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Monday, October 26 2015

Ezekiel 3: The Greatest Danger To A Prophet

"When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way ... his blood will I require at thine hand"

The prophets (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Prophets) were given the responsibility to deliver the LORD's warning. If the prophet failed to fulfill his purpose, he was held responsible for their destruction. Notice the warning to Ezekiel, if he failed to do his job: "The same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand."

"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. 3:18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand." (Ezekiel 3:17-18 KJV)

Notice also that when the prophet did his job, only then was he out of danger.

Harvest

"3:19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul." (Ezekiel 3:19 KJV)

Ezekiel was a prophet among the exiles of Judah in Babylon (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah). His immediate task was to warn those people to maintain their worthiness as the ancestors of those who would return severty years later. They were to raise their children well in the Way of the LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour).

"3:1 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. 3:2 So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll.

3:3 And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.

3:4 And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them. 3:5 For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel; 3:6 Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee. 3:7 But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted. 3:8 Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads. 3:9 As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.

3:10 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears. 3:11 And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.

3:12 Then the spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the LORD from his place. 3:13 I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels over against them, and a noise of a great rushing. 3:14 So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me. 3:15 Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days." (Ezekiel 3:1-15 KJV)

Along with the LORD's warning to the people through His prophet, was a warning to the prophet himself. If he failed to deliver the warning, he would himself to subject to the wrath that he was sent to warn others to avoid.

"3:16 And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

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. 3:18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

3:19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

3:20 Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

3:21 Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.

3:22 And the hand of the LORD was there upon me; and he said unto me, Arise, go forth into the plain, and I will there talk with thee. 3:23 Then I arose, and went forth into the plain: and, behold, the glory of the LORD stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river of Chebar: and I fell on my face.

3:24 Then the spirit entered into me, and set me upon my feet, and spake with me, and said unto me, Go, shut thyself within thine house. 3:25 But thou, O son of man, behold, they shall put bands upon thee, and shall bind thee with them, and thou shalt not go out among them: 3:26 And I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a reprover: for they are a rebellious house. 3:27 But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house." (Ezekiel 3:16-27 KJV)

Fact Finder: What is iniquity? How and why does it seem so right to those who are infected by it?
See Iniquity In History And Prophecy


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This Day In History, October 26

901: King Alfred (known as "Alfred the Great"), Saxon king of Wessex, died. An actual battlefield king, and scholar, Alfred fought the invading Danes and formed England's first navy.

1440: Gilles de Rais, French marshall who fought for Joan of Arc, was hanged for Satanism and the murders of 140 children. His crimes inspired the tale of "Bluebeard."

1640: The Treaty of Ripon was signed. It restored peace between Charles I of England and Scotland.

1776: Benjamin Franklin traveled to France to request French support for his revolution. France hypocritically agreed to arm and supply the rebellion of the New England colonies, while at the very same time tolerating no independence for its own colonies in Louisiana and elsewhere through the continent of North America. France sought only to break the military ties between Britain and New England so that France could then easily invade and take them over for itself - a plan that wasn't carried out because of the wars started by Napoleon across Europe and into Russia that consumed the French army.
Ironically, if Britain had not defeated the French Empire in Europe, the New England colonies would have then very likely been swallowed up to become a colony of New France (that already existed, by that name, from Louisiana and a vast territory northward). Britain used only a very small percentage of its army in the war of the New England revolution (most were in Europe fighting Napoleon), while, with a French victory in Europe, France could have dedicated a massive military force against the former English colonies.

New France
1825: The Erie Canal opened, linking southern Lake Erie to the Hudson River, and then to the Atlantic, thereby allowing the U.S. to bypass the British-controlled lower St. Lawrence (the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959 by the governments of Canada and the U.S. opened ports on all of the Great Lakes to ocean shipping).

1863: The Red Cross was established in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Red Cross 1905: Sweden and Norway signed a treaty of separation; Oscar II abdicated as king of Norway, and was replaced by Prince Charles of Denmark, who became King Haakon VII.

1918: Germany's supreme commander General Erich Ludendorff resigned in protest of the terms to which the German government agreed to for the First World War armistice. This set the stage for his later support for Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) who claimed that Germany did not lose the war on the battlefield, but rather was "stabbed in the back" by the politicians (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).

1942: U.S. and Japanese naval forces engaged in the Battle of Santa Cruz. The Japanese suffered a greater number of ships lost, but the U.S. aircraft carrier Hornet was sunk. Beginning with the attacks on Pearl Harbor, aircraft carriers were the means of the Pacific war - an era now gone. In any war between the major military powers in the Pacific today (i.e. the U.S., Russia, China), aircraft carriers, and their entire accompanying battle groups, would be instantly destroyed by nuclear missiles.

1978: Smallpox was declared eradicated in the world.

1984: Surgeons in California transplanted a baboon heart into a 10 day old baby girl, nicknamed "Baby Fae"; she died a few days later.

1995: Israeli Mossad agents assassinated Islamic Jihad leader Fathi Shikaki at his hotel in Malta.

1994: Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty aimed at ending 46 years of conflict. Much of the territory of the present-day Kingdom of Jordan was held by the Israelite tribes who were assigned lands east of the Jordan River (see Why East And West Manasseh?).

1997: Alan Goodman, 53, was released from an Israeli prison after serving 16 years of a life sentence for a 1982 shooting spree on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in which an Arab guard was killed and 8 Muslims were wounded. Upon his release, the U.S. born former Israeli soldier was deported to the U.S. (see also A Biography Of Abraham: Abrahamic Religions).

2001: The U.S. passed the "US Patriot Act" into law (the name is an acronym or Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001").



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