KNOW
THE
TRUTH

John 1:4 "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men."

John 8:32 "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

 John 14:6 "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." 

MONTHLY LESSONS DESIGNED TO CONVERT.

 

January, 2018 - NEW KING JAMES VERSION

“He Has Spoken, Who Will Hear?”

The Prophet: Ezekiel was a Hebrew prophet of the exile. He was of a priestly family (aristocracy), and spoke with the eloquence of education. He was raised up in the last years of Judah’s independence. He was carried away early in his life (deported to captivity), into Babylon, with the Jehoiachin deportation. He came to dwell by the irrigation canal “Chebar”, which connected the Tigris with the Euphrates River above Babylon.

Approximately five years after his deportation God called Ezekiel to speak to His people. He exercised his charge from the age of thirty until he was fifty-two. This made him a younger contemporary of Jeremiah and Zephaniah. Daniel would already be in the king’s court and working as God’s voice to the king.

His Homeland: Israel had already been taken into Assyrian captivity over a hundred years earlier. Babylon, having conquered Assyria, has now taken possession of these captives as well. Judah, having weakened itself significantly without the support of God (due to idolatry), was nothing more than a vassal state. They had already felt the wrath of Babylon in the first assault and deportation, which would make one think they would sober up and turn back to God. Alas, they plunged further away from God and subsequently a far worse situation.

Ezekiel 5:6She has rebelled against My judgments by doing wickedness more than the nations, and against My statutes more than the countries that are all around her; for they have refused My judgments, and they have not walked in My statutes.’”

So, Judah and Jerusalem had plunged into total corruption, and God’s wrath has been provoked to allow the destruction of Jerusalem by the hands of the Babylonians.

His Captive Home: On the banks of the river Chebar, Ezekiel finds himself with some kindred spirits, being around many of whom he has been deported with. Although there were some that exhibited godly sorrow for the idolatry that has caused their captivity, many more continued to engage in the worship of idols. As they knew that Ezekiel was a prophet of God, they pretended to inquire of Him what God wished for them. They flattered Ezekiel and marveled at his wisdom, his eloquence, and mystified over his parables, but never intended to obey the prophet’s call!

The Lesson: With the preliminary history under our belt, we want to accomplish two things. First, we want to look at Ezekiel’s charge. We want to look at exactly what God wants him to do on behalf of his people (As a Watchman). Second, we want to look at the statement God is going to make through Ezekiel, about all who sin against Him (Persistent Unfaithfulness).

Ezekiel 3:17-21 “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: 18 When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. 20 “Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. 21 Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.”

In this case, Ezekiel is the vehicle of God’s warnings to Israel and is a pattern for us today. God now speaks to us through His Son (Hebrews 1:1-2). Additionally, warnings still exist to heed the righteousness of God and not turn away, note:

2 Thessalonians 1:8-9in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power”

In the duality of this lesson, in both cases we learn that:

Judgment is Determined by Personal Guilt:  By the prophet’s message we learn that God does not dispense justice in a wholesale fashion, each case is taken individually by the differences between wicked men and righteous men. This is to say that each person will answer individually as to why the rejected or obeyed the voice of God (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Mark 16:15-16).

Judgment is Affected by Knowledge of Guilt: The warnings of God, past or present, are not given to undue the sin that has already been committed. It is a warning to affect the change of all forward actions back towards God. Thus, ignorance will not be an excuse in the day of answer! In fact, to remain ignorant of the warnings of God is to choose ignorance that will lead to the wrath of God – 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9.

Warnings to Sinners and Their Knowledge of it: This is really the crux of this lesson! God’s universal work for the benefit of man has always been to educate by the knowledge of righteousness (that which makes us right with God through His word!), and the warnings of pending judgment for failure to achieve righteousness (then or now).    

Through His Word: God has provided a complete and universal message for the redemption of man from the sin he cannot undue, and instruct concerning the righteousness necessary to achieve righteousness until the day of answer.

Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

2 John 9Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.”

Judgment on Persistent Unfaithfulness: Ezekiel was especially commissioned to impress upon the individual and personal aspects of leaving idolatry (worldliness – Colossians 3:5), and to return to God. Ezekiel would stress the accountability each would have to God (see: Ezekiel 14:12-14).

Likewise, the Gospel of Jesus Christ was likewise given to impress upon the individual the personal aspect of leaving worldliness, and returning to God through Him.

Acts 26:18to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’”

The Gospel also stresses the accountability each will have to God! in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:8

He Has Spoken, Will You Hear?

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