Ezekiel 3:17 “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:
A Message for Today
A warning to repent and be blessed or ignore it and face God’s wrath and judgment
It is a message for today! How is this a message for us today?
It is a Warning to the House of Israel
It was for the house of Israel
A few more scriptures about who the message of Ezekiel is to:
Ezekiel 2:3 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 [sin which is the transgression of the law 1 j 3:4] against Me to this very day. [this is why he is prophesying to the them]
Ezekiel 2:4 “For they are impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.’
Ezekiel 2:5 “As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse; for they are a rebellious house; yet they will know that a prophet has been among them.
Ezekiel 2:6 “And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, though they are a rebellious house.
(this is not the modern nation of Judah, which is the state)
We see Ezekiel’s commission:
Ezekiel 3:1 Moreover He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.”
Israel already in captivity
Here’s the immediate problem with what Ezekiel had to do
Israel’s sins had already caused them to go into captivity
They had already been punished
Ezekiel could never directly fulfill this commission
Ezekiel was a Jewish slave in the land of Babylon
100-130 years after the Israel had been taken captive by Assyria
Ezekiel Not Allowed to Speak the Message to Israel
Ezekiel 3:17 “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:
Ezekiel 3:26 I will make your tongue cling to the roof of your mouth, so that you shall be mute and not be one to rebuke them, for they are a rebellious house.
Ezekiel 24:26 on that day one who escapes will come to you to let you hear it with your ears;
Ezekiel 24:27 on that day your mouth will be opened to him who has escaped; you shall speak and no longer be mute. Thus you will be a sign to them, and they shall know that I am the LORD.’ “
Ezekiel 33:21 And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, on the fifth day of the month, that one who had escaped from Jerusalem came to me and said, “The city has been captured!”
Ezekiel 33:22 Now the hand of the LORD had been upon me the evening before the man came who had escaped. And He had opened my mouth; so when he came to me in the morning, my mouth was opened, and I was no longer mute.
Let’s now read the warning!
Ezekiel 33:1 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
|Ezekiel 33:2 “Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman,
Ezekiel 33:3 when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people,
Isaiah 58:1 “Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression, And the house of Jacob their sins.
Amos 3:6 If a trumpet is blown in a city, will not the people be afraid? If there is calamity in a city, will not the LORD have done it?
Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.
Amos 3:8 A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken! Who can but prophesy?
Ezekiel 33:4 then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head.
Ezekiel 33:5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life.
Ezekiel 33:6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’ [the watchman will be responsible] Ezekiel 33:7 “So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me.
In a sense Ezekiel is still doing this today, but now the baton has been passed from nearly 2500 years ago until now
Ezekiel 33:8 When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.
Ezekiel 33:9 Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
This is designed to bring people to repentance. God doesn’t want them to die (Ezekiel 33:11) and this is the prophet’s hope too.
So before it’s too late: they need get their act together and recognize their sins and repent before the sword falls on them.
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?” ‘
You can’t or you don’t because the penalty for sin is death – unless an individual changes his ways and accepts Jesus as his Savior and applies the blood of that ultimate sacrifice.
Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’
Ezekiel 33:12 “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.’
Ezekiel 33:13 When I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, but he trusts in his own righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous works shall be remembered; but because of the iniquity that he has committed, he shall die.
Ezekiel 33:14 Again, when I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ if he turns from his sin and does what is lawful and right,
Ezekiel 33:15 if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has stolen, and walks in the statutes of life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die.
Ezekiel 33:16 None of his sins which he has committed shall be remembered against him; he has done what is lawful and right; he shall surely live.
Ezekiel 33:17 “Yet the children of your people say, ‘The way of the LORD is not fair.’ But it is their way which is not fair!
Ezekiel 33:18 When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die because of it.
Ezekiel 33:19 But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and does what is lawful and right, he shall live because of it.
Ezekiel 33:20 Yet you say, ‘The way of the LORD is not fair.’ O house of Israel, I will judge every one of you according to his own ways.”
…and then as we saw before it is just after this that Ezekiel was allowed to speak.
Who is Modern Day Israel
Before Judah went into captivity, Israel had already fled the land of Assyria. Assyria fell in 612 BC and the house of Israel migrated out of the area (not back to Jerusalem or the land of Israel). This meant that the House of Israel had already begun to migrate NORTH and WEST into modern day Europe where they still exist to this day.
At the time of Christ some 600 years later, He called them the “LOST tribes of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:6; 15:24). This shows that they were being tracked, at least by God, after they fled Assyrian captivity.
Notice that they will come together again in the future:
Jeremiah 30:3 For behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah,’ says the LORD. ‘And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.’ ” [Jeremiah 33:7 as well]
In Isaiah 49, it is The Restoration of Israel that is being addressed:
Isaiah 49:3 “And He said to me, ‘You are My servant, O Israel, In whom I will be glorified.’
Isaiah 49:6 Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”
Then in :12
Isaiah 49:12 Surely these shall come from afar; Look! Those from the north and the west, And these from the land of Sinim.”
This is where God is bringing them back from.
In the Hebrew there is no word for “northwest” so this is how it is said “the north and the west.”
The people of the House of Israel had already migrated north-west across Europe into Western Europe — France, Belgium, Holland, the Scandinavian countries, and the British Isles — where they are to this day, except for the Tribe of Manasseh, which much later migrated to the United States.
This is where God is restoring them from and more importantly for today’s message these are the people that this message is to be going out to
Let’s look at some of these prophecies now that indicate a future captivity.
Ezekiel 6:6-10 makes it very plain what will happen if they do not repent and return to God
Ezekiel 6:6 “In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate, so that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, your idols may be broken and made to cease, your incense altars may be cut down, and your works may be abolished.
Ezekiel 6:7 “The slain shall fall in your midst, and you shall know that I am the LORD.
Ezekiel 6:8 “Yet I will leave a remnant, so that you may have some who escape the sword among the nations, when you are scattered through the countries.
Ezekiel 6:9 “Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations where they are carried captive, because I was crushed by their adulterous heart which has departed from Me, and by their eyes which play the harlot after their idols; they will loathe themselves for the evils which they committed in all their abominations.
Ezekiel 6:10 “And they shall know that I am the LORD; I have not said in vain that I would bring this calamity upon them.”
And, in Ezekiel 37, we see a prophecy that has never found fulfillment concerning the Houses of Israel and Judah once again becoming one nation–with one king:[remember the time-line]
Ezekiel 37:21 “Then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land;
Ezekiel 37:22 “and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and [note this part] one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again. [further proof of the time line]
Ezekiel 37:24 “David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. [this is what they hadn’t been doing and why they went back into slavery]
Ezekiel Couldn’t Go to the House of Israel
He couldn’t literally go to the House of Israel then so IT IS A PROPHECY for OUR PEOPLES TODAY! The modern nation of Israel [and who is that?] We are to be reading and heeding this NOW! If we only have an ear to hear
Ezekiel received this prophecy and wrote it down for us today. Since he did not fulfill it, it has been passed down throughout time for us today.
It is a warning to the House of Israel before the last captivity of Israel. It involves a message of future punishment and slavery for sins that they will be committing at that time.
The Prophet Ezekiel was commissioned to “GO” from where he was, among the Jewish people, to the HOUSE OF ISRAEL.
But Ezekiel never took that message to the lost House of Israel. He couldn’t. He was a slave and the House of Israel had been taken captive by the Assyrians more than 120 years earlier and In effect had ceased to exist as the readily identifiable ten tribes of Israel that Ezekiel could then easily contact with this message from God.
There had to be a future fulfillment of this prophecy for the modern descendants of the house of Israel. This is after Israel had already been punished and gone into captivity and left.
It is God’s Message
This is not truly Ezekiel’s message or any other prophet’s message. It is a message delivered through the human instruments. No one else could see this through over the course of 2500 years.
How is this to be fulfilled?
How God Works Over Time
Jobs given to Elijah but fulfilled by others
God had commissioned Elijah to anoint three people to significant positions
1 Kings 19:15 Then the LORD said to him: “Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria. [Elisha did this; 2 Kings 8:13-14] 1 Kings 19:16 Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. [Elisha the prophet called one of the sons of the prophets to do this; 2 Kings 9:1-6] And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. [Elijah did this; 2 Kings 2:15 ???]
In this case it is to tell them the consequences for not heeding God. It is a sobering message that simply states turn from your sin or die.
But this is not the only message that a watchman gives — He also shows them how to live. This is another job of the watchmen in the future:
Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
Isaiah 52:8 Your watchmen shall lift up their voices, With their voices they shall sing together; For they shall see eye to eye When the LORD brings back Zion.
If it is not our responsibility to watch and warn, we still have the responsibility to watch and mourn
Preparing for the Feast of Trumpets and its ultimate fulfillment
Ezekiel 9:1 Then He called out in my hearing with a loud voice, saying, “Let those who have charge over the city draw near, each with a deadly weapon in his hand.”
Ezekiel 9:2 And suddenly six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his battle-ax in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen and had a writer’s inkhorn at his side. They went in and stood beside the bronze altar.
Ezekiel 9:3 Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn at his side;
Ezekiel 9:4 and the LORD said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh [mourn] and cry [groan] over all the abominations that are done within it.”
Leviticus 18:26 You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you
Leviticus 18:27 (for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled),
Leviticus 18:28 lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you.
Leviticus 18:29 For whoever commits any of these abominations, the persons who commit them shall be cut off from among their people.
Leviticus 18:30 ‘Therefore you shall keep My ordinance, so that you do not commit any of these abominable customs which were committed before you, and that you do not defile yourselves by them: I am the LORD your God.’ “
This is to groan in grief as though they were literally in pain; and lament with great sorrow as they watch what is going on in the world and see how they depart from the way of God and realize the consequences of these actions.
Ezekiel 9:9 Then He said to me, “The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great, and the land is full of bloodshed, and the city full of perversity;
What does the world put before God?
- false religion – their own idea of morality; what is right and wrong (if anything)
Ezekiel 9:5 To the others He said in my hearing, “Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity.
Ezekiel 9:6 Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who werebefore the temple.
Ezekiel 9:7 Then He said to them, “Defile the temple, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out!” And they went out and killed in the city.
Ezekiel 9:8 So it was, that while they were killing them, I was left alone; and I fell on my face and cried out, and said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Will You destroy all the remnant of Israel in pouring out Your fury on Jerusalem?”
Ezekiel 9:9 Then He said to me, “The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great, and the land is full of bloodshed, and the city full of perversity; for they say, ‘The LORD has forsaken the land, and the LORD does not see!’
Ezekiel 9:10 And as for Me also, My eye will neither spare, nor will I have pity, but I will recompense their deeds on their own head.”
Ezekiel 9:11 Just then, the man clothed with linen, who had the inkhorn at his side, reported back and said, “I have done as You commanded me.” [that didn’t take too long to mark those that were doing what they were supposed to be doing; think on that for a second]
Judah’s Example from History
Impending Disaster for Jerusalem
Jeremiah 6:16 Thus says the LORD: “Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.‘
Jeremiah 6:17 Also, I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not listen.’
Jeremiah 6:18 Therefore hear, you nations, And know, O congregation, what is among them.
Jeremiah 6:19 Hear, O earth! Behold, I will certainly bring calamity on this people— The fruit of their thoughts, Because they have not heeded My words Nor My law, but rejected it.
They ignored the warning and went into captivity. We must learn the lessons from the past and we must act according to the law of God. We must listen for the trumpet and when it sounds we need to heed its call
For Us Now
Do you know what is coming? How should you be proceeding then.
Luke 22:40 When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
Luke 22:41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed,
Luke 22:42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
Luke 22:43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.
Luke 22:44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Luke 22:45 When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow.
Luke 22:46 Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”
Luke 21:34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.
Luke 21:35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.
Luke 21:36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
There are tough times coming; we are coming closer and closer to the end of the age.
We have a great responsibility as a part of the house of Israel to heed the word of God and to leave the contemptible and reprehensible ways behind us.
We as a part of the spiritual house of Israel have a greater responsibility to not only live a godly life but to stand in opposition to the ungodly ways around us.
When Christ returns as depicted by the soon coming day of Trumpets, let’s make sure that we are found so doing.