Month: November 2017

Ezekiel 37-39, 2 Peter 2

Ezekiel 37:1-3
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; and it was full of bones. 2 Then 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. 3 And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” So I answered, “O Lord God, You know.”

Remember in chapter 8 how the Lord supernaturally transported Ezekiel, lifting him up by a lock of his hair and transporting him to Jerusalem? It seems here that we have another supernatural transportation to a valley full of bones. I love Ezekiel’s response to The Lord, ”Oh Lord God, You know.”. We would do very well in our lives to surrender our thoughts and understanding of things directly to the Lord.

Ezekiel 37:4
Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!

We are going to see THREE stages of these bones; 1) They were dead, scattered bones, absolutely no life in them; 2) They came together, flesh and skin upon them, yet still no life; 3) They were made alive. Keep these three stages in mind as you read through this prophecy.

Ezekiel 37:28
The nations also will know that I, the Lord, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.

There are a lot of dead bones in the world today…in fact there are a lot of dead bones in the church. 1 John 5:12, He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. It is only Jesus who can make ‘Dead Bones Alive’. Praise God for that!

Ezekiel 38:1-3
1 Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 3 and say, “Thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal.

The first thing we must do, in understanding this prophecy is seek to understand who Ezekiel is referring to. Both Ezekiel and Zechariah prophesy about the rebirth of Israel in the last days which we saw in CH 37. When we looked at the Dry Bones coming alive, the Dry Bones represented Israel.

Ezekiel 37:12, Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. We will see that this leader of Magog, will join with Muslim nations to destroy Jerusalem and at that time; Iran, Persia, Ethiopia and Libya will unite against Jerusalem, which is precisely what we see building today.

Chapters 38 & 39 are difficult chapters to understand. I would encourage you to get a trustworthy commentary to better understand it, or take some time to listen to the study I did on it. Here is the link to that study: Ezekiel 38 & 39.

Ezekiel 39:8
Surely it is coming, and it shall be done,” says the Lord God. “This is the day of which I have spoken.

We can take great comfort in all of the things that are written in the Scriptures, that all of them will come to pass.

2 Peter 2:1
1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.

Not only were there false prophets among the people in Peter’s day, but so it is today. They are all around us. We must rely on the Holy Spirit to direct us away from such false teaching. He will be faithful to do it.

2 Peter 2:21
For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.

I cringe when I think of turning away from the Lord after having known it. I cannot imagine doing such a thing, but know that it happens all of the time. May God help us to guard our hearts from this ever happening.

Ezekiel 35-36, 2 Peter 1

Ezekiel 35:4
I shall lay your cities waste, And you shall be desolate. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.

Why was this all going to come about? The reason for the judgment is given, Edom is descended from the Esau. Esau at one point was Jacob’s most bitter enemy. The people of Edom probably hurt the people of Israel more than any other enemy. The prophet Obadiah prophesied against Edom (Obadiah 11-14).

Ezekiel 36:11
I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bear young; I will make you inhabited as in former times, and do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.

I think of the words of the father to the prodigal son in Luke 15:22–24, “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry. In 1948 Israel became a state again, unheard of for a nation that had been defeated that it would be restored. However, not so unheard of when you consider that God is involved.

Ezekiel 36:21
But I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations wherever they went.

God has concern for His holy name. He does not take it lightly when He is misrepresented. I cringe when I think of the judgment that will come upon the multitudes who consistently misrepresent God. They are all around us today.

Ezekiel 36:23
And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,” says the Lord God, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.

Is the Lord hallowed in our lives? Do people know who God is by what they see in our lives. This is such a convicting verse.

2 Peter 1:9
For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

Oh how we must guard ourselves from ever becoming shortsighted. We must never forget that we have been cleansed from our sins…ever! There is no greater truth than this.

2 Peter 1:16
16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.

It is easy to follow ‘cunningly devised fables’ rather than focus on the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. How does this happen? When we take our eyes off of Jesus and focus on ourselves. This can result in falling prey to such things. Anything less than the pure truth of the Gospel must be avoided at all costs.

2 Peter 1:18
And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

Peter references when he, James and John were on the mount of transfiguration with Jesus. We read about this in the gospels of Matthew 16, Mark 9 and Luke 9.

Ezekiel 33-34, 1 Peter 5

Ezekiel 33:10
“Therefore you, O son of man, say to the house of Israel: ‘Thus you say, “If our transgressions and our sins lie upon us, and we pine away in them, how can we then live?”

This is the question of all time, it is the question that each person was born with. Ecclesiastes 3:11, He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. Everyone, at some level, seeks to answer this age old question. Jesus is the only answer.

Ezekiel 33:12
12 “Therefore you, O son of man, say to the children of your people: ‘The righteousness of the righteous man shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall because of it in the day that he turns from his wickedness; nor shall the righteous be able to live because of his righteousness in the day that he sins. ’

This is a spiritual truth every person must come to embrace. Which is, that a person can do nothing to save themselves, based on their own righteousness. This is why we need a Savior, One who is righteous and the only One who can make is righteous.

Ezekiel 33:32-33
Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not do them. 33 And when this comes to pass—surely it will come—then they will know that a prophet has been among them.”

In many respects, we act as modern day prophets when we ‘speak forth’…the Word of God. Even though they might not listen and keep doing their own thing, the day will come when they will know that a prophet had been among them. That is as long as we actually know the word, and then speak forth the word of God. There is nothing people need to hear more.

Ezekiel 34:1-2
1 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, “Thus says the Lord God to the shepherds: ‘Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

I heard of a preacher of the ‘prosperity doctrine’ who had a 3 million dollar home, a 2 million dollar apartment in New York, and a Roll’s Royce. When he was asked by the interviewer how he justified it, he said, ”It was a gift to me from the church…you don’t give back a gift that someone gives to you.”…the church gave him a leer jet as well. Ezekiel says, ”Woe to shepherds…who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?”

Ezekiel 34:6
My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them.”

Notice how many times the Lord refers to Israel as, “My flock” and “My sheep”, at least 12 times. I love knowing that I am God’s sheep. Is is so comforting.

Ezekiel 34:16
“I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment.”

Make no mistake about it, God seeks out the Lord. He has given the Holy Spirit to draw all people to Himself. He loves us with an everlasting love. So great a love, that He gave His son to die for our sins that we might have new life.

1 Peter 5:2-3
Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;

If a shepherd, a pastor, does not embrace his role willingly, he should not call himself a shepherd. The ministry of a shepherd is never ending, and often times hard to bear. How does a shepherd keep from serving grudgingly? By focusing on the reason he ministers, because of the love of Christ. As Paul who was such a great example said, “The love of Christ compels me.” And so it should be with all shepherds.

1 Peter 5:8
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Just as the Lord loves us and has good things in store for us, so the devil hates us and has bad things in store for us. Picture a lion at the zoo, pacing back and forth near the bars of his cage. He is just hoping and waiting for you to get close enough to the bars so that he can grab you. We mustn’t underestimate the determination of the devil to take us down, nor the ability of the Lord to protect us. The key is clinging to Jesus each and every day, every waking moment of the day.

Ezekiel 30-32, 1 Peter 4

Ezekiel 30:8
Then they will know that I am the Lord, When I have set a fire in Egypt And all her helpers are destroyed.

Make no mistake about it. The day is coming when everyone, without question, will know that God is the one true God and Jesus Christ, His son, the Messiah.

Ezekiel 30:21
“Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and see, it has not been bandaged for healing, nor a splint put on to bind it, to make it strong enough to hold a sword.

This is most likely speaking of the defeat of Pharaoh’s army which we reqd about in Jeremiah 37:5-9.

Ezekiel 31:3
Indeed Assyria was a cedar in Lebanon, With fine branches that shaded the forest, And of high stature; And its top was among the thick boughs.

This vision was given in June of 587 BC, thirteen months before Jerusalem fell. Egypt is warned to remember the fate of Assyria, which though was more powerful than Egypt had fallen to Babylon.

Ezekiel 31:9
I made it beautiful with a multitude of branches, So that all the trees of Eden envied it, That were in the garden of God. ’

I sm greatly concerned with hour nation and where it is headed. I think of how we were established as, ’One Nation Under God’, so proud of all of our accomplishments. We were once, though there are many who would contend that we still are, the strongest nation in the world. Many desired to have us as an ally, and now look at us.

Ezekiel 31:15
“Thus says the Lord God: ‘In the day when it went down to hell, I caused mourning. I covered the deep because of it. I restrained its rivers, and the great waters were held back. I caused Lebanon to mourn for it, and all the trees of the field wilted because of it.

The word hell here is not Gehenna, but rather Sheol, which is a reference to Hades. In other words, this verse speaks of Pharaoh going to Hades, where he resides at this very moment, waiting for the Great White Throne judgment. You can read more about this in Luke 16:19-31. It is sobering to think about it.

Ezekiel 32:2
“Son of man, take up a lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say to him: ‘You are like a young lion among the nations, And you are like a monster in the seas, Bursting forth in your rivers, Troubling the waters with your feet, And fouling their rivers. ’

This vision, found in vs 1-16, was given in March of 585 BC, eight months after Jerusalem fell. It is a lamentation, and song of mourning over Egypt which would be crushed at the hands of Babylon.

Ezekiel 32:18-19
“Son of man, wail over the multitude of Egypt, And cast them down to the depths of the earth, Her and the daughters of the famous nations, With those who go down to the Pit: 19 ‘Whom do you surpass in beauty? Go down, be placed with the uncircumcised. ’

This vision, found in vs 17-32 and is like the one we just looked at. It was also given in March of 585 BC, eight months after Jerusalem fell. It is a graphic picture of Egypt and her companions in the realm of the dead.

1 Peter 4:1-2
1 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

Nobody likes to suffer, but suffering is just a part of this life. The glorious thing about suffering (as s Christian) is that our suffering is not in vain. It serves to strengthen us for the things He has for us. Suffering as a Christian far surpasses suffering in the world as an unbeliever. Praise God!

1 Peter 4:11
If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

The last thing that people need is our opinion. When we speak, we should speak ‘as the oracles of God’. In other words, speaks the things that God has spoken in a his word. Anything else is mostly folly and profitable for little.

Ezekiel 27-29, 1 Peter 3

Ezekiel 27:3
and say to Tyre, “You who are situated at the entrance of the sea, merchant of the peoples on many coastlands, thus says the Lord God: “O Tyre, you have said, ‘I am perfect in beauty. ’

Oh how we must guard ourselves from pride. Pride has resulted in the fall of many people, including Christians. Proverbs 16:18 says, Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.

Ezekiel 27:36
The merchants among the peoples will hiss at you; You will become a horror, and be no more forever. ’” ’”

The Lord is very specific regarding what is going to happen. When we read Revelation 18:9-14, we see and interesting parallel between the destruction here of Tyre and the destruction of the Babylonian commercial system in the last days.

Ezekiel 28:12
“Son of man, take up a lamentation for 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.

As we get into vs 12-19, this prophecy takes an interesting detour and the Lord begins to speak of Satan’s fall. Make no mistake about it, Satan is a created being, unlike God who is self-sufficient in all things. We gain further insight into the fall of Satan when we read Isaiah 14:12-17.

Ezekiel 29:5
I will leave you in the wilderness, You and all the fish of your rivers; You shall fall on the open field; You shall not be picked up or gathered. I have given you as food To the beasts of the field And to the birds of the heavens.

Here is a picture of God turning them over to themselves, with absolutely no help or covering from God. I think be underestimate how God watches over us, over people even when they are not saved. We take it for granted, so arrogantly. I think of the times He watched over me, protecting me from myself, never giving me what I fully deserved for my sin.

Ezekiel 29:20
I have given him the land of Egypt for his labor, because they worked for Me,’ says the Lord God.

I find this interesting, that the Lord would say, ”…because they worked for Me.” The bottom line is that everyone works for the Lord. He is sovereign. He is over all things. If someone thinks that they are getting away with something and that God isn’t aware of what is going on, they are mistaken. He knows everything, and is ultimately in control of everything.

1 Peter 3:7
7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

There is a natural order in regards to the role of men and women. Today’s society doesn’t want to believe this, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. This does not mean that the woman is inferior in any way. The Bible makes it clear that wives and to be helpmates, comparable to their husbands. It also says in Ephesians 5:21, that husbands and wives are to be mutually submitted to one another. This should clear up any misconception that somehow men are superior to women. God says that this simply is not true.

1 Peter 3:15
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

I love this verse. It reminds me that we are to study the Word of God and know it well enough to be able to give a defense of our faith. We must always be ready to ‘give a defense’ for what we believe. This is impossible without reading, meditating upon, and studying the Word.

Ezekiel 24-26, 1 Peter 2

Ezekiel 24:1-2
1 Again, in the ninth year, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, write down the name of the day, this very day—the king of Babylon started his siege against Jerusalem this very day.

At that very moment, Nebuchadnezzar was breaking through the wall of Jerusalem. Only God could reveal such a thing.

Ezekiel 24:9
“Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Woe to the bloody city! I too will make the pyre great.

A pyre is a pile of wood for burning…figuratively used here for a woodpile upon which Jerusalem would be destroyed.

Ezekiel 24:18
So I spoke to the people in the morning, and at evening my wife died; and the next morning I did as I was commanded.

To some this may have seemed like a harsh word to Ezekiel, his wife dies in the evening, and the next morning he is preaching as the Lord commanded. I don’t think it is harsh at all. There is an urgency to reaching people who are perishing, warning them about the judgment of God and the importance of repenting.

Ezekiel 25:6-7
“For thus says the Lord God: “Because you clapped your hands, stamped your feet, and rejoiced in heart with all your disdain for the land of Israel, 7 indeed, therefore, I will stretch out My hand against you, and give you as plunder to the nations; I will cut you off from the peoples, and I will cause you to perish from the countries; I will destroy you, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

There is a sick thing within each of us that can rejoice in another’s calamity and it is nothin short of sin. This should serve as a reminder to us, to guard our hearts from such a thing. It is ugly and the Lord isn’t in any part of such thing.

Ezekiel 26:5-6
It shall be a place for spreading nets in the midst of the sea, for I have spoken,’ says the Lord God; ‘it shall become plunder for the nations. 6 Also her daughter villages which are in the fields shall be slain by the sword. Then they shall know that I am the Lord. ’

This once great city, Tyre, will be reduced to a rock from which fishermen will cast their nets. This literally came to pass, just as the Lord told Ezekiel. The reality is that everyone will one day bow before the Lord. The big question is, will it be now or after it is too late?

Ezekiel 26:14
I will make you like the top of a rock; you shall be a place for spreading nets, and you shall never be rebuilt, for I the Lord have spoken,’ says the Lord God.

The ancient city of Tyre was never rebuilt and is a pile of rocks where fishermen cast their nets to this day.

1 Peter 2:1-2
1 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,

I love this picture of the Word of God being pure milk. Just a the milk from a mother strengthens a child, so it is with the child of God. May we crave the pure milk of God’s word.

1 Peter 2:9-10
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

I never grow tired of thinking how God called us out of darkness into His ‘marvelous’ light. How was this even possible? Through Jesus Christ. We were once nobody…nothing. But now, praise God, we are children of God. His special people.

1 Peter 2:17
Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.

The key to this verse is ‘fear God’. This reminds me of what Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 12:13, Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all.