Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 86 Saturday

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Ezekiel chapter 48

The LORD gives final instructions in this chapter, specifically He tells how the land is to be divided. Part of this is a repeat of a few chapters ago when He told Ezekiel that a portion was to be set apart for the prince. Repeating important instructions is always a good idea and God, the Heavenly Father, obviously saw a need to emphasize this.

Does God issue any commands?

  • God states how He wants the land divided among the 12 tribes of Israel. Joseph has 2 portions registered under the names of his sons Ephraim and Manasseh.
  • The priests, the sons of Zadok who kept the LORD'S ordinance, are to receive a set portion as the representative of the tribe of Levi. Theirs is a holy oblation which they can never sell.
  • People from every tribe will serve the holy city.
  • A portion of the land shall be set aside for the prince.
  • The gates of the city will be twelve: Reuben, Judah, and Levi on the north; Joseph, Benjamin, and Dan on the east; Simeon, Issachar, and Zebulun on the south; and Gad, Asher, and Naphtali on the west.

Does God make any promises?

  • The name of the city from that day shall be THE LORD IS THERE!


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Since the ruling family of David never again ascended the throne and none of his descendants through the recorded historical record in the Bible claimed the land for the prince I believe that the prince is none other than Jesus Christ.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Given the size of the city, its name, and reference to the prince, it seems to me that this chapter deals with the division of the land of Israel at the time of the Millennium when Jesus shall rule.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Read Through the Bible in 2014: October 27-November 1 Schedule



10/27/2014      Ezekiel 34, 35 Psalms 94, 95
10/28/2014      Ezekiel 36, 37 Psalms 96-98
10/29/2014      Ezekiel 38, 39 Psalms 99-101
10/30/2014      Ezekiel 40-42 Psalms 102, 103
10/31/2014      Ezekiel 43, 44 Psalm 104
11/1/2014      Ezekiel 45, 46 Psalm 105

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 86 Friday

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Ezekiel chapter 47

The LORD GOD returned Ezekiel to the door of the Temple where he saw water flow out from the threshold on the east side of the Temple that came out from the south side of the altar and flowed toward the north. The man with the measuring stick led Ezekiel through the water. He led Ezekiel further and further out until Ezekiel could no longer cross without swimming. Then the man returned Ezekiel to the shore and explained the vision to him.

Does God issue any commands?
  • God commanded that the land be divided just as He stated. Even the strangers (foreigners) that live among them are to have land as an inheritance. (verses 21-23

Does God make any promises?

  • The waters would flow out to the desert in the east and to the sea where the waters will be healed. Everything that the water touches shall live but the marshy places would be left as brackish salt water.
  • The trees beside the river that Ezekiel saw will bear fruit every month and their leaves will not fade. The trees will be for food and the leaves for medicine.
  • God promised that Israel would possess the land of Promise. Joseph will have 2 portions (as the birthright which Reuben lost).

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Just as when Moses struck the rock and water flowed from it, this water represents Jesus, the Living Water. Jesus said Himself that He is the Living Water when talking with the woman at the well in John chapter 4.
  • I believe that the man speaking to Ezekiel is Jesus.
  • The vision of Ezekiel in the water is similar to the lessons that Jesus taught Nicodemus about being born of the water and the spirit in John 3:5 and what He taught His disciples, especially Peter, on the night that He washed their feet before observing the Passover with them prior to His crucifixion. It is a picture of salvation.

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • The time being described is a time of health and life. This must be the Millennial Kingdom rule of Jesus in Israel that is being described. Isaiah also described such a time when men will live to be of great old ages once again before death takes them. (Physical death is not abolished in that 1,000 years but it is greatly delayed! Death is finally abolished at the end of time.)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 86 Thursday

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Ezekiel chapter 46

God gave Ezekiel more instructions for any future prince that ruled Israel as well as further directions for the sacrifices. Ezekiel was also shown more of the rooms in the Temple.

Does God issue any commands?

  • The gate of the inner court facing east shall be closed on the six working days but opened on the sabbath and new moon.
  • The priests shall prepare the prince's burnt offering and his peace offerings as the Prince stands by the post of the gate. Then the prince shall worship at the threshold of the gate. After that He will go out but the gate will not be shut until the evening. Someone is to be appointed to shut the gate. (That brings to mind David's saying in Psalm 84:10 about being a doorkeeper for the LORD.)
  • The people will also worship the LORD there in the sabbaths and new moons.
  • The prince will offer to the LORD 6 lambs and a ram, and a meat offering on each sabbath. On the day of each new moon He will offer a young bullock, six lambs, and a ram, also a meat offering.
  • The prince will enter and exit through the East Gate but the people will enter through the North Gate and exit through the South Gate and vice versa.
  • During feasts and solemnities the meat offering shall be an ephah per bullock and an ephah per ram, and an hin of oil per the lambs.
  • A lamb of the first year shall be prepared as a burnt offering and also a meat offering will be prepared each morning.
  • If the prince had sons he could give them land which would then become theirs by right of inheritance. And if the prince gave servants land it would return to the prince's possession during the year of liberty (Jubilee). The prince was not allowed to take the inheritance of another by force. (Remember Ahab and Naboth's vineyard?)

Does God make any promises?

  • The Prince shall enter by the porch by the East Gate.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Jesus is the true Prince of Israel. He will enter the Temple through the East Gate and will worship His Father.
  • The sacrifices mentioned are all pictures of the atoning work of Jesus.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Many of the instructions given by God appear to be in theory only as they pertained to the coming temple of Zerubbabel and that of Herod. No prince of the line of David ever ruled Israel during those times so no prince ever gave a gift of inheritance to a son or a gift to his servants that would then be returned to the prince in the year of liberty (a Jubilee year) but this should not be of concern. ("If" is a very important word in verses 16-17.) It is no different than when God gave His exact standards, or commandments, to Moses for the people to follow as their covenant with Him knowing full well that they would not be able to keep them. These are the standards and we cannot keep them. If Israel had not broken the covenant the nation would not have gone into captivity and the ruling family of David would have reigned continuously and followed the standards set down for the ruling prince. However, since all that did happen, the Son of David (Jesus) had to be made the sacrifice and those who worship Him are then His sons and servants. I believe that this passage deals with the future Temple during the 1000 year reign of Christ upon the earth.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 86 Wednesday

Ezekiel chapter 45

Does God issue any commands?
  • God gave Ezekiel instructions for future reference. One of the instructions was that they would offer an oblation, a holy portion (with dimensions given) for the Temple and the priests when they divide the land by lot for inheritance.
  • God said that His princes (priests) should  no longer oppress the people. They were to remove violence and exactions (evictions) and were to execute righteous judgment and justice. Measurements were to be standard and honest.
  • God gave instructions that on the first month in the first day of the month a young bullock without blemish or spot was to be offered to cleanse the sanctuary.
  • God gave instructions that in the first month on the fourteenth day of the month they were to observe the Passover feast of seven days with unleavened bread. The Prince would then prepare for himself and all the people a bullock for a sin offering. And seven days of the feast he shall prepare a burnt offering of seven bullocks and seven rams as well as a kid of goats daily for a sin offering. Then he shall prepare a meat offering.
  • In the seventh month on the fifteenth day of the month shall he do likewise feast of the seven days according to the sin offering, burnt offering, and meat offering.
  • God gave instructions as to how much oil, wheat, barley, and lambs for offerings were to be offered in the oblations.

Does God make any promises?
  • Not that I identified.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?
  • Part of the land was dedicated to the prince, which is Jesus. 
  • All offerings were pictures and types of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. He is not only the Prince, but He is the High Priest and the Sacrificial Offering.

Does this chapter teach anything  about yet-future events?
  • This appears to be the Temple in use during the time of the Messiah's reign in the Millennium. The size of it is immense, even so much larger than the temple that Herod built which was the largest to date. That must mean that the princes who are being kept from oppressing the people are those who are ruling under the authority of the Messiah.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 86 Tuesday

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Ezekiel chapter 44

As God takes Ezekiel back toward the East Gate he notices that it is shut. God told him that this gate is shut because Jehovah, the God of Israel, has entered in by it. That would be the return of the Shekinah glory we read about yesterday. It will not be opened until the Prince sits in it to eat bread before Jehovah. He will enter by way of the porch of the East Gate and shall go out by the same way. Then God took Ezekiel to the North Gate where the Glory of the LORD filled the house.

Does God issue any commands?

  • God commanded Ezekiel to pay close attention to all that God had to say to him about the ordinances of the Temple and of the laws; he was to mark well the entering in of the house with every going forth of the sanctuary.
  • God told Ezekiel to tell the rebellious of Israel that their iniquity was full in that they had broken the commandments of the temple by bringing in abominations, strangers, and uncircumcised into the sanctuary and had polluted it. This had broken the covenant.
  • God told Ezekiel to tell the rebellious of Israel that no stranger, uncircumcised of heart or flesh would enter into His sanctuary of any stranger among the Children of Israel.
  • God commanded that the family of Zadok follow the standards set for priests in the law of Moses.


Does God make any promises?

  • God said that the Levites that had gone away after idols and had led Israel astray to worship the same would bear their own iniquity.
  • And yet, there would be Levites to minister in the Temple as appointed. (Perhaps this is a reference to the Levites and priests that would minister in the temple of Zerubbabel or Herod. There were Levites and priests during those times that obviously did not follow God's laws. Read Nehemiah and Ezra!)
  • The family of Zadok is singled out as priests and Levites that kept the charge of the sanctuary when the rest of Israel went astray would be accepted by God. They would be allowed to stand before Him.
  • God again stated that He would be the inheritance of the Levites. This most likely means of the family of Zadok since they are the only Levitical priestly family acceptable to God.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Jesus is the Prince that should enter the East Gate.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • When this Temple is built in the Millennial Kingdom of Christ Jesus will enter through the East Gate.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 86 Monday

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Ezekiel chapter 43

At the beginning of this chapter Ezekiel watched from the east gate while the Shekinah Glory of God rested upon the House. And then it filled it while Ezekiel stood in the inner court!

This was a momentous event for Ezekiel who had witnessed the Glory's departure from Solomon's Temple by way of the east gate (Ezekiel 10:19; 11:23) at the time of Jerusalem's seige. Remember that this is all a vision! Ezekiel was really still in Babylon. (See 40:1-2)

Does God issue any commands?
  • God told Ezekiel that the people of Israel needed to put away all of their idolatry and stop defiling His holy name in order that He could dwell with them.
  • God told Ezekiel to tell the people the measurements of the Temple seen in the vision so that they would be ashamed of their sins and would desire to keep the law of the House.
  • Ezekiel was to give the pattern of the altar to the Levites, specifically to those descended from Zadok. Evidently this altar was to be built immediately.
  • The Levites descended from Zadok were to offer a bullock for a sin offering. Ezekiel was to take the blood of the sacrifice and place upon the four horns and the four corners of the altar to ceremonially cleanse it.
  • Ezekiel was to take the sacrificed bullock and burn it in the appointed place of the Temple outside of the sanctuary.
  • Ezekiel was to offer a goat kid as a sin offering on the second day. The altar was to be cleansed ceremonially just as it had been with the offering of the bullock. This was to be followed by sacrifices of a young bullock and a ram, both without spot or blemish, as a burnt offering. The goat, bullock, and ram offerings were to continue for 7 days.
  • From the eighth day forward the people were to make a burnt offering and a peace offering.

Does God make any promises?
  • God promised that a time would come when He would dwell with the children of Israel forever.
  • God promised that he would accept Israel if they followed His pattern of offerings.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?
  • I believe that the man who stood beside Ezekiel while the voice spoke from the cloud of God's Glory is Jesus. If this is so, we can identify all 3 members of the Trinity in this passage. The voice talking out of the Shekinah Glory is Jehovah, God the Father. Verse 5 states that the Spirit took Ezekiel into the inner court of the Temple. The only Person of the Godhead missing is God the Son, Jesus, and I think He is the man who brought Ezekiel to the gate and who had been measuring the Temple prior to this time.
  • When God told Ezekiel that this was the place where He would set his feet and would dwell forever with Israel He is referencing Jesus, God incarnate, or Emmanuel "God with us." Actually, if the man with Ezekiel was Jesus Christ God's feet already were there, at least in the vision!

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?
  • God told Ezekiel that the place where His throne and the soles of His feet would be was also the place where He would dwell with Israel forever. The people of Israel would never again defile in any way. This is obviously yet to come!
  • God gave Ezekiel certain instructions concerning the sacrifice of a bullock as a sin offering that Ezekiel was to do in this Temple seen in his vision. Unless God had Ezekiel do this action in the vision as a means of consecrating the Children of Israel while they were in captivity this action would still be future. That would mean that Ezekiel has yet to perform these duties. This would be in the Millennial reign of Christ. The New Jerusalem, the capital city upon the New Earth, will have no Temple. (See Revelation 21:22)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 85 Saturday

Ezekiel chapter 42

The temple that Ezekiel saw was a three-storied building with balconies. Although the man measuring the edifice spoke to Ezekiel it was to give him explanations and not instructions.

Does God issue any commands?

  • Not that I identified.


Does God make any promises?

  • Not directly, but by telling Ezekiel the designated places where the priests would eat the most holy things and where they would change their clothes before and after completing their temple ministrations the promise is being made that worship would again be centered in Jerusalem. That was a very great promise to a person living in captivity.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • I believe that the man who spoke to Ezekiel was Jesus Himself.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • This temple that is being measured in these chapters is most likely the temple that will stand during the Millennial reign of Jesus. There was a temple that was built by Zerubbabel and company following the Babylonian captivity that was probably similar in size, although not in grandeur, to Solomon's. And there was a much larger Temple complex built by Herod that was in use during the New Testament period but none of the temples that have existed prior to this time have followed the plans denoted in these chapters.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

TAKE TIME: October 20-25, 2014 Assignment

Introduction: The measurements and description continues of the Temple that would exist at Israel's Restoration. Ezekiel also witnessed the return of the Glory of God upon that Temple. Thus the book of Ezekiel ends on a high note!

 Assignment:
  • Monday - Ezekiel chapter 43
  • Tuesday - Ezekiel chapter 44
  • Wednesday -  Ezekiel chapter 45
  • Thursday - Ezekiel chapter 46
  • Friday - Ezekiel chapter 47
  • Saturday - Ezekiel chapter 48
Memory Verse

 
Ezekiel 48:35b
And the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.


Prayer Journal (ACTS)
  • Adoration - Praise God that He is the Chief Cornerstone. He is the foundation of our faith which makes our bodies His temple!
  • Confession - Ask God to reveal hidden sin in your life and then confess it.
  • Thanksgiving - Thank God for any answers to your prayers.
  • Supplication - What are your prayer requests this week? List them for future reference so that you can see how God answers.
Search the Scriptures

Look for references for each of the following:
  • Promises that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?
  • References that either refer to or infer something about future events.
  • What does this passage teach about Jesus?
  • Commandments that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?
Putting the Word into Action

This week as we read the descriptions of the Temple and of the land that is to be given to Israel and to the strangers that choose to live among Israel, let us continue in our prayers for the land of Israel and her people.

Read Through the Bible in 2014: October 20-25 Schedule



10/20/2014      Ezekiel 20. 21 Psalms 83, 84
10/21/2014      Ezekiel 22, 23 Psalms 85, 86
10/22/2014      Ezekiel 24-26 Psalms 87, 88
10/23/2014      Ezekiel 27, 28 Psalm 89
10/24/2014      Ezekiel 29-31 Psalm 90
10/25/2014      Ezekiel 32, 33 Psalms 91-93

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 85 Friday

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Ezekiel chapter 41

This chapter continues the physical description of the temple. This time the man measured the temple itself and not the courtyards. He stops at one point and tells Ezekiel, "This is the most holy place." That is the only time he speaks in this chapter.

Does God issue any commands?

  • Not that I identified.


Does God make any promises?

  • Not that I identified.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • The most holy place, or the Holy of Holies, represented the finished work of Jesus on the cross. That was where the atonement was made for sins. (verse 4)
  • In this vision, the man went in! No one was allowed to go inside except the high priest and then only once a year on the Day of Atonement. This seems to be a further indication that the man seen by Ezekiel was Jesus. (See verses 3-4.)
  • Each depiction of a cherub between palm trees had two faces. One face was that of a lion. This is the insignia of Judah. Jesus is the ruler of the tribe of Judah. These are 2 of the 4 faces that Ezekiel mentioned at the beginning of his book. The 4 can be said to correspond to the way that the gospel writers represented Jesus. These two representations, the cherub and the lion, would then represent the servant (Mark) and the King (Matthew).


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Not that I identified.


Journal Through the Bible: Week 85 Thursday

Ezekiel chapter 40

In the 25th year of captivity, God took Ezekiel to a high mountain near Jerusalem in a vision. There Ezekiel saw a man that had a measuring rod. The man measured the various rooms of the temple.

Does God issue any commands?

  • The man standing in the gate and holding flax and measuring rod told Ezekiel to declare all that he saw to the house of Israel. What Ezekiel saw was a vision of the temple. This chapter describes the inner and outer courts plus the porch.


Does God make any promises?

  • None that I identified.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Based upon the description of the man that held the flax and measuring rod as compared to the description of Jesus in Revelation 1 I think that Ezekiel saw Jesus.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • The Apostle John had a similar experience in his own vision. He was taken to the mountain in Rev. 21:10 where he saw the New Jerusalem descending. In Revelation 11:1 he was given a reed for measuring the temple and in 21:15 he was given a golden reed for measuring the New Jerusalem. Ezekiel's vision was not of the New Jerusalem or of the temple seen by John but there are many parallels. The one teaches us about the other.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 85 Wednesday

Ezekiel chapter 39

God's indictment against Gog continues. By comparing scripture with scripture I have come to the conclusion, as mentioned in the journal for chapter 38, that it is probable that this passage concerning Gog has a double-fulfillment. One of those would be the future fulfillment referenced in Revelation chapter 20. I think this chapter makes it clear, though, that this prophecy would also partially be fulfilled in the Bible Age.

For example, see verse 2 where 1/6 of the attacking army would survive the battle with Israel. This statement as translated cannot refer to the events of Revelation chapter 20 where all of the rebel forces are burnt with fire from heaven! Perhaps that part of the prophecy pertained to the defeat of Antiochus IV Epiphanes by the Jews led by Judas Maccabeus in the inter-testament period. The Persians and the others named as confederates in chapter 38 were also part of this attack on Jerusalem at that time, which isn't surprising considering the adversarial relationship some of these nations have had with Israel up to the present day.

It is worth noting that Magog, Meshech, and Tubal were descended from Noah's son, Japheth, and are therefore Caucasian while the Cush and Phut are descended from Noah's son, Ham. They correspond to Ethiopia and Libya. This means that certain European nations align with certain African nations for the purpose of troubling Israel. There really is nothing  new under the sun. Satan has found willing people to trouble Israel throughout history. The book of Revelation tells of the climax of a saga spanning many centuries!

Does God issue any commands?
  • God told Ezekiel to prophesy against Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. (This time Magog is not mentioned.)
  • God commanded the son of man to speak to the birds and beasts to tell them to assemble themselves for the great sacrifice that God would make to them of the people of Gog. (It could be that Ezekiel is the angel in Revelation 19:17 that calls the birds and beasts to the feast. "Angel" means "messenger" and it appears from this passage that Ezekiel has been assigned this task as the messenger by God.

Does God make any promises?
  • Gog would be given to the beasts and fowl to consume.
  • When God sends a fire upon Magog and those who live securely upon the isles it will be known that He is the LORD. 
  • When these things happen God would make His holy name known in Israel and they will not pollute His holy name again. The heathen would know that He is the Holy One of Israel.
  • The destruction of the Gog confederacy would be so great that the inhabitants of Israel would not need to take wood out of the field for seven years but could use the spoils of war to burn for fuel.
  • The stench of death would be so great that travelers through the valley where the battle took place would hold their noses until all the bodies could be buried over a 7 months period. The burial place would be known as Hamon-gog, meaning "the multitude of Gog."
  • A city would be erected in the valley named Hamonah (meaning "multitude"). Perhaps it is the place where those employed as grave diggers live? Just a thought. 
  • God would set His glory among the heathen. Israel would know that He is their God and the heathen would see God's judgment. 
  • The heathen would also know that it was because of Israel's iniquity that they went into captivity. (This seems to be speaking of Ezekiel's time.)
  • God promised to end the captivity of Jacob. (This was fulfilled with the return after the Babylonian captivity.)
  • God promised that He would never hide His face from them again. 

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?
  • Jesus is the Holy One of Israel.
  • Verse 8 states that these things are done! Completed! Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. The prophecies and promises are already finished in the sight of God.
  • Jesus is God as described in this chapter. He is the Judge. He is also the One that Israel needs to know and acknowledge and they will!

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?
  • Verse 7 seems to indicate a yet-future event. God will make His holy name known in Israel and it will no longer be polluted!
  • The great battle that results in the dead covering the land seems to be future. No event up to the present can be described as such that it took 7 months for those of Israel to bury the dead lying everywhere in the valley. This seems to have a corresponding passage in Revelation 19:17-21.
  • There will be a time when God's face will never be hidden from Israel again.

Journal Through the Bible: Week 85 Tuesday

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Ezekiel chapter 38

Does God issue any commands?
  • God told Ezekiel to turn his face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. (verses 2 and 14)

Does God make any promises?
  • God promises the defeat of the Gog-Magog confederation against Israel. Then everyone will know that He is the LORD.
  • God promised earthquakes and universal fear at the time of His judgment. (See also Revelation 11:13, Revelation 20:9-10)
  • God promised fire from Heaven as well as great hailstones and brimstone.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?
  • Jesus is the Captain that leads the saints against Gog and Magog who are led by Satan. At that time the 1,000 years of the peaceful reign of Jesus upon the earth will have ended and Satan will be loosed for one last uprising. He raises his army from the north, Gog and Magog, to fight against Israel and those confederated with her, the saints of God. They are not successful. Fire will come down from heaven and destroy the attackers. Satan will then be cast into the Lake of Fire. (Read Revelation chapter 20 and compare it to Ezekiel 38:17-23.) This is not hard to believe! If Bible scholars are correct about the identification of the people comprising Gog, Magog, Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya then we know that these groups are even now the adversaries of Israel. It surely makes sense that Satan would be able to build a rebel army from the offspring of people who have traditionally been jealous of Israel and covetous of her resources.

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?
  • Although there may have been more immediate fulfillment of some of the prophecies concerning Gog and Magog Revelation 20:8 seems to connect to this passage, especially when compared to Ezekiel 38:8, 16. This would indicate that the attack upon Israel by Gog, Magog, and its confederation with Persia (now Iran), Ethiopia, and Libya with the resulting mass destruction of Israel's attackers as being yet future.




Thursday, October 16, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Last Year in Peru


This time last year Pastor Dad and I were in Peru. After we returned home I found myself overwhelmed with other things and never got more than 1 article about the trip written. You might want to go back to that post (click here) to read about our first day in Peru, a day in Lima. Then come back and read of the events of the next day. I can write about the day even though it was a year ago because I took a journal with me where I faithfully recorded the day's events. I know you aren't surprised. :)

I hope to tell you more in future weeks. Thanks for reading. And do not forget to pray for the dear people of Peru!

Most of what you will read is quoted directly from my journal.

October 17, 2013
We left the Magdalena neighborhood and drove down the coast to Chorilla where we got on the Pan American Highway and headed south, destination Ica [pronounced EE-kuh). The Pacific coast around Miraflores looks very much like the coast south of San Francisco, CA. The breakers hit the beaches but there is a continual haze on the horizon. Actually, I haven't seen the sun since I left Cincinnati [two days earlier].
Art seen as we drove down the coast. The picture is not clear because it was taken through the window of the moving vehicle.


Heading toward the Pan Am Highway: Fiona navigating (the GPS), Pastor Stanton driving. Chorilla, perhaps?
 The further south we drove the more we encountered the desert terrain of Peru. Until this trip I didn't even know that Peru has a desert! I always thought of it as a country of mountains and jungle. And it has those, too, but we were truly in the desert on this day!

Beginning to see sand dunes!

These are the houses of those homesteading on the land. The Peruvian government opens areas just
like the American government did in the 19th century. Those who claim the land and prove
their claim will get to be part of the neighborhood and eventually build better houses on these plots.



I do not remember what these small taxis are called but don't they look interesting lined up on top of the hill?
Once we reached Huacachina  [pronounced Walk-uh-chee-nuh] we checked into a local hotel and went to find our dune buggy driver. This whole area is desert dunes and it reminds me of the old Rat Patrol t.v. show. Huacachina is a beautiful oasis with native restaurants and hotels surrounding the lagoon. There are paddle boats but we did not rent them. We did ascend the dunes in the buggy. The driver must have thought we were elderly and decrepit -  although if we were we would not have the agility necessary to climb into the contraption - because it was a fairly tame ride. We saw more speed and maneuvering in Lima traffic! But it was a nice ride and the scenery was spectacular, including another small oasis that is undeveloped. The dunes were also being used by sand-boarders but we chose to just watch that activity!

Welcome to Huacachina!

The driver and the "old folks." Bro. Stanton was the photographer.

The tourists overlooking the undeveloped oasis

Overlooking the lagoon and Huacachina

Watching the boaters as we toured the town

Later we sat around the pool at the hotel and watched the cats and dogs wander the terraces and rooftops. David and Bro. Stanton were discussing certain aspects of the ministry. We did not know it at the time but a young Swiss physicist named Johan was listening to every word from his seat behind us. When Bro. Stanton excused himself, Johan began to question David about the ministry. [Johan spoke perfect English.] Bro. Stanton returned and we all introduced ourselves. We were never able to steer the conversation to a personal message of salvation but in thinking back over the conversation he overheard I know he heard us speaking of our desire to put away useless practices in order to worship God in truth: REALLY worship God and not just attend worship services. perhaps this conversation will plant a seed in Johan's heart.
Relaxing poolside
 Our rooms had no television or other amenities: just a bed and a bath so we all retired early after one last walk around the oasis and the purchase of cups of coffee at a small cafe.

A view of the town of Huacachina. The oasis is to the right. The dunes are in the background

That was our second day in Peru! We had a refreshing day in the desert. Just like Jesus, we had opportunity to come apart awhile to pray and plan as we discussed the ministry with our dear missionary friend.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 85 Monday

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Ezekiel chapter 37

Does God issue any commands?

  • The Spirit of God made Ezekiel pass through a valley of dry bones. God told Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones and to tell them to hear the Word of the LORD. 
  • After the bones, sinews, and flesh came together God told Ezekiel to prophesy to the wind so that the 4 winds would give the breath of life to the slain. (Compare this to Genesis 2:7)
  • God told Ezekiel to prophesy to the Children of Israel and tell them that their graves would be open and they would return to the land of Israel.
  • God told Ezekiel to take 2 sticks. On the first he was to write For Judah. On the second he was to write For Joseph. Ezekiel was to place them end-to-end and God would make them become 1 stick in Ezekiel's hand. Ezekiel was to show this to the people.


Does God make any promises?

  • God promised to make the bones in the valley live. This is interpreted in the passage to be the dead nation of Israel that will once again live.
  • God promised through the vision of the miraculously joined sticks that the nations of Israel and Judah would no longer be separate but would be 1 united kingdom again.
  • God promised that when Israel is ruled by the Messiah forever then they will live in the land promised to Jacob.
  • God promised that the Messiah will bring an everlasting covenant of peace
  • God promised to dwell with His people forever. His sanctuary would be set in the midst of them.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • It is the Word of God as spoken by Ezekiel that brought the bones of the slain to life again. It is the Word of God manifest in the flesh, Jesus Christ, that assures that those who die in Him shall rise again!
  • Jesus is the "one king" or "David" and the "shepherd" that shall rule the two nations as one.
  • Jesus is the one through whom God offers an everlasting Covenant of Peace. This is because there is only one mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus. (See I Timothy 2:5)
  • Jesus is the sanctuary of God that will be placed in the midst of God's people. That is what "Emmanuel" means: God with us!


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • As Jesus told the Sadducees, God is not the God of the dead but of the living! God promises resurrection to all that are His people. That means nationally or personally. In this passage God promised a resurrected nation and elsewhere in scripture God promises that those individuals who are His people whose bodies sleep in the graves will be resurrected also. When God raises the 2 witnesses in Revelation 11:11 the whole world will be witness to the event!
  • The opening of graves and returning to the land was an allegorical and prophetic reference to the people who no longer had a country being returned to their own land after the years of Babylonian captivity but it also alludes to the literal resurrection of those who belong to God being resurrected and being placed in the land that God has prepared for them. Matthew 27:52-53 tells of a time when many of the saints buried in Jerusalem were resurrected at the time of the crucifixion. These were Jews who literally fulfilled this prophecy.
  • Once Israel is ruled by her King they will no longer worship idols or other ungodly things but they will be cleansed. (See also Titus 2:14)
  • The time is coming when God will dwell among men forever! His tabernacle will be in the midst of them and all will know, including the heathen, that He is God!



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 84 Saturday

Ezekiel 36:8-38

This portion follows God's words of judgment upon Mount Seir and encouragement to the mountains of Israel that He would avenge them. It includes promises that were fulfilled when the captives returned home from Babylon as well as promises that are yet to be fulfilled.

Does God issue any commands?
  • God told Ezekiel to tell the people that they had profaned His name in front of the heathen everywhere they went but that He would sanctify His great name among the heathen for His own holy name's sake. Then the heathen would know that "I am the LORD."

Does God make any promises?
  • God promised fruitfulness to the people of Israel, both in crops and in progeny.
  • God promised that the people of Israel would return to their inheritance.
  • God promised to restore them to the land.
  • God promised to sprinkle them with clean water to cleanse them from their filthiness and their idols.
  • God promised to give them a new heart and to take away their stony heart.
  • God promised to put His Spirit within them so that they would walk in His statutes.
  • God promised that Israel would be His people and He would be their God. Then the people would loathe themselves because of their sins. (This is repentance!)

Does this passage teach anything about Jesus?
  • Jesus is the water that cleanses from filthiness. He is the Living Water.

Does this passage teach anything about yet-future events?
  • Many of these promises are yet to be fulfilled. It is true that many of the people have returned to the land, but most do not have a new heart or His Spirit within them. The time is yet to come when there is total peace between God and His people. The time is yet to come when Israel is free from all of her enemies.

Journal Through the Bible: Week 84 Friday

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Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD I will even do according
to thine anger, and according to thine envy which thou  hast
 used out of they hatred against them: and I will make
myself known among them, when I have judged thee.
(35:11)
Ezekiel 35:1-36:7

This passage begins with a curse against Mount Seir in Edom, the people of Israel's brother, Esau.  (See Genesis 36:9)

The KJV translates a Hebrew word in 35:6 as "sith" which is an archaic form of "since."

Does God issue any commands?
  • God told Ezekiel to prophecy against Mount Seir.
  • God told Ezekiel to prophecy unto the mountains of Israel and He told the people to hear the word of the LORD.

Does God make any promises?

  • God promised to stretch out His hand against Mount Seir and make it desolate. The mountain would be filled with the bodies of the slain. Their nation would never be rebuilt. Then people would know that He is the LORD. This was their punishment for their perpetual hatred of the Children of Israel and for their plans of taking possession of Israel's territory, see 35:10. (Amos 9:12 tells us that there would be a remnant that survived. And they did. They were the Idumeans of the New Testament that lived among the Jewish people. This name is also used in 35:15.)
  • God promised the mountains of Israel that the people that spoke against them would be shamed. God told them He is jealous over them.


Does this passage teach anything about Jesus?

  • As in many of these passages in Ezekiel, God told Ezekiel that something would happen and then the people would know "that I am the LORD." Jesus told those listening to Him as He spoke that He is the "I Am" also. So whenever God said that these things would come to pass and people would know that "I am the LORD" this is also a reference to Jesus, who being in the form of God, and in fashion as a man, thought it not robbery to be equal with God. (See Philippians 2:6 and 8)


Does this passage teach anything about yet-future events?

  • God makes reference to a day "when the whole world rejoices" (35:14). Then those of Edom that were covetous and jealous of Israel's standing in the sight of God would be made desolate. At that time all would know that He is the LORD, again a reference to Jesus who is also the great I Am. This is a time of judgment. When Jesus judges the world all will rejoice that just sentences are carried out. (And those who are spared will be even more thankful for the mercy that they obtained through Jesus Christ.)
  • This passage tells of God's love for and jealousy over the mountains, hills, rivers, and valleys of Israel. One day all of the heathens and their abominations will be thrust out of God's holy hill of Zion and He will reign there. He will speak against them in the last days just as He said He would in 36:5-7.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

TAKE TIME: October 13-18, 2014 Schedule

Introduction: God uses graphic imagery of dry bones coming to life to teach about His power over death and life. He is concerned about both individuals and nations. "Resurrection" is a blessed hope concept to us now but to God, the Alpha and Omega, it is already accomplished!

 Assignment:
  • Monday - Ezekiel chapter 37
  • Tuesday - Ezekiel chapter 38
  • Wednesday -  Ezekiel chapter 39
  • Thursday - Ezekiel chapter 40
  • Friday - Ezekiel chapter 41
  • Saturday - Ezekiel chapter 42
Memory Verse

 
Ezekiel 37:12
Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.


Prayer Journal (ACTS)
  • Adoration - Praise God that He is a Prophet! He tells us what is going to happen many years before it happens.
  • Confession - Ask God to reveal hidden sin in your life and then confess it.
  • Thanksgiving - Thank God for any answers to your prayers.
  • Supplication - What are your prayer requests this week? List them for future reference so that you can see how God answers.
Search the Scriptures

Look for references for each of the following:
  • Promises that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?
  • References that either refer to or infer something about future events.
  • What does this passage teach about Jesus?
  • Commandments that God made and to whom He made them. Do they apply to you?
Putting the Word into Action

This week is dedicated to prayer, an often overlooked "action" and yet the most powerful act we can do. When we pray, we talk to the Sovereign of the universe! It pleases Him and benefits us and those for whom we pray. Since we will be reading some troubling prophesies concerning Israel let us take the time this week to pray for this nation that is so beloved of God. Pray for their peace, both physically and spiritually!

Read Through the Bible in 2014: October 13-18 Schedule


10/13/2014      Ezekiel 4-6 Psalms 75, 76
10/14/2014      Ezekiel 7-9 Psalm 77
10/15/2014      Ezekiel 10-12 Psalm 78
10/16/2014      Ezekiel 13-15 Psalm 79
10/17/2014      Ezekiel 16, 17 Psalm 80
10/18/2014      Ezekiel 18, 19 Psalms 81, 82

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 84 Thursday

Ezekiel chapter 34

The shepherds of Israel, the spiritual leaders of the people, were not exempt from God's scathing words! Even the sheep themselves would be judged.

Does God issue any commands?

  • God told Ezekiel to prophesy against the shepherds of Israel because they were more interested in their own welfare instead of that of the flock under their care. (God is talking about spiritual leaders, pastors, and not those involved in animal husbandry.) The shepherds/pastors were growing fat from that which they extorted from their flock. They were not caring for the sick or wounded or sought for those that had strayed away. They ruled the flock with cruelty.


Does God make any promises?

  • God promised that He would require an account of the shepherds' dealings with His flock. Then God would remove them from being shepherds.
  • God promised that He would separate the sheep into fat and lean. (See Matthew 25:32)
  • Peace and safety are promised to Israel as well as the food to sustain them. God promised to be with them. (Remember Emmanuel: God with us!)


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Jesus is the True Shepherd that searches for His sheep and seeks them out. (verse 11-12) Compare to John 10:11
  • Jesus seeks and saves the lost. (verse 16)
  • Jesus is the Shepherd that separates the sheep. (See Matthew 25:32)
  • Jesus is God's servant, David, that will be the Shepherd of the sheep. (verses 23-24)
  • Jesus is the One who feeds Israel. (See Revelation 7:17)


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Jesus will gather His sheep from among all people and will bring them to their own land. There He will feed them upon the mountains of Israel in good pasture in His fold. The New Testament teaches that all the redeemed will be citizens of the New Earth and that Jesus will be the shepherd that oversees His flock from the New Jerusalem.
  • If any of this passage is a dual passage that deals with the return of Israel after the captivity as well as a future restoration upon the New Earth, Randy Alcorn's book, Heaven, says that the tree that bears fruit (verse 27) could be the tree of life as mentioned in Revelation. It seems likely because this passage promises perpetual peace under the Shepherd of the Davidic covenant.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 84 Wednesday

Ram's horn shophar
Ezekiel 32:17-33:33

In the twelfth year of captivity one that had been spared came to Ezekiel and told him of the battle against Jerusalem.

Does God issue any commands?

  • In the twelfth year and on the fifteenth day the LORD told Ezekiel to wail for the multitude of Egypt that were going to die, slain by the sword. These were warriors that had caused terror in other people. Now they were going to die just as those they had slain.
  • God told Ezekiel to speak to the Israelites and say that if a watchman sounds an alarm and the people ignore it their blood is on their own hands but those who heed the warning shall live. If the watchman does not sound the alarm the people he will have the blood of the people who die on his hands. God told Ezekiel that he was God's watchman who was to sound the warning to the people.
  • God told Ezekiel to warn the wicked Israelites of the consequences of their sins and to teach them of repentance.
  • After Ezekiel had received the news about Jerusalem's destruction God told Ezekiel to tell those that lived in the waste lands that because they ignored His commandments they would not inherit the land. They would die. 

Does God make any promises?

  • God promised a mighty slaughter of the Egyptians and those of Asshur, Elam, Meshech, Tubal, Edom, and Zidon.
  • Asshur, Elam, Meshech, Tubal, Edom, and the Zidonians would also be slain. Their deaths would temporarily comfort Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Then he also would be killed.
  • If the wicked repent of their wickedness and make restitution God would forgive the sinner and would never mention the sin again!
  • When God told the wicked inhabitants that thought to inherit the land that they would die and the land would be desolate He said that this would cause people to know that He is the LORD. And when it would come to pass they would know that Ezekiel was a prophet among them.


Does this passage teach anything about Jesus?

  • Through Ezekiel God was teaching the Israelites lessons of repentance and faith. He told them that He had no pleasure in the death of the wicked but that they would live if they turned from their sins. This is a picture of salvation through Jesus Christ. If they ignored God's warning the righteousness of the righteous would not save them. Jesus is the only righteous person. Scripture tells us that "there is none righteous, no not one" meaning that no other human has righteousness in himself. Only Jesus can claim righteousness in Himself.


Does this passage teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Not that I identified.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 84 Tuesday

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Ezekiel 31:1-32:16

Does God issue any commands?

  • In the eleventh year and third month on the first day God told Ezekiel to speak to Pharaoh and his multitude. (How did he do this? By letter, perhaps?) Ezekiel was to ask Pharaoh who he thought he was. God told of the greatness of Assyria and then his downfall and Egypt was nothing compared to Assyria which God compared to the mighty trees of Eden!
  • In the twelfth year and the twelfth month on the first day that God told Ezekiel to take up a lamentation for Pharaoh and Egypt.


Does God make any promises?

  • Pharaoh and his multitudes would die.
  • God promised to spread a net over Pharaoh and his men. They would be thrown into the open field and their bodies would be left to the scavengers.
  • Other nations would fear once they heard of Egypt's defeat.
  • The land would be desolate of men and beasts.


Does this passage teach anything about Jesus?

  • Not that I identified.


Does this passage teach anything about yet-future events?

  • God said that He would give signs in the heavens such as darkness in the daytime and starless nights at the time of Egypt's destruction. Jesus told of signs that would happen in the heavens during the last days also. Those signs also cause darkness upon the earth.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 84 Monday

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Ezekiel chapter 30

Does God issue any commands?

  • God told Ezekiel to prophesy and tell everyone to howl because the day was near, the Day of the LORD. It was going to be a cloudy day. It was also the day that Egypt, Ethiopia, and those having treaties with them would be subdued by Nebuchadnezzar.

Does God make any promises?

  • God promised to set a fire in Egypt and when He did they would know that He is the LORD. 
  • God promised that the rivers would be dry and the land would be sold into the hand of the wicked.
  • God promised that the idols of Egypt and Ethiopia would be destroyed.
  • God promised that there would no longer be a prince of Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar would be her ruler.
  • In the eleventh year and seventh month God told Ezekiel that He had broken the arm of Egypt. The Egyptian people would be scattered among the nations.


Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Not that I identified.


Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • The Day of the LORD is a reference to a day of judgment. It is as though it is court day and God's tribunal is in session. It had its fulfillment in Old Testament times, such as mentioned here, and it will have fulfillment in the future also. New Testament authors talked about it in the future tense. (See Acts 2:20, I Thessalonians 5:2, II Peter 3:10)