Thursday, December 25, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Ezekiel- Chapter 48


Ezekiel 48

 

-The final chapter of this great and momentous prophetic book deals with the final allotment of land dispersed between the tribes of Israel as a perpetual inheritance to God’s covenant promises (Ezekiel 48:1-9, 23-29). The portions are laid out precisely to each with the portion for priests and the sanctuary of the LORD in its midst. These are none other than the priests who are sanctified from the sons of Zadok, who kept the charge of the LORD when the rest of the priests of the Levites went astray after idols and abominations (Ezekiel 48:11). Their charge is to care for the most holy place, and they shall not exchange any of it or alienate this choice portion of the land for it is holy unto the LORD (Ezekiel 48:12-14). The city of God is described with attention to be given it by the workers from all the tribes of Israel to cultivate it (Ezekiel 48:17-20). There will also necessarily be a portion for the prince of the people, a reminder of the land on one side and on the other of the holy allotment and of the property of the city (Ezekiel 48:21). Everything between the border of Judah and Benjamin shall be for the prince (Ezekiel 48:22).

-The final piece of the puzzle that the man shows Ezekiel, the prophet of God, are the city gates, which relate to the scene in Revelation 21 & 22. Four sides with three gates each facing north, south, east, and west named after Jacob’s sons make up the beautiful city that is named “The LORD is there (Isaiah 12:6; 24:23, Ezekiel 48:30-35, Joel 3:21, Revelation 21:3).”

-*Application* Great and wonderful will be the eternal Kingdom of our LORD. He saves and is with us forevermore when we trust Him. Call upon His wonderful and matchless Name to inherit His blessings. Sing of His glory forever! Praise unto our great God and King!

 

Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 48:35

Bible Study Notes in Ezekiel- Chapter 47


Ezekiel 47

 

-Ezekiel was brought back to the door of the house of God by the man, and he beheld water flowing from under the threshold of the house toward the east, from which the house faced. The water flowed from down under, from inside the high mountain (Ezekiel 40:2), and from the right side of the house, from south of the altar (Ezekiel 47:1). Ezekiel was brought out by way of the north gate and was led around on the outside of the walls to the outer gate which faced east towards the Dead Sea. The water was trickling from the south side, and he was told to take particular notice to this. The man went out toward the east with a line in his hand. He measured a thousand cubits (about 1,500 feet or 500 yards), and led Ezekiel through the waters, which were only reaching the ankles. He went another thousand cubits and measured again. Now the water was reaching up to the knees of man. He went another thousand cubits and measured again. Now the water was reaching up to the loin of man. He went another thousand cubits and measured again. Now the water was reaching a level above the head, enough to swim in and to a degree that it could not be forded. Ezekiel was brought back to the bank of this swelling river, and he perceived very many trees on each side of its banks. The man told him, “These waters go out toward the eastern region and go down into the Arabah; then they go toward the sea, being made to flow into the sea, and the waters of the sea become fresh. It will come about that every living creature which swarms in every place where the river goes, will live. And there will be very many fish, for these waters go there and the other become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes. And it will come about that fishermen will stand beside it; from Engedi to Eneglaim (to the west side of the modern Dead Sea) there will be a place for the spreading of nets. Their fish will be according to their kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea (Sea of Galilee), very many. But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. By the river on its bank, on one side and on the other, will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither and their fruit will not fail. They will bear every month because their waters flows from the sanctuary, and their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing (Ezekiel 47:2-12, Revelation 22:2).” This gives literal meaning to the words of the prophets and Jesus as to His “Living Water (Psalms 1:3, Isaiah 12:3; 35:6-7; 55:1, Jeremiah 17:4, John 4:10-11; 7:38).”

-The boundaries and the division of the Promised Land in the eschaton are established in the remaining verses of this prestigious chapter of Israel’s future glory (Ezekiel 47:13-23). Take careful notice of this as you read the text. One endearing fact is that this land is not only for the Jewish people for an inheritance, but also it is for the aliens who stay in their midst and have families there. This portrays the justice and impartiality of our great God and King. It demonstrates His giving qualities and His welcoming heart.

-*Application* Anyone who wants to come and be a part of Christ’s Kingdom is most certainly welcome (Matthew 18:14, John 3:16, Acts 2:21, 1 Timothy 2:4, 2 Peter 3:9). Come and abide in LORD of the universe! His Living Water will never run dry and gives us the healing we so desperately need and crave.

 

Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 47:12

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Ezekiel- Chapter 46


Ezekiel 46

 

-The prince’s offerings are detailed in this chapter. The eastern gate to the Temple area will be closed for six working days, but on the Sabbath it will be opened. In addition it will be opened on the day of the new moon (Numbers 10:10; 28:11-15). The prince will enter by it by way of the porch from the outside and stand by the post of the gate. Then the priests will provide his burnt offerings, his peace offerings, and he will worship at the threshold of the gate and then go out. The gate will then be shut that evening. The people of the land will also worship at the doorway of that gate before the LORD on Sabbaths and on the new moons. Details about the amounts and specifics of the offerings is then given. The prince will enter and exit by the same porch of the gate, but when the people of the land come before the LORD at the appointed feasts they will go straight through either from the north to the south or the south to the north. No one shall return by the way of the gate they entered. “When they go in, the prince shall go in among them; and when they go out, he shall go out (Ezekiel 46:1-10).” More specifics and amounts are given concerning the sacrifices by both the prince and the people in the following verses. Some offerings are periodic and some are continual day-by-day as a perpetual ordinance of the LORD God (Ezekiel 46:11-15). Next, some instruction is given as to the prince’s giving of gifts out of his inheritance to his sons and servants. Sons take possession, but servants must return their gifts at the year of liberty (year of Jubilee, Leviticus 25:8-17); therefore, their gifts are not permanent. The prince shall not take from the people’s inheritance, and he has no right to thrust them out of any of their possessions. This is to prevent scattering as a means of complete and lasting justice (Ezekiel 46:16-18).

-The boiling places are ascertained lastly in the chapter. Ezekiel is brought through the entrance, which was at the side of the gate, into the holy chambers for the priests, which faced to the north. He also observed a place at the extreme rear toward the west. The man told him, “This is the place where the priests shall boil the guilt offering and the sin offering and where they shall bake the grain offering, in order that they may not bring them out into the outer court to transmit holiness to the people (Ezekiel 46:19-20).” Ezekiel was then brought out into the outer court and was led across to the four corners of the court. In every corner of the court was a small court. These were forty cubits long (about 65 feet) and thirty cubits wide (about 45 feet), all the same size. There was also a row of masonry round about in them and boiling places were made under these rows round about. The man told the prophet, “These are the boiling places where the ministers of the house shall boil the sacrifices of the people (Ezekiel 46:21-24).”

-*Application* God is a God of order and unity as well as continuity (1 Corinthians 14:33, 40). His Kingdom endures forever and will have precise structure to it.

 

Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 46:2

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Ezekiel- Chapter 45


Ezekiel 45

 

-This chapter begins with the LORD’s portion allotment in the land; this is a holy portion of the land within the boundary of the inheritance that Jewish descendants get. The sanctuary is in it this most holy place, and it is for the priests to come near and minister as a place of worship. This is for the whole house of Israel (Ezekiel 45:1-6).

-Then there is a portion for the prince on either side of the holy allotment and the property of the city to the east and west. In this place there will no longer be oppression for the people of God by His princes, but they shall give the rest of the land to the house of Israel according to their tribes. God says, “Enough, you princes of Israel; put away violence and destruction, and practice justice and righteousness. Stop your expropriations from My people (Ezekiel 45:7-9).” Justice is what the LORD decrees and gives them measurements for just balances for offerings and sacrifices. Wheat, oil, and sheep are requirements for a grain offering, a burnt offering, and a peace offering in order to make atonement for their sins. “All the people of the land shall give to this offering for the prince in Israel. It shall be the prince’s part to provide the burnt offerings, the grain offerings and the drink offerings, at the feasts, on the new moons and on the Sabbaths, at all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel; he shall provide the sin offering, the grain offering, the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, to make atonement for the house of Israel (Ezekiel 45:10-17, also see Leviticus 1-7 as a cross reference for conditions and regulations in detail).” The sanctuary will be cleansed in the first month on the first day with a young bull without blemish. The priest will take some of the blood from the sin offering and put it on the door posts and on the four corners of the of the ledge of the altar and on the posts of the gate of the inner court for those who go astray or are na├»ve on the seventh day of the first month in order to make atonement for the house. On the fourteenth day of the first month the Passover, a feast for seven days, will be observed with unleavened bread eaten to represent purity. On that day the prince will provide for himself and all the people of the land a bull for a sin offering. “During the seven days of the feast he shall provide as a burnt offering to the LORD seven bulls and seven rams without blemish on every day of the seven days, and a male goat daily for a sin offering.” In addition, in the seventh month and on the fifteenth day at the Feast of Booths, the prince will provide like this (i.e. like the first month Passover week), “seven days for the sin offering, the burnt offering, the grain offering and the oil (Leviticus 23:33-43, Deuteronomy 16:13-17, Ezekiel 45:18-25).”

-*Application* God offers in this eschaton a new beginning in reflection of His worth and greatness,  a second chance to obey and do the simple things that God commands. Thank Him for giving us second chances.

 

Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 45:17

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Ezekiel- Chapter 44


Ezekiel 44

 

-Ezekiel is brought back by the way of the outer gate of the sanctuary, which faces to the east, by the LORD. The gate was shut by decree of the Almighty, not to be opened and with no one else entering by it, “for the LORD God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut (Ezekiel 44:1-2).” Then there is talk of the prince. Whether this is the Messiah or someone else is a matter of conjecture and interpretation. From the text it is not completely clear. This prince will eat before the LORD, and he shall enter by the way of the porch of the gate and shall go out the same way. He, if this is the same prince, seems to be a mortal from the description in Ezekiel 46, since he has an inheritance and sons (Ezekiel 46:16-18). Nonetheless, as Ezekiel is brought by God by way of the north gate to the front of the Temple house, he looked and saw the glory of the LORD filling the house of the LORD causing him to fall on his face in holy reverence (Ezekiel 44:3-4). The LORD speaks to him, “Son of man, mark well, see with your eyes and hear with your ears all that I say to you concerning all the statutes of the house of the LORD and concerning all its laws; and mark well the entrance of the house, with all exits of the sanctuary (Ezekiel 44:5).” He goes further in telling His prophet to speak to the rebellious house of Israel that the LORD says, “Enough of all your abominations (Ezekiel 44:6).” He chastises them for allowing the foreigners who were uncircumcised in heart and flesh to enter into His sanctuary to profane it making His covenant with them void. God rightfully accuses them of not keeping His charge of His holy things and letting these foreign-pagan worshipers take control. The reiteration is made that no foreigners that were allowed to live among the sons of Israel, who are uncircumcised in heart or flesh, shall enter His sanctuary (Ezekiel 44:7-9). Then the word of the LORD is critical toward the Levites who went far from Him when Israel went astray after idols. They would bear the punishment for their iniquity. Yet, they will still have ministerial duties and certain charges, but their responsibilities certainly will be limited and in lesser capacities. They were banished because they had been a stumbling block to the people and had great iniquity before the LORD causing Him to swear against them. These will not come before Him to serve as a priest unto God, nor will they come near His most holy things. These will bear their shame and abominations, which they have committed. However, in God’s grace they are not completely out of the Kingdom (Ezekiel 44:10-14).

-The favored Levitical priests are the sons of Zadok, who kept the LORD’s charge of His sanctuary even when the sons of Israel went astray from their God. These are the ones who will be allowed to come before Him in His holy places to stand before Him and offer Him the fat and the blood by the LORD’s declaration. Their clothing will be linen with nothing that will make them sweat as they minister in the inner court and in the house. No wool is to be worn in the holy place. There are also strict hair codes as they are not to have shaved heads, nor are they to let their locks grow long. They are to keep their hair trimmed and neat, but not bald. They are not to have any wine when they enter the inner court. They are not allowed to marry a widow (except a widow of a priest) or a divorced woman. They are only allowed to take virgins from the offspring of the house of Israel for marriage partners. They have the charge of teaching the people the things of God in differentiation between the holy and the profane. They will be responsible for helping people discern the clean from the unclean. In disputes, the priests of Zadok will take their stand to judge according to the Laws of the LORD, and they will keep all of His appointed feasts and sanctify His Sabbaths. They shall not go to a dead person to defile themselves, but there are some lawful exceptions here. Cleansing rituals are reiterated and the proper ways to present offerings before the LORD. Their inheritance will be from the LORD for He is their possession, not land. They will eat from the sacrifices in abundance from every devoted thing and first fruits contributions in Israel. In fact, the houses of the Kingdom will be blessed as they bless the priests and their work before the LORD (Ezekiel 44:15-31). These rites and rituals are from the Law of Moses given in Exodus and Leviticus during the wilderness wanderings, but now they come full circle in the eschaton. They represent the importance of approaching the LORD God with respect and awe.

-*Application* Too often in our progressive times we approach the King with flippancy and carelessness. He is holy and expects holiness from His faithful subjects. Come before the Lord the right way with reverence, awe, and appreciation in your worship. He is worthy!

 

Verses to Memorize: Ezekiel 44:1-2

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Ezekiel- Chapter 43


Ezekiel 43

 

-Ezekiel is now lead to the gate of the city facing towards the east where he sees the Glory of Israel coming from the way of the east. “His Voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory (Ezekiel 43:1-2).” The Being was like the appearance of the vision which he had previously seen in his encounters with the Living God, like the vision of the destruction of the city of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 8-9) and the visions which he saw by the river Chebar (Ezekiel 1, 3). Ezekiel fell on his face when this occurred (Ezekiel 43:3). Now the glory of the LORD came into this city of God by the way of the gate which was facing east. The Spirit lifted the prophet up and brought him into the inner court, “and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house (Ezekiel 43:4-5).” Then Ezekiel heard One speaking to him from the house, while a man was standing beside him (assumed to be the angel of the measurements). The Voice told him that this was the place of His throne and the place of the soles of His feet, where He will dwell among the sons of Israel forever. At that time they will never again defile His holy Name, neither they the people nor their kings (Ezekiel 43:6-7). Their harlotry and despicable ways, which consumed them in the time of Ezekiel, would be forgiven and true union would be restored (Ezekiel 43:8-9). As for Ezekiel, he was to describe the Temple of the Kingdom to the house of Israel for the purpose of them being ashamed of their atrocities against Him to give them the opportunity for turning back to Him and His holiness. The Law of the house must be kept in holiness (Ezekiel 4310-12).

-Next, Ezekiel give the measurements of the altar of sacrifice by cubits with the steps facing east, toward the way of the King (Ezekiel 43:13-17). The statutes of the offerings unto the LORD are then elucidated in the following section (Ezekiel 43:18-27). God’s acceptance is conditional upon His requirements here as a fulfillment of the people’s love for Him over anything else. The themes of purity and peace resonate through the text in a placid taste of future reconciliation.

-*Application* Have you had the glory of the LORD enter into your personal temple, that being your being (1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 2 Corinthians 6:16). Christ wants to fill you and purify you in the same way that He is coming back to His abode in the New Jerusalem. Repent and make preparations. Prepare ye the way of the Lord (Isaiah 40:3-5, Malachi 4:4-6 Matthew 3:1-3, Luke 1:17; 3:3-6)!

 

Verses to Memorize: Ezekiel 43:2, 5

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Ezekiel- Chapter 42


Ezekiel 42

 

-Ezekiel is next taken out into the outer court, the way toward the north; and he is brought by the man “to the chamber which was opposite the separate area and opposite the building toward the north (Ezekiel 42:1).” Then there was a description of the area opposite of the inner court and opposite the pavement which belonged to the outer court, which “was gallery corresponding to gallery in three stories (Ezekiel 42:3).” Before the chambers was an inner walk, which was ten cubits wide (about 16 feet). This walk way was 100 cubits long (about 1600 feet) and had openings on the north. “Now the upper chambers were smaller because the galleries took more space away from them than from the lower and middle ones in the building (Ezekiel 42:4-5).” They were in three stories with no pillars like the pillars of the courts, and this also made the upper chambers set back more than the lower and middle ones from the ground upward. Measurements were given for the outer wall by the side of the chambers toward the outer facing the chambers as well as descriptions of the entrances (Ezekiel 42:6-12).

-Then the man said to Ezekiel, “The north chambers and the south chambers, which are opposite the separate area, they are the holy chambers where the priests who are near to the LORD shall eat the most holy things. There they shall lay the most holy things, the grain offering, the sin offering and the guilt offering; for the place is holy (Ezekiel 42:13).” The priests were given strict orders of purity here in that they could not wear their garments from the holy place where they ministered out into the outer court. After laying aside the holy garments for normal ones, they could approach the people again (Ezekiel 42:14). This indicates the fact that approaching our holy God should never be taken lightly. The garments represent a holy heart that is required to come before God.

-In the final few verses the man from God finishes up his measurements of the inner house and then the gate areas north, south, east, and west, all of the sides with wall all around, “to divide between the holy and the profane (Ezekiel 42:15-20).”

-*Application* This is a picture of Christ’s future Kingdom set up as God dwells permanently with mankind in the new earth. What a wonderful snapshot of that glorious day!

 

Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 42:13

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Ezekiel- Chapter 41


Ezekiel 41

 

-This chapter depicts the inner Temple area in the vision, which began in chapter 40. The man with measuring rod brought Ezekiel into the nave and gave the measurement dimensions of the area declaring it to be “the most holy place (Ezekiel 41:1-4, 12-15).” Then the wall of the Temple was measured, and a description of the three stories of chambers was given (Ezekiel 41:5-11). Cherubim and palm trees were the Decorator’s choice in ornate design, and there were latticed windows on the sides of the Temple’s porch and chambers with paneled wood (Ezekile 41:16-26). The alter was of wood, which “is the table that is before the LORD (this is either the table of the Presence, Exodus 25:30, or the altar of incense, Exodus 30:1-3, Ezekiel 41:22).”

-*Application* God is a Designer of beauty and grace. His Temple will be beautiful, and we are spiritually housing His presence as believers (1 Corinthians 6:19).

 

Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 41:4

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Ezekiel- Chapter 40

Ezekiel 40
 

-In the twenty-fifth year of the Jewish exile at the hands of the Babylonians, some time since Ezekiel’s last vision, the hand of the LORD, at the beginning of that year on the tenth day of the first month and fourteen years since the city of Jerusalem was taken by Nebuchadnezzar, came upon His prophet and brought him in the Spirit to the land of Israel setting him on a very high mountain (cross reference Isaiah 2:2). To the south of this mountain there was a structure like a city. There was a man (either an angel or a theophany of Christ) there whose appearance was like bronze, and he had a line of flax and a measuring rod in his hand. He was standing in the gateway as Ezekiel came to see the structure. The man then said to him, “Son of man, see with your eyes, hear with your ears, and give attention to all that I am going to show you; for you have been brought here in order to show it (the Temple) to you. Declare to the house of Israel all that you see (Ezekiel 40:1-4).” This is either interpreted literally or symbolically. If it is literal, the Temple that was shown to Ezekiel was one that was given to Zerubbabel as a blueprint but never obediently followed in 520-515 B.C., or it is a Temple to be rebuilt during the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. Symbolical interpretation, which to me would make all the measurements and structural details unnecessary, could include either the Temple representing the true worship to God of the Christian church now, or a symbolic future when God’s presence is filling and blessing the earth. These last two interpretations are weak in my opinion and understanding. The symbolic position’s only recourse is that the focal point seems to be on the sacrificial system, which Christ has abolished by His work on the cross. We are left to speculate on this issue since the Temple has not been constructed to these specifications up to the current time.

-The remainder of the chapter deals with the details of the layout of the Temple and its wall (Ezekiel 40:5-49).

-*Application* It is as if God went into the future and gave him a DVD of exactly what His Messianic Temple would look like. God’s glory rests in His precision and articulate creativity. He has created each of us with a special call and destiny, which can only be accomplished if we surrender to His will and purposes. Allow Him to design and the blueprint and complete the calling that is on your life. Let His providence rule and do not resist His dreams for you.

 

Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 40:4

Monday, December 8, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Ezekiel- Chapter 39


Ezekiel 39

 

-The prophesy continues against Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. The LORD will turn them around and drive them on as they come against Israel from the remotest parts of the north into the mountains of Israel. He will strike them and dash them giving them as food for every predatory bird of the air and every beast of the field. He has spoken; it will be accomplished (Ezekiel 39:1-5). The LORD will set fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coastlands in safety, and they will certainly KNOW that He is LORD will full authority. He will make His Holy Name KNOWN in the midst of His people Israel, and this Name will be profaned no longer. The nations will KNOW that He is the only One, magnificent and true. It is coming; it shall be done. This is the day of which He has spoken (Ezekiel 39:6-8).

-Fires will be made of the debris and weapons of war by the inhabitants of the cities of Israel for seven years when this day of the LORD is completed. They will not need to take wood from the field or gather firewood from the forests. They will take the spoil of those who despoiled them seizing the plunder of those who plundered them. Gog will be given a burial ground there in Israel in the valley of Hamon-gog (Armageddon, Valley Plain of Jezreel, Megiddo), and for seven months the dead will be found and buried there in order to cleanse the land of its impurity. Men will be set apart to constantly go through marking and burying body parts and bones for cleansing during this time. The birds and beasts will be full to the point of being glutted and drunk of the deceased’s fat and blood (Ezekiel 39:9-20). At that time the LORD will set His glory among the nations as they see His judgment, which He has executed on His enemies. Further, the nations will know that the house of Israel went into their exile among the nations because they had iniquity and acted treacherously against their Holy King making Him hide His face from them. Their calamity was deserved because they turned from following their true God, and He gave them into the hands of their adversaries to fall by the sword. But, from this time forward, the house of Israel will know that the LORD is God (Ezekiel 39:21-24).

-The LORD declares that now He will restore the house of Israel’s fortunes and have mercy on them, the whole of them. He will be jealous for His Name and act on their behalf for His permanent glory. As this happens, the Jewish people will forget (or “bear” in some translations, this is the more literal usage) their disgrace and all their treachery which they perpetrated against the King of Glory. They will again live securely on their own land with no one to make them afraid anymore. As they are brought back and regathered, God will sanctify Himself through them in the sight of many nations. “’Then they will KNOW that I am the LORD their God because I made them go into exile among the nations, and then gathered them again to their own land; and I will leave none of them any longer. I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I will have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,’ Declares the LORD God (Ezekiel 39:25-29).” This coincides with Joel’s prophecy no doubt (Joel 2:28-29). Partial fulfillment was achieved at Pentecost, but fuller fulfillment will come in the last days (Acts 2:1-24).

-*Application* You can cross reference Revelation 20 for the complete picture of what Ezekiel sees in his vision. For us in the here and now, this passage is a reminder to stay completely faithful to our God and Savior. He is sovereign and should have absolute rule in our lives. If this is the case, we need not fear His retribution.

 

Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 39:28-29

Friday, December 5, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Ezekiel- Chapter 38


Ezekiel 38

 

-The prophecy against Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh (Russia), Meshech (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan areas) and Tubal (Modern Central Turkey), is a fascinating and complex word that will occur in the last days. There will be a confederacy of nations that will attack the regathered portion of Israel who dwell securely in their land. Among this confederacy will be Persia (Modern Iran), Ethiopia, Put (Western Northern Africa), Gomer (North and possibly parts of Europe), and Beth-togarmah (Modern Armenians) (Ezekiel 38:1-6, 8). God tells His people to be prepared and to prepare themselves so as to be on guard for them (Ezekiel 38:7). Like a storm this confederacy will cover the area like a cloud with peoples all around coming to seize, plunder, spoil, and destroy. Shebah and Dedan (Saudi Arabia) and the merchants of Tarshish (Western area more than likely, possibly Spain) will question their intent and desires to capture and steal away the produce and value of the land (Ezekiel 38:9-13). As this vast array of an army comes out of the remotest parts of the north at their evil impulse and desire (Ezekiel 38:10), the LORD brings them against His land so that He can make Himself KNOWN among the nations when He is sanctified (set apart) through this event (Ezekiel 38:14-16). These events have been prophesied and it will go according to His plan (Ezekiel 38:17). “It will come about on that day, when Gog comes against the land of Israel, that My (The LORD’s) fury will mount up in My anger (Ezekiel 38:18).” In His zeal and blazing wrath there will be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish, the birds, the beasts, all the creeping things, and all the men that “are on the face of the earth will shake at His presence; the mountains will be thrown down, the steep pathways will collapse, and every wall will fall to the ground (Ezekiel 38:19-20).” God will cause a raising up against the forces of Gog on all His mountains and “every man’s sword will be against his brother (Ezekiel 38:21).” With pestilence and blood the LORD will enter into judgment with Gog and his forces; He will rain on him and his troops a torrential rain of hailstones, fire, and brimstone (Ezekiel 38:22). God will magnify Himself, sanctify Himself, and make Himself KNOWN in the sight of many nations, “and they will KNOW that I am the LORD (Ezekiel 38:23).”

-*Application* The day of the LORD will come with fire. Prepare yourself for His glory to be revealed. Don’t succumb to temptation and go with the enemy. Stand fast in the ways of the Father and see His vindication come with power and glory. God is the victory!

 

Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 38:18

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Ezekiel- Chapter 37


Ezekiel 37

 

-Ezekiel is taken out by the Spirit into the valley full of dried out, dead bones. There were very many of these bones and they were very dry, lifeless. The LORD asks the question, “Son of man, can these bones live?” Ezekiel’s response expresses complete perplexity, “O Lord GOD, You know (Ezekiel 37:1-3).” Then the LORD commands him to prophesy over the bones to hear the word of the LORD. He will cause breath (ruwach, spirit, wind) to enter them so that they will have new life. He will put sinews (nerves, tendons, muscles) on them and make flesh grow back on them. They will have breath to come alive, and they will know that God is the LORD (Ezekiel 37:4-6). As Ezekiel prophesied as commanded there was a noise and a rattling. The bones came together bone to its bone. The sinew, flesh, and skin came upon them, but there was still no breath. Ezekiel was then told to prophesy to the breath to come from the four winds and breathe life into the slain. Ezekiel obeyed and the resurrection took place as their breath returned making them alive to stand on their feet, an exceedingly great army (Ezekiel 37:7-10). These bones, it was revealed, are the whole house of Israel. They had succumbed to the fact that they were dried up with perished hope, completely cut off. God says that He is opening their graves and causing them to come out of them as His people. He will put His Spirit within them bringing them back to life. They will be placed on their own land, and then they will KNOW that the LORD has spoken and accomplished this miracle (Ezekiel 37:11-14).

-Now the word of the LORD came again to his prophet telling him to take two sticks labeled Judah (Southern Kingdom) and Ephraim (Northern Kingdom). Ezekiel was told to join these two sticks in his hand to make them one signifying the LORD making the two nations one kingdom in His Hand. God will take the Jewish people from among the nations where they have gone and gather them from every side to bring them back into the Promised Land, their own land. “They will no longer defile themselves with their idols, or with their detestable things or with any of their transgressions,” and the LORD will deliver them “from all their dwelling places (backslidings) in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them.” They will be His people, and He will be their God (Ezekiel 37:15-23). His Servant David (a Messianic reference here) will be King over them, and they will have but One Shepherd. His people will walk in His ordinances and keep His statutes to observe them. They will live on the land that the LORD gave to Jacob His servant for generations and generations forever. God’s Servant David will be their Prince forever. A covenant of peace will be made, which will be an everlasting covenant with them. God will place them back on their own soil and multiply them setting His sanctuary in their midst forever. God will dwell with His people as their Savior, Friend, and King. They will be His people and He will be their God. “And the nations will KNOW that I am the LORD who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forever (Ezekiel 37:24-28).” This future promise has yet to be completely fulfilled though we see some of its completion already as the regathering has begun. One day Messiah Jesus will fulfill this prophecy completely as He returns and sets up His Kingdom that will literally never end. The Jewish people have an integral part to play in this resurrection of the dry bones as one unified nation under the LORD God.

-*Application* Whether it’s a nation or your own life, God wants to breathe in His Spirit to restore the dead things and bring them back to life. His power is amazing to do the impossible. Trust in Him and see His miracles come to fruition in your own life, family, and situation.

 

Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 37:14

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Ezekiel- Chapter 36


Ezekiel 36

 

-In defense of His great Name, the LORD defends His people and prophecies to the mountains, hills, ravines, valleys, desolate wastes, and forsaken cities magnificent and amazing future events that will revolutionize the land of promise (Ezekiel 36:1, 4, 21-23, 32). He is against Edom, which is a reiteration from the previous denouncement in chapter 35. The LORD, in the fire of His jealousy, speaks against any nation that comes in insult and bearing disgrace for stumbling in regard to His land and people (Ezekiel 36:5-7, 13-15).

-For His own glory God will be for Israel. He will put forth their branches and bear fruit for them. They will come back soon and multiply. God will turn to them again, and they will be cultivated and sown in His great love. The cities will inhabited and all of Israel will increase and be fruitful. God will even treat them better than they were at first in His miracles and provision. “Thus you will KNOW that I am the LORD.” They will leave an inheritance and never again be bereaved of children (Ezekiel 36:8-12)itheththe

-The LORD further declares that as He takes them from the nations to re-gather He will “sprinkle clean water” on them to cleanse all the filthiness and all the idolatry. He promises to give them a new heart and put a new spirit within them. He will remove the cold heart of stone that is lifeless and replace it with a warm-living heart of flesh. His Spirit will be put into them causing them to walk in His statutes and making them careful to observe His ordinances. They will be His people, and He will be their God (Ezekiel 36:24-28). The LORD will save His people who trust in Him from their uncleanness. He will call for grain and multiply it, never bringing famine on them again. Trees will be fruitful along with the produce of the field for the purpose of not having to receive sustenance from surrounding nations, which was once to their disgrace (Modern Israel is the only place in the world today that is encroaching on desert regions with agricultural produce, a modern miracle in fulfillment of this prophecy. They are now self-sustained as a creditor nation, Ezekiel 36:29-30). This blessing will bring the Jewish people to the point of realization that their ways have been evil with deeds that were not good. They will loathe themselves for their iniquities and abominations, but God will forgive and restore; again, this is solely for His glory. The desolate land will become like the Garden of Eden, and the waste, desolate, and ruined cities will be inhabited and fortified in a great rebuilding (Today in the nation of Israel all you see is construction and huge cranes reaching to sky). Everyone will notice this and will KNOW that it is the LORD who has rebuilt His place. The population will increase at the LORD’s desire and prosperity will be completely evident (Ezekiel 36:31-38).

-*Application* As the end of days in this carnal and corrupt world approach us. It is ultimately gratifying to see these prophecies being literally fulfilled in our present context. The Israelites are God’s people. Gentiles can be grafted into this mix, but the LORD will never leave or forsake His promises (Romans 11). All of them will come to fruition according to His plan and purpose for His glory! Amen! Also, thank God for the Holy Spirit that He gave us as believers at Pentecost for His indwelling presence. We are partakers of the Divine nature and have Him IN us unto everlasting life (2 Peter 1:3-4)!

 

Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 36:25-27

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Ezekiel- Chapter 35


Ezekiel 35

 

-A prophecy against Mt. Seir (or Edom, southeast of the Dead Sea region) is given to Ezekiel in this scathing chapter. They will be laid waste in desolation because they loved bloodshed and everlasting enmity with Israel thinking that they would overtake the two nations (Judah and the Northern Kingdom of Israel) to make them their own inheritance. Indeed, God will stretch out His Hand against Mt. Seir (Edom) so that they will KNOW that He is the LORD. They will be desolated forever with no habitation (Ezekiel 35:9). Their hatred and arrogance will become their ruin as the LORD makes Himself KNOWN to them with verosocity. He no doubt has heard all they have said and thought as they rejoiced over Israel’s fall and destruction. Therefore, the LORD will dismantle them, all of them, so that all will KNOW that He is the only true God, and besides Him there is no other (Ezekiel 35:1-15).

-*Application* Those who live by the sword will die by the sword (Matthew 26:52). Peace is achieved when we bless those who have done us wrong. Overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). God will bless you if you bless His people (Genesis 12:3). Beat down those while they are being punished by the LORD, and you will soon receive His wrath as well. Remain humble and resist arrogance or deceitful scheming. Let the LORD have His way in your life and live well. These are but a few of the lessons we can learn from this chapter of warning. For more cross reference the concise book of Obadiah.

 

Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 35:15

Monday, December 1, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Ezekiel- Chapter 34


Ezekiel 34

 

-God’s word to Ezekiel in this chapter starts with a woe upon the shepherds (spiritual leaders) of Israel. These men have been feeding themselves with no regard to providing for their flock (the populace of Israel). They have clothed only themselves with the sheep’s wool, they have not strengthened the sickly, they have not healed the diseased, they have not bound up the broken, they have not brought back the scattered, they have not sought for the lost, they have ruled with force, severity and domination, they scattered their flock, and they left their flock prey for every beast of the field (Ezekiel 34:1-6). Because of these faults, God is against His shepherds who have shirked their assigned duty (Ezekiel 34:7-10a). Now God will stop them from feeding the sheep for their own profit, and He will personally take over making the flock His possession by demand to deliver them (Ezekiel 34:10b).

-Now comes restoration language in the passage as hope is restored. The LORD says that He will personally search out His sheep and seek them out. He will be their Good Shepherd (John 10) and care for them. He will rescue them from all the places to which they were scattered on “a cloudy and gloomy day.” He will bring them back to their own land and feed them on the mountains of Israel by the streams and in all the inhabited places. He will feed them in a good pasture and pleasant grazing fields. He will lead them to rest as He seeks out the lost, brings back the scattered, binds up the broken, and strengthens the sick (Ezekiel 34:11-16a). But, the fat and the strong He will destroy and feed them with judgment. God will be the ultimate Judge and rule with righteousness in His wings (Malachi 4:2). At this time His servant David (the Messiah, David’s descendent) will be set over them as One Shepherd, and He will feed them making a covenant of peace with them (Ezekiel 37:26, Hebrews 13:20). The harmful beasts will be eliminated from the land, and His people will dwell securely with no more fear or panic. Showers of blessing will rain down upon them in their season, and the tree of the field will bear its fruit. The earth will rejoice in its increase, and His people will KNOW that the LORD is God who has broken the yoke of oppression and sadness from their slavery. They will no longer be a prey of the nations, and they will be established with plenty of food in abundance (no more famine). They will no longer be insulted or ridiculed, and they will KNOW that the LORD is with them because they are His people. His sheep are the sheep of His pasture, and He is their God (Ezekiel 34:16b-31).

-*Application* God is the great Deliverer and will set all things right. We need not worry about false shepherds who are damaging the flock. Look to the True Shepherd of your souls and learn at His feet. He will care for you, heal you, feed you, keep you, and bless you. False shepherds beware, your judgment is coming from on high.

 

Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 34:4-5, 12-16

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Ezekiel- Chapter 33


Ezekiel 33

 

-The word comes again to Ezekiel to speak to the sons of his people to speak of the importance of warning and accountability. Those who heed the warning are the wise ones, and those who refuse to listen are without excuse. However, there is a duty for the watchman. If he does his job he will deliver his life, but if he is negligent or fearful he will be taken away in his iniquity and the blood of his people will be his responsibility (Ezekiel 33:1-6). The LORD tells Ezekiel that he has been appointed a watchman for the house of Israel to reveal the message of Him to speak the truth that will hold the people accountable for their actions (Ezekiel 33:7-10). As the LORD lives He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but instead that they turn from their evil way and turn in repentance to the Father for forgiveness and restoration. The phrase, “Turn back, turn back,” is reiterated for emphasis begging the question, “Why then will you die, O house of Israel (Ezekiel 33:11)?” Ezekiel is commanded by God to relate to Israel that their sins can be eliminated, but transgression is certainly going to keep them from the LORD if they continue in it. If there is a turning to God in justice and righteousness, that person shall surely live. God’s way is right, the people’s own way is totally wrong and will lead to death. So, when a man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, then he will die in it. When a man turns from his wickedness back to God, he will live. God will be the judge and jury for each according to their ways (Ezekiel 33:12-20). In other words, He always has the final say on matters of redemption. He looks at the heart and knows the inner man. *Application* It is not what a man thinks or says that determine his direction. It is what he does that truly reveals what he believes. You can’t fake out God. He knows your end from the beginning, and He demands steadfast love and devotion to Him. This particular word was given in a dispensation before the new covenant and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the One who can seal us and secure us for Heaven. Look to Him and Christ’s justification at the cross for eternal salvation and no one else. Without Him you are toast.

-The second part of this chapter reveals the word of the LORD to Ezekiel in the twelfth year of exile (585 B.C.) on the fifth day of the tenth month. It is at this time that the refugees came from Jerusalem to deliver the news that the city had been taken by the Babylonians. Even before the refugees came, the Hand of the LORD had been upon Ezekiel in the evening. Now at the time that they came his mouth was opened and he spoke from God telling them basically that they are ridiculous if they think they deserve any portion of the desolated land after the abominations they had continually committed against their God. God reveals that the pride of her (Israel’s) power will cease. Then they will KNOW that He is the LORD when He makes a desolation and a waste of the land with no one passing through. The people are charged with hearing the word of the LORD but not doing it. Instead, they do the lustful desires expressed by their mouths and their hearts go after their own gain. The message is summed up in this analogy, “Behold, you (Ezekiel) are to them like a sensual song by one who has a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument; for they hear your words but they do not practice them. So when it comes to pass—as surely it will—then they will know that a prophet has been in their midst (Ezekiel 33:21-33).

-*Application* Be effectual doers of the Word, not just forgetful hearers (James 1:22-25).

 

Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 33:5, 11

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Ezekiel- Chapter 32


Ezekiel 32

 

-In the twelfth year of captivity, in the twelfth month, and on the first day of the month the word of the LORD came to Ezekiel further saying, “Son of man, take up a lamentation over Pharaoh king of Egypt and say to him, ‘You compared yourself to a young lion of the nations, yet you are like the monster in the seas; and you burst forth in your rivers and muddied the waters with your feet and fouled their rivers (Ezekiel 32:1-2).’” God goes further in telling His prophet to proclaim that He will spread His net over the Pharaoh with a company of many peoples, and they will lift him up in the LORD’s net (Ezekiel 32:3). God will leave his people on the land, and cast them upon the open field. The birds will feast on their carcasses. The land will drink their blood which has been spilt out, and the ravines will be full of the Egyptians. They will be extinguished as the heavens are covered and the stars are darkened in their land (Ezekiel 32:4-8). The nations will be troubled around them when the LORD brings His destruction and dispersion upon them. Many will be appalled at them and the nation’s kings will be “horribly afraid” when God’s sword of wrath is brandished before them. Trembling and the saying “every man for his life” will be the norm on the day of Egypt’s fall (Ezekiel 32:9-11). All this will be done that they will KNOW that the LORD is God. All the daughters of the nations will chant lamentation over Egypt and her hordes (supporters, Ezekiel 32:12-15).

-Now on the fifteenth of the month (apparently two weeks later), the word of God came again telling Ezekiel more distressing news for the nation of Egypt and her allies. Their beauty was being destroyed and they would make their bed with the uncircumcised. They would fall by the sword. Assyria too would fall in the same manner with Elam, Meshech, Tubal, Edom, the chiefs of the north (probably princes of the Phoenician city-states), the Sidonians along with all their hordes (Ezekiel 32:16-32). Babylon was the destroyer and these nations were the destroyed.

-*Application* God works in the course of human events to accomplish His purposes. At the time He was preserving His people in Babylon through their might and vitality. He was raising up men like Daniel and women like Esther to refine His own people and reach out to the Babylonians with the truth, yet the Babylonians would never really accept Him fully. Do we see the same things happening in our lives? Sometimes our captivity moments are where God is developing and shaping us. Always trust that He is good and working things for the believers’ benefit as we conform to His image (Romans 8:28-29).

 

Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 32:32

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Ezekiel- Chapter 31


Ezekiel 31

 

-On the first day of the third month in the eleventh year of Babylonian captivity for Ezekiel (586 B.C.), he received another prophetic word from the LORD pertaining to Pharaoh of Egypt and his multitude of supporting hordes to devalue their lofty position of arrogance and defiance. The LORD uses Assyria in His analogy for what was to come in Egypt. Assyria too was high and lifted up in her beauty with the trees of Lebanon and the plentiful supply of water producing abundance and prosperity to the point that the poetry even states “all the trees of Eden, which were in the garden of God, were jealous of it (Ezekiel 31:1-9).” But then, God states, “Because it is high in stature and has set its top among the clouds, and its heart is haughty in its loftiness, therefore I will give it into the hand of a despot of the nations (see Daniel 2:37-38, this is Nebuchadnezar); he will thoroughly deal with it. According to its wickedness I have driven it away. Alien tyrants of the nations have cut it down and left it; on the mountains and in all the valleys its branches have fallen and its boughs have been broken in all the ravines of the land. And all the peoples of the earth have gone down from its shade and left it. On its ruin all the birds of the heavens will dwell, and all the beasts of the field will be on its fallen branches so that all the trees by the waters may not be exalted in their stature, nor set their top among the clouds, nor their well-watered mighty ones stand erect in their height. For they have all been given over to death, to the earth beneath, among the sons of men, with those who go down to the pit (Ezekiel 31:10-14)." The LORD further declares that He was the One who caused lamentations closing the deep over this once prestigious land. It is He that held back her rivers and water sources making Lebanon mourn over it and causing the wilting away. The earth quaked at the sound of its fall, which would landed them in Sheol, or the pit (Ezekiel 31:15-17). The last verse of the passage brings the reader back to the nation being addressed, which is Egypt and their allies. God tells them not to get conceited in their own glory and greatness. He has all power and will bring them down to Sheol, just like He did with Assyria and the trees of Eden that were cursed from sin along with the uncircumcised and those slain by the sword (Ezekiel 31:18).

-*Application* We see sports teams and nations fall under this type of delusion all the time through the course of history don’t we? When conceit and swagger become your M/O you’d better watch out. Compare this to humble-confident reliance and faith in the Almighty, which raises people, nations, and even sports teams up to do the impossible. All credit, glory, and honor goes to God. The battle is His under His dominion (1 Samuel 17:47).

 

Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 31:10-11

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Ezekiel- Chapter 30


Ezekiel 30

 

-The lament over Egypt is taken up by the prophet in this explicative chapter of Scripture. The LORD says, “Wail, 'Alas for the day!' for the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near; it will be a day of clouds, a time of doom for the nations. A sword will come upon Egypt, and anguish will be in Ethiopia; when the slain fall in Egypt, they take away her wealth, and her foundations are torn down (Ezekiel 30:2-4).” Her allies will fall with by the sword and be broken too (Ezekiel 30:5, 8). “The pride of her power will come down” with violence being reigned upon them making the place desolate, incapacitated, and devastated (Ezekiel 30:6-7). This, like all the other occurrences prophesied in Ezekiel, will make KNOWN that the LORD is God when He sets a fire in Egypt (Ezekiel 30:8). It is by the hand of none other than Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and those with him who exact the vengeance of the LORD in fulfillment of His decrees (Ezekiel 30:10-12). God will also destroy the wretched idols, images, and princes of Egypt in His fury putting fear, fire, desolation, judgments, wrath, anguish, breaches, distresses daily, violence, captivity, darkness, clouds, and weakness upon them and their hosts. “Thus I (the LORD) will execute judgments on Egypt, and they will KNOW that I am the LORD (Ezekiel 30:13-19).”

-In the eleventh year of Ezekiel’s captivity in the first month on the seventh day, the word of the LORD came to the prophet again telling him that the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt has been broken and “it is not bound up for healing or wrapped in a bandage.” In other words, the strength of this once mighty position of power has been sapped and the enemy will now come in to destroy negating any opposition. God is against Pharaoh and will break him to the point of his people scattering among the nations in a dispersion. The king of Babylon will be strong at this time that “they will KNOW that I am the LORD (Ezekiel 30:20-26).”

-*Application* This message came to the prophet while Jerusalem was under siege from the Babylonian forces. Their reliance upon a defeated ally in the spiritual and soon physical realm was unwise and furthered their demise. Who do we rely on when desperate times come? Look to God to provide and supply. He is the sole Source of our sufficiency. Count only on Him, not people, power, riches, or your government.

 

Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 30:25

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Ezekiel- Chapter 29


Ezekiel 29

 

-The front end of this chapter predates the material in chapter 28 by a little bit as Ezekiel gets a word from the LORD to speak over the coming doom and destruction of Egypt and its Pharaoh, which would occur during the time of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Egypt had trusted in her position of power, wealth, and natural resources. Egypt thought that the Nile was her’s and not God’s, made by her own power (Ezekiel 29:3, 9). Therefore, the LORD will lay them waste as a kingdom putting hooks in their jaws (cultural term for conquest), bringing them out of their country, abandoning them to the desert wilderness, and making them fall in the open field with a violent scattering (Ezekiel 29:4-5). This will be done for the purpose of God becoming KNOWN as LORD by the inhabitants of Egypt (Ezekiel 29:6, 9). God was upset with them for not keeping their commitments to His people in Israel and running away in expediency when times got tough from their neighbor to the north (Ezekiel 29:6-7). Therefore, the LORD will cause the sword of the enemy come upon them leaving them weak, desolated, and wasted. For 40 years they would languish among the nations in a dispersion, and then they were prophesied over that they would never again rise to prominence among the nations. They would be a lowly kingdom, and never again would they be the confidence of Israel so that all would KNOW that the LORD is God (Ezekiel 29:8-16).

-Further, and a very distant time into the future of some 17 years, God speaks again concerning Egypt through Ezekiel in Babylon. This word had to do with the Father’s blessing upon Nebuchadnezzar to gain wealth and wages for his army in Egypt. Whereas he not become rich by his conquest of Tyre by this time, he would profit greatly from his invasion and conquest of Egypt. Babylon would “carry off wealth, capture her spoil, and seize her plunder.” This army had acted for God in their domination and fulfilled His prophetic word (Ezekiel 29:17-20).

-The final sentence gives us important prophecy, “On that day I will make a Horn sprout for the house of Israel, and I will open your mouth (literally- nathan pithchown peh “give you an opening of the mouth,” i.e. astonishment) in their midst. Then they will KNOW (emphasis mine) that I am the LORD (Ezekiel 29:21).” This is more than likely a Messianic note of future hope for Israel and a call to receive His redemption for the people of Egypt.

-*Application* Pride is again a real problem in our coming to the LORD. We must admit that He is the ruler of all, He is the one who gives us our abilities and resources, and He is the one who ordains the opportunities for greatness. Instead of claiming our own prominence like the Egyptians had done, we need to acknowledge where the true credit belongs in our accomplishments, which is God’s grace and power. All glory goes to Him. There is also a hint of steadfastness in this passage to which we should pay attention. Egypt had run out on their commitments when things went south. We need to stick to our allies through thick and thin being faithful all the way.

 

Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 29:16

Monday, November 17, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Ezekiel- Chapter 28


Ezekiel 28

 

-Ezekiel takes his message from the city of Tyre to the king of Tyre in his next word from the LORD (Ezekiel 28:2, 12). This king was the cause of the fall because he lifted his heart up to be like God, which introduces us to the concept of original sin and the activities of Satan in the beginning of creation. There is a comparison and running theme of this pride issue intertwined throughout the passage between the king of Tyre and his influencer, Satan. We see the beauty, perfection, and wisdom that is bequeathed upon each, which lead to their haughty spirit and the deception that they were like God as a god themselves (Ezekiel 28:2-6, 9, 12, 15, 17-18). This lie lead to their destruction since none is like the LORD God. One more interesting note is the reference to the wisdom of Daniel, who was a contemporary of Ezekiel in Babylon and had apparently already received incredible accolades in the foreign land (Ezekiel 28:3).

-The phrases “You were in Eden, the garden of God,” “You were the anointed cherub who covers,” and “You were on the holy mountain of God” could only refer to the spiritual person of Satan, which takes the message from the mere physical reality of this king from Tyre to the power behind him (Ezekiel 28:13-14). From this text we can learn some important characteristics of the one who is called Satan, Lucifer, the enemy, the accuser, the adversary, the star of the morning, the son of dawn, the devil, the dragon, the serpent, or Beelzebub in Scripture. He was created (Ezekiel 28:13, 15), he was blameless in his ways at the creation (Ezekiel 28:15), he had a free will to choose right or wrong (Ezekiel 28:15-16), violence is his internal filling (Ezekiel 28:16), he is the father of sin and unrighteousness (Ezekiel 28:15-16), he was cast from the mountain of God as profane to the ground before human kings to be seen (Ezekiel 28:16-17), his beauty made his heart be lifted up in conceit (Ezekiel 28:17), and his wisdom corrupted him by reason of his splendor (Ezekiel 28:17). So, within the context of this judgment on the king of Tyre, deeper spiritual implications are taught.

-God’s word is declared for recompense upon this evil and prideful king. Strangers were prophesied to come upon the nation of Tyre, the most ruthless of the nations who will draw swords and cut them down from their beauty defiling their splendor (Ezekiel 28:7). They will be brought down to the pit dying the death of those who are slain in the heart of the seas and the uncircumcised (Ezekiel 28:8, 10). Fire will consume them because of the multitude of their iniquities and the unrighteousness of their trade which profaned sanctuaries (Ezekiel 28:18). Those that know them from previous ventures will be appalled and terrified as Tyre ceases to be forever (Ezekiel 28:19).

-Then, a new word is given for Sidon, which was just north of Tyre along the Mediterranean coast. God spoke against this city too with a coming pestilence and violence for being a nuisance with contempt to Israel (Ezekiel 28:20-24). This is done again for the purpose that “they will KNOW that I am the LORD God (Ezekiel 28:22-24).” Sidon’s economy was so closely tied to Tyre that when they fell to Nebuchadnezzar, Sidon was doomed as well.

-In the last two verses of the chapter we get the hope of regathering for Israel once again prophesied. It will be at this time that the LORD’s holiness will be manifested in the sight of the nations, the Israelites will again live in their land, they will live securely planting vineyards and building houses, and they will KNOW that the LORD is God as they see the Sovereign execute judgments upon all who disdain them round about (Ezekiel 28:25-26).

-*Application* We must destroy pride at its source. Recognize the enemy within and kill him with the blood of Christ shed at Calvary accepted by us through faith. Then walk humbly with your King (Micah 6:8).

 

Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 28:17

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Ezekiel- Chapter 27


Ezekiel 27

 

-The lament over Tyre, the merchant of the peoples to many coastlands who dwells at the entrance to the sea, is resumed in this continued prophetic word by Ezekiel from the LORD. Her perfect beauty became her downfall because of pride (Ezekiel 27:3; 28:2). Many nations, along with their items, are listed, including Judah, who have done exceeding trade and mercantile with this savvy and skilled enterprising culture bringing profit, glory, and advancement in the region (Ezekiel 27:4-25). This would all change when Nebuchadnezzar’s army would come to dismantle. “The east wind has broken you,” and they “will fall into heart of the seas.” “The pasture lands will shake” and the sailors and all the pilots of the sea “will come down from their ships.” A bitter cry will go forth from Trye’s previous partners with men casting dust on their heads and wallowing in ashes. They will make themselves bald with grief and gird themselves with sackcloth with anguish and soulful mourning. They will take up a lamentation over Tyre, who will be silent in the seas, broken and fallen. “All the inhabitants of the coastlands are appalled at you (Tyre), and their kings are horribly afraid; they are troubled in countenance. The merchants among the peoples his at you; you have become terrified and you will cease to be forever (Ezekiel 27:26-36).”

-*Application* A nation that exalts itself without giving credit to the Sovereign LORD will soon enough perish. This is a similar fate expressed for Babylon in the book of Revelation (Revelation 18). The earth’s desire is for material success and prosperity to indulge the flesh. The Kingdom of God operates on a different standard than that.

 

Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 27:34

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Ezekiel- Chapter 26


Ezekiel 26

 

-In the eleventh year, which would have been 586 B.C. the same year that Jerusalem fell to Babylon, on the first of the month the word of the LORD came again upon Ezekiel concerning the fall of Tyre. Tyre was the capital of the Phoenician people’s empire just north of Israel along the Mediterranean Sea coast. Part of this city was on the mainland and part of it was on a beautiful island off of the coast a little ways. As the text states, Tyre audaciously thought that her nation would benefit from the collapse of Judah, who held the inland trade routes to Egypt (Ezekiel 26:2). Tyre was the dominator of the water trade routes with Egypt and now saw a potential for more money as the primary trading proprietor of this region once Judah was in chaos as a defeated foe with the European and Western Asian land trade routes interrupted from the eastern power of Babylon.

-God revealed, however, that Nebuchadnezzar was coming to take control of Tyre as well and that she would be utterly destroyed forever more. Tyre too would KNOW that Jehovah was LORD as He would be against them in the form of many nation’s invasions and crippling blows, which would eventually leave her desolate forever (Ezekiel 26:6, 19). She would not gloat over Judah’s misfortune, but be a spoil for the nations and devastated by the violence of the sword with a wounded groan of lamentation. God Almighty was bringing terrors on Tyre to the point that she would be no more and never found again (Ezekiel 26:3-21). Tyre proved to be a difficult capture for the Babylonian army over the period of 15 years from the time that Ezekiel gave this prophesy in Babylon. Because of her trade and fresh supplies from the sea routes, siege was a long and drawn out endeavor. However, by 571 B.C. Tyre was captured and overthrown in part. The completion of the prophesy was not realized until 332 B.C. when Alexander the Great marched in and threw the rubble from the mainland of Tyre into the sea until it made a bridge to the island portion. Once the land bridge was created, his armies marched across and completely destroyed the island, and today this original island is still a pile of rubble, a testimony to God’s enduring judgment on a city that gloated over Judah’s demise (Ezekiel 26:12, 14).

-*Application* The old saying is true, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.” Tyre was prosperous and affluent with what was considered an impenetrable fortress, but God always has the last say in these matters. Stay humble before Him if you really want to thrive long term.

 

Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 26:2

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Ezekiel- Chapter 25


Ezekiel 25

 

-Now that the word had been given for the judgment of Judah and in particular Jerusalem, the message then turns to God’s prophecies against Gentile nations that surrounded the Holy Land. This section extends from chapters 25 through 32 and includes seven nations. The Ammonites were judged because of their joy over the desecration of the Temple. They would be possessed by the sons of the east, and the land of Rabbah in Ammon east of the Jordan River would become a desolation and pasture for camels and flocks (I saw wild camels running around those parts when I was in Israel a short while back, a very strange sight). God stretched out His hand against them to give them as spoil to the barbaric nations and cut them off to the point of perishing so that they would KNOW that He is the LORD (Ezekiel 25:1-7).

-The Moabites, who were just south of Ammon, would be judged because of their scorn for Judah and their pleasure in Judah’s wickedness. The sons of the east would take possession of this group as well. They would be remembered no more among the nations as their flank was deprived and their glory faded away. God executed His judgment on them again for the purpose that they would KNOW that He is forever the LORD (Ezekiel 25:8-11).

-The Edomites were blood brothers of the Jews and shared its northern border with Israel through the line of Esau. They were continuously in conflict with their distant kinsmen and grew in disdain for God’s chosen people. Because of this hatred and an avenging spirit that they took out upon the Jews, the LORD would stretch out His Hand against them to cut off man and beast from their land. He would lay it waste from Teman even to Dedan (east of the Dead Sea area) by means of the sword by the hand of God’s people Israel. “When Ezekiel delivered this prophecy, he and many other Jews were living as captives in Babylon. They didn't have control of their own country, let alone anyone else's. But, about 400 years later, Jews regained independence for Jerusalem and the surrounding area during the ‘Hasmonaean Era or Period.’ During this time, the Jewish priest-king John Hyrcanus I defeated the Edomites (see http://www.aboutbibleprophecy.com/ezekiel_25_14.htm).” God proclaims that this will make them KNOW His vengeance for hating His people instead of loving and helping them (Ezekiel 25:12-14).

-The Philistines were judged for acting in revenge against Judah “with scorn of soul to destroy with everlasting enmity.” God vowed to cut them off along with the Cherethites, who were originated in Crete and intermarried with the Philistines, and all the rest of the remnant along the seacoast of the Mediterranean west of Judah. They, like the Edomites, let hate get the best of them. They too, the prophet says, will KNOW that God is the only true LORD when He comes upon them with wrathful rebukes of vengeance (Ezekiel 25:15-17).

-*Application* This is a solemn reminder that God’s promises in Genesis 12:3 from the very beginning of the Jewish nation still hold sway in our times. Recent political or social developments toward God’s chosen people should never entice us to drift in our support for His chosen people. He has lasting and faithful promises with Israel, and those who support them will be blessed. The nations that distance themselves from Israel will pay the price of His curses and vengeance. That’s just the way it is; it’s the truth of the matter. Support of Israel will bring the favor of the Sovereign God.

 

Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 25:18

Monday, November 10, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Ezekiel- Chapter 24


Ezekiel 24

 

-In the year 588 B.C. in the tenth month and on the tenth day of that month the word of the LORD came upon Ezekiel again. This word coincided with the exact day that Nebuchadnezzar’s forces from Babylon laid siege on Jerusalem, which would bring the city and nation to its knees and a complete overthrow in less than two short years (Ezekiel 24:1-2). God told His prophet to speak in another parable to the rebellious house of Israel, which was in Babylonian captivity. The parable revolved around a pot that was put on the fire with water, all the pieces of the meat, and choice bones. It was brought to a vigorous boil and the bones were seethed in it (Ezekiel 24:3-5). The LORD then pronounced a double woe upon the “bloody city” that was under His judgment. The first woe consisted of a denouncement of sin (the encrusted rust that would be boiled within) and the wrath of a fiercely jealous God. There would be no covering for the abominations at this point of destruction. The second woe consisted of a great pile that was made of flesh mixed with spices and burned bones. The heat was intensified so that all the filth could be melted away in the pot. This consumed the rust. Judah had wearied their God with making Him toil for their unbelieving hearts. They would not turn to Him and continued to sin more and more with no shame. The LORD would have cleansed them, but they would have none of it. They remained proud in their uncleanness, so God took His just wrath on them through the Babylonian invasion and siege that quickly would conquer. “I, the LORD, have spoken; it is coming and I will act. I will not relent, and I will not pity and I will not be sorry; according to your ways and according to your deeds I will judge you,” the LORD God declared (Ezekiel 24:6-14).

-As a sign, Ezekiel’s wife, the desire of his eyes, would pass away as the LORD took her from the prophet in that evening of the prophesy (Ezekiel 24:16, 18, 24, 27). Ezekiel was commanded not to mourn, weep, or cry. His groans could only be silent in his sorrow for the dead loved one. He was further commanded to defy typical grieving rituals in the Jewish tradition by binding his turban, wearing his shoes, leaving his mustache uncovered, and not eating the bread of men (probably condolence food given to the ones in mourning). When the people asked for an explanation unto the meaning of these things, Ezekiel spoke the words of the LORD, “Behold, I am about to profane My sanctuary, the pride of your power, the desire of your eyes and the delight of your soul; and your sons and daughters whom you have left behind will fall by the sword (Ezekiel 24:15-21).” The people were then told by God not to mourn, just like Ezekiel had done for the time had come for Jerusalem’s destruction and for His people to KNOW Him as their LORD above everything and anyone. God urges His prophet not to be mute any longer, but to speak as His messenger and signpost so that all will KNOW who He is (Ezekiel 24:22-27).

-*Application* Jesus made a similar assertion in Luke 14:26-27 when He stated, "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” God’s point is that He must come first in our priority list. Does everything in our lives fall behind our obedience to Him? This is the point of this sign unto Ezekiel. God doesn’t desire death and hate, but in comparison to our love for Him we must give everything else up or we have idols in our heart. That is the very thing He detests. Sometimes He has to go to extreme measures and language to get us to realize this fact. He wants to pity on us and relent of His anger, but we must come to Him on His terms (For the grace side see Jonah and Hosea).

Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 24:14

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Bible Study Notes in Ezekiel- Chapter 23


Ezekiel 23

 

-Two women, who are metaphorical, and daughters of the same woman (Israel), have played the harlot in Egypt with foreign gods abasing the ways of the one-true LORD God (Ezekiel 23:1-3). With explicit language God downloads a graphic representation of how awful these whores have treated Him, their Jealous and Eternal Lover. Their names are Oholah, who represents Samaria and the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and Oholibah, who represents Jerusalem and the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Oholah played the harlot with not only Egypt, but was enthralled with the Assyrians, who eventually conquered her and defamed her forever. Oholibah played the whore with not only Egypt, but also with Assyria and Babylon as she multiplied her sins far beyond that of her embarrassed and judged sister. Oholibah did not learn from observation, but exceeded the sin in her midst with profane things and corrupt practices. From sexual immorality, to pagan worship rituals, to prostituting herself, to flagrant opulence she became an adulteress deserving of God’s full and sincere discipline (Ezekiel 23:4-21).

-His wrath would be poured out from those she had previously loved, Assyria and Babylon, with precession and ruthlessness in evil conquest. Her (Judah’s) lewdness will be exposed, and she will be stripped of all her beauty, which she had possessed. She will be given into the hand of those whom she hates, the ones that alienated her with reckless abandon and vile scorn. Her property will be taken, and she will be left naked and bare before the nations of the world. Her harlotries are the reason; she has defiled herself with idols to the point of hypocrisy (sacrificing their own children in paganistic ritual and then going unconcerned to the House of God, Ezekiel 23:39). Derision, drunkenness, sorrow, horror, plunder, terror, stonings, slayings, desolation, and burnings are the descriptive terms God uses to portray the aftermath of this forgetting of the LORD and His ways in His land. Judah will bear the punishment and penalty of the Almighty, and she will have blood on her hands. God will vindicate His just cause and make lewdness and unfaithfulness cease from the land, which will reveal His glory make all KNOW that He alone is the LORD God (Ezekiel 23:22-49).

-*Application* God’s cause will not fail. We reap exactly what we sow (Galatians 6:7-9). Therefore, sow in the Holy Spirit.

 

Verses to Memorize: Ezekiel 23:30, 35