Monday, August 30, 2010

Eastern Gate

Ezekiel 43:4 "And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east."

C10v19 "And the cherubim lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight; when they went out, the wheels also were beside them, and everyone 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."

So, initially, we see the glory of the Lord departing from the temple. In chapter 43, Ezekiel sees a vision of the glory returning. I believe this to be at a future time. Although, Jesus is said to have entered at the eastern gate because of the route he would have taken from the Mount of Olives.

The eastern gate is also called: Golden Gate, Gate of Mercy, Gate of Eternal Life, Beautiful Gate. As well as, names in other languages.

In the pictures I saw, the gate leads directly into the temple.

v10 "Thou son of man, show the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and let them measure the pattern."

The chapter tells further measurements for the altar and the ordinances. Then comes the sanctification of the altar.

V20 "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."

Another generation is learning what has already been taught in previous times. It is no less important.

v27 "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." See Lev. 9:1

In studying this subject, we would be going into the time lines of prophecy. More learned men are better at that. I think they were going through these procedures during the time of Christ but it had again become a matter of profit.

Jesus offered himself but was rejected by the nation Israel. He did, however, offer Himself as the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world. The crucifixion of Christ did not stop his mission. His kingdom is, nevertheless, established on a spiritual level which should also be manifest on a physical level as well.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Chambers & the four sides - Ezekiel 42

Ezekiel 42:1 "Then he brought me forth into the utter court, the way toward the north; and he brought me into the chamber that was over against the separate place, and which was before the building toward the north."

I believe I am correct in saying that all things in the temple point toward the most holy place. The chambers were where the priests could change clothes and prepare the offerings. They had to wear holy garments to enter the most holy and other garments to go out to the people.

v14 "When the priests enter therein, then shall they not go out of the holy place into the utter court, but there they shall lay their garments wherein they minister; for they are holy; and shall put on other garments, and shall approach to those things which are for the people."

There is no foolishness here. A precise pattern is laid out for priests to make the transition from the sinful world and the holy place. We must remember that the wages of sin is death. Romans 6:23) A sinful person cannot appear before God without the blood being applied to atone for sin.

Under the law, which is what we are studying, it was the blood of animals offered often. IN the New Testament it is the blood of Christ offered once and for all.

Hebrews 2:9 "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man."

So upon accepting Christ as our atonement for sin, the only chamber we have to open up is the chamber of our heart.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Temple Chambers - Ezekiel 41

Ezekiel 41:1 "Afterward he brought me to the temple, and measured the posts, six cubits broad on the one side, and six cubits broad on the other side, which was the breadth of the tabernacle."

Ah, the patience of the Lord. We have seen these details given before but this is a new generation. I believe history tells us that the second temple was modified to be 1/3 larger as the first was twice the size of the tabernacle. I do not know the significance of these changes. I believe the addition of the court for the gentiles has great importance and may point to the inclusion of the gentiles in the salvation plan.

v7 "And there was an enlarging, and a winding about still upward to the side chambers: for the winding about of the house went still upward round about the house: therefore the breadth of the house was still upward, and so increased from the lowest chamber to the highest by the midst."

These details may seem unnecessary but they are not. I suppose we could think of meeting an important person. We would perhaps notice the lawn upkeep, the color of the walls in the first room we visited, the long hall we walked down, the place we waited for our appointment. Then finally, the doors are opened, we enter through a doorway and there he is.

So it must be to enter the temple, knowing that beyond the trappings in the holiest place, the Lord is waiting to greet us. We'd remember the details.

v26 "And there were narrow windows and palm trees on the one side and on the other side, on the sides of the porch, and upon the side chambers of the house, and thick planks."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Measuring the City - Ezekiel 40

Ezekiel 40:1 "In the five and twentieth year of our captivity, in the beginning of the year, in the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after that the city was smitten, in the selfsame day the hand of the LORD was upon me, and brought me thither."

Now Ezekiel is brought to the city of Jerusalem in the 25th year of their captivity. He is given very precise measurements for the rebuilding. It goes on for the next couple of chapters. Scofield advises that this is the kingdom age. I do not doubt that the measurements will be used when the temple is rebuilt for the kingdom age.

My notion is that this was a result of Nehemiah's prayer in the 20th year.

Nehemiah 1:1 "The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace."

In the next chapter it mentions the 20th year of king Artaxerxes so which 20th is Nehemiah referring to. I think it was the 20th year of captivity but I'm not sure.

To answer Nehemiah's prayer, he would need to have the building specifications when he went to Jerusalem. I think it is wonderful how it was all worked out.

v5 "And behold a wall on the outside of the house round about, and in the man's hand a measuring reed of six cubits long by the cubit and an handbreadth: so he measured the breadth of the building, one reed; and the height, one reed."

See also Revelation 11 "And there was given me a reed like unto a rod; and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein."

So in studying this, we should know that earthly things of God, hence, the tabernacle, the temple, are made on the pattern of heavenly things. Even in the measurements of chapter 11, the court is not measured:

v2 "But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles; and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months."

Well, just about any subject can challenge the mind if we set out to learn all the details. I suggest picking a subject and ponder it for long hours. You may gain insight that will be used later.

This chapter goes on for 49 verses with details and measurements. It may not mean much to the average reader but to a builder, the details are what makes the building stand.

v49 "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 post, one on this side, and another on that side."

Friday, August 20, 2010

Gog & Magog - Ezekiel 38

Ezekiel 38:2 "Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meschech and Tubal, and prophesy against him."

In the next two chapters we deal with a subject that is too large for the format of this study. There are many scripture references that should be looked at to attempt to understand the subject.

First of all, it should be noted that these passages speak to the future, the end of time and the last attempt to wipe out Israel. It can be studied in conjunction with Armageddon, Rev. 16, the real end not the movie.

Meschech and Tubal are Moscow and Tobolsk according to my reference Bible notes.

References for further study: Revelation 20:8,14:14-20,19:17-21, Matthew 24: 14-30, Zechariah 12:1-4

v8 "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."

It will a time of the judging of the nations. A time of terrible fear upon the earth. I believe and hope that this takes place after the rapture of the church which no doubt will cause great confusion among the unsaved left behind.

v19 "For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be great shaking in the land of Israel;"

I believe we would all have to agree that God has shown great patience with the world and its disrespect for Him and each other. When the final days start there will be no end until all is accomplished that God has said. There will be no intermission until he says so. It shall be a dreadful day for many.

Matthew 24:21 "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be."

v29 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: v30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven;..."

In a previous chapter we saw where the Lord told Israel that 'he was for them', but here concerning Gog, we hear the Lord say 'I am against thee'.

So, a large subject has opened up before us. It is a subject that should sober the most carefree among us. There is to be an end to it all. We should, with all our efforts to prepare for things of this life, give serious attention to the affairs of eternity.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dry Bones - Ezekiel 37

Ezekiel 37:1 "The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones."

People often seek a sign in spiritual things but I doubt we could take such a sign as Ezekiel got.

To be picked up and put down in a valley full of bones would be shocking to me.

I like this chapter because it shows that what is impossible with men, is very possible with the Lord. He can take what seems completely used up and revive it.

v4 "Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD."

I don't find it strange, but some might, that in a previous chapter we heard the Lord telling Ezekiel to prophesy to the mountains that they would be filled with people again and now that these bones would live again.

v7 "So, I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone."

I see a glimpse of resurrection day for the saints. Our loved ones who have gone to the grave will some day be pulled together to rise from the grave in an instant. Nothing is too hard for God.

v9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and 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."

Nothing is too hard for God.

v13 "And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves."

The balance of the chapter talks about the reunion of Judah and Israel into one nation again under one king. A grand day it shall be.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Israel - The Land - Ezekiel 36

Ezekiel 36:8 "But ye, 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'm not sure if this refers to the end of the captivity or a future time when the glory of Israel is restored at the coming of Christ as their king.

It, nevertheless, tells of a time after the cleansing when the land will again yield in abundance. The people will have a heart for God and the heathen will no longer abuse the land or claim it as their own.

v11 "And I will multiply upon you man and beast, and they shall increase and bring fruit, and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I am the LORD."

The Lord has attached his name to Israel. Israel turned to idols and thus shamed themselves and almost the name of the Lord. That will all change.

v18 "Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they hand polluted it:"

v22 "Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD, 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 whither ye went."

Up until now they are going by the law of Moses which is outward toward inward. It relies on the person making the law their life. It was imperfect as the New Testament tells us. There is to be a new way. Christians know it as the plan of salvation where the Spirit of God works from the inside toward the outward.

It changes a person from the inside out.

v26 "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh."

The book of Hebrews explains it well.

Hebrews 7:19 "For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God."

So in the place of the blood of animals, we have the perfect sacrifice of the Son of God, The Lamb of God who offered himself one time for all time for our sins.

Hebrews 9:12 "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."

Once the New Testament is accepted as truth, it is impossible not to see that many of the Old Testament scriptures refer to Jesus Christ and a new and better way. He came as a lamb and not as a warrior. His purpose was not to deliver us from a government but to deliver us from the wages of sin.

v38 "As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men; and they shall know that I am the LORD."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Seir - Ezekiel 35

Ezekiel 35:5 "Because thou hast had a perpetual hatred, and hast shed the blood of the children of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of their calamity, in the time that their iniquity had an end:"

Seir is an area extending from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea and was occupied by the descendants of Esau. Seir also sometimes means Edom.

So the old hatred is still alive here. While Israel is weak from the chastisement of God, Esau takes advantage. But they are called on their transgression.

v15 "As thou didst rejoice at the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so will I do unto thee: thou shalt be desolate, O mount Seir and all Idumea, even all of it: and they shall know that I am the LORD. "

It is a saying that I have heard often, 'I may discipline my own but they are mine, so hands off.'

Israel had a special place in the heart of God but he still cares what goes on in other nations.

v13 "Thus with your mouth ye have boasted against me, and have multiplied your words against me: I have heard them."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Good Shepherd - Ezekiel 34

Ezekiel 34:11 "For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out."

The flock has been taken away from those who used it for gain for themselves.

The Lord has taken on the role of the shepherd for his people. He has always looked after them but with the use of under shepherds. Now, he is taking the direct role of shepherd.

It was still a mystery, somewhat, when he wrote the next verse I will give. I believe when he says David, he is referring to the descendant of David after the flesh, the Christ.

v23 "And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd."

Refer here to John chapter 10.

John 10:11 "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth is life for the sheep."

Hosea 3:5 "Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days."

Also in this chapter we have the covenant of peace mentioned. Who would not want peace in a land that has always know war.

v25 "And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land; and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods."

Then the verse that brought on a song that I have often heard sung in church.

v26 "And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing."

It is a wonderful chapter. It speaks of when Christ shall reign and there will be no more danger of being attacked or carried away into captivity.

No doubt, the mighty warriors of Israel and Judah were feeling pretty low about this time. They had been stripped and dragged away in chains and made to serve. The last verse tells them that they are still men and things will change.

v31 "And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Bad Shepherd - Eekiel 34

Ezekiel 34:2 "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?"

For the priests, the resources that came in were taken as their income. I suppose they became wealthy, for a time, yet, they cared not for the people. It says later in the chapter that, not only did they eat the good grass but they tread down what was left.

v18 "Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet?"

They took what they wanted and spoiled what was left.

A shepherd has a responsibility to care for the sheep. Not just the healthy sheep but those who have become injured or are sick.

v4 "The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them."

I am glad that some pastors and preachers are realizing that injured Christians are like injured soldiers in the battle field. If they are cared for, they will recover to fight another day. Christians get injured, lost on their way. It is not right to just write them off as lost causes. They should be sought for and restored.

v6 "My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill; yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them."

So, the flock is taken away from the shepherds and we will learn in the next lesson about the Good Shepherd who took the flock and cared for it.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Watchman - Ezekiel 33

Ezekiel 33:31 "And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness."

v32 And , lo, 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.

v33 "And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them."

Ezekiel 33 is a very solemn chapter. It tells of the responsibility of the prophet to say what the Lord told him to. It points out that the people may not believe but that the prophet has delivered his own soul. Thus the phrase often used by preachers that 'I delivered my soul.'

v4 "Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head."

Before Israel went into Canaan to possess the land, there was preparation for battle. The trumpet was used. There were signals set up to assemble and others which meant different things. It was a very effective way for all the people to act in unison. But if someone were in a dangerous place and the trumpet sounded for everyone to move to another place and that person was not paying attention, they could be there alone when the danger came.

So here, the watchman and the trumpet are used to describe the state of iniquity and whether or not a person would turn from that iniquity when they heard the warning. IN this case, the trumpet was the voice of the prophet.

v14 "Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; ... he shall surely live, he shall not die. v16 None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live."

The chapter also deals with the righteous turning the other way or trusting in their own righteousness. These words point to Christ and our dependence on his righteousness alone.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Pharaoh - Ezekiel 32

Ezekiel 32:2 "Son of man, take up a lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say unto him, Thou are like a young lion of the nations, and thou art as a whale in the seas; and thou camest forth with thy rivers, and troubledst the waters with thy fee, and fouledst their rivers."

After that some of Judah fled to Egypt, the king of Babylon invaded. It was the final chapter in the greatness of Egypt. Egypt is still there but the majesty of the Pharaoh's is gone.

Also, in studying this chapter I was drawn back to Tyre where the king set himself up to be God and was judged. There we studied the doings of Satan. Here we see also the presence of Satan as a beast in the river whose carcass was to be dragged on land for the fowls to feed on. It is symbolic of the end of the dragon.

Job 41:24 "His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone. v31 "He maketh the deep to boil like a pot; he maketh the sea like a pot of ointment." v23 The flakes of his flesh are joined together; they are firm in themselves; they cannot be moved."

Ezekiel 29:4 "But I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales, and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of the rivers shall stick unto thy scales."

So before God, there is a weakness in all things created.

Pharaoh is going to be defeated although I suppose he believed otherwise until the end.

Other nations will notice with trembling the fall of Egypt:

v24 "There is Elam and all her multitude round about her grave, all of them slain,... v26 There is Meshech, Tubal, and all her multitude; her graves are round about him; v29 There is Edom, her kings, and all her princes, which with their might are laid by them that were slain...

The pronouncement to Pharaoh is a terrible statement in that it was so tragic for him - that he would join these other nations who did not acknowledge God as their only God.

v31 "Pharaoh shall see them, and shall be comforted over all his multitude, even Pharaoh and all his army slain by the sword, saith the Lord GOD."

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Assyria - Ezekiel 31

Ezekiel 31:3 "Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs."

In speaking to Egypt, the Lord told Ezekiel to tell Egypt about Assyria and their majesty. Upon doing so, it should have been clear to Egypt that even the greatest can be brought down.

Assyria was one of four great kingdoms (monarchies) of the time. It sat where Kurdisten now stands but spread far and wide. It is also related to Nineveh where tablets with a strange form of writing has been dug up in recent years.

v5 "Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long because of the multitude of waters, when he shot forth."

Assyria is compared to the garden of God, Eden.

v8 "The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chestnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty."

But even this greatness came to nought under the judgment of God. So, Egypt would be no exception.

v16 "I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit; and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth."

It is God who raises up nations and who has the power to cast them down.

v18 "To whom art thou thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? yet shalt thou be brought down with the trees of Eden unto the neither parts of the earth; thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised with them that be slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord GOD."

Monday, August 02, 2010

Egypt - scattered - Ezekiel 30

Ezekiel 30:26 "And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them among the countries; and they shall know that I am the LORD."

We often see these words in Ezekiel 'and they shall know that I am the LORD'. Oh how much trouble we would avoid if only we would acknowledge the Creator of the universe and all that is in it. Man is proud and we'd like to think that we were the makers of our own destiny, the captain of our own ship. We should never forget that the Lord made the sea we sail on and the wood that the ship is made from.

v3 "For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen."

As it was in the day of Noah, so it was with Egypt, so it is in our time. A day of judgment comes, like the clock ticking toward midnight. We are powerless to stop it.

v4 "And the sword shall come upon Egypt, and great pain shall be in Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in Egypt, and they shall take away her multitude, and her foundations shall be broken down."

I think every great nation that has stood on earth must have thought that they could not be brought down. Babylon seemed indestructible. Egypt seemed indestructible. There are strong nations on earth today. Those that do not forget God and those who honor God will stand the test of time.

Egypt was Israel's crutch, their go to nation until God took away that crutch so Israel would turn to him alone.

v19 "Thus will I execute judgments in Egypt; and they shall know that I am the LORD.

Egypt's allies were also taken away so that Egypt had no one to call to support them.

v6 "Thus saith the LORD; They also that uphold Egypt shall fall; and the pride of her power shall come down; from the tower of Syene shall they fall in it by the sword, saith the Lord GOD."

Well it was a terrible time in the whole area. It went back to Israel turning to idols instead of honoring God. The land paid a great price.