FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER FOUR & FORTY– Part X
Ezekiel, the Priest-Prophet in Type and Antitype: Their Work & Message as End Times Watchmen & Light-bearers
And He said to me, Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you. Then the 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, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day. Ezekiel 2: 1-4, N.K.J.V.
First, a Happy 2016 Thanksgiving to all with this Scripture: “To the faithful in Christ. Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without blame before Him, in love.” Eph. 11-4, K.J.V.
“Ezekiel, the mourning exile prophet, in the land of the Chaldeans, was given a vision teaching the same lesson of faith in the Almighty God of Israel. As he was by the banks of the river Chebar, a whirlwind seemed to come from the north, ‘a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the color of amber.’ A number of wheels of strange appearance, intersecting one one another, were moved by four living creatures . High above all these was ‘the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.’ ‘As the likeness of the [four] living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures: and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.’ “And there appeared in the cherubims the form of a man’s hand under their wings.’
“There were wheels within wheels in an arrangement so complicated that at first sight they appeared to Ezekiel to be all in confusion. But when they moved, it was with beautiful exactness and in perfect harmony. Heavenly beings were impelling these wheels, and above all, upon the glorious sapphire throne, was the Eternal One; while round about the throne was the encircling rainbow, emblem of grace and love.
“Overpowered by the terrible glory of the scene, Ezekiel fell upon his face, when a voice bade him arise and hear the word of the Lord. Then there was given him a message of warning for Israel.
“This vision was given to Ezekiel at a time when his mind was filled with gloomy forebodings. He saw the land of his father lying desolate. The city that was once full of people was no longer inhabited. The voice of mirth and the songs of praise were no more heard within her walls. The prophet himself was a stranger in a strange land, where boundless ambition and savage cruelty reigned supreme. That which he saw and heard of tyranny and wrong distressed his soul, and he mourned bitterly day and night. But the wonderful symbols presented before him by the river Chebar revealed and overruling power mightier than that of earthly rulers. Above the proud and cruel monarchs of Assyria and Babylon the God of mercy and truth was enthroned.
“The wheel-like complications that appeared to the prophet to be involved in such confusion were under the guidance of an infinite hand. The Spirit of God, revealed to him as moving and directing these wheels, brought harmony out of confusion; so the whole world is under His control. Myriads of glorified beings were ready at His word to overrule the powers and policy of evil men, and bring good to His faithful ones.”-
“In like manner, when God was about to open to the beloved John the history of the church for future ages [in seven stages, Revelation 2, 3], He gave him an assurance of the Savior’s interest and care for His people by revealing to him ‘One like unto the Son of man,’ walking among the [seven] candlesticks, which symbolized the churches. While John was shown the last great struggles of the church with earthly powers, he was also permitted to behold the final victory and deliverance of the faithful. He saw the church brought into conflict with the beast and his image, and the worship of that beast enforced on pain of death.
But looking beyond the smoke and din of the battle, he beheld a company upon Mount Zion with the Lamb [Jesus Christ], having, instead of the mark of the beast, ‘the Father’s name written in their foreheads.’ And again he saw ‘them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name , stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God’ and singing the song of [victory] of Moses and the Lamb [Rev. 15: 2, 3].
“These lessons are for our benefit. We need to stay our faith upon God [not on any finite man, nation, or institutions], for there is just before us a time that will try men’s souls. Christ, upon the Mount of Olives, rehearsed the fearful judgments that would precede His second coming; ‘Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars.’ ‘Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diverse places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.’ [Matt. 24: 6-8]. While these prophecies received a partial fulfillment in the destruction of Jerusalem, they have a more direct application to the last days.
“We are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Prophecy is fast fulfilling. The Lord is at the door. There is soon to open before us a period of overwhelming interest to all living. The controversies of the past will be revived; new controversies will rise. The scenes to be enacted in our world are not yet even dreamed of. Satan is at work through human agencies. Those who are making an effort to change the Constitution and secure a law enforcing Sunday observance little realize what will be the result. A crisis is just upon us.
“But God’s servants are not to trust to themselves in this great emergency. In the visions given to Isaiah, Ezekiel, and to John we see how closely heaven is connected with the events taking place upon the earth and how great is the care of God for those who are loyal to Him. The world is not without a ruler. The program of the coming events is in the hand of the Lord. The Majesty of heaven has the destiny of nations, as well as the concerns of His church, in His own charge.
“We permit ourselves to feel altogether too much care, trouble, and perplexity in the Lord’s work. Finite men are not left to carry the burden of responsibility. We need to trust in God, believe in Him, and go forward. The tireless vigilance of the heavenly messengers [angels of God], and their unceasing employment in their ministry in connection with the beings of the earth, show us how God’s hand is guiding the wheel within a wheel. The divine Instructor is saying to every actor in His work, as he said to Cyrus of old: ‘I girded thee, though thou hast not known Me.’ [Isa. 45: 1, 5; 44: 28].
“In Ezekiel’s vision God had His hand beneath the wings of the cherubim. This is to teach His servants that it is divine power that gives them success. He will work with them IF they will put away iniquity and become pure in heart and life.” – Ellen G. White, Testimonies, pp. 751-4.
“With unerring accuracy the Infinite One still keeps account with the nations. While His mercy is tendered, with calls to repentance, this account remains open; but when the figures reach a certain amount which God has fixed, the ministry of His wrath begins. The account is closed. Divine patience ceases. Mercy no longer pleads in their behalf.
‘The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet. He rebuketh the sea and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: . . . The mountains quake at Him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at His presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before His indignation? And who can abide in the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by Him.’ Nahum 1: 3-6.
“Looking forward to the time when the pride of Assyria should be brought low, Zephaniah prophesied of Nineveh [Zeph. 2: 14 quoted].
“Great was the glory of the Assyrian realm; great was its downfall. The prophet Ezekiel, carrying farther the figure of a noble cedar tree, plainly foretells the fall of Assyria because of its pride and cruelty. He declared: [Eze. 31: 10-16 quoted].
“The pride of Assyria and its fall are to serve as an object lesson to the end of time. Of the nations of the earth today who in arrogance and pride array themselves against Him, God requires: ‘To whom art thou thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? Yet shalt thou be brought down with the trees of Eden unto the nether parts of the earth.’ Eze. 31: 18. ‘The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble’ and He knoweth them that trust in Him. But with an overrunning flood He will make an utter end’ (Nahum 1: 7, 8) of all who endeavor to exalt themselves above the Most High.”– E. G. White, Prophets & Kings, pp. 365-6. is waHis
Who are the “six men” of Ezekiel 9 who carry out the terrible work of divine vengeance?
First, one thing is plain and unequivocal: it is God alone whose life is original, unborrowed, and underived. He, the Life giver, is the Creator of the heavens and the earth, referred to as Jehovah in the Old Testament. In the plan of redemption of the everlasting gospel, He is “the Word made flesh and dwelt among us,” the incarnate Messiah, Jesus Christ, the only Savior, all-powerful Mediator, merciful High Priest and righteous Judge of mankind. He alone is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. He alone has the right to judge, declare, and carry out His divine sentence in His own appointed way and time.
In Hebrews 1: 8-10, God addresses His Son as God! Read it for yourself :
v 8 But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the scepter of Thy kingdom. v 9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows. v 10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the work of Thine hands.”
John the Beloved wrote the same astounding, glorious truth in John 1:1-4, 14:
v 1 In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God, and the Word was God v 2 The same was in the beginning with God. v 3 All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. v 4 In Him was life and the life was the light of men. . . . v 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Thus: “For we know Him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto Me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, the Lord shall judge His people. It is a fearful thing to fall unto the hands of the living God.” Heb. 10: 30, 31, K.J.V. See also Rom. 12: 19; Deut. 32: 35, 36; Ps. 94: 1; 99:8; Prov. 6: 34; Isa. 34: 8 Eze. 25: 14-17; Micah 5: 15; Nahum 1: 2; Luke 21: 22; Rom. 3: 4; 2 Thess. 1: 8; Heb. 10: 30; Jude 7.
The Agencies for Unleashing the Four winds: type and antitype. When?
“Six men. These executioners of vengeance are pictured as human in form. In primary application they represent the Babylonians, who were to execute the divine sentence upon the city [of Jerusalem]. In secondary application they portend the agencies of judgments which, at the close of [probation] time, will execute sentence, first upon those who professed to be the spiritual guardians of the people, and later, upon the wicked in general.” – Vol. 4 SDA Bible Commentary, p. 605, col. 2.
Jerusalem’s siege and destruction foretold by Ezekiel
“While Jeremiah continued to bear his testimony to the land of Judah, the prophet Ezekiel was raised up from among the captives in Babylon, to warn and to comfort the exiles, and also to confirm the word the word of the Lord that was being spoken through Jeremiah. During the years that remained of Zedekiah’s reign, Ezekiel made very plain the folly of trusting to the false predictions of those who were causing the captives to hope for an early return to Jerusalem. He was also instructed to foretell, by means of a variety of symbols and solemn messages, the siege and utter destruction of Jerusalem.”-E. G. White, Prophets & Kings, p. 448.(Continued next week)