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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Ezekiel 47:1

Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward.
For further study – Ezekiel 47:1-23

This passage found here in the prophecy of Ezekiel deals with two subjects, the water flowing from the Temple in Jerusalem and the Biblical borders of Israel. Both of these subjects are intriguing and worth the time to study them.

Verses 1 to 12 in this passage detail the events of the Kingdom Period, or at least what happens in Jerusalem at the Temple Mount. After Jesus has built His Kingdom Temple, Zechariah 6:12, and begins to "rule and reign" from this building there will be water flowing from Jerusalem down to the Dead Sea.

This prophecy, referring to water flowing out from the Temple, was recorded by the Prophet, Ezekiel, who was also a Priest. He understands what happens at the Temple during the future Kingdom. The events seem almost unreal.

When the Temple is standing in Jerusalem during the Kingdom there will be a steady flow of water that goes to the Dead Sea, via the Kidron Valley, for the purpose of making this large body of “salt” water a “fresh water lake.”

The water from the Temple will make this lake of "salt water" that is seven times saltier than any ocean in the world, fresh water. In fact, there will be "fishing" done by the local fisherman who will even dry their nets on the shores of the Dead Sea at En Gedi.

This event is similar to what happens in the "New Jerusalem" when water flows from the "throne of God," Revelation 22:1. The "Kingdom Period" is a foretaste of that which is to come in eternity future.

The last portion of our reading for today, verses 13 to 23, is the beginning of the dividing of the Land for the Jewish people during the Kingdom. God has promised the Jews a "piece of real estate" that is ten times larger than what they have today.

There are actually 38 locations in the scriptures that give all the details for the complete borders for this land. This passage in Ezekiel is only a small portion of that information. This "promise" will not be fulfilled until the Kingdom, but, this "land promise" will be fulfilled, by God.

These two prophecies are to be fulfilled in the Kingdom Period and will set the stage for the eternal state of this region of the world, even on the "new Earth", Revelation 21:1.

These prophecies are a comfort to the Jewish people and the realization of what the Lord has told them for almost 4,000 years is about to happen. Abraham was given the promise, Genesis 12, when he came into the land. It will be fulfilled to the Jews as the Lord keeps His promises. He Keeps His Promises to the Jews and to you and me, as Christians.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you dear Lord for being a "promise-keeping" God. I can rest in the fact that you will keep your promise to me of "eternal life" because you keep your promises to the Jewish people. I look forward to you keeping your promise to call me to be with you in the heavens, at the Rapture.
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Ezekiel 45:22

And upon that day shall the prince prepare for himself and for all the people of the land a bullock for a sin-offering.
For further study – Ezekiel 45:1-25

The passage that we will look at today for our devotional reading is a very troubling portion of scripture for many people. It is discussing the events that take place at the Temple in Jerusalem, the one that Jesus will build when He returns to the earth at the Second Coming, Zechariah 6:12.

As you read through the whole chapter in this portion of Ezekiel’s prophetic book we see that seven chapters, Ezekiel 40-46, are dedicated to dealing with the Temple that Jesus will "rule and reign" from, Zechariah 6:13, in the Kingdom to come.

In these chapters, we find that the Prophet, in 202 verses, lays out all that is needed, every detail, to construct the Messiah’s Temple and he describes all the activities that will take place at this Temple, which includes "animal sacrifices".

You read correctly, "animal sacrifices" will be performed at the Temple in Jerusalem during the 1,000 year Kingdom Period. Let me set that aside for a moment to look at several other details.

This passage, along with Ezekiel 42:20, defines the size and area of the city of Jerusalem, verses 1-6. It also describes the Temple Mount as well, Ezekiel 42:20. These are details that must be followed, in all instances in order for Bible Prophecy to be fulfilled.

These first six verses in Ezekiel 45 set the borders of the city of Jerusalem, and the size of the Holy City, in the Kingdom. Studying the details reveals that Jerusalem will be 2,500 square miles, 50 miles on each side. That is almost the width of the State of Israel.

The Temple Mount, Ezekiel 42:20, will be right at one square mile. This is almost three times its size today. Actually, the "Old City" is today almost one square mile. The Temple Mount, in the Kingdom will be where the Lord has chosen to "dwell among His people, forever", Psalm 132:13-14.

Now, back to the restoring of the "sacrificial system" in the Kingdom Period. In this devotional I am not going into full detail on this troubling passage and issue. Let me say that the "sacrifice of animals" in Old Testament times and in the Kingdom Period to come did not, and will not effect the "eternal salvation" of anyone.

Sacrifices were offered up in Old Testament times to restore fellowship of those who "sinned". In the Kingdom there will be Jews in human bodies, that will not only enter the Kingdom, but also will have  "children", Isaiah 65:20.

As is the case during all dispensations, every one is "saved by grace, through faith", Ephesians 2:8-9.  All Old Testament "saints" accepted what God told them to do, by faith, and thus "salvation", by faith. This salvation is a "gift" from the Lord, not because of offering sacrifices.

Sacrifices will not only restore fellowship, but the whole operation of the Temple will be to instruct the Jews in the Kingdom Period of how to worship the Lord. Look on my website for an article that will go more in-depth on this subject.

Before the Messiah’s Temple is erected in Jerusalem during the Kingdom Period, there will be a Temple in Jerusalem during the Tribulation Period, Daniel 9:27Matthew 24:15 and Revelation 11:1-2. All preparations have been made for this next Temple to be up and operating in the very near future.

This Tribulation Temple will be where the Antichrist will receive "worship" from all on the earth that do not trust in the Messiah for eternal salvation. All preparations have been made for the Tribulation Temple to be put in place, but first the Rapture must take place, and that could happen today. Even so come, Lord Jesus.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for the promise of your return to earth, the preparations already made for that to happen and the prospect that it might begin, with the Rapture taking place, soon.
Monday, January 15, 2018

Ezekiel 43:7

And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever.

For further study – Ezekiel 43:1-7

This passage of the prophecy written by the ancient Jewish Prophet Ezekiel is the foretelling of the day that Jesus will return to Jerusalem with the Jews that He has retrieved from the safety of the unique city of Petra. This is the climax of the seven years of terrible judgment on the Earth.

Jesus will have returned to the Earth just days earlier and after building His Temple in Jerusalem, Zechariah 6:12, He will go to the Jezreel Valley for the Battle of Armageddon.
Then Jesus will make His way to Petra, Isaiah 63:1-6, to gather the Jews that will have been protected in a "place prepared by God", Revelation 12:6, for the last half of the seven year Tribulation Period.

They will make their way from Petra, verse 2, across the Jordan Valley, up the back side of the Mount of Olives, across the Kidron Valley and then enter through the "Eastern Gate", verse 4, and up onto the Temple Mount.

In this passage the word "glory", used four times, is referring to the person of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. In the record found in the Old Testament of when the "ark of the covenant" was brought into the Temple, I Kings 8, the "glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord." This is what happens as this prophecy is fulfilled.

Verse 7 tells us that the Lord will walk into the Holy of Holies and be seated on this throne, where He will dwell among His people, the Jewish people, forever. It is at this time that the Lord Jesus Christ fulfills the Jewish Feast Day of Yom Kippur.

This passage that I selected for our devotional reading today is in the midst of six chapters, Ezekiel 40-46, that have the instruction for the Temple, the "Messiah’s Temple" to be built just prior to the Lord setting up His Kingdom.

This Temple will stand in Jerusalem forever, Ezekiel 37:26 and 28. It will be the location from which Jesus will rule and reign during the 1,000 year Kingdom, and on into eternity future.

This is information that we need to know since we will be ruling and reigning with Jesus forever, as well. What a day that will be. This all begins when we go to be with Jesus at the Rapture, which could happen at any time. Therefore, keep looking up.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for the promise that we will rule and reign with you during the Kingdom period, and into eternity future. Please help me to live in light of what you have in store for me, and all that know you as Lord and Saviour.
Sunday, January 14, 2018

Ezekiel 38:18

And it shall come to pass at the same time when God shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that my fury shall come up in my face.
For further study – Ezekiel 38:1-39:6

In the text that I have chosen for the devotional for today we see the names of the present-day nations, or at least a portion of the list of nations, that will align themselves against the Jewish State of Israel.

This passage is a "foretelling" of the military action that will happen in the Middle East in the first three months of the coming "Tribulation Period", the seven years of judgment on this Earth in the future.

The "battle of Gog and Magog" is what the prophet is discussing with us in this passage. It is an "alignment of nations" that will come to Israel to destroy the Jewish State. In this passage we not only see the "who" and the "when", but we also see the "what", that which happens during the coming seven-year period of judgment known as the "Tribulation".

In verse 2, "Magog" is modern-day Russia, "Meshech and Tubal" along with "Gomer and Togarmah", in verse 6 is present-day Turkey. "Persia" in verse 5 is Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The other two names, "Ethiopia and Libya", are also nations that will join the "alignment" to attack Israel.

These nations make up the "who" in this passage. The "when" is revealed to us in two verses, verses 8 and 11. These verses speak of the time when the Jewish people come back into the land in the last days and are "dwelling safely" in the land. They also will be living in "unwalled villages".

Both terms are referring to a time when there is "peace" in the land. It will not be the time when Jesus has brought "peace" but a time of a "pseudo-peace" one that will be a "short-lived" peace. This "peace" comes when the Antichrist has established a "peace" in the land, which is in the very beginning of the Tribulation.

The "what" is the unfolding of the war to destroy the Jewish people and take the "land" that God has given the Jews. As these nations attack Israel, God intercedes, verses 18 to 23. Couple this with the verses found in Ezekiel 39, verses 1 to 6, and you come to an understanding that the Lord protects His "Chosen People".

Verse 2, of Ezekiel 39, indicates that 5 out of every 6 Muslims will be destroyed at this battle. This actually renders inoperative the entire Muslim world. This has to be done so that the "one world religion" can be set up in Rome, Italy. Islam will not co-exist with any other religion, thus it must be removed.

This passage in Ezekiel 38 and 39 helps us to understand why the nations of the Middle East and the Islamic world hate the Jews and want to destroy the Jewish State. These nations will continue to do what they can to eliminate Israel until this prophecy is fulfilled.

However, the "Battle of Gog and Magog" will not come to pass until after the Rapture of the Church. The Rapture happens just before the appearance of the Antichrist with his "peace treaty".

As we look at our world today it is evident that we are quickly approaching the days described in our devotional passage for today. That means that the Rapture must be very near, "perhaps today".

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for the understanding of Bible prophecy for the last days. It helps me to recognize where I am on Your time clock. Help me to live expecting You to come today.
Saturday, January 13, 2018

Ezekiel 37:22

And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.
For further study - Ezekiel 37:15-23

This passage of scripture, selected for today's reading, is a prophetic passage that many Bible prophecy students have either ignored or have not been able to understand.

It is a prophecy that seems to be saying that the "ten lost tribes" of Israel will in the last days be found and they will be reunited with the two tribes known as Judah. According to Jewish history there are no "ten lost tribes" of Israel.

The record found in Ezra speaks of "all twelve tribes" being back in the land some 2,500 years ago when Cyrus gave permission for Zerubabbel to take almost 50,000 Jews back to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple, Ezra 1.

The list in Ezra 2 mentions a number of people from tribes other than Judah and Benjamin. Two examples are verses 28-29, Bethel and Ai are in the tribe of Ephraim, verse 28; and Nebo is in the tribe of Reuven, verse 29.

This means that the families of "all twelve tribes" were in the land. Notice Ezra 6 where it speaks of the "dedication service" of the Temple when they offered twelve "he goats" according to the number of the tribes of Israel, Ezra 6:17.

Even the fact that Ezra 6 uses the term "Israel" indicates that it's speaking of all twelve tribes back in the land at the time of the building of the Second Temple.

In Ezekiel 37:11 it states that the "bones", in the dry valley, are the "whole house of Israel." That means representatives of all twelve tribes have been coming back into the land of their forefathers, even though they are coming in unbelief, as the text states they should.

Therefore, the passage for our devotional reading for today is a prophecy of two "Jewish states" during the Tribulation Period that will become one state again at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ when He will cleanse the Jews, and they will be His people, and He their God, verse 23.

The "two sticks" represent the two Jewish states, Israel and Judah. This prophecy is also revealed in Malachi 2Jeremiah 3:18 and Ezekiel 35:10, when it refers to "two nations". Now, that's the prophecy. (For more, see my audio series on Ezekiel, "Dry Bones and Two Sticks")

The current events that play into this scenario are many. For a number of years this prophetic concept has been discussed among the religious Jews. The former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told former US President George W Bush that Israel was on the verge of civil war, Jew against Jew.

With the disengagement of the Gaza, the Annapolis Middle East Peace Summit and pressure from the Unites States, the European Union and the United Nations, the Israeli government called for the removal of the Jewish settlers in Judea and Samaria, several hundred thousand Jewish settlers.

This call has been met by calls for a "second" Jewish state, a campaign to come up with a "flag" for the second Jewish state, and an "anthem" as well. There are very serious Jewish scholars that are calling for this "second Jewish state", a prophecy that Ezekiel wrote about 2,500 years ago.

The stage is set and all the actors are getting into place, the curtain is about to go up on the final act in this prophetic drama for the last days. Only one thing must happen before all of these prophecies will be fulfilled, and that's the Rapture, which could happen, today. Keep looking up... Until.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for the understanding of Bible prophecy for the last days. It helps me to recognize where I am on Your time clock. Help me to live expecting You to come today.
Friday, January 12, 2018

Ezekiel 36:22

Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.
For further study - Ezekiel 36:6-22

In Ezekiel 34:13 the Lord, through the prophet Ezekiel, tells the Jewish people that He will find them wherever they were scattered and bring them into the land that He had promised to give them in the last days.

As we approach our devotional extended reading for today, in Ezekiel 36, we see that the Lord tells the Prophet to speak, to "prophesy," to the land, the land that He had promised to give to the Jews.

As we read this passage, verses 6 and 7, we see what the Lord says to the land. He speaks to the land that had "born the shame of the heathen," and tells of the destruction of the land that God has designated for His use and land that He will give to His "chosen people," the Jewish people, forever.

The Lord tells the land, the land on the earth He created, to yield fruit to the people of Israel, His people, verse 8. The land is to be productive and allow the men who He will multiply on the land of Israel, to turn the wasteland into a very fertile piece of real estate, verses 9 and 10.

The Lord even promises the Jews that the land they return to in the last days will be better than it was in the days of their forefathers, verse 11. By doing these things, for the Jews, with His promised land, they shall know that He is the Lord and they shall turn to Him.

Each year, around May 14, the Jewish people celebrate the "birthday" of the Jewish State of Israel and the productivity of the land He has given these Jewish people. This celebration of God's work in fulfilling His promises about the "land of Israel" has been a witness to the entire world.

There is additional information about the land and the Jewish people in verses 12-21. Please read these verses and rejoice with what the Lord is going to do. As you read these verses, remember, the land of Israel and the Jewish people are inseparable.

As we close our devotional reading for today, notice what the Lord reveals to the prophet Ezekiel. In verse 22 the Lord tells the Jews why they have been given this land in these days. It is not because the Jews have become obedient to God's Word or that they have done anything to honor Him and follow His will.

The reason God has given the Jews this land, at least a portion of what He has promised them, is because of "His Holy names sake," verse 22. When the Lord could swear by nothing greater He swore by His name that He would give the land to the Jewish people in the last days.

It's not because of Israel or Judah that the Lord does what He does, but for "His Holy names sake." By the way, that is why He does anything for each of us, as well, for "His Holy names sake."

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for keeping Your word and promises to me even though I am unworthy. You are an awesome God.
Thursday, January 11, 2018

Ezekiel 34:30

Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord GOD.
For further study - Ezekiel 34:11-31

As we read the extended portion of our devotional for today there is one thought that is very evident, the Lord God is going to do something as it relates to the restoration of Israel and the setting up of the Davidic Kingdom.

We know this because the Lord God tells us what He is going to do and He makes it very clear not only what He is going to do, but also that He is the One who is speaking.

Between verses 11-29 the Lord repeats one phrase 18 times. The prominent phrase is, "I will," "I will" search out my sheep, verse 11. "I will" seek out my sheep, verse 12. "I will" gather them from the countries and bring them into their own land, verse 13. And "I will" feed them in a good pasture, verse 14I have only given you four of the eighteen "I will's" of the Lord. These "I will's" are promises of restoring a Jewish people to a nation called Israel. I've often said, if God's Word says something one time, I believe it and that settles it for me. Once God's Word says something eighteen times we must pay attention.

From Ezekiel 1-32 God gave the Jewish prophet, Ezekiel, a "message of retribution." From Ezekiel 33-48 the prophet's message is "restoration," restoring the Kingdom people, the Jewish people; and restoring the Kingdom practices.

Speaking of the Kingdom, the Lord confirms the promise of the yet to come Kingdom, in verses 23-25. The Lord, through Ezekiel, tells the Jews that King David will be resurrected and will become a "shepherd" over the Jewish people.

The Lord tells the reader that the resurrected David will be a "prince," mainly because Jesus Christ is the "King" during the coming Kingdom Period.

The Lord says that there will be a "covenant of peace" made between God and King David. David returns to be a "prince," a co-regent with Christ in the Temple that Jesus builds, Zechariah 6:12.

A spiritual application of these promises, to the Jewish people, for us as Christians, is what God does in the last days with King David. David was a flesh and blood character, a man of like passion, and yet the Lord God returns David to an important place of service during the Kingdom.

God has a plan for each of us. We must be prepared to do His will in our life once we determine what "His will" is for each of us.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for the opportunity to serve You. Please help me to be the servant that You want me to be, for Your glory.
Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Ezekiel 28:14

Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

For further study - Ezekiel 28:13-19

In our devotional reading for today I have selected a parenthetical portion of a prophetic passage of prophecy against the "Prince of Tyrus," verse 2, and the "city of Zidon," verse 21.

In our extended reading, verses 13-19, we have a passage of punishment against the angel "Lucifer," who God created and positioned as an "anointed cherub," verse 14. Lucifer was the one who the Lord placed over all that He had created.

This is information that will help us to understand the "fall of Lucifer" and his punishment as the "adversary," the Devil, that old serpent, Satan.

There are several things to notice in our reading. Lucifer was in the Garden of Eden and he was there after his creation which took place on the first day of creation, right after Jesus created the "heavens" and before He created the "earth," Genesis 1:1Job 38:4 and 7 and Ezekiel 28:13-14.

Notice the synonymous terms in this passage, the "Garden of Eden" and the "Holy Mountain of God." These two phrases refer to the same location.

It was in the Garden of Eden that Lucifer revealed the iniquity in his being and allowed "pride" to bring this most prominent of all "created angels" to a place where the Lord would cast him out of the Holy Mountain of God, verse 16.

We know, by the text, that Lucifer was beautiful. Possibly the most beautiful creature created by Jesus, verse 17. The "beauty" of Lucifer is a key factor in the downfall of this angelic "superstar." A parallel passage that deals with the downfall of Lucifer is Isaiah 14:12-15.

In this prophetic passage from Isaiah we see that the "pride" of Lucifer, this most beautiful of all creatures, was what made manifest the sin within. In this passage Lucifer used the phrase, "I will."Lucifer would exercise his "free will" to his own detriment, his downfall.

Revelation 12:3-4 gives us the understanding that when Lucifer rebelled against the Lord, one-third of all angels created also rebelled and were cast out of the "third heaven" and into the "first heaven" above us, where the sun and clouds are located, Ephesians 6:12.

The study of "angels" is very significant in the study of Bible prophecy. As was the case at the first coming of Christ, so also will be the case in His Second Coming. Angels, both good and bad angels, play a key role in the events of the last days. (See my CD audio series on "Angels")

The practical aspect of this devotion is that we must know the enemy, Satan, and also what brought about his downfall, from his position of prominence. It was "pride" that brought Satan down. We must run from "pride," and to the Lord.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me Lord to flee from pride as I serve You, realizing that every good and great thing comes from You and You alone.
Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Ezekiel 20:42

And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to your fathers.

For further study - Ezekiel 20:33-44

Our key verse for today, verse 42, is written to the Jewish people and reveals how the Lord will be known among the Jewish people in the last days. However, this verse is only part of the message from the Lord to the Jewish people in the last days.

Starting in verse 33 the Lord tells the Jews of a coming judgment upon them and as we read through to verse 44 we see that the Lord will judge and then become the Lord and Savior of the Jewish people.

Let me draw your attention to some key points in our devotional reading for today. Verse 33 tells us of the Lord God as the "mighty God of the Jewish people who will rule over His chosen people." The Lord tells them that in a day future from when Ezekiel received this message to pass along to the Jews, "in that day future He will gather the Jews from all of the countries where they had been scattered."

This statement focuses the prophecy's fulfillment on a time after the destruction of the Temple and the city of Jerusalem in 70AD when the Jews were scattered to the four corners of the earth. Verses 35 and 36 speak of the time when the "Jews come back into the land of their forefathers." It talks also of how the Lord will "plead with them face to face" so they will turn to Him as their Messiah, Lord and Savior.

What I have just mentioned and what you have just read is a scenario that seems to be unfolding even as I sit writing this devotional. For the last 100 years plus, there have been Jews from over 100 nations of the world who have returned to the land of their forefathers, Israel.

They are now in the land, "the wilderness," and with all that has been happening to the Jewish people of modern-day Israel, it seems that the Lord is indeed pleading with them "face to face."

The Lord will bring the Jews to a place where they will turn to Him and no longer "pollute His holy name" but become His people. This point of turning to the Lord and the building of His Temple, verse 40, on His "holy mountain," the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, is still in the future but will happen based upon the prophecies that He has already fulfilled from this passage.

One final thing to notice, as this happens and continues to happen until all the prophecies of this passage are fulfilled, not only will the Jews know that He is the Lord, but all of mankind will recognize that, as well, if they will only pay attention to what is happening in our world today, especially in the Middle East.

We must share with others the story of Israel and God's plan for them as revealed in prophecy, prophecy that is being fulfilled, even today. That story will lift up the Lord and draw men unto Him.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Lord, keep me busy sharing with others Your work among Your people today and how it fits into the end of times scenario found in the Bible.
Monday, January 8, 2018

Ezekiel 8:12

Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? For they say, the LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth.
For further study - Ezekiel 8:1-18

The key verse, verse 12, in our extended reading for today is the Lord telling Ezekiel that the "house of Israel" had committed sin both privately, "every man in the chamber of his imagery," and also publicly.

The children of Israel were acting as if the Lord had forsaken the earth and He had no way to see them. As we read the entire eighteen verses we can see what made the Lord say these things to Ezekiel.

In fact, the Lord would actually bring Ezekiel, physically, to Jerusalem from where he was in Babylon. The Lord, "took me by a lock of my head," verse 3, and He brought the Prophet into Jerusalem and into the Temple.

In the front of the Temple was "the seat of the image of jealousy," verse 3. This was an idolatrous statue of some kind, most likely a "vulgar obelisk" that desecrated the Temple complex.

Inside the sanctuary there were all types of idolatrous portraits on the walls of the Temple, verses 6-10. Ezekiel was shown the "abomination" that the Sanhedrin, the "seventy men of the ancients," verse 11, had done.

Verse 14 reveals the women that sat there in the Temple, weeping over Tammuz. I'll come back to that in a moment.

The Lord told Ezekiel that he would see a "greater abomination" than he had already seen. The Lord pointed out to the Prophet the twenty-five men between the porch of the Temple and the altar.

These men had their backs to the Holy of Holies where the "Glory of the Lord" hovered over the "Ark of the Covenant," verses 15-16. This passage reveals that these men, most likely priest that served in the Temple, these priests were worshiping the "sun."

Verses 17-18 contain words, which expresses the anger of the Lord over these abominations at the Temple. Notice the words of the Lord in verse 18. He said, "He would deal with these Jews, His eyes would not look upon them, to have pity." He said, "Even if they cry out to me, even in a loud voice, I will not hear them."

The "spiritual application" of this passage for the Christian today is that many of our places of worship, the Churches, have become an "idolatrous" gathering place. More and more the "world" is creeping into our present-day worship centers.

The focus of the worshipers has been diverted from the "Holy God" and "His Holiness" to the "imagery of the world," the "image of jealousy" before the Lord. God cannot hear the "very loud" shouts of so-called "praise and worship" if there is no "holiness."

Please go back to verse 14 where it speaks of "Tammuz." This is the son of the "mother-son cult" that  was started in Babylon, 4,500 years ago. This "mother-son cult" will be a part of the "one world religion" revealed in Revelation 17 that will be headquartered in the city of Rome, Italy, during the first half of the seven year Tribulation Period.

The Lord did deal with these issues, in "His fury," verse 18, at that time in history. However, the Lord will not only deal with some of these same issues of the Jewish people in the future, as He did in the past, but He will deal with these issues, in the Church, when He comes to call us up to be with Him in the heavenlies at the Rapture of the Church.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me Lord to focus on You and Your Holiness for my worship and praise and not the things of this world.
Sunday, January 7, 2018

Ezekiel 4:3

Moreover take thou unto thee an iron pan, and set it for a wall of iron between thee and the city: and set thy face against it, and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege against it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel.
For further study - Ezekiel 4:1-17

The last ten words of our key verse in our devotional reading for today, "this shall be a sign to the house of Israel," expresses not only the 4th chapter, our extended reading for today, but the entire book of Ezekiel as it records the life and ministry of a unique man who God gave a unique ministry.

What God would have Ezekiel do as a "street preacher" in front of the Jewish people, Ezekiel's own people, would indeed be a "sign" to the "whole house of Israel." Even the "tile" with Jerusalem drawn upon it and the "iron pan" that Ezekiel would use were both object lessons to the Jewish captives who had been taken into the Babylonian Captivity.

The Lord then has His prophet to lay in the street on his "left side" for 390 days and then on his "right side" for 40 days for a total of 430 days. Each day was to represent a year of judgment to come upon the Jews.

The Lord realized that His prophet would get both hungry and thirsty during his "street" ministry. The Lord made provision for Ezekiel to have about 8 ounces of meat every day, verse 10, and about one quart of water each day, verse 11.

Ezekiel would receive all the ingredients for the prophet to make his bread daily and then God gave him very strange instructions. God told Ezekiel that he was to bake his bread over a fire made out of "human excrement" that was the result of a "bowel movement" done in public, verse 12.

Please excuse what may seem to you vulgarity but I am simply quoting the text. This strange method of baking the bread was for the purpose of revealing to the Jews that they would eat "defiled bread" among the Gentiles as part of their judgment.

This was an action that conveyed to the Jews the seriousness of their sin. You will notice that the Lord did ease up on the baking of the bread and told Ezekiel that he could substitute "cow dung" for "human dung."

I chose this passage to illustrate to each of us the extent, and seriousness of God's judgment upon His people, the Jewish people.

I also believe that this passage best illustrates how a man who sees the "Glory of the Lord," Ezekiel 1:28will be obedient to the Lord no matter what He calls him to do.

You may say, "But how can we see the Glory of the Lord?" The Psalmist told us in chapter 19"the heavens declare the Glory of the Lord." That 19th Psalm also says that all of creation reveals the "Glory of the Lord."

Our problem is that we don't take advantage of the opportunities we have to look and see the result of His glory. We must "stop and smell the roses" and observe the "Glory of the Lord" so that we might follow His directions without hesitation.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me, to recognize Your "glory", dear Lord, in Your "handiwork" in all of creation and then to be obedient to You.
Saturday, January 6, 2018

Ezekiel 3:17

Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.

For further study - Ezekiel 3:1-27

After Ezekiel saw the "glory of the Lord," chapter 1, the priest-prophet, Ezekiel, is selected by the Lord to go to his own people with prophecy that will be fulfilled in the short-term.

A study of the person of Ezekiel will be of great benefit to your study of Bible prophecy. In the years I've been studying Ezekiel, almost 20 years, I have come to know a man that allowed God to use him for the Lord's own purpose without any reservation.

In Ezekiel 2 we see the record of the Lord setting the priest in the office of prophet as well, verse 5. There are only three men in scripture that were both priest and prophet. Ezekiel is one, and Jeremiah and Zechariah are the other two.

God's plan for Ezekiel would include not only having him as a "street preacher" but the prophet that He would give all the details for what is called "Messiah's Temple." This is the temple that Jesus will build and rule and reign from during the Kingdom period.

You will notice also that the Lord sends Ezekiel to a rebellious nation, Ezekiel 2:3, and a people that will reject his message and in fact, even mock the prophet, Ezekiel 2:5. In chapter 3 God does something very strange, He makes Ezekiel mute or "dumb," that is, unable to speak, Ezekiel 3:26. He then told Ezekiel he could only speak what the Lord would put in his mouth, the words he would speak would be God's messages to the Jewish people, Ezekiel 3:27.

Ezekiel would be mute for over seven years, talking only when God put something in his mouth. God also made the prophet a "watchman," one who would warn the people of a coming danger, Ezekiel 3:17.

A watchman would "hear the word from the Lord" and "warn the people." I believe God wants all of us to be "watchmen," hear the prophetic word of the Lord and then, knowing the urgency of the hour, warn the people.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to study your prophetic word Lord, so that I can understand the times we live in today and warn the people, as many as possible, as soon as possible.
Friday, January 5, 2018

Lamentations 1:8

Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she is removed: all that honoured her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness: yea, she sigheth, and turneth backward.

For further study - Lamentations 1:1-22

The sorrow of Jeremiah expressed in Lamentations is from the loss of the City of Jerusalem to the mighty Babylonian army under the leadership of Nebuchadnezzar. The chapter preceding Lamentations 1 is the 52nd chapter of Jeremiah, which is a record of the destruction of Jerusalem and the carrying away into the Babylonian captivity of the Jewish people.

In his third siege of Jerusalem, the Babylonian King killed the leadership of Judah, many of its Jewish residents, burned the city down and destroyed the Temple (read Jeremiah 52 and II Chronicles 36). The loss of all that was sacred to the Priest-Prophet Jeremiah was what motivated him to write Lamentations, of course under the "inspiration" of the Holy Spirit.

Once a year, even until today, the Jewish people will gather at the entrance to the Temple Mount to pray for the Temple to be rebuilt. They also mourn as they read through the book of Lamentations. This is their effort to have the Lord restore their Temple worship and sacrificial system to meet the needs for purification as they search for "redemption" outside the person and work of Jesus Christ.

According to Bible Prophecy, there will be another Temple in Jerusalem, in fact, two more Temples, but neither one will give them the "salvation" that only Jesus can give. By the way, all the preparations have been made for the next Temple to be erected in Jerusalem.

The next Temple in Jerusalem will be the one built during the Tribulation Period. All that must be done to build and operate a Temple has been done except for removing the gold-domed structure known as the "Dome of the Rock."

When the Temple Mount is clear of any other religious building on this very sacred spot then the Jews will erect their Temple. Remember, this will happen sometime after the Rapture - which could happen today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me Lord to live today as if the Rapture will happen today.