ILLUSTRATION: TAPED SENSORS
Late in 1996 a plane went down in the Andes Mountains. It didn’t make much news. All aboard were lost. The investigation later revealed the cause of the crash. As with all planes in snowy regions, the maintenance crews had to spray off the wings in their de-icing routine. As with all crews, some of the sensors were duct taped so that the spray would not damage them. Unnoticed at take off, these sensors were never untaped. Moments after takeoff into the snow, the pilot cried out that he was getting no readings on his sensors as he slammed into the mountain side of the airport region. Taped warning systems doomed that flight.
Living without sensing and heeding the holiness of God is like flying into a snowstorm on a dark night with your sensors taped – you will crash sooner or later. How do we untape them if they are taped up some how? I believe the best place to see the Holiness of God is through the eyes, heart and words of one of the great servants of the Lord, EZEKIEL!
Ezekiel is God’s man. He saw God in His HOLINESS, and it changed his life permanently. We find the glory of God 12x in TEN DIFFERENT VERSES OF chapters 1-11 (thin NASB marked) . But zero times in 12-42. Why? his glory departed! You see they didn’t know that the Lord is the Lord. This is the THEME of the book. Over 60x God repeats starting 5:13!
I. God’s servants SUBMIT to him.
A. They are open to God’s word Ezekiel 1:3 the word of the LORD came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and there the hand of the LORD came upon him. (NASB)
B. They are listening to God’s voice Ezekiel 1:3 the word of the LORD came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and there the hand of the LORD came upon him. (NASB)
C. They are waiting for God’s hand Ezekiel 1:3 the word of the LORD came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and there the hand of the LORD came upon him. (NASB)
D. They are following God’s lead Ezekiel 1:20 Wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go in that direction. And the wheels rose close beside them; for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels. (NASB)
II. God’s servants see him! Ezekiel 1:22-28 Now over the heads of the living beings there was something like an expanse, like the awesome gleam of crystal, extended over their heads. 23 And under the expanse their wings were stretched out straight, one toward the other; each one also had two wings covering their bodies on the one side and on the other. 24 I also heard the sound of their wings like the sound of abundant waters as they went, like the voice of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of an army camp; whenever they stood still, they dropped their wings. 25 And there came a voice from above the expanse that was over their heads; whenever they stood still, they dropped their wings. 26 Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like lapis lazuli in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man. 27 Then I noticed from the appearance of His loins and upward something like glowing metal that looked like fire all around within it, and from the appearance of His loins and downward I saw something like fire; and there was a radiance around Him. 28 As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell on my face and heard a voice speaking. (NASB) In verses 22 to 28 we have Five Absolutes about seeing God. When one of God’s servants see Him they see . . .
A. His glorious MAJESTY v. 22, 27 “awesome gleam of crystal . . . glowing metal . . . like fire . . . like a rainbow” all of these sights were given to Ezekiel to remind him of how awesome, how glorious and how indescribably majestic God truth is! As Psalm 29:2, 10 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in holy array. 10 The LORD sat as King at the flood; Yes, the LORD sits as King forever. (NASB). Our first crop of asparagus made me unable to ever eat that formaldehyde laced, canned and limp mummified green stuff sold as asparagus in the store! Is it any less true about God? Once you see Him nothing else satisfies! The question is have you ever seen Him?
O Worship the King, all glorious above,
And gratefully sing His wonderful love;
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise.
O tell of His might, O Sing of His grace,
Whose robe is the light, whose canopy space!
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
And dark is His path on the wings of the storm.
Thy bountiful care, what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air, it shines in the light,
It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
And sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.
Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
In Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail:
Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end,
Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend
Author: Sir Robert H. Grant
B. His final AUTHORITY v. 26a “throne” seeing this throne taught Ezekiel that God was in control. The exile, the enemies of God and all the fears of life melt in the radiance of His Sovereign Throne. By the way, that still is true. Ezekiel was a POW. He was surrounded by numerous enemies who had vandalized his home, dragged him away and savagely ended the lives of thousands of his people . . .yet in the midst of even that, God showed him, He was still on the throne!
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like the sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
‘It is well with my soul.’
Tho’ Satan should buffet, tho’ trials should
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious tho’t!—
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll,
The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend,
‘Even so,’ it is well with my soul.
It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
Author: Horatio G. Spafford
C. His absolute supremacy v. 26b “high up” speaks to Ezekiel. The throne of God is atop all else. Nothing is beyond it or above it. God reigns! While Jeremiah (41 years of ministry, 627 – 586 BC) played the funeral dirge of doom over Jerusalem, a lonely exiled prophet named Ezekiel (20 years of ministry, 592 – 572 BC) was watching the gathering storm God would use to sweep Judah into Captivity. Deported to 200 miles north of Babylon Ezekiel was 600 miles from Jeremiah in Jerusalem for the last 12 years of Jeremiah’s ministry. And for 26 years Ezekiel was 200 miles north of Daniel (606 – 533 BC) who was in Babylon for his 73 years of ministry. These three prophets overlapped parts of their prophetic ministries. Ezekiel learned as he lived away from his home and his people, he never was far from his God. God taught him that His presence was not limited to the Temple in Jerusalem. As Ezekiel saw the destruction of his nation he learned God is not thwarted by our disobedience. Though He is grieved and saddened, His plan will not fail.
D. His unveiled glory in Christ v. 26c “like a man” this sight God gave Ezekiel was that the. It was the reminder that our Lord Jesus Christ is asHebrews 1:3 declares, “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high; (NASB)”.
E. His unchanging promises v. 28 “like a rainbow” this reminder created by God as a sign that He keeps His Word. Whatever He says He will do!
III. When will we see God’s holiness ? The preeminent attribute of God is His HOLINESS.
A. All other aspects of His character radiate outward from that attribute. His holiness is His utter distinction from all His creatures and Creation. He is above, beyond and separate from all that is decaying, defiled and temporal.
a) His nature is HOLY.
b) His decisions are HOLY.
c) His character is HOLY.
d) His responses are HOLY.
e) His decrees are HOLY.
f) His Sovereignty is HOLY.
g) His love is HOLY.
h) His wrath is HOLY.
i) His jealousy is HOLY.
j) God in every way is HOLY.
B. How can we see Him as HOLY?
1. First of all – when they come to realize his omnipresence as joseph did! Genesis 39:8-9 But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. 9 “There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (NKJV)
2. When they come to realize his omnipotence as Elijah did! 1 Kings 19:11-14 Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. 13 So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 And he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” (NKJV)
3. When they come to realize his omniscience as Elisha’s servant did! 2 Kings 6:9-17 And the man of God sent to the king of Israel, saying, “Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are coming down there.” 10 Then the king of Israel sent someone to the place of which the man of God had told him. Thus he warned him, and he was watchful there, not just once or twice. 11 Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was greatly troubled by this thing; and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you not show me which of us is for the king of Israel?” 12 And one of his servants said, “None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.” So he said, “Go and see where he is, that I may send and get him.” And it was told him, saying, “Surely he is in Dothan.” 14 Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. 15 And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (NKJV)
4. When they come to realize his holiness as Isaiah did! Isaiah 6:1-5 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” 4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts.” (NKJV)
5. When they come to realize his sovereignty as Nebuchadnezzar did! Daniel 4:32-37 And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.” 33 That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws. And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation. 35 All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, “What have You done?” At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down. (NKJV)
IV. Gods servants are SPEAKING for God. Ezekiel 3:4, 11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them. 11 “And go to the exiles, to the sons of your people, and speak to them and tell them, whether they listen or not, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.'” (NASB)
V. The opening vision of Ezekiel’s ministry reveals the Divine Attributes of God. Ezekiel sees the Omnipotence, Omnipresence and Omniscience of God portrayed.
A. A lesson on OMNIPRESENCE (1:16-17). The wheels went in every direction. We are never away from the presence of our God. All our Universe is His domain!
B. A lesson on OMNIPOTENCE (1:18). The wheels of this chariot of God were into the heavens. It is so immense and powerful, nothing can stop it. It can’t be blocked or thrown off track. As Ezekiel became overwhelmed at God’s mighty power he was under whelmed at Babylon’s tiny power.
C. A lesson on OMNISCIENCE (1:18). Verse 18 says that eyes were all around the circumference of the wheels. Throughout the Old Testament eyes denote intelligence and understanding. These eye-filled wheels, therefore, speak of the wise providence of God. Providence is neither blind, aimless, nor fatalistic. God guides according to infinite knowledge. He knows the end from the beginning and His wisdom utilizes the best possible means to achieve the goal He has intended. However inexplicable the circumstances of life may be, believers should rest in the assurance that God has made everything appropriate in its time, whether times of prosperity or adversity (see Ecclesiastes 3:11; 7:14). Regardless of how unsearchable, faith knows that the operations of providence progress according to order and purpose.
VI. Promises of hope . The Love of God always leads Him to offer hope. In the prophecies of Ezekiel there is much hope offered by God. Some of His promises of hope are:
A. GOD CAN TRANSFORM YOUR HEART Ezekiel 36:25-27 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. (NIV)
B. GOD CAN GIVE YOU LIFE IN HIS SPIRIT Ezekiel 37:5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. (NIV)
C. GOD CAN UNITE YOUR HEART Ezekiel 37:15-17 The word of the LORD came to me: 16 “Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, `Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him.’ Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, `Ephraim’s stick, belonging to Joseph and all the house of Israel associated with him.’ 17 Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand. (NIV)
D. GOD CAN MAKE YOU AN ETERNAL PROMISE Ezekiel 14:11 Then the people of Israel will no longer stray from me, nor will they defile themselves anymore with all their sins. They will be my people, and I will be their God, declares the Sovereign LORD.'” (NIV); Ezekiel 37:23 They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God. (NIV)
VII. An overflowing life. This book is very much about the Holy Spirit of God. Ezekiel is lifted up and led around by the Spirit. He declared woes upon those who are not prompted by the Spirit. As a Spirit filled prophet he speaks of the Spirit 20x. The River of Ezekiel 47 is a picture of a life that overflows with spiritual blessings.
A. If we are filled with the Spirit, there must be an overflow to others; and this brings us to the vision of the river. Whatever is the future application of this chapter to Israel, its spiritual application to us today is clear. The Lord wants to make His rivers of blessings flow out through every saved soul,John 7:37-39 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.'” 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (NASB). Are we, as workers for Christ, “ministering the Spirit” (Gal. 3:5) to others?
1. THE BLESSINGS OF GOD FLOW out of THE PRESENCE OF GOD. The rivers issued out from the sanctuary. Ezekiel 47:1Then he brought me back to the door of the house; and behold, water was flowing from under the threshold of the house toward the east, for the house faced east. And the water was flowing down from under, from the right side of the house, from south of the altar. (NASB) Therefore: It is only from the presence of the Lord that we can go forth to bless others. It was from the south side of the altar – pointing again to the place of sacrifice as the source of blessing. “A pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Revelation. 22:1) ; “A Lamb as it had been slain” (Revelation. 5:6).
2. THE BLESSINGS OF GOD FLOW through CRUCIFIED LIVING. The river rose to the ankles, to the knees, to the loins, for the Lord means His power in us to increase till it becomes “waters to swim in, a river that I could not pass over” (v. 5). What does this portray? self is lost in the fullness of the Spirit.
3. THE BLESSINGS OF GOD FLOW OUT INTO LIFE GIVING MINISTRY. Whenever the river came, the fish lived, the bank grew green, clothed with trees, bearing fruit for meat and leaves for medicine. (Ezekiel 47:9) Therefore: God wants to use us wherever we go to bring life to dead souls, and blessings and healing to all around us.
4. THE BLESSINGS OF GOD FLOW THROUGH GIVING TO OTHERS. The only places that were not healed were the marshes. (Ezekiel 47:11) They were given up to salt. A marsh is something that is always taking in and never giving out. Therefore: Unless we are giving out, in some way, to others, we shall become stagnant and useless.
5. THE BLESSINGS OF GOD FLOW on the basis of GOD’S RESOURCES. “Rivers of living waters” (John 7:37-39). This is God’s purpose for us. Do not let us reason from our old past experience of failure, nor from the parched condition of the Church around us. God says He will do a new thing. “Behold, I will do a new thing: now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert–viz. in the most unlikely places–to give drink to My people, My chosen.”
VIII. Grieving God. One of the key themes of Ezekiel is the “glory of God” and how the sin of Judah makes the cloud signifying God’s presence to depart. Up through chapter 11 the glory is mentioned 12x. In chapters 12-42 the glory is not mentioned at all. We see the glory of the Lord gradually removing. Note the departure in 10:18and 11:23. Then the return in 43:2. Grieved away from the inner sanctuary by the sin of idolatry, the brightness fills the court. Then it departed from the threshold and rested over the cherubim, those beings who perfectly fulfilled God’s will and responded to His power. As the cherubim mounted from the earth, the glory of the Lord abode above their free pinions and mounted with them, forsaking the city and removing to the mountains.
A. In the same way it is possible for a Christian so to provoke, resist, grieve, straiten, limit, vex, quench the Holy Spirit, that the heart may become like a ruined temple bereft of the glory. There is many a blighted life from which the early glow departed through simple disobedience, refusing to give the Lord’s message, it may be. ” God can do so much with a spark, and it is dreadful when He cannot get a conductor for it ” (Bramwell Booth).
1. We grieve the Holy Spirit when we do not allow ourselves time for communion with God;
2. We limit Him by doubting His power to cleanse and keep and fill.
3. We provoke and resist Him by the idols in our hearts.
4. We vex the Holy Spirit by our rebellion, by not really saying in very truth “Thy will be done.” And if rebellion is persisted in, the Holy Spirit may be quenched.
B. The spirit of worldliness is one of the chief idols that is grieving the Holy Spirit away from His temple. It is sapping the very life of the Church today. How much of the worldly spirit of utter selfishness there is in the business life, in the undue estimation of wealth and position, in love of display, and in friendships made with the people of the world, forgetting that “whosoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God”. Christians conform to the world’s ways, and read the world’s books, and dress in the world’s fashions, instead of being a people separated unto the Lord. The real cure for this worldliness is such a vision of Christ Jesus as shall make the earthly lights pale before the splendor of it. If our hearts are satisfied with Him, the world will have no hold upon us. He said: ” The Prince of this world cometh and hath nothing in Me.” Are we able to say -. “The world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not “
C. Visions of God give great blessing. When Jacob saw God he was transformed from a deceiver into the Prince of God and the nation of Israel. When Moses saw God he became the one who knew God face to face, and his face glowed with the presence of God. When Isaiah saw God he yielded his life to ministry. Saul saw the Lord and became the Apostle Paul. John saw the Lord in His Awe inspiring heavens. The prophet Ezekiel saw the Lord and lived his life as the servant who watched and warned. Over 60 x he quotes God saying “they will know that I am the LORD”.
IX. The Temple of Ezekiel 40-48 is a literal temple. It is a future temple because in the list of feasts Pentecost (fulfilled in the birth of the Church) is absent. There is no ark because the Glory of God (1.28; 8.4; 9.3; 10.4, 18-19; 11.22-23; 43.2-5) fills the Sanctuary. There is no High Priest for Christ is the High Priest (Zech. 6.12-13). There is no king for the Lord, He is King (Zech. 14).
I. The obligation: the fear of the lord should prompt a holy response. Once a servant of God sees His holiness and RESPONDS to it God has big plans for that servant. Don’t miss them! How can we miss them? What hinders usefulness? Old Testament priests were called, consecrated, robed and serving!
A. In the New Testament Christians are called priests! Listen to Peter and John
1. 1 Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; (NKJV)
2. Revelation 1:6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (NKJV)
B. In the Old Testament God lays down some stunning details! As we turn to Exodus 20 this morning examine your response to God. Are you living up to your calling as a holy priest living in the fear of God this morning?
1. A New Testament priest has the holy temple of a pure body (Exodus 20:26 ‘Nor shall you go up by steps to My altar, that your nakedness may not be exposed on it.’ (NKJV))
a) God’s New Testament priests never expose their bodies in an unholy way. What is this? God has asked us to prevent any sexual display, any cause for arousing wrong desires in another, any flaunting of this temple (proudly, sensually, etc.) is an unholy thing.
b) Remember in the mind of an adulterer are women God calls adulteresses because they have given their body to be seen by those men. 2 Peter 2:14 having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. (NKJV). Be careful ladies what you expose to the lust filled eyes of this world. You are responsible as God’s priests to be a holy temple with a pure body!
c) It also declares that the New Testament priest has a body given to the Spirit of the Lord and not to the flesh, the world or the Devil! How is your body this morning?Is it cleansed by the blood of Jesus? Are you keeping it holy for the glorious use of Jesus?
2. A New Testament priest has the holy temple of a pure MIND (Exodus 28:36 You shall also make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engraving of a signet: HOLINESS TO THE LORD. (NKJV); Ex. 39:30)
a) As a New Testament priest, Holiness to the Lord must always be engraved upon our forehead. The supreme qualification of a godly man or woman is a clean mind. That is why Paul said Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (NKJV)
b) This pure mind also directly impacts the eyes! It is only as the purify Word is richly dwelling in our minds that we offer acceptable worship and service! RememberColossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (NKJV)
c) It also declares that the New Testament priest has eyes focused on the Lord and not on the flesh, the world or the Devil! How are your eyes and mind this morning? Are they cleansed by the blood of Jesus? Are they being kept holy for the glorious use of Jesus?
3. A New Testament priest has the holy temple of pure EARSExodus 29:20a “Then you shall kill the ram, and take some of its blood and put it on the tip of the right ear of Aaron and on the tip of the right ear of his sons . . .
a) The anointing of the ears with blood speaks of cleansing away any past defilements of hearing (gossip, evil reports, filthiness, etc.) as well as keeping clean all future things listened to.
b) It also declares that the New Testament priest has an ear tuned to the Spirit of the Lord and not to the flesh, the world or the Devil! How are you ears this morning? Are they cleansed by the blood of Jesus? Are they being kept holy for the glorious use of Jesus?
4. A New Testament priest has the holy temple of pure HANDS Exodus 29:20b “Then you shall kill the ram, and take some of its blood and put it on the . . . thumb of their right hand.”
a) The anointing of the hands (right thumb) with blood speaks of cleansing away any past defilements of actions we do ( filthy habits, misuse of money, impure activities, etc.) as well as keeping clean all future activities.
b) It also declares that the New Testament priest hashands yielded to the Spirit of the Lord and not to the flesh, the world or the Devil! How are your hands this morning? Are they cleansed by the blood of Jesus? Are they being kept holy for the glorious use of Jesus?
5. A New Testament priest has the holy temple of pure FEET (Exodus 29:20c “Then you shall kill the ram, and take some of its blood and put it on the big toe of their right foot, (NKJV))
a) The anointing of the feet (right toe) with blood speaks of cleansing away any past defilements of places gone (where God is not honored, where false worship takes place, any occultic contact, places of violence, greed, places of sensuality, etc.) as well as keeping clean all future destinations.
b) It also declares that the New Testament priest has feet given to the Spirit of the Lord and not to the flesh, the world or the Devil! How are your feet this morning? Are they cleansed by the blood of Jesus? Are they being kept holy for the glorious use of Jesus?
6. A New Testament priest has the holy temple of pure serviceExodus 29:20d “Then you shall kill the ram, and take some of its blood . . . and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar. (NKJV).
a) Every act of a New Testament priest in worship and service for Christ in His church, as His priest and for His glory must be pure and holy to the Lord!
b) It also declares that the New Testament priest has become a bond servant to the Lord and not to the flesh, the world or the Devil! How is your servanthood this morning? Is it cleansed by the blood of Jesus? Is it being kept holy for the glorious use of Jesus?
C. Lets sing TAKE MY LIFE AND LET IT BE and in any area where you are not a New Testament priest living in the fear of the Lord , consecrate that part back to Him this morning!
I. Judgment on Judah (chaps. 1-24)
A. Ezekiel’s preparation (chaps. 1-3)
1. Introduction (1:1-3)
2. The visions for the work (1:4-2:7)
3. The message for the work (2:8-3:11)
4. The motivation for the work (3:12-27)
B. Ezekiel’s prophecies against Judah and Jerusalem (chaps. 4-24)
1. The necessity of judgment because of disobedience (chaps. 4-11)
2. The futility of false optimism (chaps. 12-19)
3. The history of Judah’s corruption (chaps. 20-24)
II. Judgment on Gentile Nations (chaps. 25-32)
A. Judgment on Ammon (25:1-7)
B. Judgment on Moab (25:8-11)
C. Judgment on Edom (25:12-14)
D. Judgment on Philistia (25:15-17)
E. Judgment on Tyre (26:1-28:19)
1. Destruction of the city (chap. 26)
2. Dirge over the city (chap. 27)
3. Downfall of the prince of the city (28:1-19)
F. Judgment on Sidon (28:20-26)
G. Judgment on Egypt (chaps. 29-32)
1. The sin of Egypt (29:1-16)
2. The defeat of Egypt by Babylon (29:17-21)
3. The destruction of Egypt and her allies (30:1-19)
4. The scattering of Egypt (30:20-26)
5. The similarity of Egypt and Assyria (chap. 31)
6. The lament for Pharaoh (32:1-16)
7. The descent of Egypt into Sheol (32:17-32)
III. Blessings on Israel (chaps. 33-48)
A. New life for Israel (chaps. 33-39)
1. Watchman Ezekiel reappointed (chap. 33)
2. The present false shepherds contrasted with the future true shepherd (chap. 34)
3. The enemy (Edom) destroyed (chap. 35)
4. The people blessed (chap. 36)
5. The nation restored (chap. 37)
6. The attack by Gog repulsed (chaps. 38-39)
B. New order for Israel (chaps. 40-48)
1. A new temple (chaps. 40-43)
2. A new service of worship (chaps. 44-46)
3. A new land (chaps. 47-48)
Over 120 times he says, “Thus saith the Lord”. He communicated the truth God revealed by His Spirit in seven different ways.
1. Visions; chapters 1, 8-9.
2. Symbols; chapters 4-5 (tile, food, hair).
3. Parables; chapter 16 (vine), 17 (eagle).
4. Poems chapter 19.
5. Proverbs: 12:22-23; 18:2.
6. Allegories: chapters 16, 23.
7. Prophecies: chapters 6, 20, 40-49.
Ezekiel also stresses the absolute deadliness of sin. He describes the sins that God had condemned in the life of Judah.
1. DISHONORING GOD Ezekiel 20:9 But for the sake of my name I did what would keep it from being profaned in the eyes of the nations they lived among and in whose sight I had revealed myself to the Israelites by bringing them out of Egypt. (NIV);Ezekiel 36:20 And wherever they went among the nations they profaned my holy name, for it was said of them, `These are the Lord’s people, and yet they had to leave his land.’ (NIV).
2. DEFILING HIS HOLY PLACE Ezekiel 5:11 Therefore as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your vile images and detestable practices, I myself will withdraw my favor; I will not look on you with pity or spare you. (NIV); Ezekiel 23:38 They have also done this to me: At that same time they defiled my sanctuary and desecrated my Sabbaths. (NIV)
3. SEEKING OTHER GODS Ezekiel 20:7, 18 And I said to them, “Each of you, get rid of the vile images you have set your eyes on, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.” 18 I said to their children in the desert, “Do not follow the statutes of your fathers or keep their laws or defile yourselves with their idols. (NIV); Ezekiel 22:4 you have become guilty because of the blood you have shed and have become defiled by the idols you have made. You have brought your days to a close, and the end of your years has come. Therefore I will make you an object of scorn to the nations and a laughingstock to all the countries. (NIV)
4. SACRIFICING THEIR CHILDREN Ezekiel 20:26, 31 I let them become defiled through their gifts — the sacrifice of every firstborn — that I might fill them with horror so they would know that I am the LORD.’ 31 When you offer your gifts — the sacrifice of your sons in the fire — you continue to defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. Am I to let you inquire of me, O house of Israel? As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I will not let you inquire of me. (NIV)
5. IGNORING GOD’S LAW Ezekiel 44:6-8 Say to the rebellious house of Israel, `This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Enough of your detestable practices, O house of Israel! 7 In addition to all your other detestable practices, you brought foreigners uncircumcised in heart and flesh into my sanctuary, desecrating my temple while you offered me food, fat and blood, and you broke my covenant. 8 Instead of carrying out your duty in regard to my holy things, you put others in charge of my sanctuary. (NIV)
6. OPPRESSING THE POOR Ezekiel 22:7, 12 In you they have treated father and mother with contempt; in you they have oppressed the alien and mistreated the fatherless and the widow. 12 In you men accept bribes to shed blood; you take usury and excessive interest and make unjust gain from your neighbors by extortion. And you have forgotten me, declares the Sovereign LORD. (NIV)
God must always punish sin. It is only His mercy and grace that causes Him to patiently wait for repentance. Ezekiel describes the inevitability of judgment.
1. HIS JUDGMENT MAY NOT BE IGNORED Ezekiel 12:22, 27 “Son of man, what is this proverb you have in the land of Israel: `The days go by and every vision comes to nothing’? 23 Say to them, `This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am going to put an end to this proverb, and they will no longer quote it in Israel.’ Say to them, `The days are near when every vision will be fulfilled. 27 “Son of man, the house of Israel is saying, `The vision he sees is for many years from now, and he prophesies about the distant future.’ (NIV)
2. HIS JUDGMENT MAY NOT BE AVOIDED Ezekiel 7:14 Though they blow the trumpet and get everything ready, no one will go into battle, for my wrath is upon the whole crowd; 24 I will bring the most wicked of the nations to take possession of their houses; I will put an end to the pride of the mighty, and their sanctuaries will be desecrated; 27 The king will mourn, the prince will be clothed with despair, and the hands of the people of the land will tremble. I will deal with them according to their conduct, and by their own standards I will judge them. Then they will know that I am the LORD.” (NIV) Ezekiel 22:14 Will your courage endure or your hands be strong in the day I deal with you? I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it. (NIV)
3. HIS JUDGMENT MAY NOT WAIT Ezekiel 9:10 So I will not look on them with pity or spare them, but I will bring down on their own heads what they have done.” (NIV);Ezekiel 24:14 “`I the LORD have spoken. The time has come for me to act. I will not hold back; I will not have pity, nor will I relent. You will be judged according to your conduct and your actions, declares the Sovereign LORD.'” (NIV)
The Love of God always leads Him to offer hope. In the prophecies of Ezekiel there is much hope offered by God. Some of His promises of hope are:
1. GOD CAN TRANSFORM YOUR HEART Ezekiel 36:25-27 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. (NIV)
2. GOD CAN GIVE YOU LIFE IN HIS SPIRIT Ezekiel 37:5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. (NIV)
3. GOD CAN UNITE YOUR HEART Ezekiel 37:15-17 The word of the LORD came to me: 16 “Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, `Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him.’ Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, `Ephraim’s stick, belonging to Joseph and all the house of Israel associated with him.’ 17 Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand. (NIV)
4. GOD CAN MAKE YOU AN ETERNAL PROMISE Ezekiel 14:11 Then the people of Israel will no longer stray from me, nor will they defile themselves anymore with all their sins. They will be my people, and I will be their God, declares the Sovereign LORD.'” (NIV); Ezekiel 37:23 They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God. (NIV)
Walvoord, John F., and Zuck, Roy B., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, (Wheaton, Illinois: Scripture Press Publications, Inc.) 1983, 1985.