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March 29, 2021 2:00 am
Some of the prophecies in the Old Testament are just plain weird. But from them, we can learn important lessons. Join Skip as he shares interesting insight about Ezekiel's prophecies.
This teaching is from the series The Bible From 30,000 Feet - 2018.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
Let me remind you that faith comes by hearing it still is the case today. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
If your preacher be good enough to use words to paint pictures in people's minds and sink down every prophet of God is that this guy and Jeremiah are the exceptions that kind of recalcitrance parts are parts they were dealing with the Lord sent prophets to the nation of Israel worn encourage and guide his people and today on connect with Isaac Skip shares important insight as he explores the incredible visions of the prophet Ezekiel, but before we begin.
Here's a great resource that will give you fresh insight on what Jesus resurrection means for the aftermath of 2020 has left so many of us wrestling with questions about the future and wondering what's next here Skip I think that's a question by the way that people ask anytime there is a catastrophe any kind of catastrophic event causes people to ask the question, what's next.
There's a car accident that happens while what's next on guy to be able to walk after this disease strikes someone. What's next my going to be sure, if somebody we love dies, we ask what's next.
My going to be able to go on. We want to help you live with confidence no matter what the future holds by sending you a powerful collection of Easter weekend messages from skip. I think on the hope of the resurrection. Anything is possible if the one who said he's going to die and rise again, died and rose again. That means all of the promises Jesus ever made our possible and can come true. That's why it's called a living hope the morning that changed everything with skip. I think it's a DVD collection of six life-changing Easter messages and it's our thanks for your gift of $35 or more today to help connect more people to the living hope of Jesus Christ to get online securely visit connect with.com/offer board call 800-922-1888 the book of Ezekiel as we get into the teaching with Skip Heitzig over and European area. There is a land known as the okay United Kingdom United Kingdom is a conglomeration of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. They have been in that configuration called the United Kingdom for 218 year so when we say the UK, the United Kingdom, that's what most people on earth today. Think of from a biblical perspective. However, the terms United Kingdom refers to something vastly different, as by now you know you know that it refers to the 12 tribes of Israel when they were united as a kingdom under the rulership of King Saul, King David and King Solomon. That was the United Kingdom that kingdom only lasted 110 years and then that United Kingdom split into two sections.
The North being called the country of the North being called the country of Israel. The southern kingdom been called Judah Israel after that kingdom split member how the kingdom split Rehoboam, the son of Solomon tried to levy more taxes curable on the son of Naboth took the 10 drives and said were out of here are some of Easter babies didn't actually say that, but in so many words he did so the kingdom split the northern kingdom continued as a viable divided kingdom for 210 years. Then they were taken captive in 722 BC by the Assyrians. As you know, and then the southern kingdom remained cola last for another 135 years and they went into Babylonian captivity in 586 BC. As you know we find ourselves dealing with that last portion of information, the kingdom now long divided that southern kingdom going into the Babylonian captivity and we gave you the three dates last week. 605 597, 586 where the Babylonians came against the city and then finally destroyed. We are dealing with the prophet of East Ezekiel at this particular period of time. Now I went into the ministry, primarily because I had certain role models that who in the ministry made the ministry to be very attractive. I thought like love to do that if the prophets, Jeremiah and Orit Ezekiel would've been my role models.
I probably wouldn't have got into the ministry I would have severe second thoughts. I'd say no thanks. Ezekiel like Jeremiah was also a priest but was unable to serve as a priest you know what because right when he was about to serve as a priest. The Babylonians took him captive and brought him to Babel.
So though he was trained for the priesthood and should have served as a priest he went into captivity in Babylon 11 years before the city was destroyed in 586 so I mentioned there were three dates three deportations and the final one was a destruction in 605 I mentioned a young man was taken captive to Babel and his name was Daniel in 597 BC. That second attack and deportation took place at that time EC Ezekiel went into captivity before he could serve in the priesthood and then years later the temple was destroyed. What that means is the prophet Ezekiel had two well-known contemporaries, Jeremiah, and Daniel Jeremiah older than Ezekiel living in Egypt at the time, Daniel.
However, has been in Babylon for Ezekiel got there and by this time already occupied. No doubt a prominent position in the court of net you could measure after interpreting dreams and was made. The captain of the Magi. The wise men of Babylon. By this time, so sort of an interesting overlapping of ministries going on here Ezekiel.
If you read the book.
If you're familiar was a very visual prophet and I mean that twofold. He saw things he saw visions he saw the plan of God unfolded in a sense, the glory of God unfolded before him. Certainly in chapters 1 and chapter 10.
This wild vision, but he also used visuals to get people's attention lying on one side lying on another side publicly and out of the public for hours for days for months and then shaving his head and shaving his beard and public hiding in a cave not showing emotion when his wife died a number of sleazy visual examples and here's why God's people were not listening to God's word so to get their attention they use. He used a way to get their attention because when the winds when the prophet came and said, thus says the Lord. There was an automatic turnoff and so he steps it up a notch or two. By giving very graphic visuals in our day preaching in pulpits, especially among those who are young seems to be a trend to try to get people's attention by bringing graphic illustrations in the pulpit and doing all sorts of things sitting on the bed, standing on chairs or riding bicycles in and around things and all I can say is okay, but that's in indictment the you're dealing with a crowd of people that cannot or will not listen to God's word and let me remind you that faith comes by hearing still is the case today. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. If your preacher be good enough to use words to paint pictures in people's minds and it will sink down every prophet of God did that this guy and Jeremiah are the exceptions, but that simply points to the kind of recalcitrant hearts hardened hearts that they were dealing with. Now the outline of the book of Ezekiel is very logical.
In fact, it is the most logical of all of the prophetic outlines or of the of the books of the prophets. The first section is personal. Chapters 1 to 3.
The second section is a national chapters 4 through 24. The third section is international chapters 25 through 32 and the final fourth section is even eventual but a better description would be eschatological dealing with end of times eschatology the End of Days and the glory of God. So because he uses so many pictures I've sort of divided the book up like a picture frame for science and I'll be more specific. No chapters 1 through three deal with the commission of the prophet Ezekiel is called by God. God's hand is on Ezekiel. God speaks to Ezekiel.
That's his commission commission of the prop.
The second section is correction of the problem. Thus, the national where God is dealing with the nation of Judah for her sin and the reasons for her sin and what's going to happen eventually. That is the destruction of the temple.
Remember when Ezekiel preached he was a captive in Babylon, but the temple was still standing for a few more years but he predicted its demise.
So commission of the prophet correction of the people third section. Castigation of the People's plural now were dealing internationally with other nations around the country of Judah, and then finally conciliation of God's purposes. That's the last section, chapters 33 to 48.
That is where Israel God sees it. The prophet predicts it being restored.
We gathered in their land, in Ezekiel chapter 1 verse one we begin, and again this is a 30,000 foot view we are flying over making notes on a few areas looking down out of the airplane in a few different texts and then zoom in ahead chapter 1 verse one. Now it came to pass in the 30th year mark that in the fourth month on the fifth day of the month.
I was among the captives by the key bar River that the heavens were opened and I saw the visions of God known since the 30th year. Notice he doesn't say the 30th year of Joya Chandler the 30th year of Nebuchadnezzar. This is the 30th year so because of that we believe were dealing on a personal level with the prophets, age that Ezekiel when he gets this vision as a young captive in that second deportation is now in Babel. He is 30 years old when this happened, why is that significant because in the priesthood.
You begin your service when you turn 30 years of age, which means he had his birthday in Babylon, which means he trained for the priesthood.
But he never was able to serve in the temple, the longest-serving why is that significant because of all the prophets, Ezekiel will be given a detailed description of another temple that is never yet been built, but will be built not in the tribulation. But in the millennial kingdom very detailed description. She gets to see it in vision for so he it says that Tom. I was among the captives verse one by the river cave are key bar of a better way of looking at this is the canal people. There were two rivers. As you know in that area of the world, the Tigris River and the Euphrates River. Those are the two huge rivers of water, the land, the people divergent that water into canals for irrigation. Ezekiel was with a group of captives were camped out by that canal. The river keep and it says the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God now healthy, very graphic visualizations of the glory of God.
So this is a vision from God. This is not a late night pizza vision. This is not a spicy falafel dream.
This is something that God gives to him. This priest who is no doubt very discouraged for a couple of reasons. Number one, he's a refugees a captive number two. He never got to serve as a priest in Jerusalem. It would be sort of like your 15 years of age or 16th birthday is tomorrow. You've gone through driver's ed you go to the DMV you think tomorrow to get your license. But then on the eve of your birthday. The government changes the law so that you have to be 18 years of age to get a drivers license, which by the way, I'm for, but imagine how your heart would sink the day you turn 16, but never got to see your dream realized. Now, that's where they are and I can't resist reading to you a few verses from a song that will now make sense. Psalm 137. You should always keep that in mind whenever you read Ezekiel by the rivers of Babylon. There we sat down here. We wept when we remembered Zion.
We hung our hearts upon the Willows in the midst of it for their those who carried us away captive asked us a song and those who plundered requested mirth saying sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the Lord's song in a foreign land.
If I forget you will Jerusalem let my right hand forget skill if I do not remember you let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth. If I do not exalt Jerusalem above my chief, that's a song written in retrospect of those who are in Ezekiel's position feeling what he feels not wanting to have mirth and joy even though the Babylon is rinsing is one of those Jewish songs nursing.
How can we sing the Lord's song in such a condition let's worry is verse five. Let's get down there and move ahead.
Also from within it came the likeness of four living creatures get better and this was their appearance they have the likeness of a man. That's the general appearance humanoid appearance.
Each one had four faces. That's where it departs from the look of the human because you and I have one this creature. These had four faces, and each one had four wings.
Their legs were straight, the soul of their feet were like the soles of calves feet.
Holy cow, and they sparkled like the color of burnished bronze the hands of a man were under their wings.
Weird little hands under her wings on their four sides in each of the four had faces and wings know we know what these are. If we've read chapter 10 as well as chapter 1 in chapter 10 the same vision. These creatures are called cherubim that the Hebrew word I am is the male Hebrew plural or so a singular being is a cherub or an angelic being more than one is Cheryl being or cherubim. Many angels we know about cherubim a couple of them appeared outside the garden of Eden. In the book of Genesis guarding the entrance. There were a couple of cherubim whose wings touched on top of the ark of the covenant is a symbol of God's presence. They were in the veil embroidered beautifully in the tabernacle and the temple cherubim seems to be angels who guard the presence of God and are always seen as a symbol of the presence of God. Verse nine their wings touched one another.
The creatures did not turn when they went, but each one went straightforward so you get as you read this, the idea that when they wanted to go one direction or the other. The mind of the spirit is sick right like that without having to turn the dinner will Wells or tie rods or steering wheels to bend it just it moved in that direction. So they went straightforward. Now the Hebrew term for this vision and you see its vision of the glory of God, of the throne of God is called the mayor, some of you are familiar with the mayor, or the medical bar. It is the chariot that the divine chariot the flown car of God.
I bring it up merely to state if you ever delve into town music interpretations, especially the mystical writings or a really weird subset of Judaism called Of the Kabbalah Kabbalistic Judaism is very mystical and it's all centered around what this is all about this vision in Ezekiel chapter 1 intent in his word interpretations are no need no desire to even get into it just to touch on the verse 10 as for the likeness of their faces each at the face of a man.
Each of the four had the face of a lion on the right side each other of the four the face of an ox on the left side each of the four had the face of an eagle, now he's got her attention. Now it's sounding more familiar. Let's read on. Thus were their faces.
Their wings stretched upward two wings of each one touched one another in the two covered their bodies in each one went straightforward. They went wherever the spirit wanted to go and they did not turn when they went to pause, think back to our study in the encampment of the children of Israel in the wilderness in the in the wilderness.
There was the center of the camp, the tabernacle and on all four sides. The 12 tribes of Israel were divided into four main camps three tribes on the South Northeast and West and those three tribes on each side were under the banner of a single tribe so on one side, they were under the banner of the tribe of Judah, whose insignia happened to be a lion on another side. They were under the banner of the tribe of Ephraim, whose banner happened to be an ox on the other side. They were under the banner of the tribe of Reuben, whose banner happened to be a man and on the final side. They were under the banner of Dan, whose banner happened to be an eagle. Fascinating. So far right all of that gives to us at least an indication that maybe there's something to this. Is there more. Yes, there is, it seems that what we saw in the tabernacle, representing here by these cherubim is a picture of the throne of God and the tabernacle was a model crude, albeit, but a model of the throne of God because when we fast-forward to the book of Revelation. We also have these four living creatures and the throne of God depicted in the book of Revelation.
But what's beautiful is looking at the four Gospels, alongside all of that for Gospels, not tree, not 54 the gospel of Matthew is the gospel of the kingdom.
The kingdom is referred to more than any other book that's the lien then we have the gospel of Mark the word immediately pops up a lot in that book, and we see Jesus moving from place to place rapidly like a servant would and the animal of servitude was the ox. Then we come to the gospel of Luke written by a Gentile doctor, especially with the Greeks in mind who idealized humanity, and they were looking for the ideal man, and so the term Son of Man is used frequently by Luke, and then the most majestic. I believe of all the Gospels soaring above the other is the gospel of John, who depicts Jesus as God the son God in human flesh, the divine the deity of Christ and the end of the book says that you might believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, so again I believe depicted in the Gospels seen in the tabernacle, and in the book of Revelation and seen here in this vision formed the presence of God. The full or glory of God in these creatures basket with a message for you from the series the Bible from 30,000 right now to Skip to tell you how your support helps keep these messages coming your way and connects more people to God's word, no matter what happens in your life or where God takes you. He's always in control. His word assures us of this truth time and time again here at connect with. We want friends like you to hold fast to the encouraging truths of the Bible and then share those truths with others. One way you can do that today is by prayerfully partnering in this work to keep these teachings coming to you and others.
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