299: Ezekiel 21:26-27
The Prophecies of the Messiah: Prophecy 299
The Messiah will overthrow the proud and exalt the humble.
Old Testament Prediction:
Ezekiel 21:26-27 thus says the Lord GOD: “Remove the turban, and take off the crown; Nothing shall remain the same. Exalt the humble, and humble the exalted. Overthrown, overthrown, I will make it overthrown! It shall be no longer, Until He comes whose right it is, And I will give it to Him.”
New Testament Fulfillment:
Matthew 26:63-64 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” 64 Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Luke 1:46-52 And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly.”
John 18:37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world…
Most of us have never thought of Mary, the mother of Jesus, as a Prophetess. There are two mistakes that the Christian church makes regarding Mary. First, they raise her to a position that the Lord never intended. Second, they ignore her altogether and do not give her a proper place as a wonderful example of a humble and submissive servant of God.
In Mary’s “Magnificant,” she exalts the name of the Lord, her Son, and lifts His name above hers and all other names. Fourteen times, Mary exalts the Lord by the personal pronouns “He and His” while speaking of her own soul as Magnifying the Lord.
Mary acts in the capacity of a Prophetess when she spoke the words: “He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly.”
In saying this, she describes the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy in chapter 21:26-27, where the Messiah is said to overthrow the proud and exalt the humble.
There is one temperament that the Lord hates above all others—Pride. This scourge of human and angelic character—pride, was the cause of both Lucifer and Adam’s fall. Pride has been the source of all man’s problems since Adam and continues to be the greatest plague of the human heart, to the present day. Pride prevents people from seeing their need for God and the absolute necessity of humility, in sincere repentance before God, in order to receive His forgiveness and Salvation.
There are six things that the Lord hates; first on the list is pride.
Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.
Proverbs 6 describes the seventh point of human behavior which the Lord hates and is described by Him an abomination—those who gossip and cause divisions in the body of Christ, His church.
We should remember these two “hated” behaviors of God—pride and gossip, the next time we are tempted to speak anything negative about another person. The word of God defines negative comments that are spoken about a person without them being present, as “tale bearing” or “gossip.” All of us are certainly guilty of saying negative things about other people. For most of us, gossip is only a part-time job; but for a few, it is their life’s work—destroying the reputations of others by the negative comments they make. We should understand that when we commit this grievous sin, the Lord will visit us with the same desolation of soul that we have caused others. When we ruined the good reputation of people by spreading rumors and negative talk about them, we can be certain that the Lord will humble us.
Pride is an area of our personality that can only be changed by us. Pride will prevent us from enjoying rich and satisfying relationships with other people and impede us from receiving all that the Lord has intended for our life. Sometimes, our pride prevents us from asking for help. Other times, it causes us to force our help or advice on people who are overwhelmed by our actions or words.
The largest obstacle for all human beings in obtaining forgiveness from God, the lifting of overwhelming guilt, and the obtainment of eternal life—is human pride.
Every person who has been born on the earth could go to heaven and live with the Lord forever, if they would only humble themselves and come to God through Jesus Christ. Humility is all that is required of the Gospel to permit any one of us to be saved. Jesus died for the sins of the whole world—every one of our offenses against God are already paid in full. All that is required for heaven is that each individual person would come to God in sincere sorrow for their sins and a willingness to turn from them. Once genuine repentance occurs, a person may ask God for the forgiveness of their sins. When this takes place, the Lord will forgive all the wrongs that have been done and grant eternal life as the gift of God. Simple faith in Jesus atoning work on the cross, makes eternal life a reality for any person who places all their trust in Him as their Savior.
Jesus died for the sins of the whole world:
1 John 2:2 And Jesus Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
First requirement: Repentance:
Mark 1:15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
Luke 5:32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.
Second requirement: Believe that Jesus died for your sins:
Acts 16:30-31 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Third requirement: Confess that Jesus is your Savior, believe in your heart that He died for your sins:
Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Fourth requirement: Hold fast and keep believing in Jesus for the rest of your life:
1 Corinthians 15:1-2 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
There are certainly many other articles of faith that people might attempt to add to the above four steps; but in the end, these are really the only four that are required by the Lord to be saved.
We see this principle demonstrated by the thief on the cross next to Jesus:
There were actually two thieves that were also condemned to die by crucifixion along with Jesus. They are placed on either side of the Lord. At first, it seems that both condemned men ridicule Jesus for also being crucified with them. After one of these men witnesses the grace and the love with which Jesus endures His suffering—praying for those who placed Him on the Cross—this dying criminal has a change of heart. He cries out to Jesus: “Lord, remember me when you come into Your kingdom.” A subtle statement of salvation in the final moments of life, from a man doomed to die. Though his confession is short and subtle, it is sufficient to move Jesus to pronounce him—forgiven and worthy of eternal life.
Luke 23:39-43 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
When Jesus heard his sincere heart of repentance and a desire to be saved, He pronounced that very day, at that moment, this repentant thief would be with Jesus in paradise. We might note that this man whom Jesus declared as saved, did not even have an opportunity to join a church, be baptized, or take communion, yet Jesus saved him anyway.
As simple as these four steps might appear, they can be the most difficult steps that a person will ever attempt in his life. A willingness to change and a little movement is all that stands in the way of any person being able to have all his sins forgiven and to obtain eternal life in heaven.
The greatest obstacle to these four steps listed above: repentance, belief, confession, and to live for Jesus—is pride. A hard heart, bitterness, an unwillingness to humble one’s self, anger at God, resentment towards another, unwillingness to forgive, the loss of a loved one—all of these can make it nearly impossible for any person to be saved. Why? Under conditions of hurt, anger, or pride, many people find it extremely difficult to humble themselves and come to God in deep sorrow for their sins.
Pride tells the obstinate human heart, “You are not so bad. There are lots of people who are worse than you.” Humility tells our heart, “It doesn’t matter what everyone else does; you know that you are a sinner and you need a Savior—receive Jesus’ offer of forgiveness and eternal life…”
In this present moment, while we are still alive, we have a little time left to humble ourselves and come to God through the sacrifice made by Jesus for our sins. When we draw our last breath and our body dies, it will be too late to change our mind. The decision for where we will spend eternity is being made by each one of us every day that we live. If, by the end of our life, we have not received Jesus as our Savior, it will be too late after death to change our mind. It is appointed by God that each one of us have only one life to live in order to make a decision, either for, or against Jesus; and then after death, we will be judged based on that decision.
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment…
If we have already received Jesus, then our place in heaven is assured. Many people incorrectly assume that because they have not made a decision—either for or against Jesus, they have yet to determine their eternal destiny. This assumption is false. Jesus did not give us the option of indecision. We are either for Him or against Him. No decision is already a decision against Him.
Luke 11:23 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
For a majority of people, pride, laziness, or fear, hinders their important decision to receive and follow Jesus. A few individuals are so content in their present life that they feel no need for change. It is not until the final moments of their days on earth that many people realized the emptiness of their former earthly pursuits. After ignoring or rejecting God for a majority of their life, very few people can find repentance and a desire to call on the name of Jesus for their salvation.
This is the reason that the New Testament continually encourages us to make today the day of our salvation.
2 Corinthians 6:2 For He says: …Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
James 4:14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.
When Jesus returns to earth at the end of the seven-year Tribulation, He is coming to earth to rule absolutely. The opportunity to bow our knees to Him and submit to His authority over our lives is a choice that we can freely make today. When the Lord returns, there will be no choice; all the world will be compelled to bow their knee to Jesus and submit to His authority. Jesus explains this choice to us by the following verse of scripture: (Jesus is the “Stone.”)
Matthew 21:44 And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.
We can fall on Jesus now in repentance and this experience will break our pride and unbelief, this is certain. However, if we wait until our life is over and we find ourselves before the throne of God without, Jesus sacrifice to cover our sins, He will crush us to powder.
Philippians Chapter 2 describes the two choices before all human beings. While alive, we can willingly bow our knee to the Lord. After we are dead, or after the Lord returns to earth, we will be forced to bow our knee to Him.
Philippians 2:10-11 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
It is to this end that the prophet Ezekiel writes. The Messiah will break the pride of all those who stubbornly refuse to submit to His righteous authority. He will rule the nations with a rod of iron.
Revelation 19:15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron.
Clearly, this is the language Ezekiel speaks of—which describes the cessation of all opposition to Jesus’ future rule. There will be no right of appeal, no vote or opportunity for redress in the Messiah’s kingdom. Why would there be, since everything that He does will always be right, fair, and just? To oppose the rule of the Messiah would be to place one’s self on the side of wrong or injustice. The reason that the rule of the Messiah will be absolute and without appeal or opposition is that there will be no unrighteousness in any of His judgments. It is easy to recognize just decisions when they are carried out correctly. It is not hard to submit to someone who is always good, kind, merciful, full of compassion, and absolute in perfect justice. Of such will be the wonderful kingdom of the Messiah when He returns to earth to establish and rule over His glorious dominion, forever.