Ezekiel 1-48 - The Bible from 30,000 Feet - Skip Heitzig - Flight EZE01
The Bible from 30,000 feet, soaring through the scripture from Genesis to Revelation.
So over in the European area, there is a section of land known as the UK-- the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom is a conglomeration of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. They have been in that configuration called the United Kingdom for 218 years. So when we say the UK-- the United Kingdom-- that's what most people on earth today think of.
From a biblical perspective, however, the term United Kingdom refers to something vastly different, as by now you know. You know that it refers to the 12 tribes of Israel, when they were united as a kingdom under the rulership of King Saul, King David, and King Solomon. That was the United Kingdom.
That kingdom only lasted 110 years. And then that United Kingdom split into two sections, the north being called the country of-- the north being called the country of--
Israel-- the southern kingdom being called--
Judah. Israel, after that kingdom split-- remember how the kingdom split? Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, tried to levy more taxes. Jeroboam the son of Nebat, took the 10 tribes, and said, we're out of here, hasta la vista, baby. He didn't actually say that, but in so many words he did.
So the kingdom split. The northern kingdom continued as a viable, divided kingdom for 210 years. Then they were taken captive in 722 BC by the Assyrians, as you know. And then the southern kingdom remained coalesced for another 135 years. And they went into Babylonian captivity in 586 BC, as you know.
We find ourself dealing with that last portion of information, the kingdom, now long divided, that southern kingdom, going into the Babylonian captivity. And we gave you the three dates last week, 605, 597, and 586, were the Babylonians came against the city and then finally destroyed it. We are dealing with the prophet of Ezekiel at this particular period of time.
Now I went into the ministry primarily because I had certain role models that, who in the ministry, made the ministry to me very attractive. I thought, oh, I'd love to do that. If the prophets Jeremiah and/or Ezekiel would have been my role models, I probably wouldn't have gone into the ministry. I would have severe second thoughts. I'd say, no thanks.
Ezekiel, like Jeremiah, was also a priest, but was unable to serve as a priest. Do you know why? Because right when he was about to serve as a priest, the Babylonians took him captive and brought him to Babylon. So though he was trained for the priesthood, and should have served as a priest, he went into captivity in Babylon 11 years before the city was destroyed in 586.
So I mentioned there were three dates, three deportations, and the final one was the destruction. In 605, I mentioned a young man was taken captive to Babylon. His name was Daniel. In 597 BC, that second attack and deportation took place. At that time, Ezekiel went into captivity, before he could serve in the priesthood. And then years later, the temple was destroyed. What that means is the prophet Ezekiel had two well-known contemporaries-- Jeremiah and Daniel.
Jeremiah, older than Ezekiel, living in Egypt at the time. Daniel, however, has been in Babylon before Ezekiel got there. And by this time, already occupied, no doubt, a prominent position in the court of Nebuchadnezzar, after interpreting dreams. And was made the captain of the Magi, the wise men of Babylon, by this time. So sort of an interesting overlapping of ministries going on here.
Ezekiel, if you've read the book, if you're familiar, with a very visual prophet. And I mean that twofold. He saw things. He saw visions. He saw the plan of God unfolded, in a sense the glory of God unfolded, before him. Certainly in chapters one and in chapter 10, this wild vision. But he also used visuals to get people's attention. Lying on one side, lying on another side publicly-- I mean, out in the public for hours, for days, for months. And then shaving his head and shaving his beard in public, hiding in a cave. Not showing emotion when his wife died, a number of crazy visual examples.
And here's why-- God's people were not listening to God's word. So to get their attention, they used, he used a way to get their attention. Because when the-- when the prophet came and said, thus says the Lord, there was an automatic turn off. And so he steps it up a notch or two, by giving very graphic visuals. In our day, preaching in pulpits, especially among those who are young, seems to be a trend to try to get people's attention, by bringing graphic illustrations into the pulpit and doing all sorts of things-- sitting on beds, standing on chairs, riding bicycles in and around things.
And all I can say is, OK. But that's an indictment that you're dealing with a crowd of people that cannot or will not listen to God's word. And let me remind you that faith comes by hearing. It still is the case today. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. If you're a preacher, be good enough to use words to paint pictures in people's minds. And it will sink down. Every prophet of God did that. This guy and Jeremiah are the exceptions. But that simply points to the kind of recalcitrant hearts, hardened hearts, that they were dealing with.
Now the outline of the book of Ezekiel is very logical. In fact, it is the most logical of all of the prophetic outlines, or of the books of the prophets. The first section is personal-- chapters one through three. The second section is national-- chapters 4 through 24. The third section is international-- chapters 25 through 32. And the final, fourth section is eventual. But a better description would be eschatological-- dealing with end of times, eschatology, the end of days and the glory of God.
So because he uses so many pictures, I've sort of divided the book up like a picture frame-- four sides. And I'll be more specific now. Chapters one through three deal with the commission of the prophet. Ezekiel is called by God. God's hand is on Ezekiel. God speaks to Ezekiel. That's his commission, the commission of the prophet.
The second section is correction of the problem. That's the national, where God is dealing with the nation of Judah for her sin. And the reasons for her sin, and what's going to happen eventually, and that is the destruction of the temple. Remember, when Ezekiel preached, he was a captive in Babylon. But the temple was still standing for a few more years, but he predicted its demise. So commission of the prophet, correction of the people.
Third section, castigation of the peoples-- plural. Now we're dealing internationally with other nations around the country of Judah. And then finally, conciliation of God's purposes. That's the last section, chapters 33 to 48. That is where Israel-- God sees it. The prophet predicts it being restored, re-gathered in their land.
In Ezekiel chapter 1, verse 1, we begin. And again, this is a 30,000 foot view. We are flying over it. Making notes on a few areas. Looking down out of the airplane in a few different texts and then zooming ahead. Chapter 1, verse 1-- now it came to pass in the 30th year-- mark that-- in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, , I was among the captives by the Kebar River, that the heavens were opened, and I saw the visions of God.
Now when it says the 30th year, notice it doesn't say the 30th year of Jehoiachin or the 30th year of Nebuchadnezzar. It just says the 30th year. So because of that, we believe we're dealing on a personal level with the prophet's age. That Ezekiel, when he gets this vision, as a young captive, in that second deportation-- he's now in Babylon-- he is 30 years old when this happens. Why is that significant?
Because in the priesthood, you begin your service when you turn 30 years of age. Which means he had his birthday in Babylon. Which means he trained for the priesthood, but he never was able to serve in that temple that he longed to serve in. Why is that significant? Because of all the prophets, Ezekiel will be given a detailed description of another temple that has never yet been built, but will be built-- not in the Tribulation period, but in the Millennial Kingdom. Very detailed description-- he gets to see it in vision form.
So it says that, I was among the captives-- verse one-- by the river Chebar-- or Kebar A better way of looking at this is the Canal Kebar. There were two rivers, as you know, in that area of the world. The Tigris River and the Euphrates River, those were the two huge rivers that watered the land. The people diverted that water into canals for irrigation. Ezekiel was with a group of captives who were camped out by that canal, the River Kebar.
And it says the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. Now he'll see very graphic visualizations of the glory of God. So this is a vision from God. This is not a late-night pizza vision. This is not a spicy falafel dream. This is something that God gives to him. This priest, who is no doubt very discouraged for a couple of reasons. Number one, he's a refugee, he's a captive. Number two, he never got to serve as a priest in Jerusalem.
It would be sort of like you're 15 years of age, your 16th birthday is tomorrow. You've gone through driver's ed. You go to the DMV, you think, tomorrow, to get your license. But then, on the eve of your birthday, the government changes the law so that you have to be 18 years of age to get a driver's license, which by the way I'm for.
But imagine how your heart would sink the day you turned 16, but never got to see your dream realized. Now that's where they are. And I can't resist but reading to you a few verses from a psalm that will now it make sense. Psalm 137, you should always keep that in mind whenever you read Ezekiel. By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down. Yeah, we wept when we remembered Zion. We hung our harps upon the willows in the midst of it, for there, those who carried us away captive, asked us a song. And those who plundered requested mirth, saying sing us one of the songs of Zion.
How shall we sing the Lord's song in a foreign land? If I forget you, oh, Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill. If I do not remember you, let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth. If I do not exalt Jerusalem above my chief joy.
That's a song psalm written in retrospect of those who are in Ezekiel's position, feeling what he feels, not wanting to have mirth and joy, even though the Babylonians are-- sing us one of those Jewish songs. And they were saying, how can we sing the Lord's song in such a condition? Well, that's where he is.
Verse 5, let's skip down there and move ahead. Also from within it, came the likeness of four living creatures. It's getting better. And this was their appearance. They had the likeness of a man. That's the general appearance, humanoid appearance. Each one had four faces. And that's where it departs from the look of the human, because you and I have one. This creature, these had four faces. And each one had four wings. Their legs were straight. The sole of their feet were like the soles of calves feet-- holy cow. And they sparkled like the color of burnished bronze.
The hands of a man were under their wings-- weird, huh? Little hands under their wings. On their four sides, each of the four had faces and wings. Now we know what these are, if we've read chapter 10, as well as chapter one. In chapter 10, this same vision, these creatures are called cherubim. That's a Hebrew word. I-M is the male Hebrew plural. So a singular, being as a cherub, or an angelic being, more than one, is cherubim or cherubim, many angels.
We know about cherubim. A couple of them appeared outside the Garden of Eden in the Book of Genesis, guarding the entrance. There were a couple of cherubim whose wings touched on top of the Ark of the Covenant, as a symbol of God's presence. They were in the vale-- embroidered beautifully in the Tabernacle and the temple. Cherubim seems to be angels who guard the presence of God. And they're always seen as a symbol of the presence of God.
Verse 9-- their wings touched one another. The creatures did not turn when they went, but each one went straight forward. So you get, as you read this, the idea that when they wanted to go one direction or the other, the mind or the spirit just said, go right, and [WHIRRING NOISES] like that, without having to turn. They didn't have wheel wells, or tie rods, or steering wheels to bend. Just, it moved in that direction. So they went straight forward.
Now the Hebrew term for this vision-- and you see it's a vision of the glory of God, of the throne of God-- is called the Mare Kaaba. Some of you are familiar with the Mare Kaaba, or the Mare Kaaba. It is the chariot, the divine chariot, the throne car of God. I bring it up merely to state if you ever delve into Talmudic interpretations, especially the mystical writings, or a really weird subset of Judaism, called Kab-- the Kabbalah-- Kabbalistic Judaism. It's very mystical and it's all centered around what this is. It's all about this vision in Ezekiel chapter one and 10. And there's weird interpretations. No need, no desire to even get into it, just to touch on it.
Verse 10, as for the likeness of their faces, each had the face of a man. Each of the four had the face of a lion. On the right side, each of the four had the face of an ox. On the left side, each of the four had the face of an eagle. Now he's got our attention. Now it's sounding more familiar. But let's read on.
Thus were their faces. Their wings stretched upward, two wings of each one touched one another. And the two covered their bodies. And each one went straight forward. They went wherever the spirit wanted to go. And they did not turn when they went. OK, pause, think back to our study in the encampment of the children of Israel in the wilderness.
In the wilderness, there was the center of the camp, the Tabernacle. And on all four sides, the 12 tribes of Israel were divided into four main camps-- three tribes on the south, northeast and west. And those three tribes on each side were under the banner of a single tribe. So on one side, they were under the banner of the tribe of Judah, whose insignia happened to be a lion. On another side, they were under the banner of the tribe of Ephraim, whose banner happened to be an ox. On the other side, they were under the banner of the tribe of Reuben, whose banner happened to be a man. And on the final side, they were under the banner of Dan, whose banner happened to be an eagle. Fascinating, so far, right?
All of that gives to us at least an indication that maybe there's something to this. Is there more? Yes, there is. It seems that what we saw in the Tabernacle representing here by these cherubim is a picture of the throne of God. And the Tabernacle was a model-- crude, albeit-- but a model of the throne of God. Because when we fast forward to the Book of Revelation, we also have these four living creatures and the throne of God depicted in the Book of Revelation.
But what's beautiful is looking at the four gospels alongside all of that. Four gospels-- not three, not five-- four. The Gospel of Matthew is the gospel of the Kingdom. The Kingdom is referred to more than any other book. That's the lion. Then we have the Gospel of Mark. The word immediately pops up a lot in that book. And we see Jesus moving from place to place rapidly, like a servant would. And the animal of servitude was the ox.
Then become to the Gospel of Luke, written by a Gentile doctor, especially with the Greeks in mind, who idealized humanity. And they were looking for the ideal man. And so the term son of man is used frequently by Luke. And then the most majestic, I believe, of all the gospels, soaring above the other, is the Gospel of John, who depicts Jesus as God, the son, God in human flesh, the divine, the deity of Christ.
And the end of that book says, that you might believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God. So again, I believe depicted in the gospels, seen in the Tabernacle, and in the Book of Revelation, and seen here in this vision form, the presence of God, the full orb, glory of God, in these creatures.
Verse 15-- now, as I looked at the living creatures, it gets weirder. It gets really cool weird. Behold a wheel was on the earth beside each living creature with its four faces. The appearance of the wheels and their workings was like the color of barrel, kind of a goldish yellow. And all the four had that same likeness, the appearance of their workings, was, as it were, a wheel in the middle of a wheel, like a wheel going in one direction and a wheel going in another direction.
Now this is a wild vision. And I have to give you full disclosure. Some have looked at this and believe this is proof positive of the existence of UFOs. I just wanted you-- maybe-- some of you are looking at me puzzled. Maybe you're among those who believe this is your UFOs, don't know. I do know that 14% of Americans believe in the existence of UFOs. But I also know that 14% of Americans believe that they've seen Elvis before as well. So I don't think this is UFOs, for a couple of reasons.
Number one, Ezekiel has no problem identifying what this is in chapter 10. These are cherubim. These are angels that are around the throne of God. And this is a picture of kind of a mobile throne of God, the presence of God, dwelling with man. So it's not alien power. It's not horsepower. It's four cherub power, better than 400 horsepower. I mean, this thing is a magnificent designed entity.
Verse 18, this is cool. As for the rims-- come on, rims? God has mags? They were so high, they were awesome. And their rims were full of eyes. None of you have rims like that on your chariot. When the living creatures-- verse 19-- went-- the wheels went beside them, when the living creatures were lifted up from the Earth, the wheels were lifted up. Wherever the spirit wanted to go, they went. Because there the spirit went. And the wheels were lifted together with them, for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. So it speaks of sight, intelligence, the omniscience of God, I see in that.
OK, till now Ezekiel has been just sort of looking at the body, the chassis, under the hood a little bit. Verse 28 tells us it's the appearance of the glory of God. It's the appearance of the glory of God. Look at chapter 2, verse 1. And he said to me, son of man, stand on your feet and I will speak to you. This is all that personal section. Chapter one, God's hand is on him. Chapter 2, God speaks to him. And chapter 3, as well. Then after that, chapter 4, he's going to speak through him.
Son of man, he said to me, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you. Now that term, son of man, I want to explain. It has a couple of different usages in the Bible. Don't want you to get confused. Generally, it means-- and I say generally, especially in Ezekiel, because it pops up over 100 times in the Book of Ezekiel. Son of man is a Hebraism-- Hebrew way of saying human being. You're just the son of Adam. The son of a human being, thus a human being.
It's God's way of saying I'm God, you're not. I'm God, you're a son of Adam. He's just simply calling him out as a human being in generic terms. When we get to the Book of Daniel, however, the term son of man will be used in chapter 7 in a very different manner. I'm just giving you a preview. This is now the trailer at the beginning of the show. In chapter 7, Daniel sees a vision of the ancient of days that is God Almighty. And the son of man comes to him.
And God Almighty gives to the son of man in Daniel a kingdom, a dominion, a power that is everlasting. That is the kind of son of man that we read about when Jesus is called the son of man in the New Testament. And you need to know that. When you read son of man in the New Testament, it's a reference to Daniel, chapter 7. How do I know that? Because when he said he was the son of man, and he was called the son of man, the Jewish leaders wanted to kill him for assuming that title.
If that just meant I'm a human being, they wouldn't. But if it meant I am saying that I am the fulfillment of Daniel 7, to whom the ancient of days will give an everlasting kingdom, that's different. So now you know the distinction, right? Now we can move on.
Verse 2-- then the spirit entered me. This is all important. The spirit, God's spirit, entered me when he spoke to me. And set me on my feet. And I heard him who spoke to me. And he said to me, son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel. Now hold that thought. If you think your calling in ministry is hard-- maybe you have a home group that is just driving you nuts. Or if you head a connect group and everybody hates you in that connect group. I doubt that.
But if you have a really tough group you're dealing with, or a Sunday school class you work with-- oh, these kids are driving me-- it's a hard calling. Or you're a visiting pastor, and you think your church is like sent from not heaven, listen to this crowd. Son of man, I'm sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day.
So Ezekiel is sent to those captives by the canal, between the Tigris and Euphrates River. Chapter 3 is his commissioning. But it says the spirit entered me in chapter 2, verse 2. Several times in this book it says the spirit of God entered me. This explains how Ezekiel was able to do what he did. How do you deal with this group of people? How do you put up with this difficult ministry? How do you lay on your side for a few hundred days, then lay on your other side for a few hundred days? How do you say what he said? How do you withstand the taunts of these people? You can't, unless the spirit of God enters you and enables you.
Something else-- I can't resist this. Look at verse 3. I'm sending you to the children of who? The children of Israel, to a rebellious-- what?
Nation. Do you know what a goy is? Have you heard the term goy? So some of you have. If you have Jewish friends or you've lived in Jewish communities, a goy is a Jewish word for a non-Jew, a Gentile. Goyim is the plural for lots of Gentiles or Gentile nations. What's interesting is, I'm sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious goyim. He uses the term for Israel that Israel used for rebellious nations, ie, the Gentiles.
God says to me you are like they are to you, rebellious against your God. When God spoke of pagans, he spoke of ha-goyim, the nations.
OK, chapter 3 verse 1. Moreover, he said to me, son of man, eat what you find. Eat this scroll and go speak to the house of Israel. You wouldn't expect parchment to taste very good. If you've ever eaten a piece of paper, not good. Verse 2, so I opened my mouth and he caused me to eat that scroll. And it goes on to say it was sweet to his taste.
But there's a principle here. Anyone who speaks for God effectively must first internalize the truth of God for themselves. The preacher must preach first to the preacher and then to everybody else. Jeremiah 15 said, your words were found, and I did eat them, and they were to me the joy and the rejoicing of my heart. So he takes this message, internalizes it, as seen in this vision of the scroll.
Verse 17 of chapter 3-- son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Therefore, hear a word from my mouth and give them warning from me. In ancient times, a watchman was an important person in any city. A city in those days was not large. It was quite small. A city was a few acres, with a wall around it, and watchtowers in it, and watchman would stand in the watchtower, and they would watch. That was their job. They'd look out.
It's not easy to do that. We stop for a few moments, we take out our phone, because we can't stand the boredom. We have to look at a screen. Imagine just watching, watching, watching, watching, no watches, to watch just, watching out there, to look for enemies, to sound the alarm. They were called watchman. In vineyards, there was a little watchtower. And they got in the watchtower and they watched from the watchtower. That's what they did. Their job was to watch, to see, and to speak if there was a problem.
So the term watchman is a really good description of what a prophet did. In ancient times, prophets weren't called prophets. They were called seers. In the early part of the Old Testament, a seer, somebody who sees into the future, and sees what the issue is with the people. Ro'eh is the Hebrew word for see, seers. And then they were called prophets. The Hebrew word nabi-- one who proclaims for God. But you put both those roles together-- somebody who watches, sees, and somebody who speaks if there's danger, and you have the term watchman. That's his job as a prophet, a watchman for the house of Israel.
And as a watchman, he predicts in chapters 4 through 24, the fall of Jerusalem, very graphically. So we come to the second section in chapter 4, the correction of the problem. This is where the watchman tells the people in captivity-- hey, you think we have it bad? It's going to get worse. The city of Jerusalem, you're not going back anytime soon, as Jeremiah has written you a letter already, saying you're going to be here 70 years. He's right, you're going to be here a long time. You're not going back. In fact, the city of Jerusalem is going to be destroyed.
So chapter 4, verse 1, you also, son of man, take a clay tablet and lay it before you, and portray on it, or draw a picture on this wet clay a city. Which city? Jerusalem. Lay siege against it. Build a siege wall against it. And heap up a mound against it. Set camps against it also. And place a battering ram or battering rams against it, all around. Do you remember as kids playing with army men? Anybody do that? OK, I'm not ashamed to do it. Some of the best days of my life, playing in the front yard, building little mounds and playing with army men.
Ezekiel got to do that. That was part of this calling. That's kind of a cool job, right? What's my next sermon? You're going to play army. You're going to build a little model of a city. And you're going to build battering rams. And you're going to-- [IMITATING BATTERING RAM]-- and make all those noises. And portray for the people what is really going to happen over in the city of Jerusalem. He got to play war.
Verse 4, lie also on your left side. Lay the iniquity of the house of visual upon it, according to the number of the days that you lie on it. You shall bear their iniquity. For I have laid on you the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days-- 390 days. So you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. When you have completed them, lie again on your right side. And you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah-- 40 days. I have laid on you a day for each year.
So I'm guessing that he lay on one side, facing north, to depict the northern kingdom. And next, on his other side, facing south to depict the southern kingdom of Judah. The question I get asked whenever I go through the book of Ezekiel, teaching through it, is, did he lay there 24 hours a day? Probably not. He could have. And then God would have had to supernaturally kept him from getting decubitus sores that any patient lying in one position for a long time would get. But probably just during the daylight hours, the busiest part of the day, he laid on his side. Then he got up and went home. Did it again for a number of days. And then switched sides. My guess.
Verse 12, and you shall eat-- you shall eat it-- this is a concoction he has to make-- eat it as barley cakes and bake it using fuel. So he has to make these this meal of cakes using fuel of human waste. I don't want to be a prophet. I declare a non-profit organization, right-- this is it. Well, Ezekiel is going to feel the same way. The Lord said, so shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles. In other words, it's going to get so bad in Jerusalem and where I drive them in captivity later on.
So I said, aw, Lord God, indeed, I have never defiled myself from my youth till now. I've never eaten what died of itself, or was torn by beasts, or has abominable flesh ever come into my mouth. This sounds a lot like Peter. When he saw those unkosher things in that vision he saw-- four-footed beasts coming down on a sheet. And the Lord said, rise, Peter, kill and eat. And he, being obedient and acquiescent, said, not so Lord, I've never done that.
What Ezekiel is saying is understandable. Look, I'm a priest. I'm kosher. I don't do human dung. I've never eaten like this. I've never eaten food like this-- not so, Lord. Now what is going on? God is portraying what life is going to be like when Jerusalem is under siege. Verse 15, then he said to me, see, I'm giving you cow dung. Isn't the Bible great? You who thought the Bible never has fun stuff in it. This is pretty cool. God is saying, I'm giving you cow dung. Just mark that. Instead of human waste, and you shall prepare your bread over it.
So what is God doing? He's making a gracious, gracious concession that he can cook on cow chips, cow dung. It was a very gracious move. Or I should say a gracious moooove, right-- for that to happen. Some of these things you can't resist.
By the way, in the Middle East today, some of the Arab tribes still cook over animal dung because of the scarcity of wood. It dries out. And they use it for fires. This all to say the siege will be difficult. Chapter 6, verse 7, describes the siege. The slain shall fall in your midst and you shall know that I am the Lord. That is a dominant theme in this book. You shall know that I am the Lord-- 60 times in this book. God is saying I'm going to get this message through your thick, rebellious skulls-- I am the Lord. That's the purpose of the captivity, to get them to know he is the Lord.
And it worked. When they returned from captivity, they never went into this blanket kind of idolatry ever again. But the visions continue. In chapter 9 and 10, that weird merkava comes back, that four cherub powered vehicle-- the presence of God, the glory of God. But this time, Ezekiel sees the vision of the glory of God moving eastward, moving east, past the city of Jerusalem, toward the Mount of Olives, and then eventually leaving. The glory of God departs. God says, bye-bye, I'm leaving you now, allowing now the Babylonians to come in.
Chapters 25 through 32 is that third section, the castigation of the peoples. There are nations around Israel. Seven nations are mentioned-- nations like Moab, and Ammon, and Philistia, and Tyre and Sidon, and a large section on the nation of Egypt. Four of them are singled out because of their hatred for the Jews. I want to take you to one really briefly. Chapter 28 is the fall of the city of Tyre, up in present day Lebanon.
And what's noteworthy about this is in chapter 28, there is a segue between the physical reality to a spiritual reality in the same chapter. That is, some of the language fits an earthly monarch. Some of the language in the chapter clearly does not fit an earthly monarch, but it does fit, interestingly, Satan as the power behind the power. So he's addressing an earthly monarch, but then he addresses what appears to be an earthly monarch, but the description cannot refer-- must refer to Satan. If you think this is wild or unprecedented, it is not.
Jesus did it with Peter. When Peter said, we're not going to let you go to Jerusalem. We're going to take care of you. We're going to protect you, God. Jesus turned to Peter and said get behind me.
He called Peter "Satan?" Well, he wasn't really saying you really are the devil, as much as I'm talking to the power behind you who gave you that thought. So with that in mind, chapter 28, verse 1-- let's move quickly. The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, thus says the Lord God, because your heart is lifted up, and you say I am a God. I sit in the seat of gods in the midst of the seas. Yet you are a man and not a god. Though you set your heart as the heart of a god.
You see the word prince that we just read? It's the Hebrew word nagid. And nagid means man at the top. And the man at the top of this city of Tyre, according to Flavius Josephus, the Jewish historian, was a man named Itto-Baal, II. If you're taking notes, that's I-T-T-O-B-A-A-L, II. Itto-Baal, II, he was the ruler of Tyre at the time. He was proud because he was wealthy. He was proud because he was powerful. He was proud because of his location. I told you it before, about the city of Tyre. It was an island. They thought they were impregnable, impenetrable. Alexander the Great finally took them over.
Verse 11-- moreover, the word of the Lord came to me saying, son of man, take up a lamentation for not the prince, but the King of Tyre and say to him, thus says the Lord God, you were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. He uses a different word, not nagid for prince, but the word melech for king, which in Hebrew is a common name for melech-- or for king-- melech. But what's interesting is Ezekiel never uses the word melech for any of the kings of Israel, except for one. And that's Jehoiachin. He never uses that term.
So all of that to say, what you now read following this cannot describe any earthly ruler. It reaches into the spiritual arena, to the source, as it were. Look at verse 13-- continuing on to the King of Tyre. You were in Eden the garden of God. Oh really, when was the King of Tyre ever in the Garden of Eden? Never. Every precious stone was you're covering. The sardius, topaz, diamond, beyrl, onyx, jasper, sapphire, turquoise, emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrles and pipes-- those are musical instruments-- was prepared for you on the day you were created-- not born. This creature was created.
Verse 14-- you were the anointed what?
Cherub, singular cherub, angelic being, who covers. So you were an angelic guardian. He saw cherubim in that vision of the merkava. Now he's talking to the King of Tyre-- you're the anointed cherub who covers. You were like the angelic guardian for the throne. I established you. You were on the holy mountain of God. You walked back and forth in the midst of the fiery stones.
Verse 15, you were perfect in your ways. The word perfect means blameless or undefiled. You were perfect in your ways, from the day you were created until iniquity was found in you. That word, until, could be argued is the saddest word in human history. Because what follows until, iniquity was found in Lucifer-- Satan-- is what plummeted his fall, caused his fall, and plummeted the earth thereafter into the curse that we now experience.
Now Jesus refers to this in the New Testament Book of Luke, chapter 10. He said, I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning. Whenever you read that passage, you should remember two Old Testament scriptures-- Ezekiel 14, which says how have you fallen from Heaven, oh, Lucifer, son of the morning, and Ezekiel 28, you were the anointed cherub who covers until iniquity was found in you. So obviously, a beautiful creature. Not horns, and a pitchfork, and a little pointed tail. All that has coming from Greek and Roman mythology.
The god Pan, Bacchus, all of that medieval picturesque stuff. It's not biblical stuff. He's a very beautiful creature. The Bible says, in Ezekiel, when we see him, we're going to say, you're the one that caused so much trouble? OK, let's close the book.
Chapters 33 to 48 is about the restoration of the land. It's the conciliation of all of God's purpose for Israel. In this section, it includes nine chapters that are devoted and detail that temple I told you about, the millennial temple during the millennial kingdom. The last section has three parts-- the regathering of the Jews, the regeneration of Jewish hearts, and the re-establishment of the Jewish kingdom. All of that is in the last section.
Why is it here? To give the people in captivity who think it's all over hope. It ain't over till it's over. You're coming back to Israel. But there's going to be a kingdom set up, where Israel will be at the center of the kingdom age on the Earth. So three parts-- Israel is to be regathered. Chapter 36, verse 24-- for I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, not just Babylon, all countries, and bring you into your own land.
It's interesting, if you go to Israel today, there are two immediately apparent things you discover. Number one, Jews are speaking a revived Hebrew language. Number two, they are doing so in their ancient homeland, of which God promised they would one day be there and do what they're doing. That happened on May 14th, 1948.
I can't resist reading to you a prediction or a citation from Encyclopedia Britannica. I've always loved them. I had a copy of my own for years. I saved up, found a used set, loved them. But I discovered a citation in Encyclopedia Britannica from the 1911 edition, that said an interesting comment. And I'm quoting-- "The possibility that we can ever again recover the correct pronunciation of ancient Hebrew is as remote a possibility that a Jewish empire will ever again be established in the Middle East." End quote. That was 1911. 36 years later, May 14th, 1948, David Ben-Gurion said, we're back. He didn't say it that way. He didn't quite say that.
OK, Israel will be regathered, Israel will be regenerated. Go down to verse 25. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you. You will be clean. All of this is the language of the priesthood. The priests would sprinkle water on for ritual purification. I will cleanse you from all your filthiness from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you. I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh, give you a heart of flesh, the new nature to overcome the old nature. I will put my spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes. And you will keep my judgments and do them.
Now that sprinkling that refers to Israel is widened out by the Prophet Isaiah, in his servant passage about the coming messiah. Isaiah chapter 42-- Isaiah 52-- where he says, and he, messiah, shall sprinkle many nations-- not one nation, many nations. All of this speaks of the new covenant, beginning with Israel, but then to all nations. As John the Baptist said, behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the--
World-- it's for everybody. So what that tells us is, how did Jews get saved? Not by being a Jew. A Jew gets saved the same way a non-Jew gets saved. A Jew gets saved by believing in the Jewish messiah, Jesus Christ, who shed his blood for us. Everybody gets saved the same way. The only advantage, Paul will say in Romans-- I don't want to steal my thunder for the upcoming Sunday messages-- but the only advantage is God already deposited all of that revelation. So you should be aware of that in advance.
Anyway, put that on pause. Save that for a few weeks. Chapter 37 is the illustration of chapter 36. And now we get to the vision of dry bones. Chapter 37, verse 1-- the hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley. That word could be translated-- battlefield. And it was full of bones. He caused me to pass by them all around. And behold, there were very many in the open valley and, indeed, they were very dry.
They're dead-- dead in their dispersion, dead in their disobedience, dead in their failed relationship with God, dead because of the destruction of the city by the Babylonians. And he said to me-- son of man, can these bones live, God asked Ezekiel. So I answered, Oh, Lord God, you know. That's a safe answer. That's a good answer. God asks you something-- well, you know.
Again, he said, prophesied of these bones, and say to them oh, dry bones, here the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones, surely I will cause breath to enter you and you shall live. The word breath is the Hebrew word ruah. That's ruah-- breath. It's also the word spirit in Hebrew. Also the word wind in Hebrew. The Hebrew word for Holy Spirit is ruach hakodesh. That is spirit, or breath, ha-- the holy, the holy spirit. So I will cause breath to enter you and you shall live. That's chapter 37. It illustrates the coming together, the regathering.
Chapter 38 describes an invasion of Israel and the defeat of the invader. Chapter 39 is the cleanup afterwards. These are events that occur after Israel gets restored back in the land. OK, so they're there now. 36 and 37 are fulfilled. Chapter 38 describes a battle that will take place once Israel is in the land. The battle hasn't happened yet. It's a future battle. Some believe it's part of the battle of Armageddon. I happen to believe it is apart from the 70th week of Daniel, or the great tribulation period, if you know your eschatology. Some see it melded into the seven years. I see it as apart from that, but leading to it. Does that make sense? If not, ask me about it afterwards.
Chapter 38, verse 1-- now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, son of man, set your face against gog-- that means leader-- of the land of Magog. Magog means modern day Turkey. Keep that in mind. The prince of Rosh, Meshach, and Tubal, and prophesy against him. All of these are labels that come to us out of Genesis 10, the table of nations. Josephus, Hesiod, Herodotus say that these depict Russia and allies, the allies of that area.
Verse 5, interesting ally, Persia, that's Iran, Ethiopia, and Libya, that's North Africa, with all of them with shield and helmet, Gomer, that is probably Armenia. Hold that thought. And all of its troops. The house of Togarmah-- that's eastern Turkey, from the far north, with all of its troops. Many people are with you.
When is Ezekiel wrote this, there was absolutely no connection or coalition between these people. What is interesting is that today, as I speak, there is already a coalition that is formed. Go look it up-- not now, wait till later. A strategic coalition of Russia, Iran, and Armenia and stuff that is going on in the Middle East.
Chapter 39 shows God destroying the nations that attack Israel. It's the catalyst that returns them back to God. Chapter 48, or 40 to 48, is the rebuilt temple and the reorganization of a national life during the 1,000 years. I just want to look at-- I don't have time.
I want to look down at chapter 48, the very last verse-- the tribal allotments are given. The Dead Sea in Israel, it's predicted in chapter 47-- get this. The Dead Sea, six times saltier than the ocean. You don't want to get it in your eyes. You drink it, you'll throw up. You will. You can float on it, even if you cannot swim. The Dead Sea, it is predicted, will turn into freshwater. There will be a river from Jerusalem-- other prophets speak about this. And so the waters of the Dead Sea are healed and fishermen spread their nets from Ein Gedi to Qumran. You say, where is that? When you come to Israel, I'll show you both of those places at the Dead Sea.
So last verse, chapter 48-- I'm finishing this book. Verse 35-- all the way around shall be 18,000 cubits-- keep in mind this is describing the environment of Jerusalem, expanded area of a holy area and a huge temple, unlike we've ever seen built historically. And the name of the city from that day shall be the Lord is There-- the Lord is There.
OK, now I'm excited about this. The glory departed from Jerusalem, chapter 9 and 10, Ezekiel saw it, and probably those little hands, going bye-bye from that little merkava-- see ya. So it departed. He predicts it's coming back for good. And the name of the place will be the Lord is There.
The Hebrew name for Jerusalem is-- the pronunciation-- it's Jerusalem, but the Hebrew pronunciation is Yerushalayim-- Yerushalayim, the City of Peace. The new name-- it's in the Bible, but very few know this. You will know this after this. It'll come about, in the future, in the millennial kingdom, the 1,000 years-- it won't be called Jerusalem. It's going to be called-- what's the name?
The Lord is There.
The Lord is There. The Hebrew name is similar to Yerushalayim but it is Yahweh-shammah. Yahwe-shammah is the Lord is There. That's Hebrew. So not Yerushalayim, but Yahweh-shammah. Remember that. Get used to that. Because that'll be a name for 1,000 years that that city will be called. Cool that you know. See, you've got the inside scoop.
OK, I just want to close with this thought. I know I'm four minutes overtime, but do you mind? Can I have one thought? Just give me one thought. And please hug those teachers and kids for being so patient. I like teaching through the Bible. And I like teaching in end times eschatology. There is a tendency, especially among young preachers, especially among millennial young preachers, to avoid teaching eschatology. They don't teach it. I've been to churches where they're 12, 15 years old and I was going to bring in eschatological-- don't teach on that, don't teach on that. My people not have any idea what that is.
I go, really? You've had 15 years to tell them and you haven't? You'll just confuse them. We don't give into end times. When you don't-- let me just phrase it to you in a question. Why would you ever rob God of that glory? It's God's glory in creation, but also God's glory in the future to rebuild what he said. So much of the Bible is eschatological. Its future. Learn it. Get good at it. Be an expert at it. And then teach it.
OK, enough said. Father, thank you for your word. Thank you for your glory that was depicted and that will fill the Earth, beginning in Jerusalem, in that theocratic kingdom that is coming with the Lord Jesus at the helm. We look forward to it. In his name we pray, Amen.
We hope you enjoyed this message from Skip Heitzig of Calvary Church. For more resources, visit Calvarynm. church. Thank you for joining us for this teaching from The Bible from 30,000 Feet.