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Ezekiel Part 5

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The prophet Ezekiel, a priest, was one of the 10,000 Jews taken into exile by Nebuchadnezzar in 597 B.C., when King Jehoiachin was carried to Babylon. In the 5th year of Jehoiachin’s captivity, 593/92, Ezekiel had his first vision by “the river Chebar,” a canal near the famous city of Nippur in lower Babylonia (chapter 1:1-3). Enigmatic is his statement that this 5th year of captivity was also the “thirtieth year.” It is believed that the prophet refers either to his own age or to that year as the 30th year reckoned from the reform which took place during the 18th year of Josiah.
Several of the prophet’s messages are dated exactly, and the last of these dated prophetic messages was received in the 27th year of Ezekiel’s captivity (chapter 29:17), 571/70. This leaves Ezekiel with a ministry of at least 22 years, from 593/92 to 571/70. However, it is possible that some of his undated prophecies were given at a later time. Hence the year 571/70 must not be considered as necessarily marking the end of his ministry.
God disciplines because He loves us and wants to produce righteousness in us and through us (see Heb 12:3–11). God’s discipline is always in the right amount and has as its aim our repentance and not just our remorse.
Timeline: 590–570 B.C.
Theme: The glory of the Lord
Author: Ezekiel
Setting: Babylon
Chapters 1–3 The Call of Ezekiel The Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem takes place in stages, and the Jewish people are taken captive in three deportations (see page 60). Ezekiel, a priest, is taken to Babylon in the second deportation, in 597 B.C. While there, Ezekiel has a vision of God’s heavenly glory. In the vision, God commissions Ezekiel to become a prophet to the Jewish people living in Babylon. Ezekiel is clearly warned by God that the people are rebellious and won’t listen to his message.
The Mission
God didn’t send Ezekiel out without preparing him and getting him ready for the assignment.
Chapters 4–24 The Judgment of Jerusalem God’s judgment of the people of Judah and Jerusalem is already under way, with many Jewish people already taken captive in Babylon. Through Ezekiel, God continues to warn the people of Jerusalem’s eventual collapse, and urges them to turn from their wicked ways. Ezekiel announces that God’s glory will leave the temple, and that the temple will be destroyed.
Chapters 25–32 The Judgment of the Nations After pronouncing judgment upon Jerusalem, Ezekiel goes on to pronounce God’s retribution against several of the enemy nations surrounding Israel. These judgments affirm God’s sovereign power over all kings and nations.
Chapters 33–39 The Restoration of God’s People Ezekiel announces the fall of Jerusalem and calls the Jewish people to repentance. Though the city and the temple are now in ruins, this is not the end. If the people are willing to turn from their rebellion against God, He will restore them and bring them back to their land.
We ended last week looking at the dry bones coming back to life in Chapter 37. This is a picture of God not being finished with Israel and that they were coming back to life.
D. Repudiation of Gog and Magog, Chapters 38, 39
Chapter 38 — That Gog and Magog may be identified with Russia is supported by a threefold reason:
1. Linguistic phenomenon
Ezekiel 38:1–3 KJV 1900
1 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 3 And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
These two chapters have to do with one of the most amazing prophecies in all of the Word of God. God gave to Ezekiel, that rather eccentric and unusual prophet of God, a series of visions. When you come to the third section of Ezekiel, you come to the chapters that have to do with Judah’s future and the great hope that God has for the people of God. Back in the 37th chapter we had the vision of dry bones. Though it has application to us and our daily life, the primary application was a word of hope for God’s people Israel. They felt like they were beyond hope and in the 11th verse of the 37th chapter they said, “These bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.”
But God said, I’m going to raise you from the dead. Those bones are going to live again. Now, in chapter 38, right on to the conclusion, we have some great passages which give great hope to God’s people Israel and also great hope to us.
This is indeed one of the most remarkable prophecies in all of the Bible. It is one of the most difficult of the prophecies to understand. IT is the rather astonishing prediction that in the end time there is going to be an invasion of Israel by nations from the north. It is a prediction that God Himself is going to intervene in this invasion. So devastating and so complete will be the destruction of this invading army that it will take seven months for them to bury all of the bodies of the slain.
The prediction of the invasion of Gog of Magog into the land of Israel.
The question comes to mind when is this going to take place? At what point is it going to occur? You will notice in verse 8 we are told specifically that it is going to happen in the latter days. “After many days thou shalt be visited; in the latter years thou shalt come into the land.” This invasion will be in the latter days.
In verse 16 he says, And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land.
We are told specifically that this invasion will occur in the latter days. Now, the question comes when in the latter days will this be? In order for us to be able to move in and focus in to when this will occur, it is good for us to have in mind the framework of end time prophecy. There are several events given to us in end time prophecy which we need to put in the proper order.
The next event on God’s Bible end time calendar is the rapture. First Thessalonians 4. We do not know when this will occur. All we know is that the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout. Born again believers who have died will be raised. Born again believers who are alive when Jesus comes, will be caught up, raptured up to meet the Lord. We do not know when this will occur, but it is the next event on God’s prophetic calendar.
Then the Bible says there will begin on this earth a period of time known in the Bible as the Great Tribulation. We have studied this in our survey of the book of Revelation on Sunday nights. We know that Revelation 6-19 give us this period of time known as the Great Tribulation. We know from chapter 9 that the great tribulation is going to last approximately seven years. We also know that this seven-year period of time is going to be divided into two parts. There will be the first three and ½ years and then the latter three and ½ years. In that latter three and ½ years the wrath of God is going to be poured out. So, the Great Tribulation 3 ½ years the first part; 3 ½ years the latter part.
After the Great Tribulation, the next event is the return of the Lord Jesus Christ in Revelation 19. Jesus Christ, with all the saints will return to this earth. In the rapture, Jesus comes in the air FOR the saints. In the return, Jesus Christ will come to the earth WITH the saints. At that point in time, there will be the battle of Armageddon, the millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ. There will be that final battle mentioned in Revelation 20. Then we will move into the eternal state.
When you look at the prophecy as it is given in Ezekiel 38 and 39, it seems very clear that this prophecy will occur during that period known as the Great Tribulation. That means that invasion will occur before the millennium. All indications are that this invasion will occur in the first half of the Great Tribulation. Why is that so? It is so because we are told that during the Great Tribulation, antichrist is going to solve the Middle Eastern Crisis. I am grateful for all efforts that are made today to try solve the Middle Eastern crisis. But I must tell you, according to Bible prophecy, it will not be resolved until antichrist goes into a seven-year treaty with the Jewish people. They will be allowed to rebuild their temple. Evidently it is the rebuilding of this temple that is going to trigger the invasion which is predicted right here. Also I believe it is in the first part of the Great Tribulation because of what is said in this passage here. The invasion is going to come at a time when Israel will have peace or they will seem to be dwelling safely.
Ezekiel 38:6 KJV 1900
6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.
2. Geographic phenomenon — (v. 6) “North quarters” means north of Israel. Directions in Scripture are in relationship to the land of Israel. Russia is north of Israel and fills the entire area. Assyria in ancient times is a type of Russia (as Babylon is a type of the restored Roman Empire) in the “latter days.”
3. Philosophical or ideological phenomenon — God’s mercy was extended to all nations of the past which were polytheistic: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, etc. But here it is stated from the beginning, “I am against thee, O Gog” (v. 3). Russia is the first nation of the world to adopt an atheistic philosophy of life and government. “It is possible,” said Plutarch, “to find cities without walls, without kings, without wealth, without letters, without theaters, but a city without a temple or that practiceth not worship no man ever saw.” Stalin boasted, “We have deposed the czars of the earth, we shall now dethrone the Lord of Heaven.” Also from Moscow has come this: “Our rocket has bypassed the moon. It is nearing the sun, and we have not discovered God. We have turned out lights in heaven that no man will be able to put on again. We are breaking the yoke of the Gospel, the opium of the masses. Let us go forth and Christ shall be relegated to mythology.”
Ezekiel 38:4 KJV 1900
4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
v. 4 — “Put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth” indicates that God will bring Russia down into Israel at the proper time. He is baiting hooks for them. Several are evident today:
1. Russia needs a warm water entrance into the waterways of the world. Israel offers that.
2. The oil deposits of the Near East are essential for the survival of modern nations.
3. The mineral deposits in the Dead Sea are so great that they cannot be evaluated on today’s market.
vv. 5, 6 — There are many allies with Russia — Ethiopia, Asian Cush, Gomer (in the Talmud, Gomer is stated to be the Germani, the Germans), Togarmah (Turkey). “And many peoples with thee” indicates that this is not an exhaustive list.
Ezekiel 38:5–6 KJV 1900
5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: 6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.
Ezekiel 38:8 KJV 1900
8 After many days thou shalt be visited: 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, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
When will Russia come down?
v. 8 — “In the latter years” and “in the latter days” (v. 16) places the time of this event in the Great Tribulation period. Probably in the midst of the 7-year period (Daniel’s 70th week, cf. Daniel 9:20-27), Russia will trigger the Great Tribulation by invading Israel and thereby breaking the false peace made by Antichrist.
What will be the results?
The defeat of Gog is described in great detail in Ezekiel 38 and 39. The slaughter is graphically given in Ezekiel 39:1-24.
Chapter 39
Ezekiel 39:2 KJV 1900
2 And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:
v. 2 — “Leave but the sixth part of thee” is literally “I will six thee” or, better still, “I will afflict thee with six plagues.” These plagues are listed in Ezekiel 38:22 as pestilence, blood, overflowing rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. This is the way God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. These are warnings (see Luke 17:29, 30; Jude 7).
What is the reason for the judgment on Gog?
He has denied and blasphemed God. God will get glory to His name (Ezekiel 38:16, 23; 39:22).
Chapters 40–48 The Restoration of Worship
God gives Ezekiel a vision of Israel’s spiritual future and a glorious new temple that will see the return of the glory of the Lord. God promises to restore the people and bring them back to Him.
Rebuilt temple, Chapters 40—42
Ezekiel returns to the land in a vision and sees the millennial temple. The Mosaic system is restored (Ezekiel 40:39-42) in reinstating the Levitical liturgy, the burnt offering, sin offering, and trespass offering.
F. Return of the glory of the Lord, Chapters 43—48
God’s Glory Returns to Israel!
Chapter 43
Ezekiel 43:1–5 KJV 1900
1 Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: 2 And, 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. 3 And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. 4 And the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. 5 So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house.
vv. 1-5 — The glory of God comes from the east and fills the temple. This is the return of Christ to the earth.
Ezekiel 43:18–27 KJV 1900
18 And he said unto me, Son of man, 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. 19 And thou shalt give to the priests the Levites that be of the seed of Zadok, which approach unto me, to minister unto me, saith the Lord God, a young bullock for a sin offering. 20 And thou shalt take of the blood thereof, and put it on the four horns of it, and on the four corners of the settle, and upon the border round about: thus shalt thou cleanse and purge it. 21 Thou shalt take the bullock also of the sin offering, and he shall burn it in the appointed place of the house, without the sanctuary. 22 And on the second day thou shalt offer a kid of the goats without blemish for a sin offering; and they shall cleanse the altar, as they did cleanse it with the bullock. 23 When thou hast made an end of cleansing it, thou shalt offer a young bullock without blemish, and a ram out of the flock without blemish. 24 And thou shalt offer them before the Lord, and the priests shall cast salt upon them, and they shall offer them up for a burnt offering unto the Lord. 25 Seven days shalt thou prepare every day a goat for a sin offering: they shall also prepare a young bullock, and a ram out of the flock, without blemish. 26 Seven days shall they purge the altar and purify it; and they shall consecrate themselves. 27 And when these days are expired, it shall be, that upon the eighth day, and so forward, the priests shall make your burnt offerings upon the altar, and your peace offerings; and I will accept you, saith the Lord God.
vv. 18-27 — The sacrifices offered will be memorial in character. They will look back to the work of Christ on the cross, as the offerings of the Old Testament anticipated His sacrifice.
Chapter 44
Ezekiel 44:1–3 KJV 1900
1 Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was shut. 2 Then said the Lord unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the Lord, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut. 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.
vv. 2, 3 — Some consider that the closing of the east gate in the wall surrounding present-day Jerusalem is a fulfillment of this prophecy.
Ezekiel 44:4 KJV 1900
4 Then brought he me the way of the north gate before the house: and I looked, and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord: and I fell upon my face.
v. 4 — Glory fills the house.
Chapter 45
vv. 18-22 — The Passover is kept.
Chapter 46 — Offerings and feasts are restored.
Chapter 47 — River of life that flows from the temple.
Ezekiel 47:1–2 KJV 1900
1 Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar. 2 Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side.
vv. 1, 2 — Notice the source of the river — water is a type of the Holy Spirit.
Ezekiel 47:3–12 KJV 1900
3 And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ancles. 4 Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins. 5 Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over. 6 And he said unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen this? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river. 7 Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other. 8 Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. 9 And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, 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. 10 And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from En-gedi even unto En-eglaim; 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. 11 But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt. 12 And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.
vv. 3-12 — Notice the course of the river. Many spiritual lessons may be drawn from this passage. “The waters were to the ankles” (v. 3) — the walk of the believer in the Spirit. “To the knees” (v. 4) speaks of prayer. “To the loins” (v. 4) speaks of service (“gird up your loins”). “Waters to swim in” (v. 5) indicates fullness in the blessing in the Millennium.
vv. 13-23 — Borders of the promised land are redefined for the Millennium.
Chapter 48 — Division of the land among the twelve tribes.
Ezekiel 48:1–2 KJV 1900
1 Now these are the names of the tribes. From the north end to the coast of the way of Hethlon, as one goeth to Hamath, Hazar-enan, the border of Damascus northward, to the coast of Hamath; for these are his sides east and west; a portion for Dan. 2 And by the border of Dan, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Asher.
vv. 1, 2 — The tribe of Dan is present in the Millennium, although it is absent from those sealed in the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:4-8
Revelation 7:4–8 KJV 1900
4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. 5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. 6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. 7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. 8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.
). Danites do not serve in the Great Tribulation, but the grace of God brings them into the Millennium. We, too, are saved by grace but rewarded for service. The prophet closes on a high note, The LORD is there.
Putting Meat on the Bones  Ezekiel places a strong emphasis on the sovereignty, glory, and faithfulness of God, and much of the book concentrates on the temple in Jerusalem with its perversion, destruction, and future restoration, as well as its connection to the glory of God. Through- out his messages, Ezekiel emphasizes again and again God’s declaration that all the things to come are happening so that people “shall know that I am the Lord.” Everything that God does—past, present, or future, whether in grace or in judgment—is to reveal His glory.
Fleshing It Out in Your Life  God’s glory is readily visible to anyone who is willing to look up at the heavens (Psalms 19:1). His glory is visible in His preservation of His covenant people and their promised restoration. It is visible in the plans He has made for His future temple and His coming kingdom. And it is visible in His grace toward repentant sinners during the church age. God is gloriously to be praised and worshipped. The very thought of His glory should drive you to make the changes in your life that help you to better reflect His holy nature.
Life Lessons from Ezekiel 
God normally does not use a person living in sin and rebellion. Through discipline, He can purge such a person, and call him to a new start.
God disciplines when necessary, but He always leaves the door open for restoration.
God has complete control over all people and all nations.
God sovereignly controls every detail of your life, which should be a great comfort to you.
Where to Find It 
The vision of God’s glory Ezekiel 1:4-28
God’s glory departs from the temple Ezekiel 11:22-25
The siege of Jerusalem begins Ezekiel 24:1-14
The watchman and his message Ezekiel 33:1-9
God’s promise of a new heart Ezekiel 36:26-27
The valley of dry bones Ezekiel 37:1-14
God’s glory returns to Jerusalem Ezekiel 43:1-9
How Ezekiel Acted Out His Prophecies
He stayed in his house, tied up and mute.
He used a clay tablet and iron plate.
He lay on his left side for 390 days, and on his right side for 40 days.
He ate in a unclean manner.
He shaved his head and beard.
He packed a bag and dug through a wall.
He could not mourn when his wife died.
He put two sticks together as one.
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