TheShiningLight

Preparing the Way of the Lord

Ezekiel 17 – 18

Ezekiel 17

God uses the allegory of the kings of Judah who rebelled in that day, as an instruction that any who rebel against their baptismal marriage covenant with the King of kings will likewise be destroyed. 

Ezekiel 17:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 17:2 Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel; 17:3 And say,

The Parable

Thus saith the Lord GOD; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar: 17:4 He cropped off the top of his young twigs, and carried it into a land of traffick; he set it in a city of merchants.

17:5 He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful field; he placed it by great waters, and set it as a willow tree. 17:6 And it grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him, and the roots thereof were under him: so it became a vine, and brought forth branches, and shot forth sprigs.

17:7 There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and, behold, this vine did bend her roots toward him, and shot forth her branches toward him, that he might water it by the furrows of her plantation. 17:8 It was planted in a good soil by great waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine.

17:9 Say thou, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Shall it prosper? shall he not pull up the roots thereof, and cut off the fruit thereof, that it wither? it shall wither in all the leaves of her spring, even without great power or many people to pluck it up by the roots thereof. 17:10 Yea, behold, being planted, shall it prosper? shall it not utterly wither, when the east wind toucheth it? it shall wither in the furrows where it grew.

The meaning of the parable, which is about the last kings of Judah and their destruction for their rebellion, is an allegory of the destruction of the called out to the New Covenant who break that covenant to serve idols of men and corporate entities instead of being faithful to our Husband.

17:11 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 17:12 Say now to the rebellious house [Judah], Know ye not what these things mean? tell them,

History

In the late 7th century BCE, the kingdom of Judah was a client state of the Assyrian empire. In the last decades of the century, Assyria was overthrown by Babylon, an Assyrian province. 

Egypt, fearing the sudden rise of the Neo-Babylonian empire, seized control of Assyrian territory up to the Euphrates river in Syria, but Babylon counter-attacked.  In the process Josiah, the king of Judah, was killed in a battle with the Egyptians at the Battle of Megiddo (609 BC).

After the defeat of Pharaoh Necho’s army by the Babylonians at Carchemish in 605 BCE, Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem, resulting in tribute being paid by King Jehoiakim to Babylon.

In the following years, the court of Jerusalem was divided into two parties, one in support of Egypt and one supporting Babylon.  After Nebuchadnezzar was defeated in Battle in 601 BCE by Egypt, Judah revolted against Babylon, culminating in a siege of Jerusalem beginning in late 598 BCE.

Jehoiakim, the king of Judah, died during the siege, and was succeeded by his son Jehoiachin (also called Jeconiah) at the age of eighteen. The city fell on 2 Adar (March 16) c597 BCE, and Nebuchadnezzar pillaged Jerusalem and its Temple and took Jeconiah, his court and other prominent citizens (including Ezekiel) back to Babylon.  Jehoiakim’s uncle Zedekiah was appointed king in his place, but the exiles in Babylon continued to consider Jeconiah as their rightful ruler in exile.

Despite the remonstrations of Jeremiah and others, Zedekiah later also revolted against Babylon and entered into an alliance with Pharaoh Hophra.

Nebuchadnezzar returned, defeated the Egyptians, and again besieged Jerusalem, resulting in the city’s destruction in c587 BCE. Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the city wall and the Temple, together with the houses of the most important citizens.

Zedekiah was blinded, and taken to Babylon with many others. Judah became a Babylonian province, called Yehud Medinata (Judah Province), putting an end to the independent Kingdom of Judah.

Because of the missing years in the modern Rabbinic Calendar, rabbinic sources place the date of the destruction of the First Temple at 3338 HC (423 BCE) or 3358 HC (403 BCE).

. . . Behold, the king of Babylon is come to Jerusalem, and hath taken the king thereof, and the princes thereof, and led them with him to Babylon;

Nebuchadnezzar sets up Zedekiah and makes an alliance with Judah and takes Jeconiah, Ezekiel and many nobles of Judah as hostage to Babylon to guarantee tribute from Judah.

17:13 And hath taken of the king’s seed, and made a covenant with him [King Zedekiah], and hath taken an oath of him: he hath also taken the mighty of the land: 17:14 That the kingdom might be base, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping of his covenant it might stand.

17:15 But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and much people [an army]. Shall he prosper? shall he escape that doeth such things? or shall he break the covenant, and be delivered?

God declares that the king of Judah [Zedekiah] who had broken his oath would be taken to Babylon and die there.

Even so, those of today’s spiritual Israel who break their baptismal commitment of espousal to God by serving others, will die in the latter day tribulation. 

17:16 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely in the place where the king dwelleth that made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he brake, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die.

No one can save us from the corrective wrath of the Eternal our loving and jealous Husband, against whom we have committed spiritual adultery by following idols of men and false traditions contrary to his Word!

17:17 Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company make for him in the war, by casting up mounts, and building forts, to cut off many persons: 17:18 Seeing he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when, lo, he had given his hand, and hath done all these things, he shall not escape.

Now it becomes clear that this covenant with Babylon as the king of kings of that time; is an allegory of our New Covenant of marriage with the King of kings.  God now begins to speak of God’s own Covenant!

17:19 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; As I live, surely mine oath that he hath despised, and my covenant that he hath broken, even it will I recompense upon his own head.

Anyone who breaks their marriage covenant with Messiah the Christ will be rejected by him! 

How is his New Covenant rejected?  By following idols of men, corporate institutions and false traditions instead of being zealous to learn and to live by every Word of God!

17:20 And I will spread my net upon him, and he shall be taken in my snare, and I will bring him to Babylon, and will plead with him there for his trespass that he hath trespassed against me. 17:21 And all his fugitives with all his bands shall fall by the sword, and they that remain shall be scattered toward all winds: and ye shall know that I the LORD have spoken it.

Then God prophesies that he will make Messiah the Christ, King of kings in Jerusalem; to rule from the Holy Temple Mountain.  And all peoples – as pictured by the branches [Remember the branches of the Feast of Tabernacles and John 15] and birds – will dwell under the mountain of the government of God the Father and Jesus Christ!

17:22 Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one [Messiah the Christ the King of kings over all the earth], and will plant it upon an high mountain and eminent:  17:23 In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it: and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell.

All nations will know that the Eternal has brought low the mighty and exalted Messiah the Christ and his faithful loyal followers who live by every Word of God.  The proud will be brought low and the humble before Almighty God shall be exalted!

17:24 And all the trees of the field shall know that I the LORD have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the LORD have spoken and have done it.

 

Ezekiel 18

Chapter 18 is a call to sincere repentance to both physical and spiritual Israel, and to all peoples!

Ezekiel 18:1 The word of the LORD came unto me again, saying, 18:2 What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge? 18:3 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel.

We all belong to God be virtue of being his creation.

18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

The Definition of a “Just Man” is a person who zealously lives by every Word of God!

18:5 But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful [living by every Word of God] and right, 18:6 And hath not eaten [by making and consuming sacrifices to idols and spiritually  by obeying idols of men and internalizing the false words of men] upon the mountains  and, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour’s wife, neither hath come near to a menstruous woman [Today this is a common sin, very few waiting until the sunset of the seventh complete day after onset.] 

18:7 And hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled none by violence, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment; 18:8 He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man, 18:9 Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD.

If the righteous man has a wicked son, the righteous will be saved and the wicked will be corrected and if they remain unrepentant they will be destroyed.

18:10If he beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, and that doeth the like to any one of these things, 18:11 And that doeth not any of those duties, but even hath eaten upon the mountains [followed idols of men and their false teachings], and defiled his neighbour’s wife [committing adultery, spiritually this refers to disloyalty to the Husband of our baptismal commitment],

18:12 Hath oppressed the poor and needy [this is done by the major organizations of the spiritual Ekklesia today by pressuring [extorting] excessive offerings], hath spoiled by violence, hath not restored the pledge, and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, hath committed abomination [today’s spiritual Ekklesia is full to the brim with idolizing men and corporate institutions so that they obey men and their false teachings and do not obey God], 18:13 Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him.

If the wicked man have a righteous son; even the righteous sons of the wicked will ultimately receive eternal life!

18:14 Now, lo, if he beget a son, that seeth all his father’s sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like, 18:15 That hath not eaten upon [spiritually serving other gods instead of serving the Eternal]  the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, hath not defiled his neighbour’s wife, 18:16 Neither hath oppressed any, hath not withholden the pledge, neither hath spoiled by violence, but hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment, 18:17 That hath taken off his hand from [abusing]  the poor, that hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, hath walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live.

The wicked will die for their own sins.

18:18 As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity.

God asks us why the righteous son should bear the wickedness of his father; when the son has been righteous.

18:19 Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live.

God justly decides that:

18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him [to live for his righteousness], and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him [for judgment to death].

God then offers his mercy to all who sincerely repent!

18:21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 18:22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.

God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather God works to bring the wicked to sincere repentance and to save the wicked out of their wickedness.

18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?

If we think that we are pleasing God and we have it made if we obey men;  God says the exact opposite!

The spiritually called out of the latter day spiritual Ekklesia, have fallen into the wickedness of idolizing men and all of these sins are committed in the spiritual sense. 

If we will not sincerely repent and turn to a passionate zeal to learn and live by every Word of God, if we will not reject the false traditions of our idols of men: we will surely be corrected and if we will still not repent we shall surely die for blindly following men contrary to the Word of God.

18:24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.

According to this judgment; Jesus Christ will reject today’s brethren who follow the false traditions of their idols of men and have no zeal to learn and to live by every Word of God (Rev 3:14-22). 

How long will we pollute God’s Sabbath and High Days and follow idols of  men contrary to God’s Word?

18:25 Yet ye say, The way of the LORD is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?

Those who teach that once baptized we can willfully commit some sin [if some man allows it] and that Christ knows how hard life is and will overlook that sin; those who teach the abominable “primacy of Peter” LIE, that men have been placed in authority by God and must be obeyed without question even contrary to God:  WILL SURELY DIE, along with all those who follow them and are not zealous to live by every Word of God. 

The prophet then speaks of sincere repentance and of eternal life to which God is calling us.

18:26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.

18:27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.

18:28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

18:29 Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the LORD is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?

Every person will be judged by his own actions; NO ONE will be able to use the Nazi excuse that “I was just following our appointed leaders.” 

Jesus Christ will then say that these were not his appointed leaders at all and were allowed to TEST us, to see whether we will keep the Word of God or the words of men: and he will ask us why we obeyed men and not God! 

Indeed God will allow false teachers to do wonders to TEST his people to see whether they will follow cunningly devised fables or even false wonders and miracles; to turn them away from any zeal for keeping the Word of God!

Deuteronomy  13:1   If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams [religious teacher or leader], and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 13:2  And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods [to follow Idols of men and to believe them contrary to the whole Word of God as is done in today’s spiritual Ekklesia], which thou hast not known, and let us serve them

Those who teach us to serve them without question, falsely claiming that they are God’s anointed; saying that we need not have any zeal for the Sabbath or for God and his Word; claiming that we must be zealous for them and their organization, (here comes the BIG LIE) because they are of God [even though they teach falsely and depart from God’s Word] are false teachers. 

If they were of God they would teach a passionate zeal for the whole Word of God, they would focus all people on God and they would never focus anyone on themselves!

13:3  Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams [religious leader or teacher]: for the Lord your God proveth [tests] you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Brethren, TODAY we are being Tested and Proven to determine our loyalty and our zeal for our espoused Husband our Mighty One!  Will we blindly follow idols of men, or will we prove all things and hold fast only to that is good by the whole Word of Almighty God?

1 Thessalonians 5:19  Quench not the Spirit [by sinning] 5:20  Despise not prophesyings [warnings]. 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good5:22  Abstain from all appearance of evil.

God calls us to sincerely REPENT of departing from God’s Word, lest we be destroyed for not proving all things to live by every Word of God, and for our idolatry of obeying men and not God!

Ezekiel 18:30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of [physical and spiritual] Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin

Let us sincerely repent of our Sabbath and High Day pollution, which we do because “The church says it is all right;” when Almighty God warns that he will destroy those who pollute his Sabbaths! 

Let us sincerely repent of following the false traditions of our idols of men, blindly and without questioning them and not holding them up to the standard of God ‘s Word. 

Let us turn to a hot burning zeal to follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth!

18:31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of [physical and spiritual] Israel? 18:32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

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