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