A current study of the book of Ezekiel is most profitable because it is relevant to current events. It may be more relevant then most Christians realize! It is a difficult book of the Bible to understand as Dr. Allan MacRae President of Faith Theological Seminary recently related when he said: " Ezekiel is one of the Bible’s most neglected books. This is because its full understanding requires an appreciation of the situation in which Ezekiel was involved." I might add that it also requires a current events appreciation to grasp the relationship of Ezekiel's day and today.
I intend to relate current events to the situation in Ezekiel's day, and propose what a present day fulfillment of his prophecies would mean. Most of Ezekiel's prophecies were fulfilled in his day and soon after. The destruction of the First (Solomon's) Temple, and the restoration of the Second (Ezra/Nehemiah/Herodian) Temple is one example. I will follow the old saw that history repeats itself not as a worldly philosophical view, but as a proof that God is in control of this sinful world. His lessons remain unchanged as a resistant mankind pushes the limits of His tolerance. I will look to the restoration of the Third (Ezekiel's) Temple to be built on the exact site of the previous Temples. A "near" and "far" view of prophecy was introduced to me by Dr. Dwight Pentecost in his writings. I will extend that Biblical principal when applicable to the present restoration of Israel as the dry bones have again risen. I see no other main purpose in the present State of Israel then leading to the building of the Third Jewish Temple which will serve as the throne room of Christ at His Second Coming and through His millennial reign.
Today the main news item is that scientists have uncovered the genome. It is equivalent they say to the landing of the first man on the moon as a scientific accomplishment. I intend to show the God who created the moon and the universe, who created the genome as well as all living things, is also the creator/controller of all history. Nothing ever happened or will ever happen where God is not in complete and absolute control. He is the distributor of all blessings, and the just overseer who has pledged that the fruits of sin will have consequences. God's own children as well as mankind were in rebellion against God in Ezekiel's day. This rebellion brought with it great changes in the direction history was going. God clearly intervened, and showed all the world that He, not man, was in charge. To the secular world He introduced Nebuchadnezzar the head of gold to control the gentile history of the nations from that point on. To the children of God He destroyed the First Jewish Temple (the only authorized place where God could be worshipped), and scattered His children into the Gentile controlled world until they repented. Ezekiel was center to all these events.
Today the rebellion is similar to the days of Ezekiel. A new secular world order (most probably the ten toes of Daniel) is clearly coming into being that has no need or place for the God of the Bible. The Christian world is dominated by the Catholic Church (centered in it's Pope), the Protestant Denominations, and the compromising Evangelicals of all persuasions including many Baptists and Independents. The Charismatic mystical movement intertwines all either in practice or acceptability. It is a monstrosity of rebellion comparable to the Jewish idolatry which dominated Temple worship in Ezekiel's day. What happened in Ezekiel's day becomes very important as long as the same God utilizing the same lessons to deal with the same rebellious mankind is in control.
I will follow a very brief and simple outline throughout this exposition based on the "Watchman."
17) 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. (KJV)
7) So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. (KJV)
The watchman is critical because his two commissions divide Ezekiel into it's two major sections. Ezekiel is a transition prophet. One great era of human history ended on his watch, and another began on that same watch. God demonstrated through Ezekiel that these great divisions of human history are always directed by the omnipotent God.
A Simple outline of Ezekiel
Ezekiel 1:1 - 1:28 = A description of the Sheckinah
Ezekiel 2:1 - 3:16 = The prophet's commission.
Ezekiel 3:17 - 33:6 = The end of the post flood great nations.
Ezekiel 33:7 - 48:35 = Two new eras revealed with new great nations on the road to destruction.
In the first major section Ezekiel warns what is left of Judah to repent. He himself has been carried away into captive already. He warns, and warns, and warns again as a dutiful watchman from chapter 3 to chapter 25. Israel was proud. They thought they were indispensable to God's plan. Their thinking was "how can God allow us to be destroyed without destroying His plan also?" They thought God would just have to put up with their carnal behavior. What they found was that God is omnipotent. He would accomplish His plan with or without them. If not this generation, then the next. He would preserve them for a thousand generations if need be, until finally a submissive one appears. A new generation that would open their ears to God's watchman.
2 Son of man, set thy face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them, (KJV)
The final part of the first major section chapters 25 - 33 is a declaration to the nations that their destruction is also at hand. Though Israel and Judah failed in faithfulness, the nations failed by their utter rejection of God. Ezekiel starts with Israel's present day pagan neighbors, but he ends with references to the very first nations that appear after the flood. Ezekiel saw one Era ending with the destruction of the nations.
11 For thus saith the Lord GOD; The sword of the king of Babylon shall come upon thee. (KJV)
Nebuchadrezzar was the instrument God used instead of a flood. The nations rejoiced at the destruction of Jerusalem only to find that same destroying instrument now coming at them. God will never be obligated to anyone. He made sure the Babylonians were paid well in secular payment for their secular service.
19 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will give the land of Egypt unto Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; and he shall take her multitude, and take her spoil, and take her prey; and it shall be the wages for his army.(KJV)
Beginning in Chapter 33 a new era of nation building is underway. Ezekiel had been rendered dumb during the destruction of Jerusalem, but now he speaks again giving warnings to this new era.
26 That he that escapeth in that day shall come unto thee, to cause thee to hear it with thine ears?
27 In that day shall thy mouth be opened to him which is escaped, and thou shalt speak, and be no more dumb: and thou shalt be a sign unto them; and they shall know that I am the LORD. (KJV)
A dumb watchman would be of little use to this new era of nation building which contains at the appointed time the First & Second Coming of Christ as highlighted by Daniel's prophecies. Daniel sees 4 nations as the center of this era. He starts with Nebuchadrezzar the head of gold, and continues through Rome of the iron legs with the toes of today's Western world..
28 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;
29 As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.
30 But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.
31 Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.
32 This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,
33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. (KJV)
Rome, the legs of iron and toes of iron mixed with clay, is important because during it's reign the Lord Jesus Christ comes twice. The Second coming is when all the nations are destroyed the third time in Bible history.
34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.
35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. (KJV)
It is Jesus Christ who is the stone cut out without hands! It is He that destroys the nations.
Ezekiel speaks of the return of the Jews in Chapters 33 - 48 incorporate two returns. One in his day, and another leading to the Second Coming of Christ. A 3rd Jewish Temple is revealed as if already finished. The sign of obedience God requires is again manifested.
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Edited by DDSrail - June 27, 2000