We’re living in exciting but dangerous (PERILOUS - II Timothy3:1) times! These are the PROPHESIED DAYS, of the TIME OF THE END, Believe it or not!
Now, I want to return to one of the Major Prophets, Ezekiel. Remember, he was specifically sent to the HOUSE of ISRAEL. He was to give them a WARNING MESSAGE! Again, I want to emphasize, this message was NOT addressed to the HOUSE OF JUDAH! Ezekiel, himself, was among the Jewish captives of his day, which had been defeated by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, in about 604 B.C. Ezekiel 1:1 “Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. 2 In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Johoichin’s (king of Judah) captivity, 3 The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Bu’zi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him.”
Chapter 2:2 “And the spirit entered into me when He spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard Him that spake unto me. 3 And He said unto me, Son of man, I send thee unto the House of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me; they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day.”
Chapter 3:17 “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the House of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.”
BUT WAIT! IS GOD’S TIMING OFF?
THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL went into captivity under the Assyrians, ABOUT ONE HUNDRED, and TWENTY YEARS, prior to this warning, in 718 B.C.! So this means that Ezekiel’s warning to the HOUSE of ISRAEL WAS 120 YEARS LATE! Or does it?
HOW DO WE RECONCILE THIS DIFFERENCE?
Many prophecies have a DUAL APPLICATION, meaning they have a FORMER and LATTER fulfillment! Obviously, there is no problem on God’s part. And, as it tells us in: II Peter 1:19 “We (God’s true Church) have a more SURE WORD OF PROPHECY; whereunto we do well THAT YE TAKE HEED, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. 20 Knowing this first, which no prophecy is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
Yes, we do have a special understanding of prophecy and we KNOW THIS WARNING IS, MAINLY, TO BE APPLIED to the MODERN HOUSE OF ISRAEL, the English- speaking people of this world.
Because we are still God’s chosen people (along with Judah), we have failed our responsibility in leading and teaching GOD’S WAYS to the Gentiles. We have become some of the most evil sinful, hypocritical people on this earth! So, God is going to have to punish us severely (in love), allowing us to go into national captivity and then rescue us at the return of Jesus Christ.
We covered several important verses in Ezekiel, Chapter 2, in Part One of this series. Now, we’ll go back to chapter 3 of this Book: Ezekiel 3:4 “And He said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with My words unto them. 5 For you are not sent to a people of a strange speech and of a hard language, but to the house of Israel; 6 Not to many people of a strange speech and of a hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee. (English seems to have become the universal language in the world.) 7 But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee: for they will not hearken unto Me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.”
So, why are we jeopardizing our reputations, our possessions, our families, or perhaps, even our very lives, to speak out and to preach an unpopular Gospel (the Gospel of the Kingdom of God) to a dying, decadent and deceived world?
BECAUSE, WE HAVE A CALLING and COMMISSION FROM GOD!!
Ezekiel 3:8 “Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads. 9 As an adamant stronger than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.” (Ezekiel was to even warn those of his fellow prisoners (Judah), but, they too, would turn a deaf ear). Verse 11 “And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the LORD God; whether they will hear or whether they will forebear.”
(This prophecy has a dual fulfillment because the TWO HOUSES, OF BOTH, ISRAEL and JUDAH, have never fallen TOGETHER, before. BUT THEY ARE GOING TO! Jeremiah 50:33 “Thus saith the Lord of hosts; THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL AND THE CHILDREN OF JUDAH WERE OPPRESSED TOGETHER: and all that took them captives held them fast; they refused to let them go.”)
Both are equally guilty! (Ezekiel uses the analogy of the two houses as two harlot women). Ezekiel 23:2 “Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother; 3 And they committed whoredoms in their youth: --- 4 And the names of them were Aholah (house of Israel) the elder, and Aholibah (Judah) her sister: and they were mine, and they bare sons and daughters. Thus were their names; Samaria is Aholah (Israel/America), and Jerusalem Aholibah (Judah/Jews). 5 And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine, and she doted on (depended upon) her lovers (her ALLIES), on the Assyrians (modern day GERMANY) her neighbors, 6 Which were clothed with blue (prize winners), captains and rulers (top of the line), all of them desirable young men (the “best” or “super race”), horsemen riding upon horses (probably mechanized armored divisions).7 Thus she committed her whoredoms with them, with all of them that were the chosen men of Assyria, and with all on whom she doted: with all their idols she defiled herself. 8 Neither left she her whoredoms brought from Egypt:..”
(Read about this continuing Babylonian religious system that Israel brought with them out of Egypt: “The Two Babylons”, by Alexander Hislop.)
Continuing on in verse 9 “Wherefore I have delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the ASSYRIANS, upon whom she doted.”
Isaiah corroborates WHO this conquering nation is! This is a REVIVED, GERMAN WAR MACHINE AND ITS EUROPEAN ALLIES! Isaiah 10: 1 “Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed; 2 To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless! 3 And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far (from the attack of the foreign aggressor)? To whom will ye flee for help? And where will ye leave your glory? 4 Without Me they shall bow down under the prisoners and they shall fall under the slain. For all this, His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.” Verse 5 “O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is My indignation. 6. I will send him against an HYPOCRITICAL NATION, and against the people of My wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire in the streets. 7 However he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so, but it is in his heart to destroy and to cut off nations not a few. 8 For he saith, Are not my princes altogether kings (master -race)? 10 As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria; 11 Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do unto Jerusalem and her idols?”
Also, notice the similarities of religious harlotry of Ezekiel 23 in Jeremiah 3:1 “They say, if a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return to her again? Shall not the land be greatly polluted? But thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the Lord. 2 Lift up thine eyes unto the high places (of worship), and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways thou hast sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with your whoredoms and with thy wickedsness. 3 Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain (upset weather conditions); and thou hadst a whores forehead, thou refusest to be ashamed. 4 Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me (repent), My father, thou art the guide of my youth? 5 Will He reserve his anger forever? Will He keep it to the end? Behold thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest. 6 The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? She is gone upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot” (followed false religious practices) 7. “And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. 8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.”
OTHER DARK, BLEAK TIMES ARE COMING, BEFORE THIS WW III OCCURS!
(WW III is the “great tribulation” of Matthew 24:21, 22)
We’ll only have time for the “HIGHLIGHTS” of these prophetic chapters in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 which graphically warn us of the consequences of our sinful society: Leviticus 26:14 “But if ye will not hearken unto Me, and will not do all these commandments; 15 And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that you will not do all My commandments, but that ye break My covenant: 16 I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you TERROR (Is this not one of the greatest concerns of our present day citizenry of this country? Just recently, a Nigerian man was deterred from exploding a device on a plane, carrying nearly 300 passengers. Tighter restrictions are planned, but many fear that another attempt might be successful.), consumption (I recently read where tuberculosis may be making a comeback; and other diseases, that were thought to be eradicated, are being detected again; plus some new “super-bugs” that are showing resistance against anti-biotic drugs.) 17 And I will set My face against you, ---they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you. (People seem to be fearful and anxious over what once would have seemed trivial.). 18 And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto Me, then I will punish you seven times more (can mean in severity or intensity) for your sins.” Verse 19 has a very poignant warning! : “And I will break the pride of your power; ---”
(We may still have a powerful military strength, but it seems we are unable to use it.
Read on through this chapter to see the horrible results of our refusal to obey God
MANY (MOST) WILL REFUSE TO BELIEVE THAT A LOVING GOD WOULD PUNISH A SO-CALLED"CHRISTIAN” NATION, AS WE THINK WE ARE!) Verse 27 “And if you will not for all this hearken unto Me, but walk contrary unto Me; 28 Then I will walk contrary unto you also IN FURY; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins (in intensity). 29 And ye shall eat the flesh of yours, and the flesh of your daughter shall ye eat (cannibalism!). 30 And I will destroy your high places (of worship), and cut down your images (images of the male - reflected by church steeples), and My soul shall abhor you. 31 And I will make your cities waste, ---”
Deuteronomy 28:15 “But it shall come to pass, if you will not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, --- ” Then follows a long list of cursings, similar to those in Leviticus 26, that God will impose upon this sinful nation!
IS THIS HOW IT ALL ENDS FOR GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE?
Jeremiah 33:24 “--- The two families which the Lord hath chosen---36 And now therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel, concerning this city, whereof ye say, It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon (modern) by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence; 37 Behold, I will gather them out of all the countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in My fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: 38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: 39 And I will give them one heart, and ONE WAY, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them, and of their children after them. 40 And I will make an EVERLASTING COVENANT with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. 41 Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with My whole heart and with My whole soul. 42 For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them.”
My friends, in a “nutshell”, this is the TRUE GOSPEL of Jesus Christ: The Gospel of the Kingdom of God!! (To limit this series to three, rather than four, please READ FOR YOURSELVES chapters 30 and 31 of Jeremiah!