ZADOK PUBLICATIONS MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
May 1, 2017
Chapter Ten is a picture of the departure of God from the Temple (and Jerusalem) in
degrees. Its relevance to today is obvious. Though the people still attended Temple activities and the offering of sacrifices continued as usual, God was not there. Could it be that churches meet and fellowship and continue their services while God is nowhere to be found?
Following on the heels of this momentous revelation is Chapter Eleven. This is where the
stench, that drove God out of His Holy Temple, was unveiled and shown in naked terms to
be the cause of all the misery coming upon the nation. Ezekiel was overwhelmed with the hypocrisy he saw and their deep seated commitment to sin and rebellion. Judgment rightly lay at their door, but still he cried out to God for mercy.
The action began just after the man clothed in linen had marked those who wept and
mourned over the city. If, indeed, this is characterized as Jesus, He is now assigned to bring fiery judgment on those who are unmarked.
As I looked, I saw what appeared to be a throne of blue sapphire above the crystal surface over the heads of the cherubim. 2 Then the LORD spoke to the man in linen clothing and said, "Go in between the whirling wheels beneath the cherubim, and take a handful of glowing coals and scatter them over the city." He did this as I watched.
Notice please, that each time a new element is introduced, the scene turns back to the Sovereign
God who is the progenitor. He exercises His authority and shows the spiritual side of war and conquering hordes. A throne of "blue" sapphire stands above a crystal surface. This scene is thoroughly majestic and beautiful for one to behold. As sapphires appear in many colors, the most valuable is deep blue, and if set immaculately in a sea of diamonds, decries wealth, beauty and Kingly status. Like David, we cry out, "You are beautiful." But, coming from this unparalleled source is a demand for the fire of judgment.
(There are three fires in the Bible, used by the Lord: the fire of judgment, the fire of Hell and the
fire of the Holy Ghost. Jesus will someday come in Flaming Fire taking vengeance on them that know not God and obey not the Gospel. [II Thess. 1:7,8]. At this point in time, He comes to spread fire upon the beloved city of Jerusalem [showing the future burning of the walls and Temple and all the magnificent houses by the Babylonian army]. There is a spiritual side for all actions by nations and governments).
Cherubim, with wings spread about the mercy seat, are animated to show the real cherubim around the Majesty's throne. Even though the golden replicas remained in the Temple Holy of Holies, they are just that, "replicas." No longer would offerings be acceptable, no longer the God of Israel would occupy the Temple with His glory! The fire that once fell upon the accepted
offering of the day of atonement, at the mercy seat and between the wings of the cherubim, now devours the enemies of the Lord.
The Cherubim are exactly the same ones of Ezekiel's initial vision. Their wheels are gyroscopic in nature, not requiring turning from one direction to another. Wherever the spirit of the Cherubim wished to travel, these wheels carried out their duties. The four faces gazed in all
directions, and they were aided by the eyes on the cherubim and the gyroscopes.
Ezekiel saw the man in linen go between the wheels and gather the hot fiery coals from the hands of the Cherubim. They handled the elements without harming themselves or the recipient.
3 The cherubim were standing at the south end of the Temple when the man went in, and the cloud of glory filled the inner courtyard. 4 Then the glory of the LORD rose up from above the cherubim and went over to the door of the Temple. The Temple was filled with this cloud of glory, and the Temple courtyard glowed brightly with the glory of the LORD. 5 The moving wings of the cherubim sounded like the voice of God Almighty and could be heard clearly in the outer courtyard.
As Ezekiel was awestruck at the majesty and ceremony taking place, he observed the position of
each participant. The cherubim were stationed opposite from the idol of abomination. They stood
at attention on the South side of an East facing Temple. The glory of the Lord moved from above
the Cherubim and hovered over the entrance to the Temple, thereby shielding the man in linen
from the presence of the idol. The courtyard glowed brightly (Like the glowing of Moses' face and the shining of Jesus' Transfiguration).
A question must now be asked: At your church, or house gathering, could such glory come down and fill the place? (Only once have I seen such glory fall on a congregation, and the cloud was misty and like a fog--only bright and obscurant of the people [Baptist church, Maua, Brazil, after preaching on Solomon's Secret.].)
The wings of the Cherubim acted as amplifiers to the voice directing the drama.
6 The LORD said to the man in linen clothing, "Go between the cherubim and take some burning coals from between the wheels." So the man went in and stood beside one of the wheels. 7 Then one of the cherubim reached out his hand and took some live coals from the fire burning among them. He put the coals into the hands of the man in linen clothing, and the man took them and went out. 8(All the cherubim had what looked like human hands hidden beneath their wings.)
If Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego moved in flames and were not burned, the man in linen
could take the live coals and carry out his judgment without harm.
Ezekiel now goes into great detail about this action.
9 Each of the four cherubim had a wheel beside him, and the wheels sparkled like chrysolite. 10 All four wheels looked the same; each wheel had a second wheel turning crosswise within it. 11 The cherubim could move forward in any of the four directions they faced, without turning as they moved. They went straight in the direction in which their heads were turned, never turning aside. 12 Both the cherubim and the wheels were covered with eyes. The cherubim had eyes all over their bodies, including their hands, their backs, and their wings. 13 I heard someone refer to the wheels as "the whirling wheels." 14 Each of the four cherubim had four faces - the first was the face of an ox, the second was a human face, the third was the face of a lion, and the fourth was the face of an eagle.
Not only does Ezekiel describe a gyroscopic action, but he details the scope of eyes on each body, which were covered in eyes (all over their bodies, hands, back and wheels). Nothing escaped their view. The slightest move by the Great King was observed and attended!
Strangely, the NLT version changes the "face of a Cherub" to the face of an ox. In the NKJV
it reads thusly:
14 Each one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, the second face the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. 15 And the cherubim were lifted up. This was the living creature I saw by the River Chebar.
Seemingly, "This was the living creature I saw by the River Chebar," caused the translators of
more modern versions to change the first face to an Ox. However, when one characterizes the faces there is a difference worth pointing out. The ox was a beast of burden and an object often
used as a sacrifice. The "cherub" is an angelic creation who ministers to the needs of God. Nonetheless, the four faces are indicative of the writers of the four gospels and are representative of the total creation in facial categories before their Maker.
Matthew:the Lion - Mark:the Ox - Luke:the Man - John: the Eagle
Matthew wrote about "Jesus the Messiah" and to a Jewish audience.
Mark (perhaps the first to write a gospel) about Jesus, the Servant. Gentile audience.
Luke writes about Jesus' birth, death and the birth of the early church. Gentile audience.
John wrote concerning the spiritual impact of Christ's life (Who He is, rather than what He did).
Audience: the born again.
Then the Spirit lifted me and brought me over to the east gateway of the LORD's Temple, where I saw twenty-five prominent men of the city. Among them were Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, who were leaders among the people.
Something cryptic jumps toward the reader in this verse, for Jaazaniah is pictured in chapter eight as the son of Shaphan (son of the Rabbit) and in chapter eleven as (son of the helper).
In chapter eight, he is pictured among the seventy sex oriented elders and in chapter eleven
as a "leader among the people." In chapter eight, he is situated in the "middle" of the elders
and in chapter eleven he is among twenty-five prominent men of the city." Hmmm. Could this mean when in the closeted group, he acted like a rabbit and when among the people like a
trusted counselor? (A viewpoint from fellow: Jim Haddock.)
Just as God showed the sins of the Priests with their apartment idols, along with twenty-five priests worshipping the sun, and the seventy elders, God is once again going to acquaint Ezekiel with the hypocrisy of public leaders. God holds responsible those who have charge over people.
Often, the citizens of a country have a tendency to believe The Almighty is not concerned with what goes on in city hall or the court house or capitol. How very wrong that notion is. It would be great if public leaders realized they are being scrutinized by the Lord of Glory and held
accountable for their actions. Dare we say such understanding would be sobering, to say the least? Jaazaniah and Pelatiah slammed into the judgment of God and realized too late that
God knows the spiritual side of political action.
2 Then the Spirit said to me, "Son of man, these are the men who are responsible for the wicked counsel being given in this city. 3 They say to the people, 'Is it not a good time to build houses? Our city is like an iron pot. Inside it we will be like meat - safe from all harm.' 4 Therefore, son of man, prophesy against them loudly and clearly."
Ah, dear reader, who are those in government who are responsible for "wicked" counsel in your
city or nation? Who, indeed, is guilty of running their offices apart from God and never seeking His wisdom?
For that matter, what pulpit is prophesying "loud and clearly" the severity of leadership under the indictment of Jehovah? This very day, there are wicked men and women who are still in good standing with their churches and continue in their sins, unrebuked. Not so with Ezekiel.
Why was the counsel of these leaders so onerous to God? Could it be their admonition to build houses, and carry on business as usual, was in conflict with the word of God spoken to Jeremiah?
He prophesied Jerusalem's citizens would be carried away, their city under judgment and their captors merciless. It was not the time to invest in commerce and real estate. They claimed their reasoning was based on the safety and security of the great wall around Jerusalem. They compared themselves to meat in an iron pot-safe and protected.
The Lord turned their words on them! They were to be the stew meat in a cauldron of scalding judgment. Ezekiel was told to prophesy LOUDLY and CLEARLY. There is a time to pound
the pulpit and declare loudly and clearly the message of God. He is not to be ignored and his
God said in this passage, "I know every thought."
O saints, it is time to bring every thought and imagination under the blood.
He KNOWS every thought. Those with agenda had best know that HE knows the difference
between His work and their selfish plans. He knows a person, not from the outside - but, from the inside. "I know every thought."
5 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon me, and he told me to say, "This is what the LORD says to the people of Israel: Is that what you are saying? Yes, I know it is, for I know every thought that comes into your minds. 6 You have murdered endlessly and filled your streets with the dead.
7 "Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: This city is an iron pot, but the victims of your injustice are the pieces of meat. And you are not safe, for I will soon drag you from the city. 8 I will expose you to the war you so greatly fear, says the Sovereign LORD. 9 I will drive you out of Jerusalem and hand you over to foreigners who will carry out my judgments against you. 10 You will be slaughtered all the way to the borders of Israel, and then you will know that I am the LORD. 11 No, this city will not be an iron pot for you, and you will not be the meat, safe inside. I will judge you even to the borders of Israel, 12 and you will know that I am the LORD. For you have refused to obey me; instead, you have copied the sins of the nations around you."
God spelled out what He planned to do. God truly is a good God, for He does exactly what He says He will do. Those who blank out His judgment with, "He would never bring that," had best
get a refresher course on Ezekiel 11:9-10. Why? Because to do similarly to Israel is to reap
the same result as Israel! "For you have refused to obey me," is the sin. Copying heathen practices is the conduit! Watch out, you leaders of once Christian countries who are bent on bringing in "cultural diversity."
3 While I was still speaking, Pelatiah son of Benaiah suddenly died. Then I fell face down in the dust and cried out, "O Sovereign LORD, are you going to kill everyone in Israel?"
While Ezekiel was doing exactly what God told him, judgment came immediately to Pelatiah.
"It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an Angry God (Jonathan Edwards)." Respected and illustrious Pelatiah died-bam, just like Ananias and Sapphira! Have you witnessed prophetic death? Get ready!
Ezekiel moved to intercession, realizing how many stood under judgment at this point; it seemed all Israel would perish. Bless his spirit and love for others. God answered his prayer by giving him promises for a future time, but first He gave him a further view of the "national mind."
14 Then this message came to me from the LORD: 15 "Son of man, the people still left in Jerusalem are talking about their relatives in exile, saying, 'They are far away from the LORD, so now He has given their land to us!'"
Their warped reasoning, embraced by those who had escaped the Assyrian Invasion and the multiple captures by Nebuchadnezzar, thought this was God's grace enabling them to confiscate their relatives' land. Their spiritual foundations were so eroded they could not reason soundly.
First, they surmised the "borders of Israel" contained the kingdom of God and territories outside those borders meant, "No God protection." In other words, all those exiles, who were carried away to Babylon, were such sinners that God removed them from His land.
"Their inheritance now belongs to us," expressed their greedy lust.
Warped thinking leads to wrong conclusions.
Are we not living in a world of "warped thinking?"
God showed Ezekiel the broad realms of His protection.
Though he and the exiles were far away from the Temple and homeland, God declared He will be their sanctuary. Those scattered around the world were really the chosen ones, not those in the city. These are they of the true Israel of God-those who carried out the greatest commission--to go into every nook and cranny of the universe and preach the gospel of the kingdom. He is not territorial; He is boundless. Israel is not a blood line ancestry, but a blood bought citizenry.
David knew His sanctuary when he wrote:
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust."
But further back than David, by a testimony beyond their wildest fathom of these words was
Till Your people pass over, O LORD,
Till the people pass over
Whom You have purchased.
17 You will bring them in and plant them
In the mountain of Your inheritance,
In the place, O LORD, which You have made
For Your own dwelling,
The sanctuary, O LORD, which Your hands have established.
18 "The LORD shall reign forever and ever."
My God, how that resonates with end time prophesy!
What God told Ezekiel, to comfort him and answer his prayer of intercession, traveled all the way to the day we live in-the now of time. This is no carrot hung out in front of exiles for a modicum of hope; this refers to a time yet to be revealed. Israel is not the territorial limits established by man, but a land reserved for the saints of God to reclaim as their own. Replacement theology be hanged. It is not replacement theology that is spoken by God, but
a righteous kingdom, over a righteous land, inhabited by a people of righteousness.
16 Therefore, give the exiles this message from the Sovereign LORD: Although I have scattered you in the countries of the world, I will be a sanctuary to you during your time in exile. 17 I, the Sovereign LORD, will gather you back from the nations where you are scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel once again.
18 "When the people return to their homeland, they will remove every trace of their detestable idol worship. 19 And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their hearts of stone and give them tender hearts instead, 20 so they will obey my laws and regulations. Then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God. 21 But as for those who long for idols, I will repay them fully for their sins, says the Sovereign LORD." NLT
Look at the ingredients of this prophecy. True home will be where the New Jerusalem comes down. The populous will be exiles no more in the foreign world of warped thinking. Singleness of heart, dwelling in a new tender spirit, will characterize the citizenry. No idols of deception or persecution, by those who know not God, will be found. This passage makes me want to sing that old spiritual, "I want to walk in Jerusalem just like John." Why? Because this word parallels Revelation is why.
God's departure from the corrupted halls of religion came next.
22 Then the cherubim lifted their wings and rose into the air with their wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel hovered above them. 23 Then the glory of the LORD went up from the city and stopped above the mountain to the east.
24 Afterward the Spirit of God carried me back again to Babylonia, to the Judeans in exile there. And so ended the vision of my visit to Jerusalem. 25 And I told the exiles everything the LORD had shown me.
Yes, Ezekiel saw the Lord depart the precious Temple of the Jews. It would no longer be the dwelling place of the Most High. The cherubim and the glory cloud lifted and went to the
place Jesus would sweat great drops of blood-the Mt. of Olives. From there, God would
travel to Mt. Herman, slowly withdrawing from the land of warped thoughts.
Ezekiel was returned supernaturally to those gathered to him before the vision. He faithfully
related the occurrences and events that he saw. But if you take a peek into next month's
newsletter, he is shown the hearts of those before him. This prophetic word says the
revelation of the vision was not for their generation.
Again a message came to me from the LORD: 2 "Son of man, you live among rebels who could see the truth if they wanted to, but they don't want to. They could hear me if they would listen, but they won't listen because they are rebellious."
What if the hearts of your congregation were revealed to you, pastor? What if the heart of the
pastor was revealed, congregation? What if we looked through the subterfuge of religious
activity to the "heart of Darkness" that dwells beneath the smiling, agreeing faces of a multitude?
Until Next month,
Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.