Ezekiel was in Babylon prophesying to the captives who had been taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar. Though he was in Babylon, the Lord brought him by, he was sitting with some of the elders there in his house, and the Spirit of God came upon him, and the Lord took him back, by vision, to Jerusalem.
Now visions are interesting in that, they are times when God gives to a person, an insight into the spiritual dimension. Now we know that there is the physical, material dimension in which we all live. But beside this physical, material dimension, there is also a spiritual dimension. There are spiritual beings that God has created, angels, and other spirit beings. There is this world of spirit around us, surrounding us. We, we live in a world that is surrounded by these spiritual entities.
Now for the most part, we don’t see them. Sometimes we are conscious of them, made aware of them, but we don’t see them. Except when a person is having a vision, it is God giving to that person a insight to the spirit realm so that he can see the spiritual entities, and the spirit realm that is around us.
Now with a vision, entering into the spirit realm, you get away from this time, space continuum in which we exist, and a vision can carry you to any period of time. As John in the book of Revelation talks about his being on the island of Patmos, but he was taken by the Spirit of the Lord in this vision, unto the day of judgment, the coming of Christ, and all. So he went through time zones out into the future, where he saw events that will yet take place in the future. We haven’t yet arrived to where John had arrived in, in time. John describes those events that he saw, that are still yet future, as far as we are concerned.
Here is Ezekiel taken in a vision, though he, his body was there in Babylon, his spirit was taken back to Jerusalem. The Lord showed him the things that were going on in Jerusalem. A lot of this secret types of dealings, in fact the Lord even took him into the minds of the leaders, to let him see what was going on in their minds! So taken in this vision, in this spiritual dimension, he is brought back to Jerusalem, and there he describes the things that he is seeing, and the conditions that exist there in Jerusalem.
Now at this particular time, the city had not yet fallen completely to the Babylonians. They were again in rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar, they had fortified the city, and they had false prophets who were prophesying to them a victory over the Babylonians. Encouraging them in their rebellion against the Babylonians. On the other side, they had Jeremiah who was saying, “Surrender! To fight against the Babylonians is futile! They’re gonna wipe you out! They’re gonna destroy you!” So the people were listening to the false prophets.
Now Ezekiel is brought by the Spirit back to Jerusalem, and this is the last chapter of this vision. It actually began in chapter eight, and it continues through chapter eleven. So…
He is back in Jerusalem, he has observed the things that are going on there in the temple, he sees the twenty five priests who are worshiping the sun, he sees the women who are weeping for the pagan god Tammuz, and he, he sees the judgment that’s gonna come upon the city. We studied that last week, where the Lord marked first of all, those that He would spare during the judgment. Now he says that…
the spirit lifted him up, and brought him unto the east gate of the Lord’s house, which looks eastward: and behold at the door of the gate there were twenty five men; among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, the princes of the people (11:1).
Now in chapter nine he saw twenty five men, or chapter eight, and they were the priests. These are now the elders of the people, the rulers. The king with his ruling council.
And the Lord said unto me, Son of man, these are the men that devise mischief, and they are giving wicked counsel to this city (11:2):
These are the men who are leading in this conspiracy against Babylon, and in disobedience to the commands of God.” These are the men that gave Jeremiah such a bad time, sought to kill Jeremiah, threw him into prison, commanded him not to prophesy anymore in the name of the Lord.
And they say, It is not near; let us build houses: this city is the caldron, and we be the flesh (11:3).
Now Jeremiah had been prophesying the destruction by Babylon, “Aah! It’s not near, it’s not gonna happen in our time. The prophesies are for sometime in the future. It’s not gonna happen now.” That idea of, of, “The Lord is sort of gonna delay His processes”. “We’ve been hearing you know talks of judgment for a long time, but it’s not near. Let’s build house, let’s develop. You know it’s time we should just not think about the Babylonians and the problem there. It’s time to just go on with life as normal.”
“The city is the caldron, we’re the flesh.” The cauldron was a protection. The iron caldron was a protection from the fire. “So the fire won’t touch us because the city of Jerusalem, the walls, they are a defense for us, a caldron, and we are like the flesh within the kettle, it can’t touch us.” And the Lord said…
Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, O son of man. So the spirit of the Lord fell upon me, and he said unto me, Speak; Thus saith the Lord; Thus have you said, O house of Israel: for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them (11:4-5).
So God is saying, “This is what you’re saying. I know what you’re thinking. I know every thought that comes into your mind.” Amazing! The psalmist in one thirty nine said, “O Lord, thou knowest me, thou knowest my down sittings, and my uprisings. Thou understands my thoughts afar off.” Now in the Hebrew that’s an interesting phrase and it literally means, “You understand my thoughts in their origins”.
Now our thought processes are an interesting thing. Where do our thoughts originate? You know there are, there is so much stored in your memory banks. To me the way the brain functions is just absolutely amazing! I, I marvel at, you know there’s, there’s a file system there that is really fantastic! You can see a person, and you say, “I know them. Where do I know them! Oh I…”, you know. You, you just know that you know them! “But where have I seen them? Where do I know them from?” You know, and your brain starts going through this whole card index catalog of all of the faces you’ve seen, to pull out this face, and suddenly it’ll come. “Oh yes, of course! They’re the checker at the grocery store!” It gives you all the information, it pulls out the file, says, “Yeah this is what you know about them, and this is where you saw them, and these were the conditions”, and so forth. All of that information that is stored there! All that you need is some kind of a stimulus, or stimuli to bring back a whole flood of memories, or information!
A lot of times, just a melody, a tune. “Oh yes! That was popular back in 1950!” I got you, don’t I? Most of you! Maybe you associate that tune with some experience that you had. It’s interesting that all of the information that is there and all it needs is some kind of a stimuli to, to bring it forth.
Now how do these electronic impulses work, bringing into your mind these visions, these pictures, these memories? What is it that, you know, how does it work? Just these impulses, these little brain cells start interacting, and firing up, and so forth, and here comes all of this imagination, or memory, or pictures of the past, amazing! What starts the chain? What starts the, that thinking process? God says, “I know your thoughts before you know them. I know your thoughts in their origins. I know what triggers that memory, or that thought, or that idea. I, I know your thoughts before you know them.”
So here again, the Lord is declaring, “I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them.” Jesus demonstrated that when He was here on earth. It said that He didn’t need for anyone to tell Him about men, because He knew man, and He knew what was in man. So many times Jesus said, “Why are you thinking this?”, and He would answer their questions before they could even ask them. Because He, He knew what they were thinking, and many times knew what they were thinking before they knew what they were thinking, before the thought ever came into their conscious level, He was aware of it. So sort of awesome to realize that God knows us that well! That there’s not a thought that comes into my mind but what God doesn’t know it.
When we stand before God to be judged, the Bible tells us that everything is open and naked before Him. You’re not gonna put anything over on God! He’s gonna judge us according to our works, “What manner or sort they are”. In other words, it will really be the motive of our heart that God is going to be judging. Not what is obvious, not what is, what other people see, and say, “Oh my isn’t that wonderful? Look what he is doing! Isn’t that great the way he has given that large contribution to the church! My he’s a marvelous person!” God will say, “No he’s giving that in order that he might get praise and glory from people! You know, he made a big public to-do over the thing, and he made sure everybody saw what he was doing! He got his reward in, in that everybody observed it. You know, he did it in such a way to draw attention to himself.”
So that fellow gets to heaven and, and the Lord says, “Well take a seat…”, “Lord! Don’t you remember that big gift I gave down there at the church? You know, I held that check up, and gave it”, and the Lord said, “Yes I observed it, and so did everybody else! When they all said, ‘Ooh, aah, isn’t that wonderful?’, that was your reward!”
Now there are other things that a person does, and when they get caught, then they try to make up an excuse. I knew this attorney who told his clients, he’s a criminal attorney, he told his clients, “Don’t tell me the story.” He said, “I can make up a better lie than you can. Let me tell you how it happened, and what you were thinking.” He was a successful criminal attorney. There are, many times people say, “I really didn’t intend it to be that way. You see, I was running down the street, just jogging, and this little lady came out from behind the building. I ran into her, and knocked her over and as she was falling, I reached for her, and I missed. But her purse got caught in my arm, and I knew people wouldn’t understand that, so I went running off you know with the purse. Before I had a chance to stop, they grabbed me. I was really just you know, trying to help the little lady. But, you know…”.
You give that kind of a thing to God, and say, “Ah, ha, ha! Let’s really take a look in your mind, and see what was going on at that time.” Then He’ll flash on the screen in heaven the same impulses of the pictures of your mind and, “This is the way it really happened. Look at this!” “Ahh”. God says, “I know”. It’s awesome! “I know what you’re thinking. The things that come into your mind, every one of them.”
Jesus said, “You’ve heard and it hath been said, Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say unto you, if a man looks upon a woman and lusts after her in his heart, he’s already committed adultery.” He knows your thoughts, He knows every one of them. We’ll be judged according to righteous judgment. The Lord said…
You have multiplied your slain in this city, you have filled the streets thereof with the slain (11:6).
This was a time of tremendous violence in Jerusalem. A time in which crime was rampant. There was a weakening of the law, and of the judicial system, and as the result, there was increased violence. A lot of innocent people being murdered. God said, “I know them.”
Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Your slain whom you have laid in the midst of it, they are the flesh (11:7),
“They’re the ones that have escaped.” The Bible talks about those that have died that they have actually, at this particular, referring to the same time, they’ve actually escaped the judgment to come. So that they are really better off than the living, because they’ve escaped this judgment that’s going to come. So the Lord says of them, “They are the flesh”…
they’re the ones who will be protected, and this city is the caldron: but I will bring you out of the midst of it. You’ll be taken out of the city (11:7).
“You’re gonna be judged outside of the city. The city will not be a defense for you. You will be taken as captives.”
You have feared the sword, but I will bring a sword upon you saith the Lord God. And I will bring you out of the midst of the city and deliver you into the hands of strangers, who will execute judgments among you (11:8-9).
So “bring you out of the midst of the city”. Actually Nebuchadnezzar had set up his headquarters at the border of the country in Riblah. They brought the captives, the princes, up to Riblah, to Nebuchadnezzar when they had taken the city. They took the princes and all captive, and they brought them to Riblah where Nebuchadnezzar actually had them executed. So the Lord said…
You will fall by the sword; and I will judge you in the border of Israel (11:10);
Isn’t that interesting? That’s exactly where Riblah is, in the border of Israel! That’s where they were brought to Nebuchadnezzar for judgment.
Now because of this, the Bible critics say, “Well you see Ezekiel wrote this after the fact, and that’s why he could speak so accurately. He wrote after it all happened. So he just was writing really history, rather than prophesying, he was just recording history.” Lame! Lame! As are all those critics of the word of God. So, “You’ll be judged in the border of Israel”…
and you shall know that I am the Lord (11:10).
It’s great! As Nebuchadnezzar says, “Death!”, say, “Ooh that’s what’s prophesied!”, you know that’s great to recognize it, but you’re a little late friend! You know, as they’re taking off your head, “Ooh! It was the Lord!”
Like when we were in Huntington Beach, this fellow came who was suffering from battle fatigue, or whatever in the Korean war. He came up to the door, a little weird, and Kay said that she looked out and saw him there, and said, “Chuck you know, he’s at the door there.” Says, “Don’t go out with him you know”, she said, “he’s crazy. He could shoot you!” I said, “Ah it’s alright. I’m okay you know.” Guy says, “I want you to come in the car.” Kay says, “Hold it, don’t, don’t do it! He’ll shoot you!” I said, “Honey it’s alright.” So I thought to humor the guy. You don’t want to, you know, you just sort of play along with them for awhile. So he opened the car door and said, “Get in.” I got in, so he went around the other side, pulled out a 45, and aimed it at me, and I thought, “She’s a prophetess!” The Lord said, “Then you’ll know I have spoken!”, I thought, “Ahh!”, you know. Great time to find out! He pulled the trigger a couple of times, but the gun misfired and, so I’m still here. So He said…
This city will not be a protection, it will not be a caldron, , neither shall you be the flesh protected in the midst of it; but I will judge you again [He says] at the border of Israel: [Thus it happened at Riblah.] And you shall know that I am the Lord: for you have not walked in my statutes, [And this is the reason why they’re gonna be judged, they haven’t walked in God’s statutes.] neither did they execute God’s judgments, but you have done after the manners of the heathen that are round about you (11:11-12).
They were living like heathen. They were living like pagans.
And so it came to pass when I prophesied, [He was prophesying] that Pelatiah [One of the fellas that was there] the son of Benaiah died. And I fell down on my face, and I cried with a loud voice, and I said, O God! are you gonna wipe out all the remnant of Israel? [“Is this it, you gonna wipe them all out?”] Then the word of the Lord came unto me saying, Son of man, your bretheren, even your bretheren, of your family, and all the house of Israel wholly, are they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get you far from the Lord: unto us is given this land in possession (11:13-15).
So he’s addressing now these people. They’re saying, “Oh you know, do your own thing. God’s given us this land. Things are not, we’re gonna be okay!”
Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and though I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come (11:16).
Now the temple was the place where they came to meet with God. The Holy of Holies within the temple, was the place of the Shekinah glory of God. It was the symbol of God’s dwelling in the midst of His people.
Now Ezekiel saw the glory of the Lord leave, and was at the east gate of the temple. In a moment, he will watch the glory of God depart completely from the mount of Olives. But these people that have been scattered throughout the world, have been taken away from the sanctuary, or the temple. It was the sanctuary, the place where people met with God. So God said, “I will be to them a sanctuary, in the places where they are, I will be to them a little sanctuary.” His presence will be there with them in captivity, wherever they’ve been scattered in the countries.
Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel (11:17).
So now the promise comes of, of God’s regathering of the people. The rebirth of the nation. “Though you’ve been scattered and all, I will be with you throughout that time of, of dispersion, but I also will bring you back and give to you the land of Israel.” God’s promise. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, and all of these were prophesying the destruction, all of them also prophesied the day that God would bring them back, and give them the land.
Now that was not fulfilled in Ezra, or in the time of Nehemiah. There was just a small group of people came back, and the promises were not fulfilled at that time. But this actually is a prophecy that refers to the last day gathering of the nation, and the reestablishing of the nation of Israel. As we get to Ezekiel chapters thirty six, and thirty seven, it will be revealed that the gathering, and the promise of bringing them back, making them a nation, was yet future, and has now been fulfilled. It is a, a fact at, at the present time, but we’ll get to that when we get to chapter thirty six.
And they shall come, and they shall take away all of the detestable things, and all of the abominations out of the land. And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and will take the stony heart [of their flesh, and will] out of their flesh, and I will give to them a heart of flesh (11:18-19):
Now in the thirty seventh chapter of Ezekiel, where he saw this valley of dry bones that were scattered. God said to Ezekiel, “Can these bones be made to live”. Ezekiel said, “Well you know, I don’t.” Ezekiel heard this rustling noise, and he saw the bones as they came together, they formed this skeleton. The skeleton stood on its feet, and he saw it as it was sort of clothed with flesh, and muscle. Then the Lord spoke to Ezekiel, and He said, “So I will gather together my people that have been scattered all over the world, who have been dead. I will revive them, and I will put my spirit upon them again. I will make them a nation.”
So God here is promising to bring them back from their graves, to bring them back from the dead so to speak, a nation that has been scattered. A people that have been scattered for two thousand years. Yet, we saw the rebirth, the marvelous miracle of the rebirth of the nation of Israel, in fulfillment to the prophesies that are here throughout the Bible, but especially in Ezekiel. So God is promising that He would give to them a new spirit. He would take away the stony heart, the hearts that have been hardened against God, and the things of God. He would give them hearts of flesh, tender, open.
You know, a person’s heart often times becomes very hardened to the Lord. Sometimes it’s through disappointments, someone has failed us, maybe it was a pastor that we had, and he failed us. The person becomes bitter, bitter against God, and he begins to harden himself against the things of the Lord.
Ted Turner, a very hard heart. He says, “Because God didn’t’ heal his sister when he prayed for her, and she was dying, and because God let her die, and didn’t heal her.” That’s why his heart is so hardened against God, and the things of God. That’s why he says the blasphemous things that he says against God. That’s why he’s turned to be such a bitter enemy of God. His heart is hardened because of that disappointment of not having his prayers answered. People for different reasons have hardened their hearts against God.
God warns about hardening your hearts. He, He uses Israel as an example that over, and over, how that they hardened their heart against God. Because of that hardened heart, they did not receive all that God wanted for them, and desired for them. They limited the work that God wanted to do in their lives, because they were hardened against God. God said He was gonna take out that hard heart, the heart of stone, and He was gonna give them a heart of flesh. A heart that is tender towards the Lord, and towards the things of the Lord.
That they may walk in my statutes, [Now remember this is why they were being judged, “they did not walk in His statutes”, verse twelve, but He will give them a heart that will be after God, and the things of God that they might, from their heart, walk in God’s statutes.] and keep his ordinances, and do them: [It’s not just enough to have the statutes, and ordinances, it’s important that we do them.] and they shall be my people, and I will be their God (11:20).
Glorious promise! “You’ll be my people, I will be your God.”
But as for them whose heart walks after the heart of the detestable things [Whose hearts are for the world, and the evil things of the world.] their hearts are after the abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord (11:21).
They will be judged, they will get what they deserve. Now at this point, the vision is coming to an end.
He saw the cherubims lifting up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. [So it was over and above them.] And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city, [God’s glory that was upon the city, and there in the temple.] and it stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city. [Or the mount of Olives.] And afterwards the spirit took me up, and brought me in a vision by the spirit of God back to Chaldea, to them of the captivity. So the vision that I had seen left. [Here he was, sitting again with his friends back in Babylon.] He began to share with them all of the things that the Lord had showed him (11:22-25).
Here he’s sitting with them, and then he sort of spaces out for awhile, goes to Jerusalem, has all these visions, and then when he comes back, he shares with them these things that God had revealed by these visions unto him.
Now he saw the glory of God leaving from the mount of Olives. The last place, the mount of Olives, and then leaving. It is interesting that from the mount of Olives, Jesus looked over the city of Jerusalem and wept. Because they had rejected the prophets that God had sent to them, and thus, did not receive the blessings that God desired to bestow upon them. “If you only knew the things that God was wanting to do for you, at least, in this, thy day; but they’re hid from your eyes.”
So we are told that when the Lord comes again in Zechariah, that, “when He returns, He will set His foot on the mount of Olives”. So the place from whence the glory of God departed, the Lord Himself will come to the mount of Olives, as He will make then His entrance on into the city of Jerusalem, to establish God’s eternal kingdom, and God’s eternal reign! So, mount of Olives figures in the departing, but then in the coming again of the glory of God, upon the people, upon the nation. But then, when Christ comes, it isn’t just for the glory of God upon Jerusalem, but upon the whole world.
So the word of the Lord also came unto me, saying, Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, but they don’t see; they have ears to hear, but they don’t hear: for they are rebellious (12:1-2).
They are blinded to the truth of God. Now the Bible tells us that blindness has happened to Israel in part. There is a national blindness. Paul the apostle said that, “When Moses came down from the mount, because of the glory that was shining from his face, they veiled his face”. But he said, “Even to the present time, there is a veil over their face when they read Moses”. There is the truth of, of God that is there that they don’t see. They have so long you know, interpreted their own ways, the scriptures, that they’re blind to the truth, the truth of God.
A spiritual blindness is really a very tragic, and a terrible thing. There are so many people today that are spiritually blind. They have no foundation in the word of God, and thus, they are marks and preys for these so-called evangelists that go around the country ripping people off. These guys are saying the weirdest things! I would like to say at this point that I thoroughly concur with Hank Hanigraff, and the position that he has taken. I can’t wait for his new book to come out! I think that it is long overdue, and very necessary to expose the heretical teachings of many of these fellows that are seen prominently on television. Especially featured on channel 40, and that network. When the Lord said, “The time has come when judgment must begin at the house of the Lord”, these men who profess to be prophets of God are certainly going to come in for judgment, as here in the scriptures.
When people are in rebellion against God they, they, they don’t hear the truth. They’re blind to the truth. When people aren’t really taught the word of God, they are preys for every wind of doctrine, and slight cunning of men who deceive, and they follow after all of these false prophets. Paul, in Ephesians said that, “God has appointed in the church the, first of all the apostles, and then the prophets, and evangelists, the pastor, teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry. That we might all come into the unity of the faith into the knowledge of the Son of God, into a complete maturity.”
In other words, the teaching ministry within the church is to bring you into a maturity. That you not be carried about with every wind of doctrine, and slight cunning of men. That’s the problem, the church untaught, is, is a church that is a prey for all kinds of weird, unscriptural ideas, and thoughts about faith, and about the nature of God, and the nature of man. They seek to elevate man to a god-status. They would make all of you little gods, with the same capacities of the true and the living God, if you only knew how to use faith, as God used faith. It’s tragic, terrible heresy. But people are too blind to see it.
So God says, “They have eyes to see, but they see not. They have ears to hear”, this was the complaint of Isaiah. It was echoed by Jesus, “Well”, spoke Isaiah the prophet saying, “having eyes to see, you see not; and ears to hear, you hear not, lest anytime you should see with your eyes, and hear with your ears, and be converted.” He found in this blindness, and this deafness to the spiritual things comes as the result of a rebellious heart against the Lord. So, “Ezekiel, you’re dwelling in the midst of a rebellious house that is blinded to the truth, it won’t listen to the truth.” “Therefore, because they won’t listen, illustrate it for them.”
Now it’s interesting that when Jesus quoted from Isaiah, “having eyes to see, they see not; ears to hear…”, it was at that point that Jesus began His, in fact it was His explanation for teaching in parables. They wouldn’t listen any longer just to straight teaching. But there’s something about human nature that loves a story. You start telling a story, and people start listening. We love stories! Goes back to childhood, we just love stories, “Tell me a story daddy!”, and we love it!
So Jesus went to the method of teaching by story telling, started telling stories. People get into the story, and then whoop! Found out they got hit you know, they were the object of the story, you know and they realize the parable was against them. They were angry. But, but they were listening. He caught their attention with a story, and then He puts the point across.
So with Ezekiel, the people rebellious, they wouldn’t see, they wouldn’t’ hear, wouldn’t listen to him, so the Lord said, “Okay do something a little different.”
Prepare your stuff for moving, and remove it out of your house during the day in all of their sight, and you shall remove from your place to another place in their sight: that they will consider, though they are a rebellious house (12:3).
“You know, you’ll catch their attention. Just take your stuff, and move it out side so they can see it. Move it to another place. Get their attention.”
Then you will bring forth your stuff by day in their sight, [“The stuff that you’re moving.”] and you will go forth even in their sight, as they [go, as they] that go forth into captivity (12:4).
In other words, “Pack your suitcase and take the things like you’re gonna be going as a captive, so you just take the most important things that you have. You can’t carry much, you’re gonna be taken as a captive, you’re gonna be led away, so get your wheelbarrow and just put in the stuff that you’re gonna take with you. But just stuff for captivity. Like, like you’re going away as a captive.”
And then dig through the wall in their sight, and carry it out through that hole in the wall. And in their sight you shall bear this on your shoulders, and carry it forth in the twilight: and cover your face, that you don’t see the ground: for I have set you as a sign unto the house of Israel. And I did as I was commanded: and I brought forth my stuff by day, the stuff that a person would take going into captivity, and I digged through the wall with my hand; and I brought it forth in the twilight, and I bore it on my shoulder in their sight. And in the morning the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Son of man, has not the house of Israel, that rebellious house said unto you, What in the world are you doing (12:5-9)?
He got their attention! Took his stuff out of his house, put it in a bag over his shoulder, and dug a hole in the wall, and crawled through. Put this hood over his head so he couldn’t see where he was going, and goes down you know, carrying this, they said, “What in the world are you doing?” They’re a rebellious house, they won’t listen to God. You know, they’ve closed their ears to God, but now He’s got their attention. So…
Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; This burden is concerning the prince in Jerusalem, and all of the house of Israel that is among them. [In other words, “This is, this is about the king, Zedekiah, who is in Jerusalem”.] And I am your sign: like I have done, it will be done unto them: and they are going to be moved and they’re gonna go into captivity. And the prince [That is, the king, Zedekiah.] that is among them shall bear upon his shoulder in the twilight, and shall go forth: and they shall dig through the wall to carry out thereby: and he shall cover his face, and not see the ground with his eyes. My net also will I spread upon him, and he shall be taken in my snare: and I will bring him to Babylon to the land of Chaldeans; but he will not see it, though he will die there (12:10-13).
An interesting prophecy concerning Zedekiah. Now you go back to history, though as Ezekiel was telling them, it was yet prophetic. It had not yet happened. “But this is what’s gonna happen to the king.”
The king is gonna try to escape. He’s gonna take his goods, and he’s gonna try and escape through a passage in the wall of Jerusalem. But he is going to get caught, and he is going to have his eyes put out. He will be brought to Babylon, he’ll not escape. He’ll be brought to Babylon, but he won’t see Babylon. He’ll be blinded. What happened? When the Babylonian army was ready to move into the city, in the evening, king Zedekiah, and a lot of his princes sought to escape from Jerusalem.
They went out between the gates, or uh, through the wall, and they were fleeing down towards Jericho. The soldiers, the Babylonian soldiers pursued them, and they caught them in Jericho. They took them up to Riblah, to king Nebuchadnezzar to his headquarters, and when Zedekiah was brought to Nebuchadnezzar, he ordered that Zedekiah’s sons all be put to death in front of Zedekiah. He watched his sons being slaughtered by the Babylonian soldiers.
Then, they put out Zedekiah’s eyes. He was brought then as a captive to Babylon, blinded. The prophecy was completely, and literally fulfilled. So the people, this is, God said, “They won’t listen so do this little antic so that you know, you’ll get their attention, and then just tell them what’s gonna happen.”
You see, the false prophet’s saying, “Oh Zedekiah’s gonna wipe out the Babylonians! Just wait! When he wipes out the Babylonians, he’ll come up here and he’ll free us, and we’ll all go home.”, and all. When they were rebelling against the word of God. God was saying, “They’re gonna go into captivity, they’re gonna be taken”, and so forth, they were rebelling against that. They wouldn’t hear the truth. They didn’t want to see the truth. So God says, “Okay do it this way, and get their attention.” So it happened.
And I will scatter toward every wind all that are about him, to help him, and all his bands; and I will draw out the sword after them. [So those that fled with Zedekiah were slain.] And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall scatter them among the nations, and disperse them in the countries. But I will leave a few men of them from the sword, and from the famine, and from the pestilence, that they may declare all their abominations among the heathen whither they come; and they shall know that I am the Lord (12:14-16).
“I’ll leave a few men to give witness of my righteousness in this judgment. They will tell the people of the corruption that was going on, so that when people hear of this horrible judgment, they will know that God is righteous in His judgment of these people.”
Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, eat your bread with quaking, and drink your water with trembling and with carefulness; [So he is to short ration himself with bread and water, and he is to shake as he’s eating his bread, and he’s to tremble as he’s drinking the water, and he’s just to measure really, the swallows, just don’t guzzle it down, but just carefully sip it, you know.] And then say to the people of the land, Thus saith the Lord God of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and of the land of Israel; They’re to eat their bread with carefulness, [That is, they’re going to have a famine, they’re gonna, they’re gonna be short.] and they will drink their water with astonishment, that her land might be desolate from all that is therein, because of the violence of all of them that dwell there (12:17-19).
So again, the reason for the judgment, the violence that is there. But they’re gonna be going through a severe famine.
And the cities that are inhabited shall be laid waste, and the land shall be desolate; and you shall know that I am the Lord. [“God is judging, you’ll know that I am the Lord that judges.”] And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Son of man, what is that proverb that you have in the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth (12:20-22)?
So whenever they would prophecy, they’d say, “Ah it’s not gonna happen now you know, the days are prolonged, every vision fails. You know, there’s a breakdown in everything, and it’s not gonna happen.” Much as Peter said, “In the last days there would be scoffers, that would say, Where is the promise of His coming? Since our fathers have fallen asleep, all things have continued as they were from the beginning.” The scoffing of the promise, of the coming of Christ.
The teaching of the second coming, it’s a rarity in the church today. People just sort of say, “Ah it’s, that’s way off.” The Lord spoke a parable of the last days, and He talked about that servant that said, “The Lord delays His coming”. But the coming of the Lord is near, very near! So the coming of the Lord’s day of judgment was very close for Jerusalem. But yet, they had a proverb by which they were putting off that day of God’s judgment. They said, “Oh the days are prolonged, every vision faileth.”
But you tell them, Thus saith the Lord God; I will make this proverb to cease, they will no more use it as a proverb in Israel; and say to them, The days are at hand, and the effect of every vision. [“They’re gonna come now, they’re at hand.”] For there shall be no more any vain vision nor flattering divination within the house of Israel. [These false prophets are going to be revealed for what they are!] For I am the Lord: and I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; and it will no longer be prolonged: for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord God. [“You’re gonna see it, it’s gonna happen in your days, it’s not gonna be prolonged, and down in the future sometime, but it’s gonna happen in your days.”] Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, The vision that he sees is for many days to come, and he prophesies of things that are way off. [Down the road.] Therefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; There shall none of my words be prolonged any more, but the word which I have spoken shall be done, saith the Lord God (12:23-28).
Affirming, “Gonna do it”. I believe that God is affirming today the promise of the coming again of Jesus Christ. People are still prone to say, “Oh that’s far off, the Lord delays His coming.” But I do believe the Lord is coming very soon, and that we need to give heed to the word of God. We need to be doers of the word, and not hearers only. We need to renew our commitment to follow Jesus Christ. We need to deny ourselves, and take up our crosses. We need really, to forsake the world, and the things of the world. For we are commanded, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world, for he that hath the love of the world in his heart, hath not the love of the Father.”
I’m a little disturbed by the attempts of some of these so-called “Christian” nightclubs, to emulate the world, and the worldly entertainment. You know, it’s like you can be a Christian, and still, you know, you can still have you know, hang on with one hand, and still have some of the worldly things that you know, you can still be like the world, only in a Christian environment. I don’t care to be like the world. The world is so corrupt! I have no desire to be like it, or to emulate it!
I think that the time has come where we may need to really make a clean break with the world, and the things of the world. For the Lord’s coming is at hand. It’s not something that’s prolonged. It’s not something that is way off. But I believe that it’s closer than any of us really realize. Jesus said, “Take heed, lest at any time you be so caught up with eating and drinking, and the cares of this life, that that day would catch you by surprise”. Paul said, “You’re not the children of darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief. But you’re children of the light, therefore, walk as children of the light, not in wantonness, not in drunkenness.” The day of the Lord is coming, and we need to prepare ourselves.
Shall we pray?
Father we thank You for Your word. Truly it is a light unto our feet, and a lamp unto our path! May we walk in it’s light, and be led Lord, by it’s truths. May our hearts Lord be open to You, and all that You’re wanting to do in our lives, and through our lives, in the accomplishing Lord, of Your purposes in these days. God keep us true to Your Word, and may we be found faithful, and obedient servants. Give us ears to hear what the Spirit would say to the church. Give us eyes to see. Lord, above all, a heart that longs after God, and wills for the will of God, in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7318