Ezekiel - The Seer Who Listened
Something conspicuous characterizes Ezekiel. Almost two dozen times, Ezekiel wrote about things that "I saw," or "I heard," from the LORD. Only one time did Ezekiel ever say, "I said." Ezekiel seemed to have very little to say for himself, but again and again, he heard the voice of God and saw the visions of God. We will learn more from God if we watch and listen more attentively, and NOT do all the talking.
Ezekiel 1:1 - "As I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God."
The Book of The Prophet Ezekiel
Ezekiel, a priest and prophet, was obsessed with the subject of the presence of the Lord in Jerusalem. In forty-eight chapters, he covers the ancient sins of Israel, the glory of God departing Jerusalem, God's judgments on Israel's enemies, Israel's restoration to their land, Armageddon, and the millennial kingdom of Messiah. Ezekiel rebuked the shepherd-kings of Israel for allowing their sins, abominations, and enemy oppressors. God promised to shepherd them by His prince, David.
Ezekiel 1:3 - "The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, ...and the hand of the LORD was there upon him."
Ezekiel's Revelations Are Not Mystical
In Jewish history, Ezekiel's descriptions of the throne of God are called the "Merkabah." After the Second Temple was destroyed in 70AD, certain rabbinical groups decided that Ezekiel should not be read or studied by ordinary people, arguing that it contained mysteries that could only be understood by adept scholars. This was the earliest form of Cabbalism, a perverse twisting of the word of God into occultic, esoteric interpretations contrary to the face-value of the Bible.
Ezekiel 1:4 - "I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself."
Four Living Creatures - The Chariot Of God
Four living creatures like men had four faces (man, lion, ox, eagle), straight feet like calves, four wings, hands under each wing (two reached high, touching the next one; two covered their bodies). Sparkling, burning fires and lightnings went up and down them. Beside each creature was a wheel in the middle of a wheel, with eyes in their rims. A crystal firmament stretched over their heads. They moved in unison - the Chariot of God.
Ezekiel 1:24-25 - "I heard ...the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech. ...a voice from the firmament that was over their heads."
A Wheel In The Middle Of A Wheel
The concept of wheels within wheels is generally perceived to refer to secrets behind a fašade. Some truths are outward - they are obvious. Other truths are inner, concealed truths. Such is certainly the case about God. Countless great truths can be seen and known about God. But for every observable truth, there is an infinite supply of hidden truths. Hence, the wheels beneath God's throne depict all truth, seen and unseen. His throne is undergirded by infinite truth - both revealed and hidden.
Ezekiel 1:16 - "Their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel."
Ezekiel Saw The Throne Of God Leave Jerusalem
Ezekiel saw God's throne in the Temple in Jerusalem. Apparently it had been there since Solomon's dedication. Because of Israel's sins, the cherubims lifted it up and moved it eastward to Elam - Babylon (Ezekiel 10:18, 11:23, Jeremiah 49:38).
Ezekiel 1:26 - "...over their heads was the likeness of a throne... and... the appearance of a man above upon it." Ezekiel 10:19 - "...the cherubims lifted up their wings... and every one stood at the door of the east gate of the LORD's house; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above."
I Fell On My Face
Ezekiel saw the throne of God on a sapphire pavement above the crystal firmament, carried by the four living creatures. The form of a throne, with the form of a man, was all engulfed in amber-colored fire. An emerald rainbow shone above it. This vision represented the glorious, otherwise invisible presence of God in the temple. Ezekiel fell on his face. You would, too.
Ezekiel 1:28 - "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."
Ezekiel Sent To A Rebellious Nation
Ezekiel was a boy when he was carried to Babylon in the first exile with King Jehoiachim, around 598BC. In those days, Jeremiah was already prophesying in Jerusalem. Ezekiel began receiving visions from the LORD along the banks of the river Chebar in Babylon. Then God sent him to prophesy to His people for more than twenty years. In the first twenty-four chapters, Ezekiel prophesied the impending judgments of God on Jerusalem and Judah.
Ezekiel 2:7 - "Thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious."
Eat The Book, Speak The Word
God sent Ezekiel to a "nation that hath rebelled against me: ...impudent children and stiffhearted." A roll of a book was spread, "...written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe." God said, "Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel." Every man of God must eat the word before he speaks.
Ezekiel 3:3 - "Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness. And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them."
God Makes His Prophets Hard-headed
Ezekiel's audience was already in captivity. They did not want to hear from God. But God required Ezekiel to prophesy to them anyway. God warned him, "...the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me." They were "impudent and hardhearted." But God made his face strong against their faces, his forehead strong against their foreheads. "Tell them... whether they will hear ...or forebear."
Ezekiel 3:9 - "As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house."
The Noise Of The Throne Being Moved
Do not allow the detailed imagery of these visions to distract you from the message. What is important is NOT why a man had a lion's face, or feet like a calf. The big picture is God on His throne, being moved from one place to another by this living Chariot of God. God was abandoning Jerusalem because Israel was a rebellious house.
Ezekiel 3:13 - "I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels over against them, and a noise of a great rushing."
Watchman, Their Blood Will Be On Your Hands
Ezekiel sat for seven days studying his captive brethren by the river Chebar. The LORD said, "I have made thee a watchman" over them. "Give them warning from me."
Ezekiel 3:20 - "When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, ...because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, ...but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, ...also thou hast delivered thy soul."
Go To The Plain, I Will Speak To You There
After ordaining him a watchman, God called Ezekiel to a private discussion in the plain. "I will there talk with thee." When he went, "the glory of the LORD stood there," as he had seen at Chebar. "I fell on my face." The Spirit said, "Go, shut thyself within thine house." God warned him not to go among them. They planned to bind him up.
Ezekiel 3:26 - "I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a reprover: for they are a rebellious house."
God Uses Object Lessons And Illustrated Sermons
One picture is worth a thousand words. God told Ezekiel to draw Jerusalem on a clay tile, then build a fort around it, lay siege and set battering rams against it. Then, he was to set an iron pan as a wall, and pretend to attack the city. This was to warn the people that Jerusalem would be attacked and seized, which soon happened.
Ezekiel 4:1-3 - "Take thee a tile, and lay it before thee, and pourtray upon it the city, even Jerusalem: and lay siege against it, ...This shall be a sign to the house of Israel."
430 Years Of Iniquity
Counting backwards 430 years from the end of the Babylonian captivity (537BC), is 967BC - the year Solomon became king. God tore the kingdom from Solomon because of his idolatries (1 Kings 11). Ezekiel pantomimed 430 years of iniquity, lying on his side, one day for one year.
Ezekiel 4:5-6 - "I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, ...three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. ...lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: ...each day for a year."
God directed Ezekiel to make bread that would be his diet for a 430-day prophetic vigil. Its ingredients were mixed and baked. Amazingly, scientists discovered that when these six grains and legumes are sprouted and combined, one of the highest quality proteins is created, rivaling the protein in milk and eggs. Ezekiel bread includes eighteen amino acids, including nine essential to the human diet. Only God could have known those benefits. We receive many blessings unknowingly.
Ezekiel 4:9 - "Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and fitches, ...make thee bread thereof."
Ezekiel Prayed Not To Be Defiled
God instructed Ezekiel to act out a pantomime that he just dreaded to do. While Ezekiel lay in the streets, illustrating 430 years in which iniquity was "laid upon" Israel, God wanted him to eat defiled bread - bread baked over human dung. Ezekiel pleaded against that. God consented for him to bake it over cow dung instead.
Ezekiel 4:14 - "Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! behold, my soul hath not been polluted: for from my youth up even till now have I not eaten of that which dieth of itself, ...neither came there abominable flesh into my mouth."
The Sign Of The Barber's Razor
God told Ezekiel to shave his head and beard, and demonstrate object lessons in the midst of the city. He would burn one-third of the hair, symbolizing the upcoming burning of Jerusalem. He would smite one-third with a knife, symbolizing being captured by the sword. The remaining one-third of the people would die of pestilence and famine.
Ezekiel 5:1 - "And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber's razor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair."
Prophecies Foretell Cannibalism Among Apostates
In Deuteronomy 28:49, Moses prophesied that if Israel forsook God, He would send enemies to take them captive, "and thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters (v 53)" - cannibalism! They did commit cannibalism in the days following Ahab and Jezebel, and in Lamentations 4:10 - Jeremiah's and Ezekiel's days. Gross sins and godlessness inevitably culminates in unspeakable perversions.
Ezekiel 5:10 - "Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments in thee."
God Will Always Have A Remnant
This is no small matter. The fact that God miraculously sustains and perpetuates a remnant throughout all generations is awesome. How many times might have the godly been driven into total extinction by powerful and hostile forces in this world. But God will never allow that to happen. Nobody but God can provide that kind of insurance.
Ezekiel 6:7-10 - "The slain shall fall in the midst of you, and ye shall know that I am the LORD. Yet will I leave a remnant, ...some that shall escape the sword among the nations ...you shall remember me among the nations."
The Land Is God's, And He Will Cleanse It
God spoke to the land - the mountains, hills, rivers, valleys, even the trees - "Hear the word of the Lord GOD." He declared that he would make the entire place desolate. He would send the sword and slay all those who attended the altars of idols and strew their bodies. He would then destroy all the altars and high places. The land was God's, and He determined to cleanse it.
Ezekiel 6:14 - "So will I stretch out my hand upon them, and make the land desolate, ...in all their habitations: and they shall know that I am the LORD."
The Worst Of The Heathen Shall Possess Their Houses
The word of the LORD said "the end is come upon thee, ...I will pour out my fury, ...I will judge thee, ...I will recompense thee for all thine abominations, ...neither will I have pity, ...and ye shall know that I am the LORD that smiteth."
Ezekiel 7:3,8-9,21,24 - "And I will give it into the hands of the strangers for a prey, and to the wicked of the earth for a spoil; and they shall pollute it. ...Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall possess their houses: ...and their holy places shall be defiled."
They Shall Seek Peace, A Vision, The Law, Counsel
The word of the LORD came to Ezekiel, listing a catalogue of horrific woes, soon to come upon Israel. Worst of all, God promised He would not hear any appeals from them. God's Spirit will not always strive with men. Seek Him now, while He will have mercy.
Ezekiel 7:18-26 - "They shall also gird themselves with sackcloth, ...My face will I turn also from them, ...and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none. ...then shall they seek a vision of the prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients."
The Image Of Jealousy And The Chambers Of Imagery
In a vision, God lifted up Ezekiel by the hair of the head and stood him at the north entrance of the temple to reveal "the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy." Seventy elders of Israel were burning incense to idols and abominable beasts INSIDE the holy temple. God was enraged. He will FURIOUSLY judge everyone who worships false gods.
Ezekiel 8:12 - "Hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The LORD seeth us not."
Though They Cry With A Loud Voice, I Will Not Hear
The hand of the Lord GOD fell on Ezekiel in the plain. He saw a likeness of His Glory, a bright, fiery, amber-colored appearance. He brought him in a vision to the north, inner gate of Jerusalem, and showed him the seventy elders committing abominations near the place of the Glory of the LORD, and others committing idolatries and worshipping the sun. God will show His worst fury on such a crowd.
Ezekiel 8:18 - "Therefore will I also deal in fury: ...and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them."
God Marks Those Who "Sigh And Cry" Against Sin
In a vision, God told Ezekiel to gather the city rulers with their weapons. Six men came. One had a writer's inkhorn at his side. God told him to mark everyone in Jerusalem who grieved about the abominations of the people. He told the others to slay everyone who did not receive the mark. God will only save those who hate sin, and grieve over it. Do you?
Ezekiel 9:4 - "Go through Jerusalem and set a mark on the foreheads of the men that sigh and cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof."
Is Blue God's Favorite Color?
The High Priest wore a blue ephod robe and blue lace on his mitre. God prescribed blue cloth coverings for several tabernacle furnishings. The tabernacle entrance and the Holy of Holies entrance was one-third blue. Israelites wore blue ribbon fringes on their garments. Moses saw the Spirit of God over a blue sapphire pavement. Ezekiel saw a blue sapphire stone under the throne. The Israeli flag is now blue on white.
Ezekiel 10:1 - "Above the head of the cherubims there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne."
The Living Creature And The Throne
You can get lost in the details of Ezekiel 10. The firmament, the cherubims, the throne on a sapphire stone foundation, the glory cloud, the man in linen, the wheels, the coals of fire, the threshold of the temple. Ezekiel observed a complex multi-creatured living creature that forms the chariot of God's throne, lifting up toward the East. As Judah was carried off to Babylon, God prepared to leave Jerusalem, too. This was a rare glimpse at the holiest site in the universe.
Ezekiel 10:20 - "This is the living creature that I saw by the river of Chebar."
What Happens When You Reach For The Throne?
God called the man in linen to approach the throne of God. "Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims." One cherub reached into the fire and handed the coals to the man. Immediately, the glory of God filled the place. When you boldly reach for the throne, your life will be filled with the glory of God.
Ezekiel 10:3-4- "When the man went in; ...the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD'S glory."
God Halts The Caldron
The Spirit showed Ezekiel twenty-five men devising mischief in the East Gate of the LORD'S house. They said, "Let us build houses. Jerusalem is a cauldron, a boiling pot. Its people are the meat." God hated their murderous ways. They turned Jerusalem into a cauldron for slain flesh. Their rulers had become blood-thirsty. God vowed to bring an end to it in harsh judgment - removing them to Babylon.
Ezekiel 11:11 - "This city shall not be your caldron, neither shall ye be the flesh in the midst thereof; but I will judge you in the border of Israel."
Wilt Thou Make A Full End Of The Remnant?
Sometimes in our worst trials we really wonder if there will be any survivors. Ezekiel reached that point. He saw a man named Pelatiah devising mischief in the temple. As he prophesied, Ezekiel saw Pelatiah fall dead. In shock, Ezekiel cried out, "Ah LORD God! Wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel?" But God consoled him there. God will ALWAYS have a remnant. He will be their sanctuary.
Ezekiel 11:16 - "Although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come."
I Will Give You The Land Of Israel
"I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, ...and they shall be my people, and I will be their God." This will happen IN THE LAND OF ISRAEL. No terrorist organization or world government can prevent it.
Ezekiel 11:17 - "Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel."
Coals Of Fire And Sparkling Ice
The creatures which transport the throne of God move like lightning. Four beryl-colored (blue-green) wheels, full of eyes, beneath four cherubim, all move and function as one. The spirit of the living creature was even in the wheels. They held up a firmament of "terrible crystal," possibly translated "sparkling ice (CEV)," with a sapphire blue pavement supporting the throne. Below it, between the wheels was coals of fire. God's carriage appears to be a random sampling of everything He has created.
Ezekiel 11:22 - "...and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above."
The Throne Passes Over The Mount Of Olives
"Then did the cherubims lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city." This documents God's throne passing over the Mount of Olives toward Babylon (Elam, or Chaldea; see Jeremiah 49:38).
Ezekiel 11:24 - "Afterwards the spirit took me up, and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea, to them of the captivity."
Rebellion Causes Blindness And Deafness
Isaiah once said, "He hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand," (44:18). When people resist God, He hardens their hearts, blinds their eyes, and deafens their ears. Rebellion is a fatal malady. It causes you to lose all sense of God. Submit to Him now.
Ezekiel 12:1-2 - "The word of the LORD also came unto me, saying, Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house."
Ezekiel Prophesies Zedekiah's Blindness
God instructed Ezekiel to act out another pantomime to illustrate the flight from Jerusalem. He was to prepare his stuff, and remove by day in their sight. "It may be they will consider, though they be a rebellious house." He was told to dig through the wall, with his face covered, so he could not see the ground. Ezekiel probably did not realize it, but he was prophesying the blindness of king Zedekiah (2 Kings 25:7).
Ezekiel 12:10,13 - "This burden concerneth the prince in Jerusalem. ...I will bring him to Babylon ...yet shall he not see it."
God Will Make Foolish Proverbs To Cease
It is the nature of rebellion and unbelief to deny the truth of God's word. God challenged the false proverbs in Israel which said, "The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth." They foolishly surmised, "The vision that he seeth is for many days to come, and he prophesieth of the times that are far off." No! God's word will be fulfilled exactly in its time. Denial is a foolish practice.
Ezekiel 12:28 - "There shall none of my words be prolonged any more, but the word which I have spoken shall be done, saith the Lord GOD."
You Have Not Gone Up Into The Gaps
The false prophets in Israel said, "The LORD saith," but the LORD had not sent them. Their motives were diabolical. It is evil to promise peace when God has promised judgment. People who lie are never true intercessors. They do not have the people's best interest at heart. Only the love for truth drives genuine intercession.
Ezekiel 13:4-5 - "O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD."
Daubing The Wall With Untempered Mortar
Never daub a broken wall with untempered mortar. It cannot stand. Never prophesy with false prophecies. They fix NOTHING. False prophecies - "prophesying out of their own hearts," "seeing vain visions," "speaking lying divinations," saying "the LORD sayeth," when the LORD did not say; they SEDUCE the people. They love them, but they incur the wrath of God!
Ezekiel 13:14 - "So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered morter, and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof."
False Prophetesses Cursed For Kerchiefs, Pillows
Much conjecture has arisen about the meaning of false prophetesses making kerchiefs, and sewing pillows to armholes. One thing is certain. They did so to win people to themselves, instead of speaking the truth of God. They prophesied peace when God said judgment. With pillows, kerchiefs and lies, they endeavored to save souls that should not live, and slay souls that should not die. God cursed them.
Ezekiel 13:23 - "Therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations: for I will deliver my people out of your hand: and ye shall know that I am the LORD."
The Stumblingblock Of Their Iniquity
God said that the men of Israel had set up idols - "stumblingblocks of their iniquity" - in their hearts. "Should I be enquired of at all by them? ...They are all estranged from me through their idols." Outrageously, they still inquired of the prophets. Understandably, God refused to hear them. "I will set my face against that man, ...and I will cut him off from the midst of my people." Your prayers will not be answered while idols are in your heart.
Ezekiel 14:6 - "Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations."
The LORD Deceived The Compromising Prophets
God operates by principle. The people entertained idols in their heart, yet they came to the prophets for counsel. God could not allow that. He made sure the prophets deceived them. "If the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him." You just cannot mix sin with righteousness and win.
Ezekiel 14:10 - "They shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him."
Not Even Noah, Daniel Or Job Could Save Israel
"By trespassing grievously," Israel caused God to stretch out His hand upon the land. He "broke the staff of the bread," sent famine, pestilence, the sword, and "noisome beasts" to spoil the land. Amazingly, God said, "Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls." Lot's family could not save Sodom. Neither could Noah, Daniel or Job save Israel.
Ezekiel 14:18 - "Though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only shall be delivered themselves."
I Have Not Done Without Cause All That I Have Done
Again, as so often before, God paused in the midst of His great wrath to declare that He would yet save a remnant in Israel. God assured Ezekiel that "they shall comfort you, when ye see their ways and their doings: and ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it." Proverbs 26:2 says, "The curse causeless shall not come." God curses sin and exalts righteousness for His eternal glory.
Ezekiel 14:22 - "Yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be brought forth, both sons and daughters."
God Cast His Vine Tree Into The Fire
Israel was God's vineyard, but because of their sins, it was no longer of value to Him. He could do no work with it. It was not good for wooden fixtures. He decided to cast it into the fire.
Ezekiel 15:6-7 - "As the vine tree among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so will I give the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And I will set my face against them; they shall go out from one fire, and another fire shall devour them; and ye shall know that I am the LORD."
The Story Of How Jerusalem Was Chosen
Jerusalem was the first to attack Israel, under Joshua at Gibeon. Joshua defeated them - the day the sun and moon stood still. That may be one reason why God determined to claim Jerusalem above other cities. The tribe of Judah captured Jerusalem in Judges 1:8. Ezekiel said that God found Jerusalem as a cast-off new-born infant with its umbilical cord not yet cleaned. God took an ill-fated city and made it the choicest on earth.
Ezekiel 16:6 - "...when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, ...I said unto thee..., Live."
God Claimed Orphan Jerusalem From The Amorites
In Moses' day, the once-Canaanite land was ruled largely by Amorites (closely identified with Babylonians). The children of Israel met several Amorite adversaries: Og, Bashan and Sihon. Five Amorite kings, led by Adonizedec, king of Jerusalem, waged war against Joshua at Gibeon - and lost! Under pagan Amorites, God saw Jerusalem as a hopeless, cast-off, abandoned orphan, its umbilical cord not cut or cleaned. "None pitied thee... to have compassion on thee." God alone ordained greatness for Jerusalem.
Ezekiel 16:7 - "I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great."
God Judged Jerusalem For Their Whoredoms
God cursed Jerusalem for committing spiritual adultery with other nations and other gods. "Thou hast also committed fornication with the Egyptians, ...Thou hast played the whore also with the Assyrians, ...multiplied thy fornication in the land of Canaan unto Chaldea; ...thou givest thy gifts to all thy lovers." God demands His people to be separate from the rest of the world.
Ezekiel 16:37-42 - "I will gather all thy lovers, ...with all them that thou hast hated; I will even gather them round about against thee, ...and execute judgments upon thee, ...So will I make my fury toward thee to rest."
God Requires Faithfulness, Judges Spiritual Adultery
God prospered and made Jerusalem beautiful. "Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom. ...But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot. ...a wife that committeth adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her husband!" For His love, God demands faithfulness!
Ezekiel 16:38 - "O harlot, ...I will judge thee, as women that break wedlock, ...thou shalt not commit this lewdness above all thine abominations."
Sisters: Jerusalem, Samaria, Sodom
God called Samaria "thine elder sister," and Sodom "thy younger sister." The sins of Sodom were pride, fulness of bread, idleness, neglecting the poor and needy, haughty. Moreover, they "committed abominations," (gross immoralities). But Jerusalem "wast corrupted more than they in all thy ways. ...neither hath Samaria committed half of thy sins." God said that Samaria and Sodom would someday be restored, and Jerusalem would be ashamed she was worse than they, and renew their covenant with God.
Ezekiel 16:61 - "Thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger."
The Riddle And Parable Of Two Eagles
God gave Ezekiel a riddle, or parable, and interpreted it. A great eagle represented Nebuchadnezzar. He took "the highest branch of the cedar" (King Jehoiachin), cropped off the top of its young twigs (captured princes) and carried them to Babylon. He planted the remaining seed (remnant) which grew into a vine, in covenant to Nebuchadnezzar. That vine (under Zedekiah) rebelled toward another eagle (Pharaoh) for protection from Babylon. But God sent Nebuchadnezzar to capture Pharaoh and Zedekiah. Finally, a Messianic prophecy foretells Christ planted, ruling Israel.
Ezekiel 17:23 - "In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it."
The Soul That Sinneth, It Shall Die
Israel had a proverb which said, "The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge." God hated the proverb. They said, "Doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father?" God said, "No." "All souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die." Nobody goes to hell for somebody else's sins.
Ezekiel 18:5,9 - "If a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right, ...he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD."
The Definition Of A Just Man
A just man does what is lawful and right. He does not participate in idolatrous practices. He is morally upright, is not an oppressor, pays his obligations, is not violent, is benevolent, does not lend on usury or take unjust gains. He withdraws his hand from iniquity. God blesses him. The man who fails in these things will die in his sins.
Ezekiel 18:8-9 - "He that ...hath executed true judgment between man and man, Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD."
No So-Called "Eternal Security"
God's ways are equal. If the wicked turn from wickedness and do what is lawful and righteous, he will live. All his wickedness shall not be mentioned. But if the righteous turn from righteousness and commit iniquity, He will die in his sins. All his righteousness shall not be mentioned. There is no so-called "eternal security." If you return to your sins, you will die in them. Today's sin cancels yesterday's righteousness.
Ezekiel 18:20 - "For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye."
Repent, So Iniquity Shall Not Be Your Ruin
As I have traversed the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation, I never cease to be amazed at the conspicuous void of prayer in times of sin and judgment. It is something like a vitamin deficiency. In almost all cases, sickness that is caused by vitamin deficiency can be quickly remedied by administering the needed vitamin. Such is the case in times of sin and judgment. The administration of effectual, fervent prayer can quickly remedy the situation. Prayer should always be our first remedy.
Ezekiel 18:30 - "Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin."
The Lioness And Her Young Lions
Ezekiel lamented the princes of Israel, "young lion whelps," born of a lioness (Israel). One, King Jehoahaz, "the nations also heard of him; he was taken in their pit, and they brought him with chains unto the land of Egypt." Next, King Jehoiakim "laid waste their cities; ...by the noise of his roaring. ...They put him in ward in chains, and brought him to the king of Babylon." Finally, the lioness was cast down.
Ezekiel 19:14 - "She is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty ground. ...she hath no strong rod to be a sceptre to rule."
Sin Prevents Answered Prayer
There will be times when you go to pray that God will stop you in your tracks. "The elders of Israel came to enquire of the LORD, and sat before me. Then came the word of the LORD unto me, saying, Son of man, speak unto the elders of Israel, and say unto them, ...Are ye come to enquire of me? As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will not be enquired of by you." God requires us to confront our sins before He answers prayer.
Ezekiel 20:4 - "Cause them to know the abominations of their fathers."
God Saves Sinners For His Name's Sake
God made a verbose complaint against Israel, saying (in paraphrase), "I made myself known to you in Egypt, and brought you out to a land flowing with milk and honey. I gave you my law, but you despised it. You would not keep it. You rebelled again and again, provoking me to pour out my fury." Logically, God should have destroyed Israel, but He saved them to preserve His own good name.
Ezekiel 20:22 - "Nevertheless I withdrew mine hand, and wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted in the sight of the heathen."
Israel chose high hills, built altars to idols, made sweet savors, poured drink offerings, passed their children through the fire, and polluted themselves with abominations. God said, "What do you call this place?" They said, "Bamah" - the same high place where Balak worshipped Baal, and took Balaam (Numbers 22:41). They grossly offended the only God who could really hear them.
Ezekiel 20:31-33 - "Shall I be enquired of by you? ...As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will not be enquired of by you. ...with a mighty hand, ...and with fury poured out, will I rule over you."
God Will Foil The Backsliders' Plans
Sinners erroneously presume that they can take their lives out of the hands of God and do whatever they want, forgetting that God says "all souls are mine." Although Israel persisted in gross sins and idolatries for centuries, God reminded them He would always be in control.
Ezekiel 20:32,37-38 - "That which cometh into your mind shall not be at all, that ye say, We will be as the heathen, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone. ...I will cause you to pass under the rod, ...and ye shall know that I am the LORD."
If Jeremiah was the weeping prophet, then Ezekiel was the sighing prophet. "Sigh therefore, thou son of man, with the breaking of thy loins; and with bitterness sigh before their eyes." We should also mourn the divine judgments soon coming on this world.
Ezekiel 21:7 "When they say unto thee, Wherefore sighest thou? that thou shalt answer, For the tidings; because it cometh: and every heart shall melt, and all hands shall be feeble, and every spirit shall faint, and all knees shall be weak as water: behold, it cometh, and shall be brought to pass, saith the Lord GOD.
God Sends The Sword
The word of the LORD said, "prophesy against the land of Israel, ...I am against thee, and will draw forth my sword out of his sheath, and will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked. ...A sword is sharpened, ...to make a sore slaughter." The sword may come at the hands of men, but it is God who sends it.
Ezekiel 21:12 - "Cry and howl, son of man: for it shall be upon my people, it shall be upon all the princes of Israel: terrors by reason of the sword shall be upon my people."
I Will Draw My Sword, And Remove Thy Diadem
The LORD told Israel, "I am against thee, and will draw forth my sword out of his sheath, and will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked. ...from the south to the north." The prophecy called the sword of Nebuchadnezzar to Judah on his right and to the Ammonites on his left. It also called for the crown of King Zedekiah, and the promotion of Gedaliah in his place.
Ezekiel 21:26 - "And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, ...Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: ...exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high."
The House Of Israel Became Dross
God told the prophet to show the "bloody city" (Jerusalem) their abominations. The list was long: shedding blood, making idols, dishonoring fathers and mothers, oppressing strangers, vexing fatherless and widows, despising holy things, profaning sabbaths, eating food to idols, committing lewdness, incest, adulteries, extortion, usury, forgetting God, making dishonest gain. God swore to blow them away, as dross from silver.
Ezekiel 22:18 - "The house of Israel is to me become dross: ...even the dross of silver. ...I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof."
Lions And Wolves Ravening The Prey
God ordered Ezekiel to tell Jerusalem that there was a conspiracy of her prophets, priests and princes; like lions and wolves ravening their prey. "They have devoured souls; ...taken the treasure and precious things; ...made her many widows, ...priests have violated my law, ...profaned mine holy things, ...put no difference between the holy and profane, ...and I am profaned among them." Their leaders despised God and plundered Israel for personal gain, to their own damnation.
Ezekiel 22:27 - "Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain."
Make Up The Hedge And Stand In The Gap
Men and women of God who will pray, and intercede in behalf of God and men are the most precious commodity on earth. In their absence, entire nations are lost. "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." Will you not pray with me
Ezekiel 22:30-31 - "Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: ...saith the Lord GOD."
Aholah And Aholibah - Cursed Sisters
God concluded that both Samaria (capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel) and Jerusalem (capital of the Southern Kingdom) were both whores. Spiritual whores. God renamed Samaria, Aholah, and Jerusalem, Aholibah. Both names insinuated that they were tents or sanctuaries for idolatry and whoredom. He was incensed that instead of being sanctified unto Him, they had played the harlot with Assyria, Egypt, Babylon and other surrounding nations. Thus, they condemned themselves.
Ezekiel 23:22 - "I will raise up thy lovers against thee, from whom thy mind is alienated, and I will bring them against thee on every side."
You Will Eventually Hate Your Sinful Past
After Israel was polluted and vile from her whorish relationships with her illicit lovers (Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, etc.), "her mind was alienated from them." That meant "severed, dislocated, abandoned." She hated her former lovers. That is the way sin is. At some point, sin becomes repulsive, repugnant, and distasteful, and you wish you had never got involved with it. Unfortunately, you still have to pay the penalty.
Ezekiel 23:28 - "I will deliver thee into the hand of them whom thou hatest, into the hand of them from whom thy mind is alienated: And they shall deal with thee hatefully."
Scum And Filth In The Seething Pot
God gave Ezekiel a parable about a seething pot. Meat and bones were boiled until they were burned and scum and filth. It represented woes and divine judgment upon the "bloody city," Jerusalem, for her lies, lewdness and filth.
Ezekiel 24:12-13 - "She hath wearied herself with lies, and her great scum went not forth out of her: her scum shall be in the fire. In thy filthiness is lewdness: because I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged, thou shalt not be purged from thy filthiness any more, till I have caused my fury to rest upon thee."
God Can Take Away Your Desire To Pray
Prayer is a universal solution. When nothing else can change a situation, you can pray. But persistent sin can antagonize God, and He can take away your desire to pray. That is a most frightening prospect. Take great care not to exceed His longsuffering, or push God too far.
Ezekiel 24:16-17,23 - "I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke: yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down. Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, ...ye shall pine away for your iniquities, and mourn one toward another."
The Death Of Ezekiel's Wife
God warned Ezekiel, "I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke." That evening, his wife died. God forbade him to mourn or weep. People asked him why, and God answered, "I will profane my sanctuary, the excellency of your strength, the desire of your eyes, ...your sons and your daughters whom ye have left shall fall by the sword. And ye shall do as I have done." Divine judgment would leave them in shock - speechless.
Ezekiel 24:24 - "Ezekiel is unto you a sign: according to all that he hath done shall ye do."
God Will Judge All Nations With Israel
The first twenty-four chapters of Ezekiel pronounce judgments on Israel. But in chapter twenty-five, God begins naming heathen nations that He will also judge. The whole earth is the LORD's, and He will judge every nation.
Ezekiel 25:2,11-17 - "Set thy face against the Ammonites, and prophesy against them; ...I will execute judgments upon Moab; ...I will also stretch out mine hand upon Edom, ...I will stretch out mine hand upon the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethims, ...they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them."
Tyre - World Commerce Center Versus Jerusalem
Tyre consisted of a mainland community and a heavily-populated, strongly-fortressed island. Historians say that Tyre was first to navigate the Mediterranean and populate colonies on its coasts. Tyre was a world-class shipping and merchant port in ancient times, with every conceivable kind of merchandise in its stores. But they were godless pagans who gloated in the demise of Jerusalem.
Ezekiel 26:2 - "Son of man, because that Tyrus hath said against Jerusalem, Aha, she is broken that was the gates of the people: she is turned unto me: I shall be replenished, now she is laid waste."
The Judgment Of Tyrus (Tyre)
Ezekiel declared the word of the LORD, "I am against thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up." Over many centuries, Tyre was besieged by Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander, and many renowned conquerors. In 1322, Ibn Batutah visited Tyre and found nothing but a mass of ruins, and wrote: "It was formerly proverbial for its strength, being washed on three sides by the sea. Of the ancient walls and port traces remain."
Ezekiel 26:4 - "And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers."
The World At Its Best Is Condemned
The judgment of Tyre was monumental. Tyre represented the pinnacle of worldly ambition, success and prosperity. Its strategic location on the Mediterranean, its impregnable fortress, and its international shipping and commercial center made it the ancient equivalent of Wall Street and New York. No wonder its king was typecast as the earthly version of Lucifer himself. "O Tyrus, thou hast said, I am of perfect beauty. ...thy builders have perfected thy beauty."
Ezekiel 27:27 - "Thy riches, and thy fairs, thy merchandise, thy mariners, and thy pilots, ...shall fall into the midst of the seas in the day of thy ruin."
Important Facts About Lucifer
It is important to know that Lucifer was SINLESS when he first appeared "perfect in thy ways" in the Garden of Eden. Lucifer sinned AFTER God made the Garden of Eden. Therefore, there was no pre-Adamite world inhabited by sinful angels. All sins of men and angels began in the Garden.
Ezekiel 28:13-15 - "Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; ...thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; ...in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee."
Men And Devils Corrupt Wisdom
Both Lucifer and men under his counsel possess astonishing wisdom. God said of Lucifer, "Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee: With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches. ...thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom." But "thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness." Men and devils pervert wisdom (remember Solomon). God alone perpetuates wisdom.
Ezekiel 28:16 - "Thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub."
The King Of Tyre Mirrored Lucifer
The arrogance of the King of Tyre mirrored that of Lucifer. Ezekiel prophesied curses on both the mortal king and Lucifer. Some prophecies could only apply to the man: "...thou shalt be a man, and no God, in the hand of him that slayeth thee." Other prophecies could only apply to the devil. "Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering." Some addressed both.
Ezekiel 28:17 - "Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground."
A Snapshot Of Tyre
The luxurious Mediterranean island-city had everything. World-class pilots and mariners operated ships of fine firs, oak and cedars, some with ivory benches. Its fairs offered mercenary soldiers, horsemen, slaves, military equipment, shields, helmets, chariot uniforms, horses, mules, lambs, rams, goats, precious stones, emeralds, coral, agate, ivory, ebony, gold, silver, brass, bright iron, tin, lead, fine linens, embroidered linens, cedar chests, wine, wool, spices, wheat, honey, oil, balm and more. God condemned it all for sinning against Israel. Ancient Tyre is now in ruins.
Ezekiel 28:19 - "Thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt be any more."
No More Pricking Brier Or Grieving Thorn Around Israel
Isaiah declared the word of the LORD, "Who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together." Ezekiel identified Tyre and Sidon as briers and thorns that God would judge. In the end, when Israel is fully restored to the Promised Land, these antagonists will no longer torment Israel.
Ezekiel 28:24 - "And there shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of Israel, nor any grieving thorn of all that are round about them, that despised them; and they shall know that I am the Lord GOD."
Egypt Faces Ruin By God's Decree
Ezekiel spent four full chapters prophesying against Egypt, the first and greatest empire on earth. Egypt resisted Jehovah, although God dealt severely with them many times. Abraham, Joseph and Moses all made profound impressions upon Egypt in their days. Joseph literally saved Pharaoh and Egypt from ruin by the word of the LORD, and Moses demonstrated the greatest miracles ever in Pharaoh's presence. Still, the Pharaohs never truly worshipped God, but instead, declared themselves deities.
Ezekiel 29:2 - "Son of man, set thy face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt."
Pharaoh - Dragon In The Midst Of The River
The Egyptians greatly feared the crocodiles that infested the Nile River. Crocodiles can attack and kill humans swiftly without warning. In ridiculous arrogance, each Pharaoh blasphemously claimed to be dragon-god of the Nile, infuriating God.
Ezekiel 29:3-5 - "Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself. ...I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, ...I will leave thee thrown into the wilderness."
Egypt Shall Be Desolate
Egypt is larger than Texas and California combined, yet it is a desolate place. 99% of its population of 76 million lives on 5% of its land, along the banks of the Nile.
Ezekiel 29:9-10 - "And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the LORD: because he hath said, The river is mine, and I have made it. Behold, therefore I am against thee, ...and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia."
God Sometimes Scatters Those Who Anger Him
At the tower of Babel, God confounded the languages of the people, thereby dividing the people. But since that time, God uses other methods to divide an evil society. After Israel exhausted His longsuffering, He scattered them from their land to other lands. Three times in the book of Ezekiel, God promised to scatter the Egyptians for their evil ways. Many people believe that is why millions of Egyptians were sold into slavery in the centuries that followed.
Ezekiel 29:12;30:32,26 - "I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries."
God Rules All Empires
The nations of this world are pawns on God's chessboard. Jeremiah (43:10-3; 44:30) and Ezekiel (29) emphatically prophesied the fall of Egypt and Pharaoh to Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians. "He shall smite the land of Egypt." Adam Clark's Commentary refers to the ancient writings of Herodotus in "Euterpe" for documentation that Pharaoh was greatly weakened by one of his generals, Amasis, forcing Pharaoh into exile. Nebuchadnezzar quickly moved on this unstable situation, and took control of Egypt. God rules all empires.
Ezekiel 29:19 - "I will give the land of Egypt unto Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon."
The Tower Of Syene = Migdol To Syene
God pronounced desolations "from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia." The prophecy seemed to refer only to Syene (modern Aswan) in extreme southern Egypt, near Ethiopia. But "tower" came from the Hebrew word "Migdol." That makes a big difference. Migdol was a huge gate at Medinet Habu, near Luxor (ancient Thebes), in the heart of central Egypt. Therefore, the prophecy cursed the entire southern half of Egypt.
Ezekiel 30:6 - "...the pride of her power shall come down: from the tower [Migdol to] Syene shall they fall in it by the sword, saith the Lord GOD."
Self-Proclaimed Deities Succumb To The One True God
Almighty God called an end to the Pharaohs' dynasties. For centuries, Pharaohs ruled Egypt, the most powerful nation on earth. God ended that. First, He called in Nebuchadnezzar with the sword to "take away her multitude, and her foundations shall be broken down. ...and there shall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt: and I will put a fear in the land of Egypt." When Babylon fell, the Persians conquered Egypt. Egypt never again attained its former power.
Ezekiel 30:19 "Thus will I execute judgments in Egypt: and they shall know that I am the LORD."
As Assyria Fell Like A Great Cedar, So Would Egypt
The prophecies against Egypt said, "It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations," Ezekiel 29:14-15. Egypt would fall like the great Assyrian empire, who was once like a great cedar, envied by the trees of the forest. Assyria fell to Babylon, as Egypt soon would.
Ezekiel 31:18 - "To whom art thou thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees? ...This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord GOD."
Evil Nations Accompany Each Other To The Grave
God instructed Ezekiel to pronounce lamentations over the downfall of Pharaoh and Egypt. Though Pharaoh was like a lion, or a great sea monster, God promised to catch him and all Egypt in a net and give them to the fouls of heaven. Kings and nations would be aghast at Egypt's downfall. Egypt would take its place among other great but fallen nations: Asshur, Elam, Meshech, Tubal, Edom, Zidon, and others.
Ezekiel 32:23 - "Her company is round about her grave: all of them slain, fallen by the sword, which caused terror in the land of the living."
The Watchman's Solemn Responsibilities
God spoke forcefully about the solemn responsibilities of a watchman. "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." Men of God in every generation must fulfill their sacred duty to warn people of God's judgments. All men must heed divine warnings, but preachers who fail to declare those warnings will be punished.
Ezekiel 33:6 - "If the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; ...his blood will I require at the watchman's hand."
Watchman, How Should We Then Live?
The sacred, solemn role of a watchman is based on the facts that the righteous will be rewarded and the wicked will be punished. If there are no consequences for our living, we should need no warnings, no watchman. But "if our transgressions and our sins be upon us, ...how should we then live?"
Ezekiel 33:11 - "Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?"
The Chronicles Of Ezekiel
Most readers would quickly skim over the numerous references that Ezekiel gives to the exact years, months, and days in which certain prophecies and events took place. But the specific dates Ezekiel provided in chapters 1,8,20,24,26,29,30,31,32,and 33 provide scholars with enormous abilities to accurately know when major historical events took place. Nothing is incidental with God.
Ezekiel 33:21 - "And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, in the fifth day of the month, that one that had escaped out of Jerusalem came unto me, saying, The city is smitten."
The Tragic Consequences Of Breaking Covenant
Jews who escaped the final capture of Jerusalem argued that Abraham inherited the land, so it was theirs. Ezekiel retorted that they worshipped idols, shed blood, worked abominations, and committed adulteries. "SHALL YE POSSESS THE LAND?" They failed to heed solemn warnings.
Ezekiel 33:32-33 - "Thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not. And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them."
The Great Shepherd Takes Flock From Evil Shepherds
God scourged the evil shepherds for feeding themselves instead of the flock, eating the fat, clothing themselves with their wool, neglecting the diseased, and abandoning the lost. "I am against the shepherds; ...I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them." "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."
Ezekiel 34:14 - "I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be."
David in the Millennium
Ezekiel foresaw into the Millennium, that a magnificent recreated Israel will span the ancient Holy Land, encompassing every square mile originally promised to the patriarchs. Jerusalem will be larger and more glorious than at any time before. Jesus will reign on earth as King of Kings. Under Christ, many righteous kings will rule the earth. In Israel, David will return to the throne, as a prince under Christ.
Ezekiel 34:24 - "And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it."
Mount Seir Shall Be Desolate
The history of Mount Seir traces back to Deuteronomy, when Moses explicitly designated that the sons of Esau were to possess it. Israel was never to take it from them. Notwithstanding, the people of Mount Seir hated Israel for many centuries. Finally, God cursed the place. That entire region around Petra has been desolate four about 2000 years. "Because thou hast had a perpetual hatred, and hast shed the blood of the children of Israel..."
Ezekiel 35:9 - "I will make thee perpetual desolations, and thy cities shall not return: and ye shall know that I am the LORD."
God Hears Everything You Say
God not only hears your prayers, but also every word you speak. If you pray, God hears you. But if you blaspheme, He hears that, too. God pronounced curses upon the people of Mount Seir because they blasphemed the house of Israel. Guard your mouth and your lips. Anything you say can be held against you.
Ezekiel 35:12-15 - "I have heard all thy blasphemies which thou hast spoken against the mountains of Israel, ...with your mouth ye have boasted against me, and have multiplied your words against me: I have heard them. ...I will make thee desolate. ...O mount Seir."
The Chosen Land Is Witness To God's Great Plan
God's chosen holy land outlasts generations of saints and sinners. He promised to avenge the land of the enemies who desecrated it with abominations, and made it desolate. "Thus saith the Lord GOD to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes, and to the cities that are forsaken."
Ezekiel 36:8,12 - "O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come. ...I will cause men to walk upon you, even my people Israel."
God Has Pity For His Own Holy Name
God saves us, not because we are good, but because He is. "I had pity for mine holy name. ...I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen. ...I will... gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land."
Ezekiel 36:25 - "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: ...A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: ......and cause you to walk in my statutes."
Israel Will Be Like The Garden Of Eden
After Jesus defeats all His enemies at Armageddon, Israel will become a paradise on earth. Its borders will extend beyond its historical boundaries, fulfilling the ancient Abrahamic covenant - from the Euphrates to the Nile River. God will have forgiven all Israel's sins, and multitudes of Jews will live throughout the land.
Ezekiel 36:33,35 - "In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded,...And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden."
Then Will I Be Enquired Of By You
Although God harshly refused to be enquired of by Israel during the days of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, He promised the day would come when Israel would be restored to their land, and He would again be enquired of by them. Our God is a God of second chances. By His grace, we have hope!
Ezekiel 36:36-38 - "I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. As the holy flock, ...and they shall know that I am the LORD."
The Valley Of Dry Bones
In the context of the entire book of Ezekiel, the valley of dry bones is the logical conclusion to Israel, following a litany of divine scourges, curses and punishments. All of it came about because of Israel's incorrigible, sinful ways. But again, as so many times before, Almighty God cannot, will not utterly forget His people. He called the prophet.
Ezekiel 37:4-5 - "He said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. ...Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live."
Speak To The Dry Bones
Here is an incomparable word-picture! A valley full of dry bones. The LORD asked Ezekiel, "Can these bones live?" He replied, "LORD, thou knowest!" "Prophesy upon these bones - 'hear the word of the LORD'." God's word can raise up an army from a field of dry bones. Jeremiah said that God's word is like fire in a man's bones. Look at your valley. What needs resurrecting? Speak the word of the Lord to it.
Ezekiel 37:5 - "Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live."
Say To The Wind, "Breathe Upon These Slain"
The power of the spoken word is inestimable when God says "speak." In a vision, Ezekiel prophesied to a valley full of dry bones, and they all came together, and sinews of flesh came upon them. The LORD said, "Say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live." When God says speak, SPEAK!
Ezekiel 37:10 - "So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army."
Jesus Will Resurrect All Of Israel
In a vision, Ezekiel prophesied unto a valley of dry bones. They all came together, and came to life as a mighty army. That prophecy was symbolically fulfilled in 1948 when the State of Israel again became a sovereign nation after 2500 years in exile. Still, more literally, Jesus will return and resurrects all Jews, and return them all to the Promised Land.
Ezekiel 37:11-12 - "These bones are the whole house of Israel: ...O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel."
Israel Will Be Born Again
Jesus will resurrect all Israel from the dead. "...they shall look upon me whom they have pierced," Zechariah 12:10. "So all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, ...this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins," Romans 11:26-27. They will repent, confess that Jesus is LORD, and be filled with His Spirit.
Ezekiel 37:13-14 - "Ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, ...And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live."
Every Jew who ever lived will be resurrected from the grave and brought to Israel. Tribal roots and genealogical lineage will be easily traceable. Under the Kingship and Lordship of Jesus Christ, Israel will become one undivided nation.
Ezekiel 37:16-20 - "Son of man, take thee one stick, ...For Judah, ...then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim ...And join them one to another into one stick; ...Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, ...and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick."
Nobody can heal and restore like Jesus. The nation that was torn from its homeland and scattered to the four corners of the earth for thousands of years will miraculously come together and be healed. Despite its long history of profound divisions and schisms, Israel will be a single, unified nation in that day.
Ezekiel 37:22 - "I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all."
Perfect Compliance With His Statutes
During the millennium, Jesus Christ will ascertain that Israel will keep His statutes. Although Israel committed every conceivable breach against God throughout its history, this will be 1000 years of perfect compliance.
Ezekiel 37:23 - "Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. ...they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them."
The Throne Of David Under Christ
Jesus, King of Kings, will rule from His throne in His new temple at Jerusalem during the millennium. His saints will rule cities, states and nations as kings and priests under Him (Revelation 5:10). David will rule in Jerusalem, as the King of Israel, and as a Prince under Christ.
Ezekiel 37:24-25 - "David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; ...and my servant David shall be their prince for ever."
Revelation 20 reveals that Messiah will rule the world from Jerusalem for 1000 years. Afterward, the old heavens and earth will be dissolved (2 Peter 3:10-12; Matthew 24:35; Daniel 7:14). The wicked will be judged at the White Throne, and sent to hell. The righteous will then enter Heaven for eternity. "The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it," Revelation 21:22. Ezekiel's "millennium" prophecies extended to "for evermore."
Ezekiel 37:25-28 - "David shall be their prince for ever, ..they shall dwell therein, ...forever; ......my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore."
The Tabernacle In The Millennium
The millennial tabernacle is not the sanctuary. The sanctuary refers to the temple. But the tabernacle will be a vast covered pavilion in Jerusalem, built to protect visitors - "...a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, ...a covert from storm and from rain," Isaiah 4:6. In an even larger sense, Messiah is the Tabernacle. "The tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them," Revelation 21:3.
Ezekiel 37:27 - "My tabernacle also shall be with them: ...I will be their God, ...they shall be my people."
Messiah Will Build The Millennial Sanctuary
The third temple will be built during the first half of the last seven years. The Antichrist will commit the abomination of desolations there. That will NOT be the millennial temple. Jesus will build a new temple for His 1000-year reign. "Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne," (Zechariah 6:13) for as long as time shall be.
Ezekiel 37:28 - "The heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore."
Gog, Magog, Meschech, Tubal
Ezekiel prophesied against Gog, the land of Magog, "the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal." "Gog" comes from the Hebrew "nesi rosh," or "leader." Josephus said that Gog was Scythia (southern Russia and Georgia). Descendants of Meshech and Tubal, sons of Japheth, settled near the Black Sea (Meskhiti mountains, Meskhi tribes) now Tbilisi, Georgia. Many Georgians claim to be descendants of Meshech.
See a full explanation.
Ezekiel 38:2 - "Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him."
God Knows The End From The Beginning
Isaiah said that God declares the end from the beginning. That proves that He KNOWS the end already - every detail. We should be very impressed that, 2500 years ago, God revealed that Russia (Gog, Magog) would lead a coalition of nations against Israel at Armageddon through Georgia (Meshech and Tubal). In 2009, Russia forcefully took control of two of Georgia's northern provinces - South Ossetia and Abkhazia. They are already staging the Battle of Armageddon.
Ezekiel 38:4 - "And I will ...put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army."
The Armageddon Coalition: Russia, Iran, Ethiopia, Libya, Turkey
Russia will descend on Israel at Armageddon with a coalition of nations. Gomer and Togarmah is modern Turkey. Persia is modern Iran. "Be thou a guard unto them." Russia defends Iran at the UN. Russia builds up Iran's military and nuclear programs. These nations will precipitate
Israel's worst nightmare ever.
Ezekiel 38:5-7 - "Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. Be thou prepared, ...and be thou a guard unto them."
Russia And Iran Will Invade Israel, Starting Armageddon
It could hardly be stated any more clearly in an ancient prophecy. "In the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations." Gog (Russia) and Persia (Iran) will invade Israel in this run-up to Armageddon.
Ezekiel 38:9 - "Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee."
The Spoil - The Hook
God said He would put a hook in the jaw of Gog (Russia) to draw them to Armageddon. Iran and Syria are major client states of Russia, but Russia wants Palestine as its client, also. The terrorists in that region (Iranian Guard, Hezbollah and Hamas) are already supplied by Russia. The theft of the Promised Land - Palestine - and dominance in the Middle East, is the spoil, the hook.
Ezekiel 38:10 - "Thou shalt think an evil thought: And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; ...To take a spoil, and to take a prey."
Saudi Arabia Objects To Russian Invasion
When Russia, Iran, and their coalition nations come against Israel for the battle of Armageddon, Saudi Arabia (Ancient Sheba and Dedan) will verbally challenge them, but do nothing to stop them. Why? Saudi Arabia verbally pretends to be a Mideast peacemaker on the world stage, while stealthily perpetrating a deleterious Muslim agenda against Israel. See "Roadmap For Peace"
Ezekiel 38:13 - "Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey?"
In the game of chess, "checkmate" is when one player's "King" is under direct attack and cannot avoid being captured. Since the Garden of Eden, God has planned the capture of the prince of this world. When Russia and its cohorts descend on Israel, Jesus will come, and all kings and kingdoms will fall to Him. Checkmate.
Ezekiel 38:18,23 - "When Gog shall come against the land of Israel, ...my fury shall come up in my face. ...and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD."
Communist Russia - Aggressor At Armageddon
Communism was created by Cabalistic Jews. Karl Marx and his "Communist Manifesto" ascended amidst "The League of Just Men" and the "Jacobins," secret orders evolved from ancient Talmudic-Babylonian-Freemasonic-Illuminati societies. Communism would utterly enslave mankind to the New World Order. 20th-Century Russia (Gog) suffered Communism's blood-lust - the very evil that will assault Israel at Armageddon. God vows to destroy them.
Ezekiel 39:3-4 - "I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel."
All Men Will Know The LORD After Armageddon
At Armageddon, Almighty God will finally unleash all His fury and settle His differences with His enemies once and for all. When He is done, ALL His enemies will be vanquished for 1000 years.
Ezekiel 39:7-8 - "So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel. Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken."
The Supper Of The Great God
Vultures and beasts will feast on the war dead at Armageddon (while the saints of God begin feasting in Jerusalem at the marriage supper of the Lamb). In Revelation 19, John called it "the supper of the great God." "I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured."
Ezekiel 39:18,20 - "Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, ...Thus ye shall be filled at my table ...with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD."
Even The Heathen Understand Divine Punishment
People live in denial of infallible truth, but it does not pay to lie to yourself. If you sin against God, be sure your sins will find you out. Israel deceived themselves into thinking they could prosper while in rebellion against God. But anybody in their right mind knows better than that.
Ezekiel 39:23 - "And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword."
Neither Will I Hide My Face Any More From Them
God has complete sovereignty over who He will bless or curse, and when He will hear a people's prayers. For centuries of sin, God stopping listening to Israel. But in the coming restoration, God promises to hear and bless.
Ezekiel 39:28-29 - "Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, ...Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD."
The Face Of God Revealed
At first reading, it appeared that God was reassuring Israel that He would no longer refuse to hear their prayers. But there was much more meaning in His promise. When God said, "Neither will I hide my face any more from them," He promised that for evermore, Israel would be able to see the face of God - something they could not do in Old Testament days. They will see the face of God in Jesus Christ.
Ezekiel 39:28-29 - "Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, ...Neither will I hide my face any more from them."
Ezekiel's Vision Of The Future Temple Mount
In Babylon, Ezekiel received a vision of the Jerusalem during the Millennium under Messiah, Jesus Christ. He stood on a high mountain (probably Zion) while a man who shone like brass measured everything with a line of flax for cubits (roughly two feet), and a ten-foot reed for longer measurements. Here is one artist's concept.
Ezekiel 40:4 - "And the man said unto me, Son of man, behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee; ...declare all that thou seest to the house of Israel."
Ministering To The LORD In The Millennial Temple
Beginning in chapter 40, Ezekiel describes in great detail all the features of the city of Jerusalem and the new temple, built by Christ for His glorious thousand-year rule on earth. In the temple, certain priests will directly minister to Jesus Christ.
Ezekiel 40:46-47 - "The chamber whose prospect is toward the north is for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the altar: these are the sons of Zadok among the sons of Levi, which come near to the LORD to minister unto him. So he measured the court, ...and the altar that was before the house."
God Retains Creative Control Over His Dwellingplace
God does not leave it to mortal men to design His dwelling place. He meticulously defined the millennial Temple Mount in great detail: the house, building, gates, porches, steps, chambers, posts, courts, windows, arches, pavements, ornaments, tables, altars and more. Everything strongly resembled the original temple as described in 1 Kings 6 and 2 Chronicles 4.
Ezekiel 40:49 - "The length of the porch was twenty cubits, and the breadth eleven cubits; and he brought me by the steps whereby they went up to it: and there were pillars by the posts, one on this side, and another on that side."
Measurements Of The Millennial Temple
The messenger in the vision showed Ezekiel the future temple in which Jesus Christ will rule for 1000 years. He measured the posts, the doors, the most holy place, the walls, surrounding chambers, windows, galleries, porches, and the height and thickness of the walls. The Temple will be 70x100 cubits (roughly 140x200 feet) inside a walled courtyard that will be about 200 feet wide.
Ezekiel 41:1,4 - "Afterward he brought me to the temple, ...he measured the length thereof, twenty cubits; and the breadth, twenty cubits, before the temple: and he said unto me, This is the most holy place."
The Man And The Young Lion In The Temple
Ezekiel described the doors, posts, windows, galleries (three stories high), and wooden ceilings of the temple. Above the doors and walls were ornamental cherubims and palm trees. Every cherubim had two faces - a man and a young lion. Was that a symbol of the man Jesus, lion of Judah?
Ezekiel 41:18-19 - "A palm tree was between a cherub and a cherub; and every cherub had two faces; so that the face of a man was toward the palm tree on the one side, and the face of a young lion toward the palm tree on the other side."
The Separate Place
Seven times, Ezekiel spoke of "the separate place." This was a large marginal area - a free space - that separated the temple proper from the remaining chambers and structures. In spiritual terms, it reminds us that we should have a clear distance between the holy things in our lives and the profane things of this world.
Ezekiel 42:1-2 - "And he brought me into the chamber that was over against the separate place, and which was before the building toward the north. Before the length of an hundred cubits was the north door, and the breadth was fifty cubits."
Priests Approach The LORD In The Millennial Temple
It is not for us to contradict the divine purpose of Christ sitting in the holy place of the millennial temple. Priests will minister to Him there, where the Ark of the Covenant might have been. Jesus is now the Ark of the Covenant.
Ezekiel 42:13 - "The north chambers and the south chambers, ...they be holy chambers, where the priests that approach unto the LORD shall eat the most holy things: there shall they lay the most holy things, and the meat offering, and the sin offering, and the trespass offering; for the place is holy."
The Enlarged Temple Mount - One Mile Square
Ezekiel reported that the outer court of the millennial temple will be 500 reeds (5000 feet) square - almost one mile square. Early versions, including the Septuagint, have no word for reed, leading some scholars to argue that it should instead read 500 cubits, or about 1000 feet square, but it is not unreasonable to envision the entire temple mount site expanded to one mile square. The temple mount is presently about 1000x1500 feet.
Ezekiel 42:20 - "He measured it by the four sides: ...five hundred reeds long, and five hundred broad, to make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place."
The Earth Will Shine When Jesus Comes
The glory of God came to the first temple when Solomon dedicated it. Isaiah saw God sitting high on His throne in the temple. God abandoned Jerusalem when He gave it to the Babylonians. Ezekiel saw the cherubims remove the throne from the temple across the Mount Olivet to the east. But Jesus will bring the glory AND the throne back to Jerusalem for 1000 years.
Ezekiel 43:2 - "The glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory."
Bowing Down When Jesus Returns
In a vision, Ezekiel stood in the Eastern Gate of the Temple Mount. "Behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was
like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory. ...and I fell upon my face." Every born-again believer will be there, bowing down, when Jesus returns through the Eastern Gate.
Ezekiel 43:4,5 - "The glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. ...the glory of the LORD filled the house."
The LORD, His Throne, His Name Never Again Defiled
Ezekiel heard the LORD speaking to him out of the temple, saying, "Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings." NEVER again will the name of the LORD (Jesus Christ) or His house be defiled or profaned. Jesus' 1000-year reign will be completely glorious.
Ezekiel 43:9 - "...and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever."
God's Great Plan Should Shame Us For Transgressing
As God revealed His plan for the glorious future temple mount to Ezekiel, He instructed him to show the whole form and fashion of it to all Israel, "that they may be ashamed of their iniquities, ...that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them." If we could see the glorious future that God has planned for the righteous, we would be ashamed that we ever transgressed against Him.
Ezekiel 43:10 - "Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities."
Israel Will Keep Ordinances During The Millennium
It is difficult for Christians to understand why Jews will be required to keep ordinances during the millennium. Israel will observe and practice many laws, including making sacrifices and offerings in the temple. Keeping ordinances will not save them. Jesus will have saved them already. It will be to honor the LORD and to teach them the powerful doctrines they failed to learn in the past.
Ezekiel 43:11 - "If they be ashamed of all that they have done, ...write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them."
The Law Of The House - The Most Holy Mountain
Six times, Ezekiel beheld the glory of the LORD and fell on his face. Nowadays, multitudes stand for hours in "St. Peter's Square" in Rome to see the false prophet, the Pope. But in the millennium, the temple mount will be the viewing place to see Jesus Christ. Mount Moriah will be the most holy site on earth. God calls it "the law of the house."
Ezekiel 43:12 - "This is the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house."
The Millennial Altar
Christians should not recoil at this fact. Jews must offer blood sacrifices on the altar in the millennial temple. Yes, Jesus' blood is the only blood that can cleanse our sins. But Israel failed to learn that. They never believed the animal sacrifices symbolized the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. So, for 1000 years, they must offer sacrifices IN HIS PRESENCE.
Ezekiel 43:18-19,27 - "Thus saith the Lord GOD; These are the ordinances of the altar in the day when they shall make it, to offer burnt offerings thereon, and to sprinkle blood thereon. ...for a sin offering."
The Eastern Temple Gate Will Open Only On Sabbaths
In the vision, Ezekiel saw that the eastern gate of the new millennial temple was shut. For hundreds of years, the eastern gate on the Jerusalem wall has been closed. An earthquake will open it at Armageddon. Christ will enter Jerusalem right there. But the temple gate is a different gate, which will be closed, except on Sabbath days, for people to behold Jesus Christ.
Ezekiel 44:2 - "This gate shall be shut, ...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."
David Will Have Daily Meals With Jesus Christ
David, the prince of Jerusalem, will be the only person to use the eastern gate of the temple for six days each week. The prince will sit and eat with Jesus Christ regularly. On Sabbath days, that gate will open for public audiences with Jesus. Unsanctified or uncircumcised mortals who survive Armageddon will never enter the sanctuary (v9).
Ezekiel 44:3 - "It is for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same."
Idolatrous Levites Banned From Millennial Priesthood
According to Ezekiel 37:11-14, Christ will resurrect all Jews from every age. According to Romans 11:26. they will repent, and be filled with His Spirit. But one group of Jews will be punished in the millennium - the Levites who led Israel into idolatry. "Because they ministered unto them before their idols, and caused the house of Israel to fall into iniquity; ...they shall bear their iniquity."
Eze 44:13 - "They shall not come near unto me, to do the office of a priest unto me, nor to come near to any of my holy things."
The Elite Millennial Priesthood
In the millennial temple, Jesus Christ will have priests ministering to Him at all times. This most elite group of Levites, sons of Zadok, will be comprised exclusively of Levites who were faithful to keep the charge of the Old Testament sanctuary in ancient times when all of Israel were going astray. This should inspire us today to be especially faithful to God in these times of general apostasy. God is a rewarder.
Eze 44:16 - "They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge."
Teaching Holy Vs. Profane, Clean Vs. Unclean
Resurrected Levites who were idolatrous in ancient times will not serve Messiah as priests in the millennial temple. "They shall slay the burnt offering and the sacrifice," and be "keepers of the charge of the house, for all the service thereof." Levite sons of Zadok will minister to Christ in compliance with several Old Testament regulations - hair, apparel, abstention from wine and defilements, etc. The must teach the people what is holy, versus profane.
Ezekiel 44:23 - "They shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean."
Millennium Divisions Of The Land Of Israel
Jerusalem will be a sixty mile square of land given to the holy service of the LORD. "Ye shall offer an oblation unto the LORD, an holy portion of the land." 24x60 miles will go to the priests and the Temple Mount. 24x60 miles will go to other Levites. A 12x60 mile strip will be suburbs of Jerusalem. The Prince will have two 12x12 mile plots east and west of Jerusalem. The twelve tribes will divide the remainder of Israel.
Ezekiel 45:8 - "The rest of the land shall they give to the house of Israel according to their tribes."
The Millennial Princes Of Israel
Israel's "Garden of Eden" (36:35) will be inhabited by many millions of mortal Jews who will be ruled by Messiah's rod of iron (Revelation 2:26-27;12:5;19:15). Jesus the Messiah will require the princes of Israel to execute judgment and justice while removing violence and spoil.
Ezekiel 45:8-9 - "My princes shall no more oppress my people; and the rest of the land shall they give to the house of Israel according to their tribes. Thus saith the Lord GOD; ...O princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice."
Millennial Jews Must Reconcile With Christ
Dead Jews and Gentiles who are IN CHRIST will rise immortal when Jesus comes (1 Corinthians 15:42,51-53). Unregenerate Jews who are NOT IN CHRIST will resurrect (37:13) as mortals (44:22,25 speaks of widows and dying family members). They must be saved from their sins (37:23), filled with His Spirit (37:14), and perform select O.T. sacrifices to reconcile with Christ.
Ezekiel 45:15,17 - "...meat offering, ...burnt offering, ...peace offerings, to make reconciliation for them, saith the Lord GOD. ...it shall be the prince's [David's] part to give burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings."
Worshipping The LORD At The Eastern Gate
During the millennium, the eastern gate of the INNER court (not the main Eastern Gate) will be closed six days, accessible only to the earthly prince who rules under Christ. However, that gate will open every Sabbath for people to come and worship the LORD Jesus Christ.
Ezekiel 46:1-3 "The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened. ...The people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the LORD in the sabbaths and in the new moons."
You Won't Leave The Way You Came
During the millennium, those who worship the LORD in His temple will leave by a different direction than they came. When you worship God, you will leave different.
Ezekiel 46:9 - "When the people of the land shall come before the LORD, ...he that entereth in by the way of the north gate to worship shall go out by the way of the south gate; and he that entereth by the way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the north gate: he shall not return by the way of the gate whereby he came in."
David Will Open Sabbath Worship Events
In the millennium, Jesus will have an outdoor audience with the public every Sabbath at the Eastern Gate. David, prince of Israel, will enter and priests will prepare his offerings. "He shall worship at the threshold of the gate: ...The people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the LORD in the sabbaths and in the new moons." Non-public sacrifices will be made daily in the temple.
Ezekiel 46:13 - "Thou shalt daily prepare a burnt offering unto the LORD of a lamb of the first year without blemish: thou shalt prepare it every morning."
Things Absent, Things Present In The Millennial Temple
There will be no veil over the holiest place in the millennial temple, because the veil was rent when Jesus died. No table of shewbread - Jesus is the bread of life. No menorah - Jesus is the light. No ark of the covenant - God is in Christ. But holy priests will offer sacrifices unto Messiah; NOT to save sinners (Jesus saved them), but as a holy ordinance for 1000 years.
Ezekiel 46:14-15 - "Thou shalt prepare a meat offering for it every morning, ...by a perpetual ordinance unto the LORD, ...every morning for a continual burnt offering."
One cannot escape the fact that Ezekiel repeatedly established that there will be blood sacrifices in the millennium. However that may seem to contradict the doctrine of the blood of Jesus and salvation by grace, the reality is that Jesus will be in the midst of the Jews AS THEIR SAVIOR, yet Jews will be required to make these sacrifices before Him in the temple. Ezekiel called it reconciliation (45:15).
Ezekiel 46:20 - "This is the place where the priests shall boil the trespass offering and the sin offering, where they shall bake the meat offering; ...to sanctify the people."
The Water Of Life
Water is one of the greatest symbols of life, both in the physical world and in the spiritual world. When Moses, by the hand of God, brought water out of the rock, it was a type of Christ. Jesus said that His Spirit in a man is like a well of living water. In the millennium, a river of water will proceed from the temple of Jesus Christ to give life to the Dead Sea. In heaven, a river will proceed from the throne of God.
Ezekiel 47:1 - "Behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward."
Jesus was the firstfruit from the dead, and the firstborn among many brethren. His resurrection was the first of countless resurrections. All Israel will be resurrected when He comes. All the dead in Christ will be resurrected when He comes. Even the Dead Sea will be resurrected!
Ezekiel 47:8-9 - "These waters ...go down into the desert, and go into the sea: ...whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh."
From Engedi To Eneglaim
At Jesus' coming, a river will begin flowing from the temple westward to the Mediterranean and eastward to the Dead Sea. Engedi and Eneglaim will be major fishing centers, suggesting that the river will continue flowing southward from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea. The old salt marshes will remain a rich source of minerals.
Ezekiel 47:10 - "Fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many."
Sanctuary River Will Provide Fish, Fruit, Medicine
A river will flow from Jerusalem to the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. At Armageddon, Jesus will stand on the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14), and it will cleave into a huge east-to-west valley, and a river will begin to flow to both seas. The Dead Sea will be healed, and come alive with every fish species found in the Mediterranean.
Ezekiel 47:12 - "And by the river ...shall grow all trees for meat, ...because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine."
The Final And Divinely Ordained Borders Of Israel
When Jesus returns, prince David, his family, the priests and Levites will inherit Jerusalem and its environs. Considering all Bible prophecies, Israel's west border will be the Mediterranean Sea; its east border, the Jordan River. The north border will reach above Tripoli and Beirut, Lebanon to the Euphrates River in Syria. The southern border will extend from below the Dead Sea to the Egyptian Nile.
Ezekiel 47:13-14 - "Thus saith the Lord GOD; This shall be the border, whereby ye shall inherit the land, ...concerning the which I lifted up mine hand to give it unto your fathers."
Everyone Will Inherit Exactly What God Promised
Every tribe of Israel will receive land stretching from western to eastern borders of the country. Beginning in the north, the order of the tribes is: Dan, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Ephraim, Reuben, and Judah. The "most holy oblation" surrounding Jerusalem belongs to David, his family, the priests and Levites. The southern tribes will be Benjamin, Simeon, Issachar, Zebulun and Gad. Jerusalem will have twelve gates named after the tribes. "The name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there."
Ezekiel 48:29 - "This is the land which ye shall divide by lot unto the tribes of Israel."