
strength; they merely pile the rocks up, and then slap some "whitewash"
over the top. (vs11) It looks pretty, and people "feel" safe because
they have the appearance of righteousness, but as Jesus said to the
religious leaders of His day that they were like "whitewashed tombs
which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead
men's bones and all uncleanness." (Mt23:27)
Spiritual walls are ones which keep out evil and error. In Ezekiel's
day the prophets were building walls with whitewash. Today, the
prophets are even worse than those of Ezekiel's day, or when Jesus
chided the scribes and pharisees. Today, they do not -build- walls, but
they TEAR THEM DOWN! They sing, "Walls come down, walls come down". The
wall of Godly doctrine which protects a Believer against the errors of
the evil one, they DELIBERATELY knock them down, and invite the enemy
into the city, and send the citizens out amongst the wolves...and these
days, satan's hosts are having a feeding frenzy, because the sheep are
not being protected.
Dear Reader, if you sometimes think this ministry is rather "harsh" in
its words, it is because of all those things you see out there that
LOOK LIKE "walls", but we know from God's Word that they are merely a
whitewash. And in many quarters we see the walls crumbling down and the
wolves are coming in droves in packs and devouring. How does one
protect sheep and chase the wolves away? By drastic means, and LOUD
SHOUTS. LOOK OUT! WATCH OUT! DON'T BE DECEIVED! To the wolves, SHOO,
SCRAM! GET OUTTA HERE! No, we DON'T invite them in to our fellowships!
All they are there for is to, "steal, kill and destroy" (Jn10:10) They
have NO INTENTION of being saved! Do not be "seduced" (vs10) by them!
And if you read the section vs17-23, you will see similar warnings
about the women with their occult and "amulet" (vs20) trinkets.
Remember God's warning against making "any likeness". (Ex20:4) Even
people like Mariah Carey and various paganist, New Age movie stars wear
crosses on their necklaces. But that certainly does NOT make them
So... notice God's judgment upon Israel's false prophets. What we see,
understand that similar things await today's false prophets.
God is sending a "flooding rain", "great hailstones" and a "stormy
wind" to knock the whitewash down. And when the wall is found to be
fraudulent, the question, "Where is the mortar with which you plastered
it?" (vs12) Where is the substance to all your boasts? Where is the
Truth? When it is thrown down, "so that its foundation will be
uncovered" (vs14), the Truth will be bared. The false prophets will be
"consumed". God will do this in Fury, Anger, and Wrath. The wall and
its whitewashers will be "no more". (vs15) And lest there be any
confusion as to -who- God is talking about...
"..that is, the prophets of Israel who prophesy..who see visions of
peace...when there is no peace, declares the Lord Jehovah" (vs16)
But notice also. When these false prophets have been consumed in God's
wrath, they will suddenly know the Truth. Nobody in Hell will be an
unbeliever. Remember that satan and his demons also "believe and
shudder". (Jacob2:19) So much for "Sola Fide"... "Only Believe"!!
You see, He says to them as they are going into destruction...
"And you shall know that I am Jehovah." (vs14b)
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Re: The Lord's answers through idols (Ezekiel 14:3-4)
"Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put
the stumbling-block of their iniquity before their face. Should I at
all be inquired of by them? Therefore speak to them, and say to them,
So says the Lord Jehovah: Every man of the house of Israel who sets up
his idols in his heart, and puts the stumbling-block of his iniquity
before his face, and comes to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him
in it by the host of his idols;" (Ez14:3-4)
What another fascinating passage! If we look at Israel's history, if we
were to summarize in one word, the reason for their dispersion
throughout the world over the centuries, that word would be "idolatry"
When God gave the Law, the very first of the "Ten Commandments" is "You
shall have no other gods before Me." (Ex20:3) And yet, their -primary-
sin was idolatry. Breaking of that very first commandment! They began
their rebellion even while Moses was in God's presence, receiving all
the laws, with their golden calf. (Ex32)
But here, God is saying through Ezekiel, 'I will answer him via idols.'
You see, God has given man a conscience. (Rom2:14-15) No matter what
man may do, God is continually 'striving' to reach man through the Holy
Spirit. (Gen6:3,Jn16:8) With Israel He was "rising early" and sending
His "messengers" (2Ch36:15) because He has pity on His own. But man is
continually running away from God, "like sheep" (Is53:6) going his own
way. And God is always pleading "Turn, turn from your evil ways, for
why will you die?" (Ez33:11)
So, if man is stubbornly engrossed in idolatry, how is God going to
reach him? Well... as this passage says... through his idols. But the
idols' prophets proclaim falsehood! How can a person come to God
Ever hear the expression as a child? Maybe you said it to yours, when
they were getting older and should 'know better'? "If you're gonna act
like a child, I'm gonna treat you like one." Well, that's a little bit
what God does. According to the manner in which the person behaves
towards God, that's the way God responds. Notice: "With the merciful,
You will show Yourself merciful; with an upright man You will show
yourself upright; with the pure You will show Yourself pure; and with
the crooked You will show Yourself perverse." (2Sm22:26-27,Ps18:25-26)
Is God limited when false prophets speak? If they use anything at all
of His Word, remember that His Word does not go out "void" without
accomplishing what God intends. (Is55:11) Even if that "Word" is a
Westcott/Hort perVersion. Can a person find salvation while sitting in
a Catholic church? Well, from the Pope on down, they distort the
Scriptures. But they -do- speak of Jesus dying "for the sins of the
world." God is not limited by the rest of what they teach, when it
comes to the individual's heart, at the level of the conscience. The
person can hear that Jesus "died for the sins of the world" and then
his conscience -knows- his own sin. Salvation is not related to
transubstantiation, pergatory, crucifixes. It -is- related to Jesus
having died on the cross for sin. (Rom5:8,1Cor15:3) Jesus said that the
one coming to Him does so at the drawing of the Father. (Jn6:44) And
this happens as the Holy Spirit 'strives' with that person's spirit and
soul... at the -individual- level. This is but one such example.
If a person does not hear correct doctrine, because nobody tells him,
and he dies in his sin; he dies in his sin. (Ez33:9) But he does not do
so in -total- ignorance. God is "not willing that any should perish."
(2Pt3:9) The "Sower" (Mt13:3) scatters the seed on -all- kinds of
ground. God sees to it that everybody is "without excuse".(Rom1:20) If
the person has heard of God, directly, the message will come in that
way. If all he knows is idolatry, God will speak even through the
"For the earth is the Lord's and the fullness of it." (1Cor10:26)
"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the expanse proclaims His
handiwork... And the heavens shall declare His righteousness; for God
Himself is judge... The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the
people see His glory." (Ps19:1,50:6,97:6)
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Re: I Jehovah Will Answer by Myself (Ezekiel 14:5~)
"I, Jehovah, will answer him who comes, according to the multitude of
his idols, that I may catch the house of Israel in their own heart,
because they are all estranged from Me through their idols... I,
Jehovah, will answer Him by Myself. I will set My face against that man
and make him desolate as a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off
from the midst of My people. And you shall know that I am Jehovah...
And they shall bear their iniquity..." (Ezek14:4-10)
In the preceding lesson we observed how God is not limited in terms of
people being able to learn of Him, even when they are in idolatry. A
person -can- learn of salvation even while sitting in a Catholic or
Mormon church, insofar as Scripture is presented and read. That, of
course, is for a heart that is in such a place in 'innocence', not
knowning any better, being there "in ignorance" but where their heart
is tender and ready to obey God who promises to "overlook" the "times
of ignorance" and "commands all men everywhere to repent". (Acts17:30)
But to have a true picture of this passage, we must continue; in order
to see how God responds to Israel. Israel had a knowledge of the Most
High, and yet, they had "set up [their] idols IN [THEIR] HEART" (vs4)
Their history, as a nation, was one of God's mighty "outstretched arm"
of deliverance from Egypt, and of "signs and wonders". (Deut26:8) As
God argues with Israel, as though an attorney arguing a case in court,
"Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be
assembled. Who among them can declare this and cause us to hear former
things? Let them bring out their witnesses, that they may be justified;
or let them hear, and say, It is true." (Is43:9)
He presents the evidence: "I, even I, am Jehovah; and there is no one
to save besides Me. I have declared and have saved, and I have shown,
when there was no strange god among you; therefore you are My
witnesses, says Jehovah, that I am God. Yea, before the day was, I am
He; and no one can deliver out of My hand; I work, and who will
reverse it?" (vs11-13)
"..when there was no strange god among you.." You see, when God did
all His works with Israel, they did not have other gods. It wasn't any
of those strange gods (that they 'now' worshipped) that brought them
forth to become a nation. God did it all... ALONE, by Himself!
But after many centuries have passed, as they are going into captivity
for their idolatry, they whine to Jeremiah, that when they were
offering their offerings to the Queen of Heaven... "..then we had
plenty of food, and were well-off, and saw no evil." But when they
stopped, things got bad for them. (Jer44:17-18) So Jeremiah goes on to
say that God's patience withheld as long as He could, until He had had
Notice the path that leads to destruction. The rebellious ones come to
the prophets they want to hear from. So, God says, "I Jehovah will
answer him by Myself" (vs7) Notice that the things the false prophets
speak also have God's authority, "..if that prophet is induced to speak
anything, I Jehovah have induced that prophet, and I will stretch out
My hand against him and destroy him from the midst of My people.."
Do we have any specific examples of such a scenario? At the request of
Jehoshaphat, Ahab calls for Micaiah. All the other (false) prophets are
telling them to go up to battle and "be victorious". But when Micaiah
is called, being a true prophet of Jehovah, and the discussion rises as
to why his prophecy is so much different from the others, because he is
prophesying Ahab's death, he explains how God was 'discussing' in
Heaven, how to persuade Ahab to go into battle and be killed. After
many ideas were presented, a spirit steps forward and says, "I will
persuade him". And God asks, "How?" "I will go out and be a lying
spirit in the mouth of all his prophets" And God replies, "You shall
persuade him, and also prevail. Go out and do so." (1Kg22:20-22)
You see, the false prophets are, indeed, FALSE. They are induced by
"deceiving spirits". (1Tm4:1) But do you see -who- sends them on their
way? God, the Most High, sitting on His throne. And -why- does He do
so? Because they have set up their idols "in [their] heart". (vs4) When
the time of the "man of sin" is revealed, -why- does He "..send them
strong delusion, that they should believe the lie.."? "..for this
reason.." "because they did not receive the love of the truth, that
they might be saved." (2Th2:10-11) You see, with God, who knows the
heart (Heb4:12), He draws a 'line' with everyone. He says, "..for the
time is at hand. He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is
filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be
righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still. And behold, I
am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one
according to what his work shall be.." (Rev22:10-12)
So, Israel -purposely- rebelled against God, and set up their idols.
God spoke to them -through- their idols, to mete out judgment upon
them, and to reveal Himself to them.
We cannot look at Israel without seeing the very real parallel to
today's "church". No, the "church" is not Israel. When Israel rebelled,
God set up a new entity of "servants by another name". (Is65:15) Since
Israel continued to rebel obstinately, God could not allow His own name
to be "defiled". (Is48:11) But Israel's case is recorded in history as
an "example" to us. (1Cor10:6,11)
Today's Church-of-Babylon (christendom) is based on IDOLATRY and FALSE
PROPHETS. Its prophets see dreams and visions. These false visions are
not from God, He "did not send them". (Jer14:14) But He commissioned
the "lying spirits" who indwell them...IN ORDER THAT today's Babylon,
full of what we continually call "pretend-christians", may receive the
full reward of their lust-filled hearts.
You who truly know the Lord, don't wring your hands too terribly at the
apostasy. Yes, the people all seem 'gullible' don't they, as they
swallow all the false doctrine, hook-line-and-sinker. But you see, that
is what they 'want', and God knows it. Thus, He is allowing them to
have it. But also understand that, when God's judgment comes, they will
then, at long last, know God for who He really is... although, by then,
it will be too late, as when they boast of their spirit-fillings, He
will say, "Depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!" (Mt7:23) As they
are ushered into "everlasting fire", the "place prepared for the devil
and his angels" (Mt25:41) They "shall bear their iniquity.." (vs10)
And God says to His True Believers, "..come out of her, My people.."
Oh, but... I'm still going to X, Y or Z "church" because I want to be a
witness to them. Perhaps I can "make a difference" and be a "positive
influence" there? Being "salt" in amongst them...?
Your presence will make NO DIFFERENCE to the rebels!! And furthermore,
in being there, you are being disobedient regarding the "unequal yoke"
with unbelievers, and God's command to "come out from among them and be
Whatever you think your presence might benefit the rebels, notice:
"..although these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job, were in it, they
would deliver only themselves by their righteousness, declares the Lord
Jehovah" (vs14) Do you think you are of the calibre of these three who
have received noteworthy space in the written Scriptures? Do you find
your name in the Scriptures for your greatness before God? Of Daniel
it was said, "For you are greatly beloved" (Dan9:23) Well, these three
would deliver "neither sons nor daughters" (vs16) They would not stave
off famine and pestilence. (vs19) They would "deliver only themselves
by their righteousness" (vs20)
Today's apostasy will NOT go away, before God's judgment comes. Those
who forecast "revival", are lying. That is not what Scripture
prophesies. "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some
will depart from the faith, being devoted to deceiving spirits and
doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own
conscience seared.." (1Tm4:1-2) Notice that this is what God's [Holy]
Spirit says... not what the "spirit-filled" false prophets proclaim.
Both today's prophets and their followers, together, will "bear their
Dear Believer: do you feel like a "remnant" in the big ocean of
apostacy? Well, notice: "Yet behold, there shall be left in it a
remnant who will be brought out..." (vs22) Again, let us not be
confused. Most specifically, this speaks of Israel; coupled with the
rest of prophecy, we know God's restoration of Israel, His elect seed.
But as Israel is an "example" to us, we see the parallel. While
"christendom" is going down the "broad way to destruction" (Mt7:13),
there is a "remnant" who "have not bowed the knee to Baal" (1Kg19:18)
And for Israel, after judgment has been fulfilled, after Israel has
been 'punished' (vs10), and God has given them a "new heart" (36:26),
God will work a work "..that the house of Israel may no longer stray
from Me, nor be defiled anymore with all their transgressions, but that
they may be My people and I may be their God, says the Lord Jehovah"
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Re: Naked and Bare (Ezekiel 16)
"Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations..." (vs2)
My! How un-SELF-fulfilling that is! Why should Israel continually be
reminded of her inadequacies? Why must God continually 'put-her-down'?
Could He not have had more positive and uplifting things to say, to
help build up her self-esteem?
What God wants to show is Israel's utter nothingness, where she
originated. And if they think they are anything now...? It is God who
made them what they are. As Paul would say a few centuries later, "For
I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle,
because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am
what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more
abundantly than every one of them, yet not I, but the grace of God
which was with me." (1Cor15:9-10)
JUST a NOTE of WARNING before we proceed: for you with younger children
in your family, depending on how you read these studies; you who are
adults may wish to read the entirety of this study first, to see if it
is appropriate for your children. God uses some rather explicitly
colorful imagery in this passage, and we are going to, also.
God reminds Israel of their cultural lineage. And then paints a
colorful image of Israel's birth and betrothal to Himself. I've not
seen a human birth other than on film/video, but have of cattle. If a
cow gave birth, and then did not take care of the calf, the sight is
not a pretty one. The calf lies there, all covered in slime and puddled
around, with afterbirth also hanging out the back of the cow. Recently
on Public TV they showed a special on tigers. Some tiger cubs that had
been born in captivity, which the mother did not take care of and
nurse. The people went into the den to retrieve them, and they were
barely alive. One, actually, didn't make it.
This is the picture God paints of Israel's origin. "..your navel cord
was not cut, nor were you washed in water...you were not..wrapped in
swaddling cloths. No eye pitied you...but you were thrown out...for you
yourself were loathed on the day you were born." (~vs4-5) Translate
that into today: you were born and tossed into a dumpster, because you
were an 'unwanted' pregnancy.
When God calls a person unto Himself, is it because the person is so
wonderful? This is the "gospel" being proclaimed by many today, that is
termed "graaaeeesss". God saw all that "value" and "worth" in you;
that's why He saved you. Mmmm??
"..when I passed by you and saw you squirming in your blood, I said to
you in your blood, LIVE! Yes, I said to you in your blood, LIVE!" (vs6)
God is called elsewhere, the "Potter". And we are the clay. (Jer18:6,
Rom9:21) Before the potter starts forming the clay, of what value is
the clay? It is just a variation of "dirt". Something that, when it
gets wet, gets all mucky all over everything, despised, to be washed
off. If somebody didn't come along to rescue the calf and nurture it,
it would get eaten by wolves. If somebody didn't happen-by the
dumpster, that baby would die of exposure.
Well, God came along, and saw us in our less-than-nothingness, and
shouts out, "LIVE!" with the same authority that Jesus yelled out for
Lazarus to be raised, "Lazarus! Out Here! Now!" (Jn11:43)
Now, this baby is washed up, and grows and matures. God comes by again
and sees that a young woman is coming to the age of betrothal and
marriage. God speaks of His betrothal of Israel to Himself. (Jer2:2,
Hos2:19-20) Of Himself as being Israel's "husband". (Is54:5)
She is developing physically to be desireable to a man, and is naked.
Nobody is taking her in, and caring for her. When God brought Eve to
Adam, "they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not
ashamed" (Gen2:25) Now, Hollywood promotes what they promote with
scenes of a freshly showered/bathed woman dropping her towel in order
to be taken by the man. Well, here, Israel has freshly been "washed"
and "anointed with oil" (vs9) God "spread the edge of [His] garment
over [her]" to cover her nakedness, swore an oath to her and she
"became Mine" declares the Lord Jehovah. (vs8) When Naomi sent Ruth to
Boaz to present her case of being available for marriage, it says that
she "uncovered his feet and lay down" (Ru3:7), and makes her case by
saying, "Take your maidservant under your wing" (vs9). This covering of
the edge of the garment. A place of shelter and protection. If the
woman is naked, to be covered; and the husband is opening his garment
to receive and cover her; they are both together within his garment.
The "two shall become one flesh". (Mt19:5)
Now, notice how God is with Israel. Clothes her with designer clothes,
matching shoes, jewelry and other coordinated fine accessories.
(vs10-13) I don't know why it is, but it is so. Women are always made
up to be beautiful. Men get themselves up with your basic suit or tux.
But women are bedecked with all sorts of finery and are called
"beautiful". And since God uses this kind of imagery, obviously, it is
not sinful, is it. There are some pharisaical types who preach a
doctrine that their women should get themselves up as 'plain-janes'.
Well, this passage, being merely one of several like it various places
in Scripture, should put such notions to rest.
So, with all this blessing, pampering and world-renown for all her
beauty (vs14) what does Israel do? She "trusted in your own beauty,
committed adultery because of your fame, and poured out your harlotry
on everyone passing by who would have it." (vs15)
Why do some men not like their women to be all dolled up? Because other
men will look at them and lust for them. And, let's face it... many
women who are beautiful also flaunt their beauty and flirt.
God took Israel into His own cloak, nurtured her, made her beautiful to
show her off to the world and she 'turned heads'. But instead of
remaining within His "cloak" in her heart, being "only His", she
started sleeping around. You can read on into the chapter and see the
description of Israel's idolatry.
But rather than remembering her origins of being "naked and bare"
(vs22) and how God had taken her into His own bosom, she became an
"adulterous wife" (vs32), thinking that her beauty was her own.
Forgetting that, unless God had come along and taken her, she would
have been abandoned in her own afterbirth. Forgetting God's grace and
mercy. Today's "church" teaches that one's faithfulness to God after
salvation doesn't matter, that God's graaeeess "accepts you JUST AS YOU
ARE." What they mean is, "just as you -WERE-". Observe carefully the
example of Israel!
So, what is God's verdict upon her? "Because your filthiness was poured
out and your nakedness uncovered in your harlotry..." God was going to
collect all her lovers with whom she had pleasure and "..will uncover
your nakedness to them, that they may see all your nakedness...they
shall also strip you of your clothes, take your beautiful jewelry, and
leave you naked and bare." (vs37,39) And you can continue reading the
full extent of all this in the passage.
In those days, when a nation was taken captive by another, invariably,
the captives were stripped naked and chained together. Indeed, when
Isaiah prophesies against Egypt, as we have already noted how Ezekiel
often had to be an object lesson of God's prophesies, Isaiah was
required to go around naked for a couple years, to illustrate from his
prophecies to Egypt how they would be taken captive, "naked and
barefoot, even with buttocks stripped bare, to the [indecent] exposure
of Egypt. (Is20:2-4) If the Lord hasn't returned by then, we may have a
study series in Isaiah at some time in the future. If we do, we will
see how the "virgin of Babylon", the "Queen of Kingdoms", when God's
judgment brings her down, the one who is often presented voluptuously
and sensuously, is told, "Uncover your veil, strip off the skirt, bare
the thigh, pass through the rivers. Your nakedness shall be uncovered,
yea, your shame shall be seen; I will take vengeance and I will not
meet you as a man." (Is47:2-3)
As we read this about Israel, if a person has ever seen documentary
films of the Nazi holocaust against the Jews, the images never leave
the memory! Shriveled up, emaciated naked bodies lying around, piled up
on carts, being hauled to the huge pits; the now-defeated German
officers physically taking up the bodies and tossing them over into the
pits, and watching them hurling head-long on top of the other bodies.
God took Israel, at the "time of love" (vs8) and with a most beautiful
picture, draws her into His cloak. He bedecks her and makes her
beautiful, to be admired by the world. But when she rebelled, she
literally ended up "naked", being tossed into pits. While the Communist
Russian, Chinese, Cambodian situations resulted in multiplied times
'more' deaths than the Jews who were killed during WW2, the world
remembers the images if dead -Jewish- 'naked' bodies being tossed into
pits. Why? Because that is what God prophesied would happen. Why?
Because of her adulteries, in her idolatries.
You see, all humanity is "naked and bare" before God. He knows us down
to the very core of our "soul and spirit". (Heb4:12-13) He knows the
thoughts and intents of our hearts. And when we "must give answer"
before Him, this is how He sees us. There is nothing covering over and
You see, there's several different kinds of nakedness. Let us consider
two types. When there is love between a husband and wife, and they
belong to each other without reservations, having "forsaken all
others", the nakedness that is between them is a most beautiful thing.
However, if judgment is due, remember back to childhood? If you got
spankings, remember that there were two kinds. The one kind you just
bent over for. But the ones to be dreaded were the ones where the
"pants came down", too!
If our hearts are pure before God, we can sing, "Nothing between my
soul and the Savior.." We can be comfortable being wrapped next to Him
in His cloak of love. But if we rebel, the 'pants' must 'come down'!
Now, this series is also to remind those who think that Israel is "done
for", that God's promises remain. Yes, God has given Israel a good
whoopin' on their bare bottoms. But...
"Nevertheless I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your
youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you." (vs60)
God's covenant has nothing to do with Israel's goodness. They have
obviously proven themselves to be less-than worthy. Notice -who- is
establishing the covenant. "And I will establish My covenant with you."
(vs62) Even the original covenants, begining with Abraham, it says,
"For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He had no one greater
to swear by, He swore by Himself" (Heb6:13)
Israel today is trying to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.
They are yet in unbelief. Israel's future blessing will be because, and
-ONLY- because -GOD- keeps His promises. If you recall from the series
"Covenants & Dispensations", we have observed that man was never able
to keep any covenants with God. God always initiated the covenants, and
God is the One who always kept them. Man continually breaks the
covenant. As Israel has done. All that Israel has to their credit is
the memories of their "shame". (vs61,63) They will have "paid for
[their] licentiousness and abominations" from all God's judgments
against them (vs58)
When God remembers and fulfills His covenants with Israel, restoring
them out of their shame...
Then "..you shall know that I am Jehovah" (vs62) Amen!
Q/A -Israel "displaying" God?
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Re: Turning Away from... (Ezekiel 18)
"Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul
of the son is Mine; the soul who sins shall die." (vs4) "Fathers shall
not be put to death for their children, nor shall the children be put
to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own
While we know that there is such a thing as a "generational curse", as
illustrated by God's Word, "..visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon
the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth
generation" (Ex20:5, 34:7), and we have seen the results of this in
Israel's various captivities and dispersions; when an -individual-
stands before the Holy God, God does not look in the Book of Life for
the names of the individual's father, wife, children, etc. It says that
they are judged "-each- one, according to their works". (Rev20:13) When
Jesus calls -individuals- to follow Him, they do not do so under the
"family plan" because of "family values". He calls the person to
forsake, "houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or
children or lands, for My name.." (Mt19:29)
We know that salvation is by "grace through faith...not of works"
(Eph2:8-9) in "repentance toward God" (Acts20:21). But we also know
that once a person is saved, the natural outgrowth of the new nature is
"works befitting repentance". (Acts26:20) Otherwise, how does anyone
know they are truly saved? (Jac2:14-26) Dogs bark, chickens cluck,
ducks swim, sinners sin, and Believers do righteous works. (Eph2:10)
With that as introduction: "..if a man is righteous.." (vs5a); he is a
Believer; he is saved; the one who is "just" who "lives by faith"
(Hab2:4, Rom1:17); remember that Hebrews ch11 is the great "faith"
chapter, but it reminisces all the giants of 'faith' by their -deeds-.
The deeds did not save them. The deeds -manifested- the fact that they
had faith, and the nature of that faith.
This righteous man "does what is just and right". (vs5b) It goes on to
list various things: keeping away from idolatry, does not defile his
neighbor's wife, has been just and fair in dealing with people in
business, has been charitable to the poor, has not been dishonest, and
has followed all of God's ordinances faithfully... "he is righteous. He
shall live life, says the Lord Jehovah" (vs9)
This righteous man has a son, who does not believe. He manifests his
unbelief by living a life of debauchery and dishonesty... "He shall not
live! ..he shall die the death; his blood shall be upon him." (vs13)
Now, this unrighteous man, in turn, has a son, who observes all his
father's wickedness, and determines to be pleasing to God. His faith is
manifested in a righteous life; "he shall not die for the iniquity of
his father; he shall live life!" (vs17) "The soul who sins shall die..
The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the
wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself." (vs20)
This wicked man, who has been sleeping around, defrauding people,
lying, cheating, stealing, worshiping idols... "turns from all his
sins...keeps all God's statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he
shall live life; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he
has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the
righteousness which he has done, he shall live." (vs21-22)
You see, this is God's mercy. This is God's grace. When Christians
speak of God's wrath being poured out upon the ungodly, the ungodly
world scoffs and retaliates against what they view as being merely a
"concept" of such a kind of God. They like to think in terms of a "God
of luuuuvv" who would never "torture" anybody endlessly.
If you are similarly-inclined in your mind, consider: "Do I delight
with pleasure in the death of the wicked? says the Lord Jehovah..?"
(vs23a) God addresses this question head-on. No, it is not His desire
or purpose that "anyone should perish..." (2Pt3:9a) God doesn't desire
the death of anyone. But "sin" comes between sinful man and the Holy
The solution is very simple, really. If a person doesn't want God's
wrath hanging over their head, all they need to do is to "..turn back
from his ways and live" (vs23b) "..come to repentance." (2Pet3:9b)
Yes, if a person desires to -live-, he must TURN AWAY FROM his sin. If
he does so, and turns to God, "..he shall live." It doesn't matter how
horrendous a sinner one was previously, Jesus says, "All that the
Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by
no means cast out." (Jn6:37) And if a person has truly TURNED AWAY
FROM his sin, God takes that sin and removes it from us, "as far as
east is from the west.." (Ps103:12) Oh yes, in the words of the poet,
"..east is east, and west is west, and never the twain shall meet.."
God promises, "Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no
"..when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits
iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked
man does, shall he live?" (vs24a)
This is one of the primary doctrines of today's "church". After the
person has supposedly become a "christian" by "some other way"
(Jn10:1), they are told, "It doesn't matter to God. God accepts you
JUST AS YOU ARE.." filth and all! You see... a changed heart results in
a changed life. A -true- "conversion" creates a "new creation..in
Christ". (2Cor5:17) It is a new nature, "from above" (Jn3:3) If a
person continues living as they used to, in the world's corruption,
their so-called "conversion" is a lie! No, the works do not -save- a
person. But if, after the so-called "salvation", there are no good
works or a changed life, it is proof positive that a "birth from above"
(Jn3:3) did NOT HAPPEN!
Since everybody is used to science fiction, let's create an example to
illustrate this point. Suppose a person claimed to have a device that
would take a duck and convert it into a motorcycle. Preposterous? Well,
like I say...we're talking science fiction here. After all, Star Trek
DS9 had their 'changelings' who could take on the form and behavior of
anything, animate or inanimate. Ok; so the person takes the duck, and
runs it through his boasted 'process' to change it. Out the other side,
the creature comes out, waddling, quacking, and diving into the water
to swim around; you -know-, proof positive, that his "change" device is
a fraud. It went in a duck, it came out a duck. Motorcycles do not
quack, waddle or swim. If the change had truly taken place, one would
expect a device which a person could straddle, start up, and "ride".
Well, today's "church" is filled with quacking "ducks"; not
So then, back to the passage... we have a person who is truly a
"righteous man". (vs24a) This righteous man now "TURNS AWAY FROM his
righteousness and commits iniquity.." We are not talking about the
person who retains his righteous -nature-, but merely, while in this
sinful world, 'stumbles', requiring a confession and Christ's advocacy
(1Jn1:9-2:2), even though he is otherwise clean, requiring only that
his feet be washed. (Jn13:10) This is not the "prodigal son" who, did
not forsake his family, but took his inheritance with him, and when he
came to his senses still had his family name in his mind and heart and
was able to be restored to fellowship. (Lk15:12~)
No... he TURNS AWAY FROM his righteousness. He didn't "oops, I
stumbled", but rather says, "I have no pleasure in..." the ways of his
"Creator" (Ec12:1) I want nothing more to do with the Most High.
"..shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be
remembered; because of the treachery of his unfaithfulness, and the sin
which he has sinned, in them he shall die." (vs24b)
Today's "theology" which proclaims, 'you don't have to change, because
God accepts you JUST AS YOU ARE' also proclaims "Sola Fide". Faith
only. No need for "repentance". The same generation that devised these
doctrines originally, also is responsible for the doctrine called,
"Once Saved, Always Saved", which many of them erroneously support with
God's Scriptures on "Eternal Security". (Rom8:33-39)
In other words, if you follow their doctrine carefully, a person can
get saved by not really being saved through a new nature; And their
new-found non-salvation, they cannot lose, no matter what they do. In
their minds and hearts they "bind" God to a phony contract (Salvation)
which is not real, and put all the responsibility for safekeeping this
non-existent covenant upon God. Such a doctrine frees them up to live
any-ol-way-they-like, because "I'm saved, and can't lose it, and I'm on
my way to Heaven...tra la la!" Well, due to their lack of "loving the
Truth" God allows them to "believe [their] lie", in order that their
lustful hearts will ultimately receive His condemnation. (2Th2:10-12)
But God's truth is found in this passage. A change of one's state
before God requires a TURNING AWAY FROM some thing or other. Since one
is born and "conceived" in sin (Ps51:5), if one desires God's presence,
he must TURN AWAY FROM -SIN-. Thus, a "righteous man" is established.
(We are not covering the matters of Christ's blood and all such things.
Please understand this lesson in the context it is presented. For
Israel, in Ezkiel's day, Christ had not yet died on the cross. This
study, ultimately, is addressing the individual's 'heart' before God.)
Now if this righteous man (the term "righteous" means he is truly
Saved. His standing before God is "righteous") then TURNS AWAY FROM God
and His righteousness, deliberately, God calls such a turning
"treachery". (vs24) The verdict upon treason is "death".
And notice Jesus' words about such a person: "and the last state of
that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be unto this wicked
If you ever decide to make such a decision to TURN AWAY FROM God when
you have once been saved, understand very clearly that that is your
last change. There is no further Salvation after you turn away from
God. (Heb6:4-6) Do not be fooled by the vehemence of those who
proclaim their false doctrines that purport to "guarantee" your
salvation, "Do not be led astray, God is not mocked; for whatever a man
sows, that he will also reap." (Gal6:7) God knows your heart.
But what does God plead with Israel? Same thing He pleads with each of
you who does not know Him.
"Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity shall
not be a stumbling block to you. Cast away from you all the
transgressions which you have committed, and prepare for yourselves a
new heart and a new spirit; for why will you die, O house of Israel?"
(vs30-31) You see, this is the same thing Paul says about Israel. A
true Jew is one who is so from the "heart". (Rom2:28-29)
Just because a person has the label "Jew" or "Israel" does not
guarantee entrance into God's Holy Heaven. As Paul states, "..for not
all those of Israel are Israel." (Rom9:6) In the same way today, just
because a person has the label "christian", or belongs to a "church",
does not guarantee that they are a "Christian" (Acts11:26), nor that
they are part of Christ's "Church". (Eph1:22, 5:23, Col1:18,24)
If you came along by the above-mentioned doctrines of non-Salvation, do
not worry about having committed an unpardonable sin. You have never yet
been saved. You've never yet ever TURNED FROM your sin. You are not
doomed by the inability to be RE-Saved. (Heb6:4-6) You were never saved
to begin with. You are in that state to which you were born, "in sin".
But if you ever want to make it into God's Heaven, and escape an
eternity in Hell, you need to TURN AWAY FROM the sin nature into which
you were born. Right now, you stand condemned under God's wrath. But
this is not God's desire for you...
"For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies, declares the Lord
Jehovah. Therefore turn and live!" (vs32)
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Re: I will not be inquired after (Ezekiel 20)
"..men came from the elders of Israel to inquire of Jehovah, and sat
before me [Ezekiel]. And the word of Jehovah was to me, saying, Son of
man, speak to the elders of Israel and say to them, So says the Lord
Jehovah: Have you come to inquire of Me? As I live, declares the Lord
Jehovah, I will not be inquired of by you." (Ezek20:1-3)
Dear reader... do you feel like God doesn't hear you? When you read
how Jesus promised "where two or three are gathered together in My
name there I am in their midst" (Mt18:20), do you feel like He is "out
there" someplace..? Out of reach? When you pray, your prayers don't
seem to be answered, even though Jesus also promised, "If you ask
anything in My name, I will do it." (Jn14:14)
This 'Portion' and the next three will be some rather hard medicine to
take for some. But God has recorded "examples" (1Cor10:6) for us from
Israel's experience for our learning and exhortation.
First of all, let us understand very clearly that there are times when
God REFUSES TO HEAR. God is never in a place where He is incapable of
rescuing, or unable to hear. (Is59:1) But there are times that our
persistent rebellion ("iniquities") comes "between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden His face from you, from hearing." (vs2) In
this case the NKJV/KJV are more descriptive... "..He WILL NOT hear.."
In other words... He turns a deaf ear and 'refuses' to hear.
God spells out the "abominations of their fathers". (vs4) He pleads
with them, "Let each man cast away the filthy idols of his eyes, and do
not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am Jehovah your God."
(vs7) But they rebelled and would not listen to God. (vs8)
We see this today with the "church". As a recent example, we studied
from God's Commandments that we are not to have any "image..or any
likeness". (Ex20:4) While there were some e-mails of agreement; next to
the topic of charismania that we address frequently, I think the
"application" of the matter of "any likeness" stirred up as many
negative sentiments as anything we ever address. When it comes down to
the nitty gritty, where the rubber meets the road, and we are faced
with exactly -WHAT- constitutes a "likeness", people love their idols.
Joshua had ended his life with Israel by exhorting them to "..put away
the strange gods among you, and incline your heart to Jehovah God of
Israel." (Josh24:23) And this was after years of successful conquest
of the promised land; they were -supposedly- "following" God. And yet,
they still had their idols.
Today that which pretends to be part of the "Church" also rebels, just
as Israel did. If someone has "tears" over some artist's rendition of
Jesus being nailed to the cross, such emotions are supposedly a "good
thing"...and they rail against God's messenger who says otherwise, when
God -specifically- said, "..or any likeness". Notice that God calls
idols "filthy". And embracing them is a "defilement". (vs7)
Israel did not heed God. They "..would not listen". (vs8) So God's
"fury" was poured on them. Even though God had shown His power in
delivering them from Egypt, Israel clung to the gods of Egypt.
Therefore, for witness to Egypt, whose gods had been defeated, God
could not allow Israel to go unpunished. To do so would "profane" God's
"name...in the eyes of the nations" who saw God's work in Egypt. (vs9)
In the wilderness Israel rebelled continually. God's fury consumed them
in the wilderness. (vs13)
Now, as Ezekiel is speaking to Israel several generations later, they
are still doing as their fathers did. They are offering their children
as live-burnt offerings. Apparently they must have thought that Jehovah
would answer them when they offered offerings according to the heathen.
But He responds, "As I live, declares the Lord Jehovah, I will not be
inquired of by you." (vs31)
So, what makes today's "church" think that God will respond to them,
when they engage in idolatry and pagan practices of the world? We're
not talking about Catholics or Mormons here. We are talking about those
who consider themselves to be "evangelical, fundamental,
Bible-preaching" churches. When they hang their "likenesses" all over
the place, and "go up by steps" to their 'altars' (Ex20:26), and have
pagan inscriptions on their objects of worship, what makes them think
their prayer meetings have any power? What makes them think that there
is a "sweet, sweet spirit in this place"?
Just as God would not hear Israel back then, He also DOES NOT HEAR
today's "christians". Today's "church".
What is more important? That we build a nice building? That we have
large attendances? Or, that God's Name is not profaned?
Dear Reader: "Are you being defiled in the way of your fathers? And do
you go whoring after their filthy idols?" (vs30) If you engage in
heathen practices and have their idols hanging from your walls, necks
and ears, and on your shelves... "I will not be inquired of by you, O
[church] As I live, declares the Lord Jehovah, I will not be inquired
of by you." (vs31)
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Re: Purity in Service (Ezekiel 22)
"A plot by her prophets is in her midst...they have devoured souls and
they have taken the riches and gems...her priests have violated My Law
and have profaned My holy things. They have not divided between the
holy and the common, and between the unclean and clean they have not
In this passage, is God -praising- Israel because they were practicing
"tolerance" and "inclusion"? No! They were 'dialoguing' with the
heathen around them. The unclean were allowed into the temple. They
offered abominations as sacrifices. The holy and unclean were mingled
This is what the "church" is doing today. Just like the matter of
idolatry we addressed last week, this matter comes in a 'close second'
in terms of people objecting to the preaching about such "separation"
from the world. Not only does the church have the world's idols in its
worship, it also invites the unsaved to join in its times of worship.
They bring their offerings, and the preachers get rich off of them.
Now, to be sure, the excuse given is that they want the world to come
in and "get saved". But again... do we do things "our way" or God's
way? What is more important, to have 'numbers', or to obey God? Is it
more important that the choir be fully staffed with
professional-sounding musicians, so the music will "attract more"
people to come as they are entertained; or to perhaps only have solos
and duets (or NO special music), but be in obedience to the Lord by not
profaning the platform with the unsaved? What about the unsaved hired
janitor or nursery babysitters? Not to mention SS and VBS teachers,
Hear God's Word: "Enough to you, of all your abominations, O [church],
when you brought in the sons of aliens, uncircumcised of heart and
uncircumcised of flesh, to be in My sanctuary, to profane it, even My
house, when you [bring your offerings and worship]...and you have not
kept the charge of My holy things, but you have set them as keepers of
My charge in My sanctuary, for themselves. So says the Lord Jehovah: No
son of an alien, uncircumcised of heart and uncircumcised of flesh [in
other words, an "unBeliever"], shall enter into My sanctuary, or any
son of an alien who is among the sons of Israel." (Ezek44:6-9)
In practical terms, let's think of one example scenario, and see how we
read this passage and obey it. Some unsaved friends or relatives have
come from a distance and are staying with you for a few days. The
week-end comes, and you normally go "to church" on Sunday; or perhaps
you are meeting in a small house assembly. Do you take your friends
along? Remember, they are "unsaved". What does this passage say? To do
so is a... what? "Abomination". [Editor: like we said last week, some
Perhaps you think this is a bit "harsh"? Notice through Isaiah, "Turn!
Turn! Go out from there! Touch not the unclean! Go out of her midst,
purify yourselves, bearers of the vessels of Jehovah." (Is52:11) Let
us not forget Jesus' zeal when He made a whip of cords and overturned
the tables, and chased the unclean out of the temple, as He said that
the temple was a "house of prayer". (Mt21:13, Is56:7) No, that [prayer]
does not mean, a place where people come to put little pieces of paper
in the cracks of the wall, recite ritual words, bow their heads, fold
their hands, and end their recitations with "in Jesus' name, Amen"!
Prayer is communion with God. God is Holy. If we are in communion,
there is no sin. It is a place where the unbeliever does not belong,
because God's holiness and His awesome name cannot tolerate sin. The
thing that characterizes the unbeliever is "sin". Thus, we might see
the above words in today's vernacular, perhaps, as "Go on! Get outta
here! Shoo! Scram! Don't show your faces around here again!"
Oh, but that was "OLD Testament"! The Law! Jesus did away with the Law.
"Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership does
righteousness have with lawlessness? And what fellowship does light
have with darkness? What agreement does Christ have with Belial? Or
what part does a believer have with an unbeliever? What agreement does
a temple of God have with idols? For you are a temple of the living God
[you represent God's presence], even as God said, 'I will dwell in them
and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My
people.' Because of this..." ...work cooperatively with all your area
churches, have neighborhood campaigns to invite people to join you for
special services, have 'contests' in your church to see who can bring
the most visitors next Sunday... ??? !!-NO-!! Let's resume the quote
from God's Word, "..come out from among them and be separated, says the
Lord, and do not touch the unclean thing, and I will receive you."
Remember last week we observed God saying, "I will not be inquired
after by you" because of idolatry, sin and mixing with paganism. Now,
when it says, "come out from among them", it is obviously written to
people who have been mixed up with the world. Today, we can observe
this as the 'status quo' by which the "church" functions. Many of these
things we [-me-, too] did in ignorance. (Ac3:17, 17:30)
But when we see our fault through God's Word, we can choose two
options. We can do as Israel did, and suffer God's judgment. Or we can
obey, and "come out" from it.
Perhaps we lead a local assembly, and have been disobedient. Perhaps we
have unbelievers in the assembly. Perhaps some of them are serving and
"ministering". How do we "fix" it? Well, nobody said it would be easy.
Yes, some people are going to get upset, and call you all sorts of
names. Some may even make threats, or do worse. Some may take you to
court. Some may threaten your physical safety.
But there is an example in the O.T. where some of Israel actually went
about to make things right. Many of the exiles of Babylon who returned
to the land of promise had married pagan wives, and there were also
children from these wives. In Ezra ch10 is the account of how they put
away these wives, along with their children. Drastic? Indeed! Notice
how it is said:
"And now let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the women,
and such as have been born of them, according to the counsel of the
Lord, and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God...Be of
good courage and act." (Ezra10:3-4)
Now, as they were covenanting with God in this matter, they were
congregated, standing out in the rain on a dreary day (vs13), realizing
that it was not something that would be done with a quick word, making
a pledge and now go home..."la dee dah". There was a lot of work to do
to resettle all these people they were putting away...as they said, "we
who have sinned in this thing are many.." (vs13) But they covenanted
with God, "As you have said, so we MUST do." (vs12) You can imagine
there were a lot of tears, and anger. But they did it. And the chapter
ends with a 'list of names' of all those who made things right before
As we asked last week, do you sense a distance between you and God?
Well, are you engaged in idolatry and are you fellowshiping with the
unsaved? You need to make a break from these things. You need to put
away your "heathen wives and children" and "burn the books" (Acts19:19)
of your past. "Cleanse your hands and purify your hearts, double-minded
Yes, it will be hard. But if you "draw near to God" in this manner, and
"mourn and weep" and come to Him in "humility", "He will lift you up".
Q/A -Purity in Service vs Go into all the World?
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Re: Carefree multitude (Ezekial 23)
"The sound of a carefree multitude was with her..." (23:42 nkjv)
Before I got this far with the VW-Edition, this word "carefree" popped
out at me from the nkjv. Let's see this verse again...
"..the sound of a multitude at ease was with her, and drunkards were
brought from the wilderness with men of the common sort, who put
bracelets on their wrists and beautiful crowns on their heads.."
Before we discuss this phrase, let us see the context of this chapter.
It is recommended that you read it all. Scripture uses some terminology
here that is not quite 'proper' in 'polite' company; in some ways, more
fitting for the likes of a Jay Leno monologue, what with explicit
terminology of body parts and what people do with them in whoredom. But
this is how far Israel and Judah have sunk. The psalmist says, "..with
the crooked You will show Yourself twisted." (Ps18:26) God addresses
them as the prostitutes that they are, spelling out their apostasy from
Him as adulterous women who sleep around with any man who will have
them. Spelling out in graphic detail what they've been up to: how they
lusted after other gods (as handsome men to be seduced and spend some
time with in bed); and God's judgments upon them, how, since they have
exposed themselves, God will allow their judges to expose them naked,
and: "You will be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, the cup of horror
and desolation... you shall drink and drain it, you shall break its
shards, and tear off your own breasts; for I have spoken, declares the
Now God tells Ezekiel to "..declare to them their abominations.." (vs36)
They have "blood" on their hands; they have committed adultery against
God with their idols; they have sacrificed their babies "passing them
through the fire". (vs37) We've described this before... live babies
placed on the altar screaming and kicking, until burnt to death! (In
many ways, not at all that dissimilar to abortion! ...from the baby's
They have "defiled My sanctuary on the same day and profaned My
Sabbaths". They would go offer their babies to Molech, and the very
same day come into God's temple to 'worship' (vs38-39) How many in
today's "churches" also belong to secret orders/societies; including
some rather famous "christian" leaders, ones who conduct crusades and
have access to world leaders! Saturday night worship before the altars
of the Knights Templar, and the next morning stand in God's pulpit!
Rather than trusting in God, Judah was trusting in Egypt, and making
alliances with other strong neighbors. (Exactly what Israel is doing
today!) Israel, being a theocracy, their politics was essentially one
and the same with their worship. The figurative language God uses of a
woman freshening up, making sure her hair is 'just so', primping up in
front of the mirror with the make-up, putting on that slinky
barely-there dress with parts missing in just the right places, putting
on jewelry, and then draping herself on her couch-of-seduction to
entice others (not-her-Husband, God) into her bed. (vs40-41) 'You think
such writing is too "suggestive"? Again, please read this chapter. It
is the language God is using.
Now, her lovers have arrived. She doesn't have just 'one' lover, oh no!
She has many! She has a veritable orgy! The wine is flowing (today's
'church' loves to be "drunk in the spirit"), they are bringing their
gifts, and they are having quite a time of 'love-making'! (vs43-44)
Like a play-girl mansion!
It is in -this- context that our 'theme' phrase appears. The "sound of
a multitude at ease/carefree.."
Folks (I just 'must' insert this here!): the Gospel of Jesus Christ is
NOT 'seductive'! It is an 'offense'. It is the "offense of the cross"!
(Gal5:11) It involves blood, death, repentance, self-abhorrence. Rather
than the slinky dress, it involves a filthy "menstruation cloth".
(Is64:6) Salvation only comes to a person who sees their own sin and
pleads for God's mercy upon them. The so-called "good news" today's
[c]hurch proclaims is sending people down the "broad" way to
OK, back to our lesson: In the previous lesson we observed the call to
keep the abominations out of worship. Israel was not only offering
their babies to idols, but once Manasseh became king, they even brought
this practice into God's temple! (2Ki21)
Oh... our church is so small. We need to "grow" our church. How can we
do this? How can we get more of 'Egypt' in to help contribute more into
the offering plates, because we 'need' to build some buildings. How can
we get the adults in? Let's entice their children. How do we get their
children in? Let's entertain them. Give them something they can feel
"carefree" about. Something that doesn't suggest holiness or standards
of righteousness. They worship the rock stars. So, let's bring in rock
(satan's) music... that will draw them in. Let's not impose any
standards of conduct while they are in the sanctuary, so let's let them
romp around and rough-house and throw paper airplanes and spit wads at
each other, trampling over the pews and around the pulpit in God's
sanctuary... after all, we don't want to speak 'cross' words to them,
and get them angry, such that they won't come back. As they grow up and
become adults, how do we 'keep' them coming? With rock music... what
else! And of course, our church must be advertised as a "FRIENDLY"
church. "Friendly" means, coming into the sanctuary with 'high-fives',
slaps on the back 'how-ya-doin'?', and a general state of hubbub.
"CAREFREE" Don't dress up, just come casual as-you-are, and we've got
the espresso concession so you can be "AT EASE" (you don't need to
fast, if even figuratively) in worship.
In one church I was involved in years ago, one man told of one of the
ushers. This man was doing as I would do before a service, while the
prelude music was playing... he would sit in the pew in prayer,
preparing his heart for worship and exhortation from God's Word. Well,
this church had one particular usher who was the slap-the-back
high-five type 'roudy' person, who would romp up and down the aisles to
lead people to their seats. He apparently came by this person, sitting
next to the aisle, in an attitude of prayer, and bumps him in the
shoulder with, "Are you sleeping?? Wake up! Har-dee-har-har!!"
Well, when 'churches' feel the need to bring the world/unsaved into the
assembly, they must needs do things the world's way. Advertising
campaigns, slogans, cheer-leading, bubbliness, and... COMPROMISE! Using
the devil's music, and pagan rituals and symbols as they adorn
themselves with "bracelets on their wrists and beautiful crowns on
their heads" (23:42)
You see, not only does bringing the unsaved into the assembly disobey
God's commands about keeping the unclean out (Ezek44:6-9)(We've said
enough about this at other times), it jeopardizes the 'spirit' by which
Believers can worship. When the world is "at ease/carefree" in God's
sanctuary, the Believer cannot worship "in the spirit of holiness"
(Rom1:4) Yes, the Psalms are full of Joyful Shouts, Singing,
Thanksgiving, and making 'loud' sounds on instruments; but worship is
also a time of "silence". "..Jehovah is in His holy temple; let all
the earth be silent before Him." (Hab2:20) "Silence is praise to You,
O God, in Zion; and unto You is a vow performed." (Ps65:1)
Everybody loves to sing loudly, "Lord I lift Your name on high, Lord I
love to sing your praises"... but then, the one son also said, "I go,
sir...but he did not go". (Mt21:30) It's one thing to blab all over
town how much one is worshipping God, but what God wants to see is the
one who had been rebellious, but then repents, "..afterward he
regretted it and went." (Mt21:29)
"Which of the two did the will of his father? They said to Him, The
first. Jesus said to them, Truly, I say to you that tax collectors and
harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in
the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax
collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not
afterward repent and believe him." (Mt21:31-32)
Today's "church" is infested with the -carefree- "mixed multitude" of
Egypt. (Ex12:38) It was the "mixed multitude" that "yielded to intense
craving" and lusts (Num11:4) and led Israel away from God.
Folks, remember this: If you invite the world into your assembly, you
will NOT 'win' them for Christ, but they -WILL- drag you down away from
God's holiness. This is a 99.999% certainty! Israel is our "example" of
Today's "church" needs to be like those of Nehemiah's day: "So it was,
when they had heard the Law, that they separated all the mixed
multitude from Israel." (Neh13:3) To be sure, they were left with a
"Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice (worship), and to heed than
the fat of rams." (1Sam15:22)
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Re: Don't Cry (Ezekiel 24:16)
"Son of man, behold I take away from you the desire of your eyes with a
stroke. Yet neither shall you mourn nor weep, nor shall your tears run
Oh, what a life Ezekiel had! First of all, God tells him his mission.
Go to a "rebellious" people with "My" message. (Eze2) In ch3 God tells
him that Israel is more rebellious than other peoples would be. That if
he was being sent to foreigners, THEY would listen. But God's own
people (dare we say for our day...the "church"?) would not listen.
Ezekiel isn't too sure about his mission...and so God forcibly "lifted
me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my
spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong on me." (3:14) Ezekiel is
"spittin' mad" at his assignment, so God drags him off, "kicking and
Not only does God forcibly move him to his mission field. When he gets
there he is struck "dumb" so that he cannot speak. (3:15) And God
further clarifies the mission. He will be dumb until God wants him to
speak, and then his tongue will be loosed. (vs26-27) ...and reiterates,
"He who hears, let him hear, and he who stops his ears, let him stop;
for they are a rebellious house." (vs27)
Along the way, there's another requirement. He must "lay seige" to this
depiction of Jerusalem on a piece of tile. (4:1) He is to lie on one
side for 390 days, and on the other for 40. And God "lay bands" (vs8)
on him so he could not stir from these positions. This is in testimony,
a visual object lesson to the people of Israel. Can you imagine being
in such a position? Eating, sleeping and doing all the other bodily
functions, for over a year, outside, in all the annual climates and
weather conditions. Let alone the likely taunts and abuse of
But nothing like, having his beloved wife taken away in sudden death;
and he is not even allowed to mourn for her. God says "Groan but be
silent; make no mourning for the dead" (24:17) Feel the pain inside,
but don't let anybody else know your pain. He is forewarned, so when it
happened, "I did in the morning as I was commanded." (vs18) This, too,
was an "object lesson" for the message of Jehovah to Israel. (vs19-24)
And when Israel found themselves doing what Ezekiel had done, they
would "know that I am the Lord Jehovah." (vs24)
I expect none of us has been called to the extremes Ezekiel was. And
yet, we are called to some hardships. Maybe your wife was discovered to
have a lump. Your child has some rare form of disease with no cure. You
have been politicked out of job or ministry position. And as "humans"
we hurt, don't we! When these things happen, what do we do?
Well, first of all, we can rejoice, in that... we are in good company.
There has never been the likes of the apostle Paul who "despaired even
of life" (2Cor1:8) because of the hardships he endured.(11:23-33) And
yet, what was his conclusion of the matter? Oh, poor me, poor us!
Would you please pray for us that these hardships will go away!..??
No! "We had the sentence of death in ourselves, SO THAT we should not
trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead." (1:9) As he was a
"living testimony" to the Corinthians (vs12) His desire was, "..lest
anyone should think of me as being beyond what he sees me, or hears of
How can a Christian exhort another "how to" deal with adversity, if he
has not been through some, himself? So, if God brings some your way, or
allows satan to buffet you... REJOICE! He cares enough about you, and
sees "potential" in your development, that he is bringing training.
Sometimes "chastening." (Heb12:5,7,11) Sometimes, just "endurance."
(2Cor1:6) Ultimately we learn that...
"..we should not trust in ourselves, but in God..." (2Cor1:9)
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Re: King of Tyre (Ezekiel 28:11-19)
"Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre..." (vs12)
Throughout many of these intervening chapters the reader would see
God's judgments pronounced against various nations; for their rebellion
against God, their mistreatment of Israel, or their rejoicing over
Israel's calamities when some other nation was mistreating them, and
for not coming to Israel's aid. Remember the sheep/goat judgment is not
necessarily about -doing- evil to Israel, but a nation's attitude
towards Israel in coming to their aid, or not; and if they saw Israel
in need, and did nothing, they receive judgment. (Mt25:31-46)
But when we come to the "king of Tyre", we have a different situation.
Notice that vs2 addresses the "prince" of Tyre; but vs12, the "king".
Vs2 could say, equally, "prince" or "ruler"; someone who has authority
and governs. But a typical ruler is often 'under' another, who is of
even higher rank. In vs12 "king" indicates an 'ultimate' authority. An
authority that is 'higher' than the prince/ruler. Typically, in any
domain, nobody is higher in rank, than the king. When Joseph ruled in
Egypt, he was a prince/ruler, but pharaoh was king. When Mordecai
ruled in Babylon, he was a ruler, but Ahasuerus was king.
Thing is, these earthly kings, while being "kings", are only merely
princes/rulers. Many kings in eastern cultures made themselves out to
be little 'gods'. That was the case with the pharaohs. This persisted
through to at least WW2, when Japan's 'god', their emperor, was
defeated. But notice that Tyre's self-assumed 'god' is condemned, "and
yet you are a man, and not a God, though you set your heart as the
heart of God". (vs2) This ruler of Tyre has set himself up as a
self-assume 'ultimate' ruler... but who was over him, making him be as
he was? The "king" of Tyre.
And who was this king? Someone who "seals the measure" (vs12); someone
of 'ultimate' wisdom and beauty. When somebody dismisses to you satan's
ability to have wisdom, don't you believe it! It says here, that he is
"full of wisdom". After all, it takes more than a nincompoop to rule
"all the kingdoms of the world". (Lk4:5-6) He is full of schemes and
purposes by which he tries to "take advantage of us". (2Cor2:11) It
takes a lot more intellect to lie, and keep track of them all, than to
tell the truth; and who is the "father" of lies? (Jn8:44)
When he comes to us, he does so with "beautiful" things. He, himself,
was the most dazzling creature of all God's creation. He not only
looked dazzling, he also was a musician. He is called the "angel of
light" (2Cor11:14), the "shining one". (Is14:12)
We know this is not speaking of Tyre's -human- 'prince', because this
one was in "Eden, the garden of God". The "serpent" (Gen3:1), the
"..dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan.." (Rev20:2)
Notice where his place of origin was: "..the anointed cherub that
covers...in the holy monutain of God.." (vs14) Just as the "king" of
all animal creatures, Leviathan, was associated with fire in the very
core of his being (Job41:18-21), this "king", also, had a place "in the
midst of fiery stones.." (vs14b) But being the covering cherub, that
indicates a special place in the very presence in fellowship and
worship of the Most High; as the Jewish "mercy seat", representing
God's presence, was overshadowed with the wings of the cherubim. (Ex25:20)
Let us summarize this king's modern most successful form of "taking
advantage". It is based upon his own characteristics. Did you ever see
'ugly' people leading worship? No, they are always "beautiful". In many
cases they grow up through the ranks because they are "attractive".
Many of those who 'entertain'in worship, do so with the razzle dazzle
of lights and sequins; things that sparkle and give a sense of
radiance. The "ministers of righteousness" being like the "angel of
light". (2Cor11:15) It is done with music. And it is called "worship".
Yes, folks: due to his origins in God's presence, he is qualified as
the -ultimate- "worship leader". And since this 'king' is so full of
"wisdom", his cleverness has used his own specialties, trained his
followers in them, and has cleverly gotten all these people worshiping
him...even though they think they are worshiping Jesus. No! Don't ever
underestimate him, leaving yourself unguarded, because you think he is
"stupid"..!! That, too, is satan's deception.
What we see in his followers is what it is, because that is what he is.
Most musicians and worship leaders are a very 'proud' folk. [Ed: for
anybody who wants to object to that statement, please remember, I used
to be there, and worked amongst them. While my heart might have been
different from theirs, I learned their arguments well. I know whereof I
speak! If you decide to send me arguments, please don't waste your
time. I've heard them all before. I even used to use some of them,
myself!] And to be sure, this pride often manifests itself in a
false-humility. They are always "humbled" to be up there; so-they-say.
No they are not! They are proud as all get-out, just bursting inside!
And this pride became satan's downfall. He saw his own beauty, and
forgot that it had been given to him by the Most High. He got this idea
that he could "be like the Most High". (Is14:14) Being his own god.
Pride is a dangerous thing. In order that Paul not be "exalted above
measure" due to the greatness of the ministry God had entrusted to him,
he was given a "thorn in the flesh". (2Cor12:7) Many who are in
ministry have little "thorns" of various sorts, as each person's need
Notice God says, "You have defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of
your iniquities..." (vs18) Yes, his followers also defile the
sanctuaries with their "worship".
And as a result notice this king's conclusion: "..therefore I bring
fire from your midst; it has devoured you, and I consign you to ashes
upon the earth in the sight of all who see you." (vs18)
Isaiah speaks of this one as the "-king- of Babylon". (Is14) Yes, he
has dominion over the world, given to him temporarily by God. The king
of the "rulers, authorities, the world's rulers of the darkness of this
age, spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies." (Eph6:12) Whatever
godless world ruler exists, their 'king' is the same as this "king of
Tyre/Babylon". And just as he has been "seeking whom he may devour"
(1Pt5:8), notice that others are waiting -eagerly- for him...
"How the oppressor has ceased! The golden city has ceased! Jehovah has
broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers who struck
peoples in wrath, strokes without letup, ruling the nations in anger, a
persecution without restraint. The whole earth is at rest and is
quiet; they break forth into singing. Yea, the noble trees rejoice
over you, the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since you have been laid down,
no woodcutter comes up against us. [Ed: to make idols?] Sheol from
below is excited over you, to meet you at your coming. It stirs up the
dead for you, all the chief of the earth. It has raised up from their
thrones all the kings of the nations." (Is14:4-9)
And as he has been deposed, what is creation's reaction? "All who know
you among the peoples have been astonished at you; you shall become a
terror, and shall be no more forever." (vs19)
And as he is in the Pit, along with his fallen followers, what is their
reaction upon learning his true identity? "All of them shall speak and
say to you, Are you also as weak as we? Have you become like us?"
(Is14:10) You're a nobody? You're no greater than us?
Dear Reader: whom do you worship? The "King of Glory"? (Ps24:7-10) or
the king of Tyre/Babylon? Have you even yet "come out of [Babylon]"?
(Rev18:4), or are you being spirit-filled and following your "doctrines
of demons"? (1Tm4:1) If you are following the latter, and insist upon
remaining in it, notice your king's epitaph:
"Your arrogance is brought down to Sheol, and the noise of your lutes
(rock guitars of your worship music). The maggot is spread under you,
and the worms cover you. How you are fallen from the heavens, O
shining one, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground,
you who weakened the nations!" (Is14:10-11)
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Re: God is not fair? (Ezekiel 33:10-20)
"..the children of your people say, The way of Jehovah is not fair. But
as for them, it is their way which is not fair! ...O house of Israel, I
shall judge each one of you according to his ways." (vs17,20)
This passage reiterates what God proclaims to Israel in ch18, about a
sinner "turning away from" sin to become righteous; or a righteous
person "turning away from" his righteousness, rejecting God forever;
refuting the doctrine often called "once saved-always saved" which we
have addressed in the past and won't now, and many links can be found
at the website:
But let us consider right now a person's individual accountability.
We live in quite an interesting world. People typically do not accept
responsibility for their own actions. If a person's car has a blow-out,
but because the driver was busy yacking with passengers, looking in the
mirror fixing their makeup, working on the burger-n-fries, etc; instead
of paying full attention to their driving; and they rolled over because
they hadn't been gripping the steering wheel properly and the blow-out
ripped/spun the wheel out of their hands; what is the typical reaction?
Sue the tire and vehicle manufacturer. A parent leaves a gun lying
around within easy access of a young child to whom the parents haven't
bothered to teach gun safety; and while they are out, the child starts
playing with the gun and shoots either themself, or sibling/friends.
Reaction? Sue the gun manufacturer for making a gun that does exactly
what guns are designed to do... shoot bullets. Or the one that I wish I
could have seen on Judge Judy; only saw the promos... A fellow who had
driven his girlfriend's car while 'high' on drugs/booze, suing the
girlfriend for allowing him to drive her car, because while he was
driving it (under his state of intoxication) he had an accident, got
arrested? (I didn't get all those details because I didn't see it) But,
due to his driving while intoxicated, he got into some trouble; so,
therefore, he was suing the girlfriend for letting him driver her car!
In the promo they showed him arguing that the girlfriend should have
said "No" to letting him drive the car..!! Because, once he was drunk,
he was not in control of himself..!! [Ed: Huh??]
When a person does not pay attention to their driving, eventually they
-will- have an accident; and it is nobody's fault but the driver's. If
a gun is left lying around, when there are untrained and/or young
irresponsible children around to find it, it is not the gun's fault
that it did what it was designed to do; shoot. It is the parent's fault
for leaving the gun where the child could find it, and get hurt. If
somebody drives while drunk, is it anybody else's fault when they get
in trouble? Did anybody else 'force' them to get drunk? Did anybody
else force them to get behind the wheel? They did it all on their own.
If a person jumps off a cliff to their death, is it God's fault for
creating gravity which pulled the person to their death? Well, without
gravity we'd all be free-floating off into space. If a person smashes
their thumb with a hammer, is it the manufacturer's fault for making
the hammer? If a person jumps in front of a fast-moving train and gets
splattered around the countryside, was it the train's fault for
travelling down the tracks? If a person jumps overboard a ship at night
when nobody can see to rescue them, is it the pilot's fault when they
drown at sea? If a person deliberatly walks out to where lions or
tigers are, and gets mauled and eaten, is it God's fault for creating
lions and tigers? If a person goes walking out on a flat plain where
there is no shelter, in the middle of a lightning storm, and gets
struck by lightning and killed, is that death God's fault, for creating
Are the answers all not painfully obvious? You do something stupid, you
pay the consequences. You jump out of an airplane without a parachute,
and the chances are great that you will "splat" when you hit the
ground. Just because you decided to jump does not obligate God to
suddenly at the spur of that moment, change the laws of gravity. It is
not God's 'fault' when you are dead.
Oh, but... "it's not fair", that I can't beat my head with a baseball
bat without it hurting. It's "not fair" that when carelessness got my
finger too close to that sickle bar, it got whacked off.
There is a law that has been established since the beginning of
creation, "..the soul who sins shall die". (Ezek18:4,20) It was first
established at Eden; in the day you -disobey- God, "you shall die the
You don't want to die by "splat"? Don't jump off the cliff. You don't
want to get zapped by lightning? Don't go out in the lightning storm.
You don't want your head to get smashed? Don't hit it with a baseball
bat. Simple. Yes?
You don't want to die under God's judgment? Repent and turn from sin;
be obedient to God. Simple. You say you want to turn away from God and
repudiate the righteousness you had? Well, Ok then...die in your sins.
But... God is not fair! Why would a God of "luuuuv" condemn a person to
everlasting torture? But... gravity is not fair! If I jump off the
cliff, or out of the plane, why must I go "splat"? That is the "law".
In the first case, the Law of Eternal Life vs Judgment. In the second,
the 'law' of 'gravity'. A person knows the laws and either abides by
them; or disobeys them and suffers the consequences. It's not a matter
of "fair" or "unfair". It just -is-.
If a person wishes to be "angry" at the law of gravity and defy it;
well, go ahead. Jump. Splat! If you wish to be angry at God for His
laws of Life and Death, and defy Him; well, go ahead. Rebel. And be
prepared to spend forever in the Lake of Fire. (Rev20:14-15)
Just as each person pays their -own- consequences for jumping,
shooting, beating, etc.; as for God's Law, "So then each of us shall
give account concerning himself to God." (Rom14:12) The drunk will not
be able to accuse the owner of the car, when the drunk person was
driving it. Each person will answer for their own sin. No passing the
buck. No "extenuating circumstances". When we stand before God "every
mouth" is "stopped" as the sinner is "guilty before God". (Rom3:19)
The judgment is according to what the person did or did not do
regarding God and His Son, Jesus Christ. God "..will render to each
one according to his works.." (Rom2:6) Remember, Jesus said, "This is
the work of God, that you believe into Him whom He sent." (Jn6:29)
If you rebel against God, expect judgment. It will come to you in this
manner: "Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her
double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix
double for her." (Rev18:6) "..for they have shed the blood of saints
and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink, for they are
Many think it's not right that people should suffer the consequences
for their crimes. Let's just "forgive-n-forget". And they want God to
just forgive, too, even though they are not sorry for their sin, nor do
they have any intention of repenting. I should be able to rebel against
God all I want, and if God then punishes me... well, He's just
"unfair". God says, "But as for them, it is their way which is not
If you rebel, God -will- "..judge each one of you according to his
ways" (vs20) And "be sure your sin will find you out.." (Num32:23)
Whatever judgment each receives from God... They will be "deserving" of
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Re: Kill the messenger (Ezekiel 33)
"And you, son of man, I have set you a watchman to the house of Israel.
Therefore you shall hear the word from My mouth, and warn them from
Years ago, before telephones, e-mail, faxes; any mail or messages were
relayed by horseman. Of course, the most important messages were from
the king to his serfs, to issue some new edict or collect taxes. If the
people were in a mood to rebel, they would meet the messenger, gang up
around him, pull him off his horse and "Kill the messenger!!"
What wrong had the messenger done? Nothing. He had merely relayed to
the recipients what the sender intended. The serfs were, in actuality,
angry with the king. But since he is safely tucked away in his
fortified castle, anger is vented on the messenger.
What do we see today? A corrupt president is exposed for what he truly
is. A messenger, having been hired for the task, proclaims the
corruption. "Bad" messenger, "tarnishing such a wonderful president
with his accusations." Well, no! He simply exposed what was there.
Most of the world adores a sweet, unassuming, humble lady who appeared
to be doing so much good for the oppressed and dying. People come along
and expose her associations, horded wealth and false gospel; and the
messengers are accused of "poking at specks" and making "personal
attacks" on somebody who is now dead and can't defend herself.
Outrage is not on the corrupt politician or religious icon. It's "bad
Ken Starr" or "Dave Hunt" or "whoever."
When a True Believing Christian proclaims "Thus says Jehovah" the
message goes counter to popular trends. It proclaims Life and Light
which is counter to the Darkness and Death of the world. People "love
darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil."(Jn3:19) Thus,
Jesus promised, "because you are not of the world, but I have chosen
you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." (Jn15:19) Which
follows the example above of the villagers killing the messenger. "The
servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted Me,
they will also persecute you. If they have kept My saying, they will
also keep yours." (vs20)
When someone like Mother Teresa is exposed, what is the purpose? To rat
on her and tear her down? No. What about the fact of her "sincerity"?
Well, surely she was sincere...but sincerely WRONG. So, as the several
documents which a few of you sent after the recent expose corroborated,
the purpose is to right the wrong. People are sincerely on their way to
hell because of false doctrines such as M.Teresa proclaimed. Exposes
are a form of "rescue mission" so that others do not go down that same
path to destruction. As Jude says, "snatching them out of the fire."
(vs23) ..out of "pity"(vs22) ...not condemnation.
Trouble is, people are hell-bent! God would send His messengers,
"rising early and sending them, saying, Oh, do not do this abominable
thing which I hate" [idolatry](Jer44:4) Israel was of such rebellion
that He sent "all His servants the prophets, rising early and sending
them" the "church" responds the same; "but you have not listened nor
bowed down your ear to hear." (Jer25:4) People would rather have
everybody "happily" (feeling good) being deceived, following a person
they consider to be a "saint" on their way to hell.
The purpose of the "watchman" is to "warn" people of imminent danger.
God's message to this generation is, "I have no pleasure in the death
of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live.
Turn, turn from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of
True Christian, who is reading this... When you are assailed by the
unbelievers, take heart. You represent our Lord Jesus Christ. He was
despised and rejected. (Is53:3) So, when you experience the same, take
courage. Remember His word, and be faithful in it, "As My Father has
sent Me, even so I send you." (Jn20:21)
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Re: Love Songs (Ezekiel 33)
"And you, son of man, the sons of your people are speaking about you
beside the walls, and in the doors of the houses. And one speaks to
another, each man with his brother, saying, Come now and hear what the
Word coming from Jehovah is. And they come to you as people come, and
they sit before you as My people. And they hear your words, but they do
not do them. For they produce much love with their mouth, but their
heart goes after their unjust gain. And, behold, you are to them as a
singer of love songs with a beautiful voice, and playing well on an
instrument. For they hear your words, but they are not doing them."
Other than little periodic personal examples from life intended to
illustrate the lesson being taught, I don't speak of "PFB" here. While
PB's 'call' to this ministry was the call to a "prophet" (2:5) from
Ezekiel ch2, this ministry is for the purpose of proclaiming "So says
the Lord Jehovah". (2:4) After all, if you look at Ezekiel's life, he
the -man- was a continual "object lesson" to Israel, as God called on
him to do all sorts of 'strange' things that would have people shaking
their heads and asking questions. While PB hasn't been asked to dig
through walls as though 'in exile' (ch12), nor to lie on his side for
days at a time, while 'laying siege' to a model city (ch4), he has been
called to "a house of rebellion" nonetheless. (2:3,6,7,8)
Yes, subscribers often write to complain at the "harsh tones" they
sense from the VW mailings. They might wish that things were written
more "lovingly", and with, perhaps, a bit more (what they would
consider) "compassion". But notice that God is to people the way they
are to Him. "And Jehovah has returned to me according to my
righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands before His eyes.
With the merciful You reveal Yourself as merciful; with an upright man
You reveal Yourself as upright; with the pure You reveal Yourself as
pure; and with the perverting ones You appear perverse" (Ps18:24-26)
And so, if people are rebelliously in their hearts shaking their fists
at God, His message/s to them will be 'in kind'.
[Editor: Now, as an 'aside' here... often when the rebellious ones are
complaining, there are also notes from those who love the Lord, with
words of 'agreement' with what has been proclaimed. So, you see, the
"tone" of a writing isn't so much coming from "PB" as it is being
'received' in the heart/s of the reader/s...due to either agreement
with the Word, or a smitten rebellious conscience.]
With this as introduction, let's look briefly at the passage with which
we opened this study. The VW ministry began in 1994. That's when the
Ezekiel ch2 'call' came upon PB. But years prior to that he was being
prepared. He thought the Lord would use him 'mightily' in music
ministry. You see, as a child he was used to performing special music
in both singing and playing trumpet. Even when he was studying music
and eventually performed professionally, the Lord's message was
nevertheless strong on his heart. When his collegiate peers were into
the perVersions, he developed the reputation and label as being
"judgmental" for trying to bring people back to "Thus says the Lord"
When he did special music in churches, it was never to "entertain", but
to proclaim God's message. The songs ALWAYS had a Spiritual message.
His heart yearned for "Christians" to be more "on fire" for God. Thing
is, at the time, he didn't realize yet that most of them were NOT
Like this passage says, people always talked 'about' him. They loved
his music, but their "hearts [went] after their unjust gain". (vs31)
They were always 'politicking' behind the scenes.
But vs32 is the clincher. After special music, or a concert, they would
come up, all smiles and feeling wonderful, "Oh, you have such a
beautiful voice" ... "Oh, we just -love- your music" ... "Oh, you are
sooo gifted with so much talent". (Ad Nauseum!!) As the requisit "thank
you's" and handshakes are engaged, the heart is STABBED... "Did they
not HEAR THE MESSAGE of the songs???" And then, in some situations,
where politics put a rift in relationships, some of those who had been
praising, were now twisting the knife with which they had stabbed the
back. You see, they enjoyed the "beautiful music" ...and as such, they
would have had to have "heard the words" but "they [were] not doing
Back then it was beautiful "loving" music. They didn't hear. Now, the
Word is given in a plain wrapper, sometimes bluntly. They still don't
hear. Is it really a question of "being lovingly" or "harsh" in the
presentation? Or is the real problem the heart/s of the hearers and
In Israel's case God was promising desolations and destitution because
of their abominations. Remember that God was "not pleased with most of
them" (1Cor10:5), they were not "Israel of Israel". (Rom9:6) Pretend
christians. He sent his prophet, whom the people listened to and became
mesmerized with. But they did not take heed. They gossiped about him
(the prophet), and I expect did a lot of speculating about him. Just
like they did about John the Baptist. They spent their time speculating
and complaining about the messenger, instead of hearing (and receiving)
But notice God's Word to them. Since they were "not doing" God's Word
as given through His prophet, He promises about the desolations,
"behold, it is coming!" (vs33) And just like Jesus promised the
Faithful Church that the pretend "christians" would be made to come and
bow at the feet of the True Believers (Rev3:9) so that they would know
that those whom they had ridiculed were -truly- Christ's Beloved, He
also says to Ezekiel about Israel when their chastisement comes...
"..then they will know that a prophet has been in their midst.." (vs33)
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Re: Shepherds (Ezekiel 33-34)
"Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say
to them, Thus says the Lord Jehovah to the shepherds: Woe to the
shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed
the flocks?" (vs2) And the passage goes on to describe how the
shepherds have gotten fat off the sheep, and have not taken care of the
sheep, and as a result, the sheep were "scattered". (vs5) Yes, Israel's
dispersion "over the whole face of the earth" (vs6) was Israel's
'individuals' collectively. But who was leading them? The same ones
Jesus would pronounce later, "Woe to you scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites!" (Mt23) They not only refused to follow God, themselves,
but also kept others, who were willing, from entering God's Kingdom.
Not only does a spiritual leader feed the sheep, he also warns against
danger. When a "watchman" is given a charge (33:2), his duties are for
the specific purpose of watching for the enemy. When he sees the enemy
coming, he blows the shofar (33:3) to "warn" the people.
The shepherd -feeds- the flock from God's Word with exhortations, "This
is the way, walk in it." (Is30:21) And the watchman warns, "Turn! Turn
from your evil ways! For why will you die, O house of Israel?" (33:11)
There are some whose primary commission is to "pastor" their local
congregations. To "feed" the flock. There are some ministries whose
sole goal seems to be to "warn" people of errors. Many of these are
often called "discernment ministries"; to discern the evil for the
'evil' that it, truly, is. Sometimes the watchmen get a bad reputation
for being "so unloving" and "negative". Well, it's like a teacher
giving music lessons. On one hand the instruction is "how to" play; but
as the student also develops bad habits, the teacher must also warn how
"not to do" certain things, and sometimes due to the atrocious sounds
emerging, the teacher in anxiety might 'yell' at the student, "No!" A
traffic director motions traffic in terms of "movement". Guards are
posted to keep people out. By the very nature of the post, the guard's
duties are somber and serious; but some traffic cops in some places are
known for being "colorful" as they direct traffic. Does it mean that
the guard is "unloving"? Keeping unqualified people out of certain
places keep them from harm's way, out of danger of exposure to toxins
or explosives. If the guard did not perform his duty diligently, people
could get hurt, or national security interests could shift the tides of
war, and many people would perish.
If the sheep are not fed, they do not grow strong. If they are not
warned, the wolves come and devour them. As is the case today, so it
was in Israel's day. The shepherds were living wealthy lives at the
sheeps' expense, and the guards were not warning, because it was so
"negative" and "hateful". They gave the people "smooth things" and
"deception" according to their desires. (Is30:10-11) They did not
remain faithful, even though God had commissioned them to proclaim,
"Thus says the Lord". So, Israel was scattered.
As was the case for Israel, so it is for the C/church.
Now, since the shepherds messed up, is that the end? Was Israel "done
for" -permanently-? No.
God has -a- Shepherd lined up for the 'job' of leading Israel.
Notice, first of all, that the promise is that God "will bring them out
from the peoples and gather them from the lands, and will bring them to
their own land; I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, in the
ravines and in all the dwelling places of the land." (34:13) We'll
address this more in the next lesson.
But notice that God says "I will feed My flock" (vs15) He says, "I will
seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the
broken and strengthen what was sick" as He promises judgment upon those
who had abused Israel. (vs16)
He also promises to judge "between sheep and sheep, between rams and he
goats" (vs17,22) Israel will not go "unpunished" (Jer30:11) for her
sins and rebellion. But God, Himself, will come and draw them to
Himself, and judge and heal. And they will say, "Come, and let us
return to Jehovah. For He has torn, and He will heal us. He has
stricken, and He will bind us up." (Hos6:1)
And where the appointed shepherds failed, God will "raise up one
Shepherd over them, and He shall feed them; My servant David. He shall
feed them and be their Shepherd. And I, Jehovah, will be their God, and
My Servant David a prince among them; I, Jehovah have spoken."
(vs23-24) This reference to "David", of course, the prophetic
fulfillment of David's 'seed', Jesus Christ, Israel's Messiah, the
Savior of the world, when He comes to reign from Jerusalem. It is not
that David, himself, returns to the throne; but all of David's
descendants sat on the "throne of David". When Solomon became king and
was blessed, Solomon's blessing helped to "establish" the "throne of
David". (1Kg2:45) As Israel looks for their Messiah, they look for the
"Son of David" (Mk12:35), which is who Jesus is. (Mk10:47)
When Jesus rules from Jerusalem it will be a time of peace. Even the
animals will be at peace. (vs25, Is11:7,65:25) And the land will be
prosperous. Presently Israel has had a period of droughts. But when
Jesus is ruling, they will have their rains and showers. Yes, "showers
of blessing". That song isn't really quite appropriate for the Church.
Just as some have taken the so-called "prayer of Jabez" out of its
proper context and made a historical record into a present-day
assumption, churches have been singing for God's "showers of blessing"
to fall upon them; they are not content with the "mercy drops". They
want more and more of something that isn't for them. They want to be
"spirit-filled" with things that make them 'feel' all warm and fuzzy.
Taking a 'physical' promise to Israel, and twisting it into a so-called
'spiritual' application for the Church.
More on this next lesson...
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Re: Israel's 'physical' restoration (Ezekiel 36)
"And you, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say, O
mountains of Israel, hear the Word of Jehovah! Thus says the Lord
Jehovah: Because the enemy has said of you, Aha! The ancient heights
have become our possession.." (vs1-2)
Oh, indeed, is this not precisely what those surrounding Israel say.
There is no "Israel", but "Palestine". Well, if there is Israel, we
want our "Palestinian state" so that we are better-situated to oust
Israel off the map.
And then, if not the PLO; there is the so-called "church". "Oh, Israel
is -done-for. Anything in Scripture about Israel is -really- now about
the church." So, we want our spirit-filled "showers of blessing"
(34:26), and for our "sons and daughters [to] prophesy" and to see
visions and dreams and have a "baptism of the spirit". (Joel2:28-29)
Notice carefully who (what) this prophesy is towards: the "mountains"
of Israel. [Ed: I wonder if anybody has tried to 'spiritualize' this,
too?] Notice it is -not- a "spiritual" discussion. It goes on to speak
of "mountains, the hills, the rivers, the valleys, the desolate wastes,
and the cities.." (vs4) Notice that plants will "shoot forth branches"
(vs8), the land will be "tilled and sown" (vs9), and there will be
people and animals (vs11), it will be a place where people "walk"
Yes, God has scattered Israel for her bloodshed of idolatry (vs18) and
defilements (vs17); but for God's own "holy name" He has "compassion"
upon them. His promise is to "take" them "from among the nations" and
bring them "into [their] own -land-" (vs24). All the sprouting the land
is doing is for all of Israel God is bringing back as they are "drawing
near to come" (vs8)
A reminder: as Israel returns, it is not because of their own
righteousness or goodness, "I do not do this for your sake, O house of
Israel, but for the sake of My holy name, which you have profaned among
the nations, there where you went." (vs22) Some of the more morally
corrupt Hollywood entertainers, like Jerry Seinfeld or Julia Louis
Dreifus (sp?) are Jews. From the very little I've seen of Dreifus'
latest show "Ellie"(?), she has gone even further off the deep end of
moral depravity. Just because somebody has the heritage of "Jew" does
not make them honorable or pleasing in God's sight! In fact, one of the
very reasons Israel was dispersed as it was, was because in many ways,
in spite of having God's name attached to themselves, they were "worse"
than the heathen around them! (2Ki21:9, Ezek5:6-7)
But as God brings them out of dispersion into their "own land", He
promises, "I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean;
I will cleanse you from all your defilement and from all your idols. I
will also give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will
take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of
flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you [Joel2:28] and cause you to
walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My judgments and do them."
(vs25-27) This is the -spiritual- transformation God will do for
Israel. As we see them partly in the land now, they are not yet to this
place of spiritual rebirth. This will happen as Messiah comes to them.
Just as the 'spiritual' is promised, so is the physical: "And you shall
dwell in the -land-.." (vs28) What land is this? This point is very
important as we watch events in the middle-east unfold daily. "..the
land that I gave to your fathers." Who were Israel's fathers? To Jacob
God says, "The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and
to your seed after you I give this land." (Gen35:12) And God told
Israel, "The land shall not ever be sold, for the land is Mine; for you
are strangers and sojourners with Me." (Lev25:23) Letting so-called
"Palestinians" live -in- Israel, as "Israel", is permitted. God says
later in the book, "And it shall be that you will divide it by lot as
an inheritance for yourselves, and for the strangers who dwell among
you and who bear children among you. They shall be to you as
native-born among the children of Israel; they shall have an
inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel." (Ezek47:22) People
of Arab descent may live in Israel among the Israelis, but the nation
is "Israel". The land belongs to God. God has given back to Israel bits
and bits as her enemies attack her, and she conquers, as a result of
having been attacked. It does not belong to Israel to negotiate away.
[Mr Bush, Powell, Zinni, Arafat...are you paying attention?]
But you who call yourself the "C/church" but think you are also
"Israel", are you also paying attention? The "Kingdom of Heaven" is not
something consisting of mountains, rivers, fields, cities; where a
person can say, "See here! or see there!" Our "Kingdom of God is
within you" (Lk17:20-21)
God's promises for Israel, while including the "Spirit" and "heart";
also includes mountains, fields, streams... -LAND-. If you thought the
Church "replaced" Israel, look at the evening news for the past years,
months and days. Over in that -LAND- which God promised to Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob is a nation called, "Israel". They are situated on
mountains, rivers, fields, cities. -THEY- are the ones to whom the
prophecies about "Israel" apply. An actual -physical- "Israel".
What is the purpose to it all? "Then the nations which are left all
around you shall know that I, Jehovah, have rebuilt the ruined places
and planted what was desolate. I, Jehovah, have spoken it, and I will
do it... And they shall know that I am Jehovah." (vs36,38b)
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Re: "And they shall know that I am the LORD." (Ezekiel 36:38)
The word of the Lord came to Ezekiel, "Son of man, set your face
against Mount Seir and prophesy against it." (35:2) God promises total
ruin and devastation against Israel's neighbors in order that "you
shall know that I am the LORD." (vs4)
Her neighbors have a "never-ending hatred, and have shed the blood of
the sons of Israel." (vs5) Even as we see today, it was prophesied that
they would say, "these two lands shall be mine, and we shall possess
it." (vs10) They blaspheme and "[speak] against the mountains of Israel
saying, Desolation! They are given to us for food!" (vs12)
I am told that maps which Arab countries possess do not label Israel.
Their minds and hearts have an avowed purpose to push Israel into the
Mediterranean..."peace processes" notwithstanding. To eliminate her!
They infiltrate. They desire to establish a "Palestinian State" in the
middle of Israel...a better position from which to anihilate!
The Vatican is also now saying words to the effect that Israel owns
God says to Israel "because the enemy has said against you, Aha! Even
the old high places have become a possession to us." (36:2) Could this
be talking about the Golan Heights? A strategic spot that Israel's
enemies would like to have to take away Israel's defense.
As Israel has been in exile, they have always been in scorn to other
people. (vs3) However, just as they have been shamed, God is going to
bring shame upon the "nations around" her. (vs7) God will cause Israel
to multiply again. (vs10~)
God had scattered Israel "among the nations" because of "their way and
according to their doings" (vs19) because they had rebelled against God.
But even though God had punished, in the land/s of their exile God had
"pity." WHAT did God pity? He says "for MY HOLY NAME." God is supreme.
God is holy. Israel is God's chosen nation. So, He promises
restoration, not because Israel is so wonderful! But "for My holy
name's sake, which [Israel] have profaned among the nations." (vs22)
Remember, as God was about to wipe Israel off the face of the map at
the golden calf incident, Moses pled with Him that the Egyptians would
speak evil OF GOD on account of Israel's rebellion. (Ex32:12)
And so, God's promises to restore Israel is NOT for "Israel's sake!"
But it is so that He can "be sanctified in [her] before [the nations']
eyes." (vs23) So He declares, "I am Jehovah!"
So, notice all God's "I will"s. I WILL... 1) take you from among the
nations 2) make you clean 3) give you a new heart 4) put My Spirit
within you 5) save you from your defilements 6) multiply your produce
7) make you live in your cities. (vs24-33) All Israel's prosperity will
not be her doing. It will be God's doings. God says, "I Jehovah have
spoken it, and I will do it." (vs36)
"I do not do this for your sake, says the Lord Jehovah, be it known to
you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel."
(vs32) As Israel is built up it is not time for rejoicing! She has been
so rebellious for so long. Before all is said and done, she will have
been sifted and purified, just like gold and silver is melted in the
heat to skim off the dross of impurities. (Mal3:3) "Who can endure it?"
It is a time of "Jacob's trouble." (Jer30:7) But she will be saved out
of it. But not until she has shed tears "in that day shall be a great
mourning in Jerusalem." (Zec12:11) They will weep in "bitterness" when
they see their Messiah Whom they rejected and "pierced." They "shall
remember [their] own evil ways, and [their] doings that were not good,
and shall despise [themselves] in [their] own sight for [their]
iniquities and for [their] abominations." (36:31) But God will bring
them out of it and restore them.
"And they shall know that I am Jehovah." (vs38)
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Re: Israel & Judah Rejoined (Ezekiel 37)
"So says the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from
among the nations where they have gone, and will gather them on every
side, and will bring them into their own land. And I will make them one
nation in the land on the mountains of Israel, and one King shall be
king to them all. And they shall not still be two nations, nor shall
they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all." (Eze37:21-22)
Whenever discussions of "pre-trib" Rapture take place, and/or debate
regarding the distinction in prophecy between "Israel" and the "Church"
invariably the parties rejecting the Rapture and/or espousing the
"Kingdom Now" viewpoints will bring in arguments about Israel vs. Judah.
When Rom11:26 "So all Israel shall be saved" is quoted, it is argued
that that is referring to the "Church" because [supposedly] the 10
tribes of "Israel" are "lost." And, thus, the reasoning goes, "we only
know where Judah is." So, since Paul speaks of "Israel" and we don't
know where Israel is, Paul "must have" been talking about the "Church."
Some people claim that the northern 10 tribes were so dispersed, as to
not be found ever again. That they are "lost." Some think they migrated
north into Europe and eventually to America. And that the prophecies
about "Israel" are actually, now, about the United States. And so the
US is "Israel" and Israel is "Judah." That "that's" why there is
"friendship" between the US and Israel today. Last winter we saw some
possibilities that some of Israel may have migrated to Japan, and
become part of the basis of their "Shinto" religion. Recently I
received an e-mail indicating the existence of quite a large Messianic
Jewish settlement near India/Burma possibly of the tribe of Manasseh.
Were the 10 tribes "lost"? Peter, part of Judah, writes "to the elect
sojourners OF THE DISPERSION..." (1Pt1:1) It was known where they were.
("Manasseh" was one of the "ten".)
We briefly consider this subject, because I know that, just as I
receive these arguments, many of you do, too. Let us not forget. God's
promises were to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jacob/Israel had 12 sons,
which became the 12 tribes of ..."Israel." Kings David and Solomon
ruled over 12 tribes. The country, collectively, was called "Israel"
...after the patriarch. At the end, God seals the foreheads of "12
tribes" (Rev7) The gates of the New Jerusalem have the names of the 12
tribes inscribed. (Rev21:12)
This passage we opened with is the classic on the matter of Israel and
Judah's reunification into, "Israel" again. Fun songs have been sung
about the BONES "rattling" and coming together, which certainly
illustrates Israel's being gathered; "they shall gather His elect from
the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other."(Mt24:31) But
often is forgotten the other focus of the chapter. Even though Israel
was scattered so vastly, "They shall dwell in the land that I have
given to Jacob My servant, the land in which your fathers have lived. I
will cut a covenant of peace with them. My tabernacle shall be with
them. Yea, I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And David
My servant shall be King over them. And there shall be one Shepherd to
all of them." (vs25-27,24) Ezekiel writes the names representing Israel
on a stick. He writes the names representing Judah on another. And in
the sight of the observers, the two pieces became "one stick" in his
hand.(vs17) He explains that God is going to join "all" Israel back
together again. And notice the terminology as the two sticks are being
labelled; this one "for his companions, the sons of Israel.." and that
one "all the house of Israel, his companions.." (vs16) They are BOTH of
So you see; Israel is Israel... NOT the "Church."
"Yea, I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And the nations
shall know that I Jehovah sanctify Israel, when My santuary shall be in
their midst forever." (vs27-28)
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Re: Gog & Magog (Ezekiel 38-39)
"Thus says the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the
prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal...After many days you will be
visited. In the last final years you will come into the land of those
brought back from the sword and gathered from many peoples on the
mountains of Israel..." (38:3,8)
"For, behold, in those days and in that time, when I bring back again
the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations,
and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will
enter into judgment with them there, on account of My people and My
possession, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and
divided up My land...put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come,
go down, for the press is full, the vats overflow, for their wickedness
is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day
of Jehovah is near in the valley of decision." (Joel3:1-2,13-14)
"When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with
Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. And all the nations
will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from
another, as a shepherd divides the sheep from the goats." (Mt25:31-32)
"And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew,
Armageddon...So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and
gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress
of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trampled outside the city,
and blood came forth out of the winepress, up to the hourses'
bridles...He who sat on [the white horse]...judges and makes war...He
was clothed with a robe dipped in blood...He Himself treads the
winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God...[and the]
angel standing in the sun..cried with a loud voice, saying to all the
birds...Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that
you may eat the flesh of kings...the flesh of all people, free and
slave, both small and great.." (Rev16:16, 14:19-20, 19:11,13,15,17-18)
As we get started here, let me first make a suggestion, that you read
all these passages in their entirety. Read the entire book of Joel.
Read Revelation chs 4-19. And of course, these two chapters of Ezekiel,
38-39. While this series is from Ezekiel, I have concluded that chs
38-39 cannot be understood properly apart from these other passages.
While many students of prophecy have speculated that Gog/Magog is a
different event from Armageddon, or again, than the Joel prophecies,
there are just simply too many similarities to ignore the fact that it
is all one humongous horrendous event.
Notice how I quoted excerpts from Revelation out-of-order as the
chapters go. Please remember the recent observations over the past
couple of months that the book of Revelation cannot be viewed as a
"time-line". Visualize that "table" with the pieces of the jigsaw
puzzle all dumped out, turned upwards. But the pieces are scattered
-all- about the table. Remember, also, the recent observations about
prophecy, when the matter is urgent from the mouth of God; to Pharaoh
He 'doubled' the message about the coming famine with two dreams.
(Gen41:32) One dream was about cows; the other, about growing grain;
but they were both about "one" event. (Gen41:26) Above, here, we have
four (4) passages we have just observed. But the O.T. is -full- of many
other references also to "that day". And I am coming to believe that
Ezek 38-39 is the "one" -same- event as Armageddon, and all those other
We can know 38-39 speaks of the 'same' day the other references speak
of because God says so right in this passage. First of all, He tells
"when" it will be: "In the LAST FINAL years..." (38:8) And explains,
"This is the day of which I have spoken." (39:8b) "Alas! For that day
is great, so that none is like it; it is even the time of Jacob's
trouble; but he shall be saved out of it." (Jer30:7) For Pharaoh,
regarding seven years of 'mere' famine, God doubled the message. This
final conflict is -SO- huge, that Scripture is 'full' of references to
it; in order that it cannot be missed. While we will be aware of the
other references and observe them, since this series is from Ezekiel,
obviously we will concentrate on chs 38-39.
First of all, we need to understand who the players are, and where they
In a June,2001 Q/A we observed who these nations may be today.
But where did they come from? And why are they aligned the way they are
into their various alliances and enmities? For that, we need to go
back to Genesis chs9-11. For ease in visualizing the following, here
is a map:
When the ark landed on Ararat, that is located at the eastern end of
present-day Turkey, at the region where Turkey, Iran and Armenia
converge. (At the top of that map) While they were still speaking one
language, they migrated southeastward and settled in the plains of the
Tigris/Euphrates rivers. On the map, over in the region by the Persian
Gulf, and you will see "Babel" labeled. (Gen11:2)
Genesis ch10 tells how Noah's three sons became the basis for the
nations; "and from these the nations were divided on the earth after
the flood." (10:32) Notice, starting in vs2, that Japheth is the basis
for all those names we see in Ezekiel 38. [Editor: if the details
interest you, please read and compare for yourselves. If we repeat all
the names here, this lesson will get even longer than it already is.]
Essentially, what we speak of as "Gog/Magog" is the descendants of
Now, if you look at Genesis 11:10~, you will see that Israel comes from
And then, following 10:6~, we see Ham's descendants. Notice that Nimrod
comes from Ham. Notice it says, "the beginning of his kingdom was
Babel.." (vs10) He travels north up the Fertile Crescent and
establishes Nineveh and Rehoboth. The descendants of Ham continue their
migrations and from them the Philistines came. (vs14) And further,
notice that Nimrod's father is Cush. (vs8) As the migrations settle
out, "Cush" is another ancient name for Ethiopia. (Notice his name on
the map next to the Red Sea)
So, with Noah emerging out of the ark in the center of the world's land
mass, considering this simplistically: Japheth migrates north and west,
and becomes the basis for Europe and western Asia; Shem to the east,
forming the bulk of Oriental Asia; and Ham to the middle-east and
These migrations, while being interesting, do not stand alone. We must
also go back a chapter to Noah's blessing/curse of his descendants.
Notice that he curses Canaan. (vs25) Even before God's blessing on
Abraham, Noah blesses "the God of Shem". (vs26) And notice that "God
shall enlarge Japheth.." (vs27) But in each case, Canaan, son of Ham,
A couple of generalized observations here:
First of all, the "enlarging" of Japheth. From Japheth comes Europe,
eastern Europe and Russia. But it does not end there, because from
Europe over the centuries comes the British Empire, which includes
Canada, S.Africa, Australia, and yes... the USA. During the middle of
the past millennium, the French, Spanish and Portuguese explored and
"conquered", and as a result, also emigrated extensions of themselves
into the Americas, becoming greater in numbers than the indigenous
natives who most likely originated from Shem's Asian regions. Except
for Shem's Asia, and Ham's Africa, pretty much the rest of the world is
overwhelmingly from Japheth. One could certainly observe that Japheth
was "enlarged". Asia may have a large population; but Japheth's
descendants cover more of the earth's surface.
The other is about Nimrod. Notice it says, "..the BEGINNING of his
kingdom was Babel." (10:10) And also from Revelation we remember the
well-know passages, "Babylon is fallen...that great city, because she
has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her sexual
perversion." (Rev14:8) "Babylon the great..is fallen, and has become a
dwelling place of demons, a prison for every unclean spirit.." (18:2)
God repeats this matter also: "Babylon has suddenly fallen and been
destroyed." (Jer51:8) "Babylon has fallen...and all the graven images
of her gods He has smashed to the ground." (Is21:9)
If Nimrod's kingdom -began- at Babel, where did it progress? Remember
that Cush settled into what we know as Ethiopia. Where does witchcraft,
voodoo and spiritism come from? Typically from the negroid peoples of
Africa, as they were captured and slave-traded into various parts of
the world, and took their pagan spiritism along with them. Where did
that witchcraft and voodoo come from? Nimrod.
What about the so-called more "civilized" cultures? Where is it
considered that the world's organized religions originated? If it is
all traced back, usually they begin in Egypt. If any of you have kept
up with the Star Gate SG1 TV series, they have been giving quite a
series of history lessons tucked into their exotic sci-fi adventures.
They, of course, show that there were powerful entities -behind- the
Egyptian religions (which we know is satan, which they depict with
their symbiotic 'larvae'. Can you say, "demon possession"?) Who are
some of the primary Egyptian gods? Ra, Isis and Horus. Where did this
come from? Nimrod.
What do pretty much all religions have in common as icons? Their sacred
pillars. (Lev26:1) Egypt has their obelisks, Islam their minarets,
Native American totem poles, and... so-called "christian" church
-steeples-! God commanded that Israel -not- have such, and as they went
in to the land of promise, they were to tear down those they found.
(Ex23:24, Deu7:5) Where did these come from? Nimrod and Babel's
"tower" that would "reach into the heavens". (Gen11:4)
As the centuries progress, the middle east had various names for these
gods: the baals, Queen of Heaven, Tammuz, Moloch, etc. But where did
Egypt's worship end up? Ra, the sun god, celebrated with a round white
wafer, with 'flames' imprinted around the edges. Isis, the "Madonna",
sitting with her "child" Horus.
And -where-, pray-tell, is this located? In the heart of Japheth's
"enlarged" dispersion. Yes, back then it was called "Egypt". Today the
same "kingdom" of Nimrod is seated in Rome. It's leader, the "pontifex
maximus", representing the one who desires, "I will be like the Most
Yes, there was the Roman empire, the "people of a coming ruler"
(Dan9:26); the Roman descendant of Nimrod's kingdom, the Roman
"church"; there was the Club of Rome, and more recently the "Treaty of
Rome" which has resulted in the recent inauguration of the one-world
court, which is supposed to supercede any judiciary of any individual
sovereign nation. (As of this writing, the US, Britain, Israel and a
few others have not ratified it; resisting giving up their own
sovereignties. But it is 'now' set up, and "open for business".
Clinton signed it, and would have sold us down that river; but Bush is
refusing to ratify it...thus far!)
Yes...all this: part of Gog/Magog.
One other little observation, before we get back into Ezekiel 38-39.
A little more prophecy to give us perspective regarding today's
middle-eastern conflicts. In a recent Q/A
the question came up as to where the Palestinians came from. Here's an
interesting passage to lend support to my thoughts that they possibly
descended from Ishmael. Notice the Angel of Jehovah says to Hagar, "I
will multiply your seed exceedingly...and you shall bear a son. You
shall call his name Ishmael...he shall be a wild ass of a man; his hand
shall be against every man, and every man's hand against him. And he
shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren." (Gen16:10-12) Does
this not graphically describe the so-called Palestinians? And notice
that his mother took a wife for him out of Egypt. (21:21) Even today,
while the Arab nations and Egypt won't take Arafat in, they still
behave as though they are "married" to each other. Indeed, they are:
way back starting with Ishmael.
We have Gog/Magog coming down against Israel. There's a couple
of reasons why this cannot be the very 'next' major conflict that will
happen for Israel. First of all, anything 'next' would not agree with
the words "last final years". (38:8) There is likely yet, another
conflict that will precede this one. Again, I'm not going to take up
the space to list all the names, but what is presently lining up for a
near-future conflict agrees more with Psalm 83. Notice the players
there are different from this Gog/Magog event. Notice also that when
Gog/Magog comes against Israel, Israel will be "a land of unwalled
villages...a people at peace". (vs11) That is certainly not the case
right now: Certain political factions of Israel are building the wall,
and the nearly-daily terrorist murders are anything -but- "peaceful".
However, for something as massive as what this passage talks about, the
world climate and politics need to be moving in that direction years
ahead of the actual event. Indeed, as Bush recently spoke of the need
for present PLO leadership to be gone, the very next day the Gog/Magog
players, in the form of the EU, UN and Russia, voiced their support for
While the EU and Russia are becoming cozy 'friends' with each other,
there are noticeable frictions also. "Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of
Tarshish, and all their young lions..." (vs13) will voice objections to
the machinations of Gog/Magog. These are thought, by many, to be the US
and British empire. The British crest is comprised of lions. Britain,
with its "young lions" of the empire/commonwealth. Britain has been a
hold-out from joining the EU's Euro, as well as the aforementioned
World Court. Even though the USA is "independant" of Britain, there is,
nevertheless, a unique special bond between the US and all the members
of the British empire. And, while we might be tempted to wring our
hands at how our respective leaders do their continual two-faced little
dance-arounds regarding Israel to keep the oil-supplying Arabs happy,
for the most part, there is a support of Israel. And while the US has
been the primary military provider for NATO, the relationship between
the EU and US is becoming more 'distant' lately.
During the current conflicts, the EU and Russia have been the most
vocal in wanting to see outside troops inserted into Israel for
"peace-keeping". But notice that what they will be coming for is "to
plunder the spoils and to steal a prize.." (vs12) What is there that
could interest such a large horde? Likely some things as yet
undiscovered. But we may already have hints. Some have speculated about
the rich minerals of the dead sea. But so far, that has not been part
of the rhetoric. However, recently, a large natural gas deposit was
discovered that is supposed to supply Israel for many years to come.
Maybe we can get a hint from another verse, "And they make a covenant
with Assyria, and oil is carried into Egypt." (Hos12:1b) Something to
Perhaps, since it says "last final years", 38-39 speaks of the conflict
'after' the Millennium? What's that? you say? "Now when the thousand
years have expired, Satan will be set loose out of his prison and will
go out to ensnare the nations which are in the four corners of the
earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle...and they went
up...and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And
fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them." (Rev20:7-9)
Well, that certainly includes Japheth's "enlarged" descendants. But the
outcome is different. God just 'zaps' them.
So, let's take a look briefly at the nature of this conflict:
Since it speaks of them using the weapons for building fires for "seven
years", many suppose that this conflict will begin what they call, "the
tribulation". However, if that were so, it would not be the "last
final" events; there would still be seven more years before "the end".
(Mk13:7, Lk21:9) And, if a person thinks about it, why could they not
be using weapons for fuel during the first seven years of the
millennium? After all, a primary characteristic of the millennium is
that they "shall beat their swords into plowshares..." (Is2:4)
But God says, "This is the day of which I have spoken." (39:8)
Notice that there will be "a great earthquake". (38:19) "..and there
was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not
occurred since men came to be on the earth." (Rev16:18)
"..all men who are on the face of the earth shall quake at My presence.
The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and
every wall shall fall to the ground" (38:20) "And the kings of the
earth, the great men...hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of
the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us and hide
us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of
the Lamb!" (Rev6:15-16) "Who can stand before His indignation? And who
can endure His burning anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and
the rocks are broken down because of Him." (Nah1:6)
"..I will rain down...flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and
brimstone.." (38:22) "And the first angel sounded: And hail and fire
followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth."
"You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel...I will give you to the
birds of prey...to be devoured." (39:4) To all the birds: "Come and
gather together for the supper of the great God.." (Rev19:17) "Speak
to every sort of bird...Assemble yourselves and come; gather together
from all sides to My sacrifice which I sacrifice for you, a great
sacrifice on the mountains of Israel, that you may eat flesh and drink
blood. You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, drink the blood of rulers
of the earth...you shall eat fat till you are full, and drink blood
till you are drunk.." (39:17-20)
See the similarities between Ezekiel and Revelation? I really do
believe this is the same, also, as the "Multitudes, multitudes in the
valley of decision! For the day of Jehovah is near in the valley of
decision" (Joel3:14) where God's winepress is trampled to bring the
blood "up to the horses' bridles". (Rev14:20)
And then, what about...
"And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I have poured out
My Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Lord Jehovah." (39:29)
"And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit on
all flesh. And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old
men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also I
will pour out My Spirit on the menservants and on the maidservants in
those days. And I will show signs in the heavens and in the earth:
blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into
darkness and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and
awesome day of Jehovah." (Joel2:28-31)
First of all, I have quoted the entire set of verses from this place in
Joel, so that we can observe the -context- of everything. Notice it
says these things will happen "afterward". (vs28) "After" -what-? For
this, please read the -context-, which in vs20 He says, "I will remove
the northern army far from you..." "Northern army"...that's not Ps83.
That's Gog/Magog from the "recesses of the north". (38:15)
Notice also that this favorite proof text for those who like to utter
unintelligible mindless (1Cor14:15) jibberish (Is8:19) from their
backgrounds in pagan idolatry (1Cor12:2), is not for them. This
"pouring out" that God is going to do is "on the HOUSE OF ISRAEL".
(39:29) Oh, but... that's right... these same people think that Israel
is "done for" don't they...!
Yes, the first installment happened in Acts ch2, where the Holy Spirit
was poured out in Israel, enabling the disciples to 'preach' the Gospel
of Jesus Christ; and as a -coincidence-, since there were many people
there from other ethnic dialects, He also enabled everybody to hear
(and understand with their "minds") the message in their own dialect.
But Peter did not fully yet understand the "timing" and fullness of
Joel; because none of those "signs in the heavens and in the earth"
happened on that occasion. That is yet future, in the context of
"after" Gog/Magog has been defeated by God.
This pouring out of God's Spirit will not be for the purpose of giving
everybody a big massive "high", but it will be part of the process
whereby God is making His "new covenant with the house of Israel" where
He writes His "Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts"
(Jer31:31-34) It will not have been a time of rejoicing and "praising
the Lord", but of "mourning" and weeping because of their Messiah whom
they "pierced". (Zec12:10) That's how salvation comes about, "Lament
and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your
joy to shame. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will
exalt you." (Jacob4:9-10)
And you see, this is what Ezekiel says, too: "So the house of Israel
shall know that I am Jehovah their God from that day forward." (39:22)
As Paul affirms: "And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness
from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their
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Re: Requirements for God to dwell amongst (Ezekiel 43-44)
"And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the
east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone
with His glory...and the glory of Jehovah came into the house by way of
the gate which faces toward the east." (43:2-4)
"For as the lightning comes out of the east and flashes to the west, so
also will the coming of the Son of Man be...Immediately after the
affliction of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will
not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of
the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will
appear in the heavens, and then all the tribes of the earth will wail,
and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with
power and much glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound
of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four
winds, from one end of heaven to the other." (Mt24:27-31)
"And I will bring them, and they shall live in the midst of Jerusalem.
And they shall be My people, and I will be their God, in truth and in
Chapters 40-42 give a detailed description and measurements for the
Millennial temple complex. Now, when we understand that the huge
earthquake that happens, of which it says that there has not been any
like it since man has lived on earth (Rev16:18), in context even
greater than whatever upheavals happened during Noah's flood to create
the present mountain ranges and whatnot, will be knocking "every wall"
down (38:20); but here we read that when Jesus comes again He will come
via the gate facing east, to come "into the house" (vs4); it seems
pretty obvious that some miraculous events will be happening.
In the past we have observed that a temple is not necessary for the
sacrifices of the 70th week to commence, which the antichrist puts a
stop to in the middle of those seven years. (Dan9:27) All they need is
a stone upon which no human tool has been wielded. (Ex20:25) And
considering what Scripture says about that big coming earthquake, any
temple they might attempt to build now, if they were to ever get that
far, would be shaken down into rubble anyway, since it says "-EVERY-
wall" will come down. We have observed in the past that it says, "the
BRANCH...will build the temple of Jehovah" (Zec6:12)
So, if Christ is coming, like flashing lightning from out of the east,
via the eastern gate, into the temple, but just prior to His coming the
powers of the heavens have been shaken, and among everything else there
is the huge earthquake that levels everything; as it says, "Every
valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made
low.." (Is40:4); where does such a complex temple structure come from,
into which He comes? Perhaps God will miraculously transport the temple
complex to its location in an instant? Let us not forget that when God
gave the Law to Israel, the writings on the tablets of stone were
written by the "finger of God". (Ex31:18, Deu9:10) Perhaps He will do
something similar regarding the Millennial temple?
Whatever the case, that is not this lesson's subject, but merely a
backdrop for our consideration. But once Christ returns, from Jesus'
words in Matthew, we know that a major regathering will then happen, to
gather all the rest of Israel from the farthest reaches of the ends of
the earth, unto Himself. "Surely the coastlands shall wait for Me, and
the ships of Tarshish will come first, to bring your children from
afar..." (Is60:9) It is often thought that Tarshish is a prophetical
reference to America; and certainly, if that is the case, there are
more Jews in the US today than even reside in Israel.
But as Christ comes to rule the world from out of Jerusalem, and Israel
is gathered back to Him, what are the conditions of His rule? If God
scattered Israel and dispersed them throughout the world for their
rebellion and idolatry, what changes must characterize their hearts,
that Christ will be willing to dwell among them and call Himself their
God, and them, His people? (Jer31:33) They will be given new hearts.
And their behavior will change.
Just as chs 40-42 describe the new temple, chs 43-44 describe their new
behavior. And notice that much of it is addressed to the Levites. The
tribe of Levi was the tribe that led Israel in worship and was the
priestly tribe, offering sacrifices for sin and atonement. And thus, it
was the tribe of Levi that also was corrupt and allowed and led Israel
astray. It would have been those of Levi that Ezekiel would have been
shown "with their backs toward the temple of Jehovah and their faces
toward the east.." worshipping Egypt's sun god Ra. (Ezek8:16) Notice
during the time of Jacob's trouble that it says the "sons of Levi" will
be "purified". Why? In order that they "may draw near to Jehovah with
an offering in righteousness." (Mal3:3)
During the Millennium they will be given duties of service in the
temple, but notice that the "shame" of their "abominations" will stick
from the reputations of their past. (44:13) And so, from the backdrop
of their past apostasy God describes what they should have been, that
they weren't; that they will be in the new temple service.
What is God's introduction to the subject? "..this is the place of My
throne and the place of the soles of My feet.." (43:7) Remember
when we studied the giving of the Law, God accentuated each law by
saying, "I am Jehovah" (Lev18:4,30, 19:10, etc) Now again, as the new
temple is established, along with its service of sacrifices, the
introduction is, This is where I dwell...this is My presence.
"No more shall the house of Israel defile My holy name..." (43:7) How
had Israel defiled God's name? With their "harlotry" and the "carcasses
of their kings on their high places". What is harlotry? Going after
someone other than one's own spouse. Israel was 'married' to God
(Jer3:14), and God had said, "You shall have no other gods...nor shall
you bow down to them" (Ex20:3,5) and yet Israel lusted after and whored
after the pagan deities around them. We won't go into all the details,
the O.T. is full of it; but they also brought the pagan altars into
God's temple complex. God says, 'No more of that!' As Hosea says to
Gomer, "You shall not be a harlot, nor be with another man" as God said
of Israel, "I will even betroth you to Me in faithfulness. And you
shall know Jehovah." (Hos3:3,2:20) here He says, "Now let them put
their harlotry...far away from Me, and I will dwell in their midst
Same thing can be said to today's so-called "church". You feel like God
is "far away" and you just can't seem to "reach" Him? Put away the
harlotry of chasing after the world's ways. Remember, if you name the
name of Christ, the command is to "depart from iniquity". (2Tim2:19)
God does not countenance sin. If you are chasing after the world, God
will not fellowship with you. It is not that God is "not -able- to
hear" your prayers, but if you are chasing after sin, He "-will- not
Furthermore, as God addresses those in ministry, He continues on,
"Enough of all your abominations!" (44:6) What were these
'abominations'? "When you brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in
heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in My sanctuary to defile it;
My house...And you have not kept charge of My holy things, but you have
set others to keep charge of My sanctuary for you." (44:7-8)
This is written to Israel, and God will deal with them; but let's talk
about the so-called "church" again. When pastors abdicated their
responsibility for teaching the Word "in season and out of season"
(2Tim4:2), and did not pay heed to giving attention to "reading,
exhortation and doctrine" (1Tim4:13), turning their pulpits over to the
unregenerate from the outside who turned God's sanctuary into a dance
hall with their music of flesh, what does God call it? ABOMINATION!
When the unsaved were invited to join the choir, what does God call it?
When the unsaved were recruited to teach Sunday school classes or help
out with VBS, what does God call it? ABOMINATION!
When the unsaved were invited to "be -in- My sanctuary..." what does
God say they did? They "..defiled it.." (vs7) Did you see that? Let's
look at it again... When the unsaved were invited to "be in My
sanctuary TO -DEFILE- IT.." what did God call it? ABOMINATION!
Notice He is not speaking totally of the Jewish custom of the 8th day
-physical- circumcision of male babies. Like Stephen said to the Jews
just before he was martyred, "You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in
heart and ears! You always oppose the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did,
so do you." (Ac7:51) He says, "when you brought in foreigners,
uncircumcised IN HEART..." (44:7) Folks... by definition, that's the
"unsaved". If you don't believe it, hear Paul's words, "..but he is a
Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is of the heart, in the
Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God."
I know there are yet many of you who simply will not accept God's Word
at face value, to keep the unsaved -OUT- of the meetings/gatherings of
Believers, met for worship and exhortation around God's Word. You
insist that bringing them in is the only way to "get them saved". Well,
if you have a clear (pure/holy) liquid in a clean/clear glass
container, and you drop even the slightest hint of dye or food coloring
into it, what happens? Does the dye become clear (saved)? NO! The
liquid becomes tainted. It happened with Israel, and in His wrath, God
dispersed them for it. "Of how much worse punishment..." (Heb10:29) do
you suppose the so-called "church" is due?
If you want God's fellowship and blessing in your group... KEEP THE
UNSAVED -OUT-! God is holy. "Holy" is not a -feeling-, but means "set
apart, distinct". If you claim to be worshiping Him, He does not
tolerate the presence of sinners in His holy place. If you have a
place dedicated as a "sanctuary", a holy place, keep the UNSAVED OUT!
Keep the world's ways, music and methods -OUT-. When Nadab and Abihu
offered "strange fire" before the Lord, God struck them down dead.
(Lev10:1-2) When you invite the unsaved in, it is an ABOMINATION to God!
Now notice God says that it was "..the Levites who went far from Me,
when Israel went astray, who strayed away from Me after their idols.."
(44:10) Indeed, a good deal of the blame for where the so-called
"church" is rests upon the pastors. Yes, Israel lusted after some other
god to lead them in the wilderness, but it was Aaron who caved in to
their demands and came up with the idea of the golden calf. While Moses
was in the mountain, Aaron was supposed to be the leader, but he
abdicated his leadership. Pastors were always that 'wall' against new
fads entering the congregations. Particularly in the area of music. And
musicians came along, scoffing at the pastors, because pastors were not
-trained- "musicians" like THEY were! That might have been true...but
the pastors had the Holy Spirit, and were God's representatives charged
with the responsibility to "lead" the people. Leaders are supposed to
"shepherd the flock of God.." (1Pet5:2) When lambs go wandering off, or
sheep get out of the safety of the fence or corral, the shepherd needs
to go gather them back into the barn. It is the nature of sheep to go
wandering "astray". (Is53:6) Thus, that is part of the charge of the
shepherds, to protect and guard the sheep; and keep the wolves -OUT-.
But instead, they opened the gates for the wolves to come in, and
"destroyed and scattered the sheep of [God's] pasture!" (Jer23:1) God
pronounces "Woe!" against them!
Yes, the rebellious so-called "christians" are due God's punishment.
But their blood is on the hands of the pastors who did not stand up
against the wolves, and protect God's flocks.
What is the responsibility of the pastors? What will the Levites be
doing in the new temple? As this is being written, a few minutes ago
some boys were riding around on their bikes in front of the store. Most
of them were around 10-12 years old. But tagging along was a little
boy, must have been about 4-5 years old, pedalling along as fast as he
could, trying to keep up with the older boys. My store is right next to
one of Spokane's busier arterials where at times, the traffic moves
along at a good clip. The little tyke meandered out onto the street
once, not looking for traffic...obviously totally oblivious to the
potential danger. Fortunately, at the moment, no cars were coming. He
rode into the parking area next door, and some cars came by. Next thing
I saw, he darted right back out across a couple of lanes...whereupon I
darted outside, yelling for him to "Get off the street!!" And as he
came back off the street, I was by 'now' over to where the boys
were...and had a little 'talk' with the tyke, about the dangers of the
busy street, and then patted him on the head. Next, I turned my
attention to the older boys, "He looks up to you, follows you. Watch
out for him. You're -responsible- for him!" ...to -guide- him as to
what is 'safe' or 'dangerous'.
"..they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the
profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean."
(44:23) You didn't like it when that stodgy pastor wouldn't allow the
bass and drums into the church! So you manipulated...and eventually,
you got the church corrupted with the world. It "isn't fair" that the
pastor should foist his own -personal- "likes and dislikes" upon us!
After all, we "know" what quality music is! Many of you don't like it
when PB continually harps on the theme of "keep the unsaved -OUT-".
Since you are too full of lust to live a holy life before the world,
and thus, also are not able to witness 'where' the unsaved are... you
can't see any other means of "winning souls" than to bring the unsaved
in, to "let the pastor save them"...after all, that's what we hired him
for. Well, as strange as this may sound, that's -NOT- his job! His job
is to 'feed' -you-. While it may be true that the shepherds are,
themselves, 'sheep'; they are charged with "shepherd" duties. Last I
knew, shepherds don't typically give birth to lambs... sheep do. The
shepherd helps the process along, and helps nurse the lambs. And it is
also PB's job to continually proclaim these Scriptural truths that you
don't like to hear. It is the pastor's job to "preach the Word".
(2Tm4:2) It is his job to "teach" you the difference between the holy
and unholy. The difference between the Godly and worldly. He might not
know music (or other things) like you do, but by virtue of his calling
by God to the ministry God has entrusted to him, he -DOES- KNOW what is
sacred and sacrilegious. He might not know what Tonic and Dominant or a
5/7 chord is, but with God's Holy Spirit over him, he knows what is of
God, and what is of satan. God put him there for that reason, and gave
him a special anointing of the Holy Spirit for the task.
In the case of Israel the prophecy is that when God gives them a new
heart, God promises to "dwell in the midst" of them, and they will "no
more..defile [God's] holy name" (43:7)
Church of Jesus Christ, which He redeemed and washed us from our sins
with His own blood (Rev1:5)... what about you? Are you going to
continue to lust after the world, and disobey God by intermingling with
them? Or are you going to "come out from among them and be separate"
"..as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts
in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also become
holy (distinct, separated) in all conduct, because it is written, Be
holy, because I am holy." (1Pt1:14-16) ??
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Re: Waters from the Sanctuary (Ezekiel 47:1-12)
"Then he brought me back to the entrance of the house; and there was
water, flowing from under the threshold of the house toward the east,
for the front of the house faces east; and the water was flowing from
under the right side of the house, south of the altar." (47:1)
These next 12 verses are a famous passage that Jewish clerics read, and
look for any "signs" that this great river is about to spring forth. A
few years ago there was a lie being propagated by various famous people
that water had sprung up and was running from some areas under the
foundation of the present Temple Mount in Jerusalem. According to a
Jewish source, a person living in Israel, that story was a hoax. It
never existed. But various ones would make pilgrimages to Israel, and
return to their homes, claiming that "water is running", and would
write books about it, claiming that the running water was a "sign" of
the imminent return of Christ. Of course, for that hoax, there were no
proofs or authentic photos, other than the 'word' of the charlatans;
and if their audiences hadn't been there, how would they know
More recently, there has been an 'appearance' on the stone face of the
Wailing Wall. For this one, apparently Jewish clerics were getting all
excited about the prophetic implications of "water running" from the
temple area. Considering its location, some wondered if perhaps some
Arab plumbing behind the area had sprung leaks. And yet, the clerics
were donning their special robes, and proclaiming Messiah's imminent
return. Eventually, it was discovered, with investigation, that the
visible "spot" was actually some sort of 'growth' on the rock face.
Is water going to spring out of the present temple mount area as it is
now situated? While with God nothing is impossible, I really doubt it.
What is the entire prophetical picture when this river is flowing?
Ezekiel is still in the same vision that began in ch40, where he is
being shown the new temple, its service of sacrifices...and 'now', he
is being shown the river that springs from that same 'future' temple
complex. It is the same context of Jesus' second coming. What else do
we know about that event?
Remember that great earthquake, so great that there has not yet been
one the likes of it in human history? (Rev16:18) The one where the
mountains come down flat, and the valleys are exalted? (Is40:4)
At the same time when Jesus alights upon the Mount of Olives, the
mountain is going to split in two. It is going to separate and divide
from itself from east to west. And between its halves will be a "very
great valley" (Zech14:4) And one half will move north, and the other
You see...When Jesus comes again, the topography of Jerusalem is going
to receive some 'adjustments'. Things aren't going to be as they are
now. The present Temple Mount will no longer be situated 'where' it is
today. Geology of the area will have been greatly altered. Thus, any
present springs of water will likely have no bearing or relationship to
the new landscape.
This will be a very special river. Jesus is ruling from the new temple.
As I read this passage I am reminded of Jesus' conversation with the
woman of Samria, where He spoke of the "..water that I shall give
him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into eternal
Notice that wherever the water of this river flows, things are
"healed". (47:8-9) Healed from what? Well, for one thing we know of the
star "Wormwood" that poisons a third of the waters, which causes death.
(Rev8:11) Certainly, many bodies of water today are polluted; but I
expect, as God did to Egypt, He will do to the whole earth again when
He judges. Since man worships "mother earth", and pretends to protest
against its pollution, I expect God is going to show the
Hindu-tree-huggers what -real- "pollution" is. By the time all the
nuclear bombs have been dropped, and poisonous sulpherated volcanic
debris has sifted over everything, and perhaps some of those "weapons
of mass destruction" have been used and polluted the earth with toxins,
microbes, chemicals...much of the earth will be uninhabitable, except
for God's intervention to "heal". Thus, these healing waters.
As Christ's rule will be "in righteousness" (Is16:5), the psalmist
speaks of the one who delights "in the Law of Jehovah" who is "like a
tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its
season, and its leaf shall not wither..." (Ps1:3) The same picture as
Christ's rule. This river will be lined with trees. "All kinds of trees
used for food" (47:12) The leaves never wither, continually producing
fruit...and notice, again, the "healing" of their leaves.
Currently there are plagues of all sorts: HIV, west nile virus, mad
cow; not to mention all the various diseases mankind deals with on a
regular basis: cancer, MS, heart disease, etc. and the list goes on.
And what would one suppose, by the time all the judgment is past, that
there will be cases of radiation sickness and all sorts of other
things requiring healing.
Christ's rule, while being one of peace and righteousness, will also be
one of restored nature. Somebody recently sent a URL to a website
containing pictures claiming to be of fossils discovered of a dinosaur
eating a human. It was later admitted to be a hoax. But as I looked at
the pictures, the thing that came to my mind was that prior to the
flood, animals were not carnivorous, because God had ordained that all
animals would eat "green plants for food" (Gen1:30) Thus, along with
other things that did not 'fit' about those pictures, as likely having
been contrived to 'create' a hoax, Scripture provided a basis to
question that archaeological "find"...which questioning was later
confirmed. It -was- a 'hoax'. Pre-diluvian dinosaurs did not eat other
animals or humans. And, the same will be true of animals during the
Millennium. It is said of the most notable carnivore, the lion, that it
will "eat straw like the ox", and animals will not hurt man during
Christ's rule. (Is11:7, 65:25)
Now, the fact that the leaves of these trees will "not wither" also
suggests a change in climate. Presently, Israel experiences climates,
where there are "seasons" for planting, harvesting, leaves to fall off
trees, and bud again in the spring. Just as it is thought that the
earth was one climate year-round at creation, with a sort-of
"greenhouse" effect, perhaps God will be restoring that condition to
the earth again, too? After all, we have observed before that major
astronomical things will be happening, including the likelihood that
the earth will be changing orbits as it is moved "out of its place"
(Is13:13) farther away from the sun (Zec14:4-10) We do know that the
earth will "change" as the mountains "slip into the oceans". (Ps46:1-3)
After the flood, God covenants that the seasons will remain as long as
the earth exists. (Gen8:22) So, perhaps Israel's climate will become
modified to where the seasons are not as 'extreme' as they are now?
We'll know soon enough, won't we!
So, no... this river Ezekiel 'wades' through and swims in will not be
originating from some "trickles" coming out of the present Temple
Mount. The changes God has in store for the earth and Jerusalem are so
much greater than that! In the wilderness the waters came out of the
rock, and the people drank, "and that rock was Christ". (1Cor10:4)
Jesus will be calling the new temple "..the place of My throne and the
place of the soles of My feet.." (43:7) The new temple will literally
be where Christ is. These waters will truly fulfill Jesus' words to the
woman of Samaria, the waters that He gives "springing up to eternal
life" (Jn4:14) providing healing, since, "..by His stripes we are
healed.." (Is53:5) I dare say this river will be originating from Jesus
O Glorious day that will be! Amen!
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Re: Israel's Kingdom Territory (Ezekiel 47:13-23)
"These are the borders by which you shall divide the land as an
inheritance among the twelve tribes of Israel...for I raised My hand
with an oath to give it to your fathers, and this land shall fall to
you as your inheritance." (~47:13-14)
Seeing how much maps have little variances, depending upon who compiled
them, I'm not going to try to pretend to be an expert about exactly
'what' constitutes Israel's rightful territory. But if one reads this
passage, and tries to trace out on a map where this border goes, it
appears to essentially be the same as the territory that ended up under
David's kingdom by the time he had finished subduing Israel's enemies.
It certainly includes everything Israel presently owns, as well as the
so-called "occupied territories" which the so-called Palestinians are
having such a fit about. The eastern border I'm not as sure about, but
I think also includes the areas originally mandated for Israel by the
League of Nations, which is presently occupied by Jordan (speaking of
"occupied territories"!), but I could be wrong on that.
We are not going to worry ourselves about that. God will arrange its
final outcome in due course. This lesson will be short. One little
observation...in the context of today's middle-east struggles...as we
conclude this Ezekiel series.
A couple lessons ago we observed things about worship in the new
temple. The ordinances about keeping the holy and profane separate.
When Israel first went in to take over the land 3500 years ago God
commanded them to be a distinct nation. They were to completely "drive
out" its inhabitants (Ex23:31). They were not to "make any covenants"
(treaties) with the inhabitants. Nor were they to allow them to dwell
in the land with Israel. They were certainly not to sell the land away
to foreigners. (Lev25:23)
Now, notice about Kingdom Israel: as they divvy up the land to the 12
tribes (No, those "ten tribes" are not "lost"!), there will be
"strangers who dwell among you and who bear children among you."
(47:22) Notice that the land will be allotted to non-Israelis, too, who
are not of the 12 tribes. When the time comes, Christ has come, and the
dust of the final events has settled; wherever people find themselves
living, "..there you shall give him his inheritance.." (vs23)
Clearly, things will be different with Israel during the Millennium.
Israel will have been given a new heart, and they will be following
Jesus Christ. Israel will be the 'hub' of the world, and people of the
world will latch themselves onto Jews to learn of God; for they will
have heard that "..God is with you.." (Zec8:23) The world will be going
to Jerusalem: "And many people shall go and say, Come and let us go up
to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob. And He
will teach of His ways, and we will walk in His paths. For out of Zion
the Law shall go forth, and the Word of Jehovah from Jerusalem." (Is2:3)
This was God's desire from the very beginning. But as Christ is ruling
from Jerusalem, it will become a reality.
The primary feast that is prophesied that will be observed by the world
is the last of the seven that Israel always celebrated annually (The
other six will all have been fulfilled by then), the Feast of
Tabernacles. (Zec14:16,18,19) Tabernacles symbolizes God's -dwelling-
among man. "My tabernacle (dwelling) also shall be with them; yes, I
will be their God, and they shall be My people." (Eze37:27)
Thus, Jerusalem will be changing names: "..the name of the city from
that day shall be, "JEHOVAH IS THERE" (48:35)