080220SS-Book Of Ezekiel.mp3

Posted on 06 Oct 2020, Pastor: Dr Gregg Nash

An overview of the book of Ezekiel

EZEKIEL

Lesson 26

GOD’S PROPHET TO THOSE IN CAPTIVITY IN BABYLON

 

AUTHOR:      Ezekiel.

DATE:   The events of the Book of Ezekiel cover 21 years, from 595 B.C. to 574 B.C.

THEME:     “God’s Prophet to Those in Babylonian Captivity.”

COMPARISON OF EZEKIEL TO OTHER OLD TESTAMENT BOOKS:

  1. ISAIAH speaks of      GOD’S SALVATION
  2. JEREMIAH speaks of      GOD’S JUDGMENT
  3. EZEKIEL speaks of      GOD’S GLORY
  4. DANIEL speaks of      GOD’S KINGDOM

DIVISIONS:

  1. Prophesies BEFORE the Siege of Jerusalem 1-24
  2. Prophecies DURING the Siege of Jerusalem 25-32
  3. Prophecies AFTER the Seige of Jerusalem 33-48

 

The key phrases of the book:

  1. “Son of man” occurs 93 times in the book. (In the entire Bible it is used 193 times) (out of 193 times, the Gospels use the title over 80 times in reference to the Lord Jesus).
  2. “The word of the LORD” occurs 60 times.
  3. “They shall know that I am the Lord” occurs 26 times.
  4. “Ye shall know that I am the LORD” occurs 25 times.
  5. “The Glory of the Lord” occurs 9 times.
  6. “The glory of the God of Israel” occurs 5 times.
  7. “The hand of the LORD” occurs 7 times.

 

FACTS:

The river, Chebar, was a ship channel, or canal.

The generation born during the period of the captivity had trouble getting the message from God.

There are thirteen visions in the Book of Ezekiel

Twenty-Six times you will read, “They shall know that I am God.”

The message of the Book is dramatized to make impression on the minds of the children because they would be the ones going back to Jerusalem after the captivity.

Ezekiel gives a lot of illustrations because he couldn’t speak until after the destruction of Jerusalem.

Ezekiel 3:26-27 until 24:27

  1. Drawing a map of Jerusalem 4:1-3
  2. Lying on his left side for a portion of three hundred and ninety days 4:4,5
  3. Lying on his right side for a portion of forty days 4:6
  4. Preparing a Scant meal 4:9-17
  5. Shaving his head and beard 5:1-4
  6. Stamping his feet and clapping his hands6:11
  7. Trembling as he ate his food 12:7-20
  8. Digging through a wall 12:1-16
  9. Drawing a map of the Middle East 21:18
  10. Slashing about with a Sword 21:9-17
  11. Boiling a pot of water dry 24:1-24
  12. Remaining Tearless at the death of his wife 24:15-18

Ezekiel gives 6 Parables

  1. A Fruitless Vine tree 15:1-8
  2. The adopted Girl who becomes a harlot 16:1-63
  3. The two Eagles 17:1-21
  4. The tender twig 17:22-24
  5. The Mother Lioness and her cubs 19:1-9
  6. The Two harlot Sisters 23:1-49

INTRODUCTION:    When the Jews were led into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, and spent seventy years in exile, only the more affluent Jews and the middle class and the working people were taken into exile.  However, the very poor were left in Palestine.  In other words, the Babylonian empire had no desire for the very poor.  Jeremiah stayed in Palestine to prophesy, pastor, and preach to the very poor. He lived at the same time as Jeremiah and Ezekiel was a disciple of Jeremiah while he was at Jerusalem.  Ezekiel went into captivity with the Jews to Babylon in 597 B.C. and was the prophet in exile of dragons in Babylon (Isaiah 34:13; Jer. 51:37; Mal. 1:3-4) to the Jews.

Ezekiel and Jeremiah seem to constitute a prophetic pair. Both profits were of priestly descent; both prophesied of the same events; both sharply rebuked the priests, prophets, and princes; both magnified the words of God; both witnessed the overthrow of Judah; and both suffered with the conquered people of Judah. Jeremiah mainly preached in Jerusalem, while Ezekiel was in Babylon.

Ezekiel was a prophet and priest of the exile. He prophesied of strange events and strange occurrences, which resulted in strange doctrines (Heb. 13:9). Note, the abnormality of the meaty doctrines are not to be the major aspect of one’s ministry.

The book seems to be divided into seven prophetic messages with each section beginning with the phrase the hand of the Lord (1:3; 3:14, 22: 8:1; 33:22; 37:1; 40:1). The last section describes in detail the Jewish temple during the glorious, 1000 year reign of the Lord Jesus. In these major sections several brief messages begin with the phrase the word of the Lord.

 

Individual Truths and Lessons from Ezekiel

Ezekiel 3:17-20    Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.

18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

20 Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

 Every child of God must make an effort to win the lost. Win them or warn them.  The one who refuses to witness for God is guilty of soul manslaughter.

Ezekiel 4:1-3    Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile, and lay it before thee, and pourtray upon it the city, even Jerusalem:

2 And lay siege against it, and build a fort against it, and cast a mount against it; set the camp also against it, and set battering rams against it round about.

3 Moreover take thou unto thee an iron pan, and set it for a wall of iron between thee and the city: and set thy face against it, and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege against it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel.

God often gave his prophets strange and unusual tasks because during times of’ apostasy people become immovable to the usual methods of God; therefore, God used shocking events to get the attention of people (Jud. 19-20). Ezekiel was portraying the siege upon the house of Israel and the house of Judah during the Tribulation, but a similar siege was performed by the army of Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 25:1-7). Food and water are rationed during droughts and famines (2 Kings 6:25-29; Ezek. 4:9-12; Rev. 6:5-6).

Ezekiel 5:5    Thus saith the Lord God; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her.

God placed the city of Jerusalem as the focal point of world history (Zech. 12:3). There is no intellectual or scientific explanation for this phenomenon besides the power of God.

Ezekiel 8:16-18    And he brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.

17 Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.

18 Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.

Easter originated as pagan sun-worship of Babel and Egypt, which was coupled with the queen of heaven (Jer. 44:15-19). Roman pagans enforced a month-long celebration of Easter (Acts 12:4). The resurrection of Jesus did not occur on Easter morning; it occurred during the Jewish week of unleavened bread (Lev. 23:6; Acts 12:3-4). Easter has no connection with true Christianity, but papal Rome has tried to Christianize this pagan celebration. Easter eggs, the Easter bunny, lent, and the hot cross buns of Good Friday contain occult symbolism.

Ezekiel 9:4    And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.

The Lord is interested in the people who are disturbed by the sins of the nation (Ezra 9:3-15; Dan. 9:3-19). People who have sighed or cried over the sins of a nation are spared some of the national judgment of God. This seems to have some doctoral significance for the Jews during the Great Tribulation (Rev. 7:1-3; 14:1). The counterfeit of the spiritual Mark will be the evil Mark of the beast (Rev. 13:16-18).

Ezekiel 14:3-5    Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be inquired of at all by them?

4 Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the Lord will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;

5 That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.

The attitude of the heart determines what is learned from the Scriptures (Prov. 17:16). The words that revealed the right approach to the Bible are belief, diligence, honesty, humility, and willingness (2 Kings 22:18-19; John 7:16-17; 2 Cor. 4:1-2; 1 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 2:15). False doctrines develop and personal preferences replace the word of God. Any textual critic for forfeits truth because of his unbelief in the preservation of the words of God (Jer. 36:27). The steps to deception are portrayed in the death of King Ahab (1 Kings 22:22; 2 Thess. 2:9-12). Manda deceives himself and God completes the deception by destruction (James 4:12).

Ezekiel 16:48-50    As I live, saith the Lord God, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters.

49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

50 And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.

The sins of Sodom that preceded fornication, perversion, and Satanism were self-glory or self-pride, fullness of bread, idleness, and refusal to help the poor. Refusal to give glory to God and ungratefulness are the first two steps down this perverted road (Rom. 1:18-32).

Ezekiel 21:21-22    For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he made his arrows bright, he consulted with images, he looked in the liver.

22 At his right hand was the divination for Jerusalem, to appoint captains, to open the mouth in the slaughter, to lift up the voice with shouting, to appoint battering rams against the gates, to cast a mount, and to build a fort.

The king consulted evil spirits for the right route to destroy the Jews. Public officials often consult evil spirits for political direction. An augur was a Roman officer whose duty was to foretell future events by the singing, chattering, flight, and feeding of birds (Eccl. 10:20). The word augur is root word for an inauguration or an inaugural address. The unseen rulers of earthy kingdoms are Satan and his evil spirits (Isaiah 28:14-15; Dan. 10; Eph. 2:2-3; 6:12).

Ezekiel 22:29-31    The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully.

30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

31 Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord God.

One individual can determine the direction of an entire nation (Ex. 32:11-14; Esther 10:3; Prov. 28:2; Jer. 5:1; Dan. 5:11). One man who believes the word of God can stand against the majority under the power of God (1 Kings 18:19-22; Jer. 15:16-17; 2 Peter 2:4-5). God does not look for a great or talented man; God looks for an humble man (2 Chron. 16:9; Isaiah 66:2).

Ezekiel 25:12-17    Thus saith the Lord God; Because that Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and hath greatly offended, and revenged himself upon them;

13 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; I will also stretch out mine hand upon Edom, and will cut off man and beast from it; and I will make it desolate from Teman; and they of Dedan shall fall by the sword.

14 And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel: and they shall do in Edom according to mine anger and according to my fury; and they shall know my vengeance, saith the Lord God.

15 Thus saith the Lord God; Because the Philistines have dealt by revenge, and have taken vengeance with a despiteful heart, to destroy it for the old hatred;

16 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will stretch out mine hand upon the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethims, and destroy the remnant of the sea coast.

17 And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them.

Edom is modern day Saudi Arabia. The God of Israel will torch the Arabic Muslims (Isaiah 34; Obad. 17-18; Mal. 1:3-4). In chapter 26 Earthly Tyre is modern day Lebanon, which is also controlled by the ruthless Muslims.

Now let us notice several things about Ezekiel and his ministry.

 

HIS CALL.

Ezekiel 3:17‑21      Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.

18       When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

19       Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

20       Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

21       Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.

Ezekiel received his call at the age of thirty and prophesied 22 years.  Ezekiel was called to be a “watchman on the wall.”  God reminded him that if he warned the Israelites of their sin, and if they died in their sins, their blood would not be on his hands.  He then told Ezekiel that if they died in their sins, and he had not warned them, their blood would be on his hands.  Bear in mind, the cities in Palestine were walled.  These walls were very thick.  The walls around Jericho, for example, could have seven horses walking abreast on the wall to watch for caning enemies.  It was their job to alert the citizens of an attack.  If they failed to do their job, and the attack came, the blood of the people was required at the hands of the watchmen.  God likens Ezekiel to this kind of watchman.  Any preacher is like this.  For that matter, any Christian is like this.  We are to warn people and wash our hands of their blood.

 

HIS COMMISSION. Bear in mind, the people were very discouraged while they were in Babylon. The wall around the city of Jerusalem was down. Their beloved temple had been leveled to the ground. The city had been destroyed. The Jews had a reputation for playing their harps and for singing. When they got to Babylon, naturally the Babylonians wanted to hear them sing and play.  Notice

Psalm 137:1‑4   By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.

2          We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.

3          For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.

4          How shall we sing the LORD’s song in a strange land?

They placed their harps on willow trees and refused to sing or play. If there ever is a time when God’s people ought to sing, play and testify, it is while they are in a heathen land. Nevertheless, the Jews refused to do so. They became discouraged and gave up. For this cause, God gave them a prophet.

Ezekiel was commissioned to warn the exiles about sin while in Babylon.

 Ezekiel was commissioned to encourage the exiles while in Babylon.

 Ezekiel was commissioned to comfort the exiles while in Babylon.

 Ezekiel had compassion on the exiles.

Ezekiel 3:15 Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.

If Ezekiel is going to feel the heartbreak and heartbeat of his people, and if he is going to help them, he must know their feelings.  He must be in their shoes for a while.  So for seven days he sits beside them, mourns with them, suffers with them, sorrows with them, weeps with them, and is homesick with them.  This is all a part of the preparation for him to do what he ought to do and to be what he ought to be to God’s people.

Ezekiel became burdened.

Ezekiel 9:8   And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem?

This tells something of the burden and heartache he carried for the sins of his people. He carried a burden for the suffering and sorrows of his people. This is also very necessary.

 

III.       THE OBSTACLES.  While Ezekiel was encouraging the people of God, obstacles came to him. Let us notice them:

The opposition of the people.

Ezekiel 2:4‑7     For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD.

5          And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.

6          And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.

7          And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.

Everyone would not be for Ezekiel. He would suffer ridicule, persecution and opposition. The man of God can always expect this.  For that matter, any servant of God, whether clergy or laity, can always expect this.

Ezekiel’s baby died. Ezekiel was away from home, in exile,

trying to comfort others, and yet he lost his own baby.  However, this did not stop hint; he kept on serving God.  He could have blamed God.  He could have said, “God is not good to me because He let my baby die.”  This he did not do.  He kept On serving God and comforting, encouraging and warning the people.

 

Ezekiel’s wife died. Ezekiel had a wife who was very lovely to him.  She was called the “desire of his eyes. ” she suddenly was taken in death, and Ezekiel said, “At even my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded.” (Ezekiel 24:18) In other words, the next morning after his wife died, he was back on the job, preaching on the streets, warning the people, and comforting the people. His own heart was broken, but he must mend the broken hearts of others. His own eyes were filled with tears, but he must wipe the tears of others. His awn load was heavy to bear, but he must carry the burdens of others.  He stayed with the job!  He did not quit, even though he himself had suffered Unbelievable adversity.

 

EZEKIEL’S ACCOUNT OF THE INVASION OF ISRAEL BY THE ISLAMIC EMPIRE OF THE ANTICHRIST:

Ezekiel 38-39

The allies in the invasion

Persia             (Modern Iran)

Ethiopia         (Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan)

Libya              (North African Nations)

Gomer           (North and South Turkey)

Togarmah     (Turkey)

The reason they will invade

To cash in on the riches of Israel           (38:11-12)

The results of the invasion

The Islamic empire of the Antichrist is totally defeated by God (38:21-23)

The Muslims are Destroyed on the Mountains of Israel     (39:2)

Seven years to be spent burning the war weapons (38:9)

Seven months to be spent burying the dead             (38:12)

 

CONCLUSION:        The important thing about this lesson is to teach our pupils that they must do the will of God, and that they must continue to do His will regardless of opposition, difficulties and burdens.

 

More Information About Ezekiel

 Ezekiel was the son of a priest and grew up in Jerusalem until, at the age of 25, he was taken captive by the Babylonians.

As a teenager, Ezekiel probably heard and was influenced by Jeremiah as he preached in Jerusalem.

God’s love for His people, even though being punished for their rebellion is demonstrated in the preachers which He provided for them.

Daniel was taken captive in the first deportation (605 B.C.) and ministered to the exiles in Babylon.

Ezekiel was taken captive 8 years later as part of the second deportation (597 B.C.) along with King Jehoiachin. Like Daniel, he ministered to the exiles in Babylon.

While Daniel was but a boy and Ezekiel was 25, Jeremiah was an older preacher who was taken to Egypt 11 years after Ezekiel to minister to the Jews in exile there.

The book of Ezekiel concerns itself with the “glory of God.” The phrase “They shall know that I am the Lord” is found 70 times in this book.

What exactly is God’s glory? It is the character (or attributes) of God made visible for mankind.

During the darkest hours of Israel’s history, God desired to show Himself to His people in a marvelous way. Through this book, God has shown His glory (divine character) to the entire world.

 

GOD’S GRACE IS SEEN IN HIS CALLING. (Ezek. 1-2,33)

  1. Through a vision. This vision illustrated several aspects about God.

The fiery whirlwind symbolized God’s judgment on Jerusalem. (Ezek 1:4) – “And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north. a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire.”

The cherubim (Ezek. 1:5-14) symbolized the glory and power of God and are always associated with His holiness. The four faces match the four gospels in presenting the earthly ministry of Christ. The lion portrays Christ as King (Matthew), the ox portrays Christ as a Servant (Mark), the man portrays Christ as being a perfect man (Luke), while the eagle portrays Christ as being Divine (John).

The wheels (Ezek. 1:15-21) picture God as being everywhere (omnipresent) and all-knowing (omniscient).

The throne above the platform (firmament) was visible to Ezekiel to show that during Judah’s darkest hours, God was still on His throne and still in control. (Ezek. 1:26) – “And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.”

The rainbow was to remind Ezekiel and the people that God’s mercy would still be present during the storm of judgment. (Ezek. 1:28) – “As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.”

Through a voice. (Ezek. 2:1-5; 3:16-21)

Ezekiel was told to be the “watchman” for Israel. He was to give the message and let God handle the results.

Does God reveal His will to mankind through visions or voices (tongues) today as He did to Ezekiel?      No! Why?

When the Bible was completed, God ended this imperfect way of communicating with man and now reveals His will through His Word.

GOD’S MERCY IS SEEN IN HIS SHOUTING. (Ezek. 4-24)

God’s warning came through 12 symbolic acts.

One such act was when Ezekiel was forbidden to mourn or express any outward sorrow over the sudden death of his wife. (Ezek. 24:17-18) -“Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not thy lips, and eat not the bread of men. So I spake unto the people in the morning: and at even my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded.”

This was to demonstrate that God would refuse to mourn over the death of Jerusalem. His wife died on the same day that Nebuchadnezzar began his final assault on Jerusalem. (Ezek. 24:18) -“So I spake unto the people in the morning: and at even my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded.”

God’s warning came through 12 judgment sermons.

One sermon preached by Ezekiel was to show the certainty of God’s judgment which stated that if Noah, Daniel, and Job were all three living in Jerusalem, God would still destroy the city for the sins of the people.

(Ezek. 14:20) – “Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.”

 

God’s warning came through 6 parables.

Three of these parables picture the political future of Judah. She was to be uprooted by Babylon (Ezek. 17:1-21), she would see the Messiah come to power from her midst (Ezek. 17:22-24), and she would see two of her kings carried into captivity. (Ezek. 19:1-9)

The other three parables picture the spiritual future of Judah. God portrays her as a harlot in two of these (Ezek. 16 & 23) and as a fruitless vine which will be destroyed by fire in another.

 

God’s warning came through a Temple vision.

Many would think that God was being too harsh on Judah, so God transported Ezekiel from Babylon to the temple in Jerusalem to personally show him the idolatry of the people. (Ezek. 8:2-3) – “Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the colour of amber. And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy.”

He was taken into a hidden room in the temple court where pictures of hideous creatures adorned the walls. Seventy Jews surrounded these images and were found worshiping them -inside God’s temple!

At the northern gate of the temple, Ezekiel is shown Jewish women weeping for Tammuz, their god. (Ezek. 8:14) – “Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’s house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.”

 

Notice some characteristics of this false religion.

This religion had its start in Babel and was the creation of Nimrod’s wife, Semerimus.

Knowing of God’s promise of a future Savior, she claimed that her son, Tammuz, fulfilled this prophecy.

Semerimus then made her and her son the objects of worship and adopted the title of “the queen of heaven.”

She taught that salvation could only be received through certain sacraments, such as the sprinkling of holy water.

She taught that her son had been killed but was resurrected from the dead.

To celebrate this resurrection, she instituted an annual feast, Ishtar, which was to be celebrated by exchanging colored eggs.

Ezekiel is then shows 25 men who were worshiping the sun with their backs to God’s temple demonstrating their rejection of Him.

These Jews, in worshiping false gods, were guilty of giving God’s glory to someone else.

 

III.       GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS IS SEEN IN HIS SCOURGING. (Ezek. 25-32)

The countries which were condemned by God through Ezekiel were Arnmon (Ezek. 25:1-7), Moab (Ezek. 25:8-11),  Edom (Ezek. 25:12-14),  Philistia (Ezek. 25:15-17),  Tyre (Ezek. 26:1-28:19),  Sidon (Ezek. 28:20-24), and Egypt (Ezek. 29:1-32:32).

Tyre, once an ally and friend under the leadership of King Hiram, rejoiced at the downfall of Judah and even engaged in selling Jews as slaves to the Greeks. (Joel 3:6) – “The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their border.”

God’s punishment came against Tyre in waves, beginning with the invasion and occupation of the mainland portion of the city by the Assyrian king, Sennacherib. He failed, however, to capture the island fortress.

Nebuchadnezzar was the next wave of God’s wrath 115 years later but he too failed to capture the island fortress.

The final stroke from God’s rod came at the hands of Alexander the great who destroyed the mainland city of Tyre and cast debris from the ruins of the city into the sea to form a land bridge to the island fortress which was finally destroyed 225 years after Ezekiel’s prophecy.

Beware of rejoicing at the chastening of an enemy. (Pr. 24:17-18) – “Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.”

 

GOD’S LOVE IS SEEN IN HIS VISITING. (Ezek. 34)

Christ would come to deliver His people from the false prophets who were refusing to shepherd the people and were only using them for their own gain. (Ezek. 34:4-10)

Christ will also come to personally shepherd His people. (Ezek. 34:15-16) -“I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.”

GOD’S PATIENCE IS SEEN IN HIS RESTORING. (Ezek. 36-37)

Ezekiel was taken into a valley of dry bones which represented the Jews, who had been spiritually blinded and scattered.

On May 14, 1948, Ezek. 37:7-8 was fulfilled as Israel was restored as a nation but they were still blinded to the Messiah (“there was no breath in them”).

GOD’S POWER IS SEEN IN HIS PROTECTING. (Ezek. 38-39)

Following the rapture of the church, Israel will be the object of a Russian invasion. (Ezek. 38:6) – “Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.”

Russia will attempt to takeover Israel’s vast wealth while Israel is still being protected by a peace treaty with antichrist. (Ezek. 38:11-12) -“And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.”

Russia will invade Israel from the north while Egypt invades from the south.

Following this Russian invasion, God will supernaturally intervene. Russia will be destroyed by an earthquake, mutiny among the Russian troops, a plague, and floods, hailstones, fire and brimstone. (Ezek. 38:21-22) – “And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.”

Russia’s defeat will be so catastrophic that over 80% of the Russian army will be destroyed with seven months being spent burying the dead. (Ezek. 3 9:2) -“And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:”

 

VII.      GOD’S ULTIMATE PLAN IS SEEN IN HIS RETURNING. (Ezek. 40-48)

When Christ returns to establish His Millennial Kingdom, He will immediately erect His Millennial Temple. Why?

To provide a dwelling place for the cloud of glory. (Ezek. 43:1-7) Ezekiel saw the cloud moving out of the temple in stages due to the increasing sin of the people (Ezek. 9:3; 10:4; 10:18; 11:22-23).

 

To renew animal sacrifices. (Ezek. 46) It seems strange to see the renewal of these sacrifices, but one must remember that this will be an age where there is no sin, sorrow, sickness, Satan, or suffering. The children who are born during this time will need to be born again. These sacrifices will serve as a reminder.

It will remind us of the necessity of the new birth.

It will remind us of the costliness of salvation.

It will remind us of the holiness of God.

 

Several articles of the O.T. temple will be absent in the new Millennial Temple, such as:

The veil. There will be no barrier to keep man from the glory of God.

The table of shewbread. Christ, the Living Bread will be present.

The lampstands. Christ will personally shine forth as the Light of the world.

The Ark of the Covenant. The Shekinah Glory will hover over all the world as the glory cloud did over the Ark.

 The eastern gate being open. It was through this gate that the glory cloud departed from temple (Ezek. 10:18-19), and now God says that this gate will be permanently shut to show that His glory will never depart from His people again. (Ezek. 44:2) – “Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut.”

 

CONCLUSION:

  1. Throughout this book, God is making 2 definite statements.

He will not share His glory with anyone or anything.

He will have His people to know that “I am the Lord.”

  1. The greatest demonstration of God’s glory is to be found in the person of Christ.