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Can Jesus Christ be found in the book of Ezekiel? Find out with hosts Tim Moore and Nathan Jones on the television program, Christ in Prophecy!
Air Date: July 31, 2022
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Key Verse Commentary
Ezekiel – “Dead Bones Live”
Try to envision the most unlikely occurrence you can imagine. Beyond the realm of science fiction or utopian fantasy. An outcome violating the laws of nature that have proven so unchangeably consistent.
In our modern era, imaginative minds can create talking animals and singing vegetables and space-traveling toys—and project them on the big screen in such lifelike presentations that they become recognizable characters. But in the ancient world, such feats were beyond human comprehension. Some concepts are so unimaginable that modern man still grapples with historical miracles.
God presented the prophet Ezekiel with just such an imponderable situation. Leading Ezekiel to a valley filled with dry bones, God asked, “Can these bones live?” Any sane, educated person would have responded, “No!” With two engineering degrees and extensive exposure to modern medical science, my own response would have been, “No, of course not, Lord.”
Ezekiel was much wiser in his contemplated response. I don’t think Ezekiel thought for a moment that it was humanly possible—or even conceivable—that those dry bones could become alive again. However, he realized that he was engaged in a conversation with God, and with God “all things are possible” (Mark 10:27). That is not to become entangled in the philosophical foolishness of suggesting that God could violate His own immutable logic or contradict His perfect holiness as expressed in His omniscient will. But God is not a man that He should be limited in His power.
Ezekiel understood that greater truth from firsthand experience, which is why he responded, “Oh Lord, You know.”
What a statement of confident faith. In that simple answer, Ezekiel demonstrated that he did not merely lean on his own understanding. Instead he trusted completely in the God who spoke the entire universe into existence—and promised to work all things together for good and His own glory.
The vision Ezekiel saw so long is being fulfilled before our eyes. God brought Israel’s sons and daughters out of their figurative grave to a new life following the Holocaust. He is continuing to bring them back to their own Promised Land. He also proved His power over death in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead—the first-fruits of all who go down to the grave with the blessed hope of resurrection in glorified bodies to eternal life.
Key Verse: Ezekiel 18:30-32 “For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord, “Therefore, repent and live.”
Explanation: Some people have the misguided impression that the God of the Old Testament was vindictive and petulant—given to smiting people for minor infractions without any glimmer of mercy; while the God of the New Testament reflects only love and grace—and certainly would not hurt a fly.
Dr. Reagan was once scheduled for a radio interview. When the host inquired about a comment he made regarding the wrath of God, Dr. Reagan responded from a biblically sound perspective—only to find himself cut off and the interview canceled. The host expressed shock that a modern Christian could speak of wrath, because, he insisted, his God “would not hurt a fly.” Such foolishness makes a mockery of Jesus’ repeated warnings about God’s wrath and the horror of hell. Moreover, it negates John the Baptist’s assertion that every person alive (and dead, for that matter) is under either the grace of God or the wrath of God (John 3:36).
There is no change in God’s character from the Old to the New Testament. Even His pronouncements of judgment and His outpouring of wrath—manifestations as they are of His holiness and justice—have as a key motivation the goal of motivating people to repent. Anyone who turns from their sin and embraces God’s mercy and grace is saved. How can they access such benevolence? Through the only Way designed by God Himself: His only Son, Jesus Christ.
Key Verse: Ezekiel 34:11, 15, 22-23 For thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out… I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest,” declares the Lord God. …I will deliver My flock, and they will no longer be a prey; and I will judge between one sheep and another. Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them; he will feed them himself and be their shepherd.”
Explanation: Some undiscerning skeptics like to claim that the Gospel is a New Testament invention. As discussed above, they cannot fathom that the same God revealed in the Old Testament could manifest love and mercy. But these verses outline the Gospel in a dramatic word picture.
Just as sheep are not capable of protecting and preserving themselves, we are not capable of securing salvation for ourselves. We require a Savior. In our sins, we are not even aware of the urgency of our predicament. But God’s great love is demonstrated in this fact: “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Later, John would write, “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God” (1 John 3:1). Stuart Townend’ beautiful hymn How Deep the Father’s Love for Us captures the wonder of God’s amazing grace while referring to this wonderful truth.
Ezekiel 34:22-23 also contains a clear foreshadowing of two glorious events in God’s prophesied history of the world. There will come a moment when Christ will deliver His flock. We refer to that event as the Rapture, because the Church (what the Bible calls the Bride of Christ) will be caught up, snatched away, and transformed in the twinkling of an eye to meet Jesus in the air. Then, at His Second Coming, Jesus will reign as king and judge, and He will provide for our every need.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ was not God’s Plan B. It was His plan from the foundation of the earth to bring His sheep to salvation. In fact, it is not only the dead bones of Israel that can become alive again. Every person who trusts in Jesus Christ is spiritually raised from the dead—brought to new life in Christ (Romans 6:4 and 2 Corinthians 5:17).
Jesus built on this theme of Shepherd and sheep (John 10:7-18). He is the good shepherd. He has sought other sheep that were not within the Jewish sheep-hold and made them into one flock. And, He offers life in everlasting abundance.
“Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow—blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside. Great is His faithfulness!”
Key Verse: Ezekiel 48:35 …and the name of the city from that day shall be, “The LORD is there.”
Explanation: In Hebrew, “The LORD is there” is Yahweh Shammah. This is a Messianic promise because it points to the glorious day when Jesus will dwell among His people once again—reigning from the throne of His father, David.
Jeremiah spoke of the coming Messiah as “a righteous Branch” who would “reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land” (Jeremiah 5). In verse 6, Jeremiah describes how Judah will be saved, Israel will dwell securely, and we will praise our Messiah as “The LORD our righteousness” (Yahweh Tsidkenu).
We seldom consider the meaning of a name in English. In Hebrew, names convey significant information. The name God proclaimed to Moses on Mount Sinai spoke of His own compassion and mercy and truth, but also related His righteous justice and holiness (Exodus 34:6-7). Moses was overwhelmed by the magnitude of God’s very name, and “made haste to bow low toward the earth and worship” (Exodus 34:8).
In English, even Yahweh Shammah conveys a sense of distance or separation—since God will be there. But the reality is that our great God and Savior, in the fullness of His glory as revealed in the person of Jesus Christ, will dwell here upon the earth. He will reign from Jerusalem and all the nations will come to worship Him there. And we, in our glorified bodies, will reign alongside Him.
In the series of passages we discussed on this episode of Christ in Prophecy, Ezekiel saw the glory of the Lord departing the temple and rising from the Mount of Olives. Eli’s daughter-in-law understood the calamity that represented when she named her own son Ichabod—“the glory has departed Israel” (1 Samuel 4:21-22). Ezekiel saw God’s Holy Presence depart due to Israel’s sin and rebellion. But the prophet also foretold the day when the glory of the Lord would return—by way of the Mount of Olives, the Eastern Gate, and Mount Zion itself.
The Apostle John exulted, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). That same Jesus who changed the world when He came to dwell among men over 2,000 years ago is coming again soon. His glory will fill the earth for all to see. Are you ready?
Tim Moore: Welcome to Christ in Prophecy and our series on Jesus in the Old Testament. Nathan and I have arrived at a book that we have been excited to present to you for some time, that being Ezekiel. Nathan, what do we have to look forward to in Ezekiel.
Nathan Jones: Oh, my goodness. This Jesus in the Old Testament series has been fantastic. I loved finding the Christophanies, and the typologies that point to Jesus, or are actual physical manifestations of Jesus. Well, we are finally in Ezekiel and we get one of the most blatant, right out Christophany right in the beginning. I know we should probably jump in and do the background of the book, but let me just read this.
Tim Moore: Please do.
Nathan Jones: Because you get excited and I get excited. So, you go to chapter 8 in Ezekiel, verse 2 says, “Then I looked, and there was a likeness, like the appearance of fire—from the appearance of His waist and downward, fire; and from His waist and upward, like the appearance of brightness, like the color of amber.” And He orders these angels to go out and do things. Now, you jump to Revelation 1 and you read that same description, and right there that is Jesus Christ. We are reading about Jesus Christ giving a prophecy directly to Ezekiel. Now, poor Ezekiel lived in a time period after centuries of the Jewish people disobeying God. He finally said, alright we are going to fulfill Moses’ prophecy, it is time to exile you. So, at 25-years old Ezekiel is a young man, it is about 600 BC. And he and the Jewish people from Jerusalem, it was the first exile out, he was one of the first. And so, five years later, he is 30-years old and he’s sitting by in this foreign land, and he is bemoaning the fact that the Jewish people are exiled out of the land. And he gets a vision from angels that say, okay, you are now going to a prophet. Which is interesting because at 30-years old Ezekiel would be an actual prophet. So, his ministry time period is 593-565 BC and that is the context for where we are at.
Tim Moore: Well, and we know that Ezekiel was actually a priest. He was a priest by his lineage, but he is there among the exiles. And his name itself has meaning, like most Hebrew names, and quite frankly many of our names, our parents tried to give us a name of meaning, but Ezekiel means God is strong. And so, even as he is in exile, even though he is trying to serve as a priest, we don’t know exactly what role that would have been during the exile, but God is still ministering through him, and his name testifies to God is our strength. I love that fact even about him, and certainly he does point to the Lord throughout his prophecies, but Jesus is the one who brings revelation, just as He did, like you said to the Apostle John.
Nathan Jones: And it is a fun name Ezekiel Ben Buzi, or Buzi, he was from the priestly line of Zadok. So, here is a priest who has no temple to be a priest in. And so, God calls him then instead to be a prophet and bring them a message. Maybe we can cover a little bit about how he was a prophet because it is neat.
Tim Moore: Yes.
Nathan Jones: There are three types of prophets that you can read in the Bible, some had overlapping, but we know the writing ones because they have actually written stuff like Ezekiel did for instance, a number of the Minor Prophets, Daniel. But then we also have the verbal prophets like Elijah and Elisha who didn’t write anything but they were recorded what they did, and their prophecies last until today. But the fun ones are the acting prophets.
Tim Moore: Oh, yes.
Nathan Jones: The acting prophets, God says, okay, you need to physically do something, and usually it was quite humiliating and you need to do this. So, for instance Ezekiel builds this little model of Jerusalem, which you can see the model of Jerusalem in Jerusalem.
Tim Moore: Yes, you can.
Nathan Jones: It probably wasn’t that fancy. And he did this little, he was like a kid playing and having war in front of it. And then he also had to cut up the hair of his beard and showed that only a remnant would be left. Or he tied himself up and laid on one side to indicate how long Jerusalem would be besieged. And he even had to cook food over feces to show that this is the terrible situation morally that the Jewish people were in right now. So, God caused him to have to give messages out, but by acting them they kind of had more of an impact.
Tim Moore: They certainly did. I think sometimes we know that our children can learn not just from our words, sometimes the words go above their heads, but when they see us act, and that is a good application quite frankly, just for a moment, for all of us parents and grandparents, we are always being watched by our children, our grandchildren, in how we behave, in what we do. So, we need to follow our own words, in other words model the things that we claim. And that is true with Ezekiel, he modeled what the Lord was revealing to him. But we have so many other Christophanies. Give us a few examples, Nathan, because you have hit the most dramatic one there in chapter 8, but where else do we see Christ throughout this book?
Nathan Jones: Well, let me step one back, let me give you the outline of the book.
Tim Moore: That is even better.
Nathan Jones: Because actually I believe it is a Christophany. So, chapters 1-24 of Ezekiel are the prophecies about the destruction of Jerusalem. Particularly 1-11 are prophecies about the Jewish people, they are as evil as all get out. They are idol worshippers. Matter of fact even in the Temple itself the women had put up a statue of Tammuz and worshipped it instead of the Lord. The men were worshipping other idols. So, they had turned the Temple of the Lord into a pantheon of various idols, gods, and goddesses. The people were terrible to each other. And so, what you had was this terrible situation where the people had utterly rejected God. So, God was saying, okay, again, I gave this prophecy to Moses that you if you all continually rebelled against me I would exile you out of the land, we are here, it is time to exile. So, they are leaving the land. And well, God says in chapters 25-32 that the nations around you are just as evil, you were supposed to be an influence to the nations around you, but they are just as evil. You’ve actually became like those nations, you accepted them. And we see that today as worldly, the Church keeps bringing in the world to try to be more acceptable and that is what the Jewish people did. Particularly we are talking about the nation of Judah, Israel had already been exiled out of the land. Then we get to chapter 33 and this is God’s last call, it is time for you all to repent, otherwise I am leaving the Temple, I am out of here. But the people didn’t listen to the prophets. Ezekiel’s message was pretty much unheeded. But then you get to chapters 34-48, so I wish we had so much time, hopefully we will do another series.
Tim Moore: We will do another series.
Nathan Jones: Because there is so much to cover. But 34-48 is about God’s restoration for Israel. Now, you can take this outline and look at Jesus’ First Coming Ministry. And what was His ministry? You all are evil, you need to repent, or I will leave you, but I am here now, I call you to repentance, “be my Savior” and I promise you restoration. Now, for us as the Church it is spiritual restoration, but we still have the promise of the Davidic Kingdom. And he even has prophecies about the rebuilding, of resurrecting the Jewish people, the Valley of Dry Bones where they become a nation once more. Though no heart for the Lord just yet because Isaiah 11 says they will be regathered a second time in unbelief. But then this terrible battle will happen, we have the Tribulation time period. And then chapters 40-48 describe the Millennial Kingdom, where Jesus as king rules and reigns from the seat of David over Jerusalem and over the world; and it is a time of peace, and righteousness, and justice. So, the outline of Ezekiel matches the Lord’s teachings, of course, because the Lord inspired it and told Ezekiel to teach this. So, I believe that the outline of the book of Ezekiel also acts as a Christophany.
Tim Moore: Well, I think that is beautiful insight. And as a matter of fact, I think you bring up another point about prophets in general, and Ezekiel in particular. You know we think of prophets as being people who see the future, and that is true, that is their foretelling ability.
Whether it is written form, whether it was verbal, and many of the prophets only spoke, or whether it is in actions. We see the Lord using actions. So, the Valley of Dry Bones, which is a favorite for many of us because it is so visually, and just so graphic and we can imagine those bones coming to life, that is a beautiful visual aid to make a very dramatic point about what the Lord is promising to Israel. So, all of these things are foretellings that Ezekiel is given as a prophetic word, but he is also forthtelling to his people that are contemporary to that day and age. He is calling them to repent, to return back to the Lord, and of course they do not.
I love the fact that early in his ministry when the Lord calls Ezekiel he actually says, I am going to make your head harder than flint. In chapter 3, verse 8 and 9 he says, “Behold, I have made your face as hard as their faces, your forehead just as hard as their foreheads. Like emery harder than flint I have made your forehead.” So, in other words when we are called hardheaded there is a godly reason sometimes for that, to be hardheaded, not stubborn, but at least determined to speak truth. He said, “Do not be afraid of them or be dismayed before them, though they are rebellious people.” And then in verse 11 of that same chapter, chapter 3, the Lord says, “Go to the exiles, to the sons of your people, and speak to them and tell them, whether they listen or not.” So, that is a forthtelling role that Ezekiel is calling the people to embrace truth, to understand what God is revealing. And the Lord says, they will not listen, they are rebellious people, but your responsibility is not their response, your responsibility is to communicate truth, and to testify to the living God. And I think that is so freeing for us even today. So, his message is still forthtelling to us, it is not our responsibility whether or not the world heeds our message, whether or not the world embraces the truth that we revel about the Living God, our responsibility is to testify to Him. And the Lord expects us to do that. He has commanded us to do that, to speak truth about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, other people’s response they will be held accountable for.
Nathan Jones: And it is a strong argument against what is called the Post-Millennial View that the Church will evangelize the entire world, and eventually the world will get better and better, and we will usher in a golden age of the Church. And then Jesus comes and the Church hands Him the kingdom. Well, that goes against everything that Scripture teaches, that the prophets, the Church and all for the most part the only people that will respond are those who the Lord calls His sheep, and He’s the Great Shepherd. Matter of fact another Christophany if you go to Ezekiel 34 is it talks about how Israel’s leaders are false teachers, they are false shepherds, they lead the people away from God into sin. But you go to John 10:11-12 and we learn that Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He is contrasted, He leads the people back to Himself. So, it is already pointing that, okay this is a comparison your leaders are evil and false, but you need then to go to the Good Shepherd to go in the right direction.
Likewise, Ezekiel 34:4 talks about how the people are sick, spiritually sick, and then of course physical sick from their sins. But we read in Luke 19:10 about how Jesus is the Good Physician, He heals us not only of our physical infirmities, but also of our spiritual infirmities as well. And so, there are Christophanies all throughout. There are angels all throughout too. I mean chapter 1 we get into the, and this is not a Christophany but we learn what God’s throne is like. And this blows my mind because you picture this throne that is immovable and all, but what we read in Ezekiel 1 is that the throne of God, He sits on there and it looks like a rainbow above Him, He’s energy, and underneath are these wheels within the wheels with four angels, each having four different faces, and then they carry the throne of God. But the throne doesn’t move, the universe moves, and God stays stationary. So, I wrote this book called, “The Mighty Angels of Revelation.”
Tim Moore: I know.
Nathan Jones: Which we cover the angels that are in the book of Revelation, but you have to also point to Ezekiel here, and I did sneak in Ezekiel to talk about, they are called the cherubim. And most people when they think of the cherubim they think of these cute little children, pudgy little kids with a diaper and a bow and arrow.
Tim Moore: Right.
Nathan Jones: No, these are these massive four-winged, four-faced angels that serve the Lord by carrying Him throughout the universe. And you can only find that in Ezekiel, and then again in Revelation.
Tim Moore: Well, Ezekiel gives us such, again, graphic descriptions of Heaven, of the man he encounters, we believe is a pre-incarnate Christ, a Christophany. And all the other visions that he sees are so dramatic, again, whether it is the dry bones, the Lord speaking to mountains. I love the fact he is giving a prophecy in chapter 38 to the very mountains themselves, or excuse me in chapter 36, promising that the mountains will be blessed. And so, personifying even an inanimate objects, we know that the whole world groans under the curse since the Fall, and so God is making a promise to the mountains of Israel that they will no longer be despised. But even the fact that for years they were desolate it was because God was preserving and protecting the land, even from the pagan peoples all around so that at some point, which we know is just in recent human history, the Jewish people would stream back to their Promised Land. Ezekiel is so exciting. And you are exactly right, we could spend many weeks talking about this book, and someday we will return to it to do just that.
Nathan Jones: Well, it is really fascinating too about this dry bones, which you can read about in Ezekiel 36-37, is it is a prophecy that a nation that had been dead will come back to life again. And we are living in the middle of that prophecy, Tim, to me that just blows my mind, that everything leading up to this was about Israel’s fall, Israel’s rejection, Israel’s exile, God had–a lot of Christians over the centuries think that God has wiped His hands of the Jews, but no.
Tim Moore: No.
Nathan Jones: You get to 36 and 37 and He says I am going to take this nation, like a bunch of bones lying out in a field. I’m going to put them back together, and I am going to give them a new heart. Now, we know what follows is Ezekiel chapter 38 & 39 which is the Gog Magog War.
Tim Moore: Yes.
Nathan Jones: Where Russia, and the Islamic nations like Persia, and Turkey, or Iran, Sudan, all these will come against Israel because the hook is pulling their leader, Gog down to plunder Israel. Well, we live and in just the last ten years Israel has made a major natural gas find. And already in the news you can read about constantly how Russia is starting to want, and Lebanon and these other countries, want that because Israel’s gas can compete with Russia, whose 40% of their economy is selling gas to Europe. So, we now know what the hook is. But we know the end result is when God comes down, He will, Israel can’t stand up against this massive army, God will destroy those nations. He’ll even send fire on their countries. And then the people will have a heart for God, not His Son yet, there is the Tribulation that still has to happen.
Tim Moore: Yes.
Nathan Jones: But that’s when we’ll probably, and I think we will be raptured before then, but that is when the Temple is rebuilt. So, what we see here the Temple where God left, and maybe you can tell us a little more about.
Tim Moore: I sure will.
Nathan Jones: God leaving the Temple, and then Jesus coming back. We will actually see, in the Millennial Kingdom, Jesus will be in the Temple.
Tim Moore: Well, what is amazing even now when you go to Israel you can see with your own eyes. This is why pilgrims love to go to Israel and see with their own eyes the fulfillment of some of these very prophecies, the Ezekiel 37 for example. And yet, to many Jewish people who are regathered to Israel, they don’t get it. They don’t understand that they are a living fulfillment of Bible prophecy. I’ve even testified myself; I was there when Dr. Reagan would testify at the Israel Hall of Independence where David Ben Gurion declared the modern state of Israel to come to life in fulfillment of these prophecies. And we have given presentations, and even the museum guide would say, “I had no idea of the Scriptural or Biblical implications of even my own nation’s existence.” And they are the ones offering people a tour of the museum, so there is just a blindness. When that war occurs, the Ezekiel 38 War, you are exactly right people will recognize the miraculous nature of that defeat of Israel’s enemies, and yet they still will not be ready to embrace Christ.
You know, Nathan we have a tremendous product that we have provided in the past, a DVD by Dr. Reagan on the Wars of the End Times. And so, I would just encourage if anybody wants to dive deep regarding the wars of the end times that you would get this DVD. That is going to be our special offer for today, because we do not have time dive into the wars themselves. But it is a fascinating study, and I will promise that at some point down the road we will return to this topic and go more methodically through the various wars that will happen in the end times.
But for today I do want to share because you mentioned the glory leaving the Temple. Ezekiel describes in heartbreaking detail. And he is a prophet so he is giving a broad overview. But I just want to bring out some of the passages that highlight this glory leaving the Temple, and then prophetic promise of the glory returning.
Nathan Jones: Excellent, because it is key to the book of Ezekiel.
Tim Moore: It really is key. So, if you go to Ezekiel chapter 9 beginning in verse 3, Ezekiel has been brought to see the city. He has witnessed the slaughter. As a matter of fact, he sees this man as you described already in the beginning of chapter 8. But verse 3 of chapter 9 he says, “Then the glory of the God of Israel went up from the cherub on which it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed in linen at whose loins was the writing case.” So, in other words, the glory of God that was residing on the Ark of the Covenant, between those two golden angels on the Mercy Seat, the lid, the glory went from that place to the threshold of the Temple. So, he is beginning to leave even the Holy of Holies in Ezekiel’s vision.
Then I’ll skip down to chapter 10:4-5, he says, “Then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub to the threshold of the temple, and the temple was filled with the cloud, and the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of the Lord.” Just like when He came for the first time as described further back in the Old Testament when the Glory of the Lord filled the Temple for the first time. Then it says, “Moreover, the sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard as far as the outer court, like the voice of God Almighty when He speaks.” Again, He is getting ready to move so the cherubim are at work, their wings are fluttering, and He is leaving going to the threshold.
Then in verse 18 & 19, “Then the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim. When the cherubim departed, they lifted their wings and rose up from the earth in my sight with the wheels beside them;” just like you described, “and they stood still at the entrance of the east gate of the Lord’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel hovered over them.”
Then skipping down to chapter 11:22-24, it says, “Then the cherubim lifted up their wings with the wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel hovered over them. The glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood over the mountain which is east of the city.” What mountain is that? That is the Mount of Olives. So, the glory of the Lord is departing to the east. And he said, “And then Spirit lifted me up and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God to Chaldea, to the exiles. So the vision that I had seen left me.” The Glory of the Lord leaving the Mercy Seat, going to the threshold of the Temple, going to the Eastern Gate, then going to the Mount of Olives and departing. But we know that that’s not the end of the story.
You know when Suleiman heard that there was going to be a prophet coming, or this great Jewish Messiah, he ordered that that Eastern Gate be sealed up, that happened in 1536, but that is not going to stop the Lord. So, Ezekiel sees the Lord’s return in a series of verses.
If we go to chapter 44:1-3 he said, “He brought me back by way of the outer gate to the sanctuary, which faces towards the east; and it was shut. And He said to me, “This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it, for the Lord God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut. As for the prince, he shall sit in it as prince to eat bread before the Lord; he shall enter by way of the porch of the gate and shall go out by the same way.” Jesus Christ entered the Temple area and came and went in fulfillment, in pre-fulfillment of this prophetic Word. But we know that when He comes back, and I’ll just continue reading on, that He will return. Where? First to the Mount of Olives, we are promised that in Zechariah 14.
Nathan Jones: And that is east of—
Tim Moore: And that is east of Jerusalem.
Nathan Jones: Just a reversal of how He left.
Tim Moore: Just a reversal. Zechariah says in chapter 14, “Behold, a day is coming for the Lord when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. In that day His feet will stand.” Where? “On the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from the east to west to a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.” Suleiman even commanded that a cemetery, a Muslim cemetery be planted in front of the Eastern Gate so that no holy Jewish man would come through that cemetery. That is not going to stop the Lord. He will return to the Mount of Olives and then go into that Eastern Gate.
We are told in Revelation 19, John sees this vision “of the heavens opened and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen,” that’s us, “white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” I just get excited about what is about to take place.
Going back to Ezekiel chapter 43 he says, and here is the return of this glory, he said, “Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing toward the east; and behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming by the way of the east. And His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory. And it was like the appearance of the vision which I saw, like the vision which I saw when He came to destroy the city. And the visions were like the vision I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell on my face. And the glory of the Lord,” this very Shekinah Glory, “came into the house by way of the gate facing toward east. And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner courtyard; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house. Then I heard one speaking to me from the house, while a man was standing beside me. He said to me, ‘Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell with the sons of Israel forever.'”
You know David wrote about this great moment, when he in his exuberate excitement said in Psalm 24, verse 7, “Lift up your heads, O gates, And be lifted up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in! Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O gates, And lift them up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in! Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory.
So, Ezekiel has seen the Glory departing, he sees the glory returning, and we know that happens when Jesus Christ returns to reign on this earth. Praise the Lord.
Nathan Jones: Oh, hey, well said. Well, said Brother. Well, it is neat too is that what it is describing is the Millennial Kingdom, the rule and reign of Jesus Christ from this earth. And there are going to be some name changes going on. You are talking about Jesus ruling and reigning from Jerusalem, but Jerusalem is going to have its name changed.
Tim Moore: Exactly.
Nathan Jones: One of my key verses I picked was 48:35, which says that the name of Jerusalem will be changed to Yahweh Shammah which means “the Lord is there.” So, we won’t call it Jerusalem it anymore we will call it Yahweh Shammah. And Jesus, we won’t be calling Him Jesus Christ anymore, we will be calling Him Yahweh Tsidkenu “the Lord our righteousness.” So, Yahweh Tsidkenu is how we will start addressing Jesus. And it talks about how His throne, because Ezekiel spends many chapters explaining about the New Temple, and it is going to be huge, and from the throne the River of Life, kind of similar to what we see in Heaven with the Heavenly Throne, it is a shadow of that, will flow out of Jesus’ Throne, and down into the Dead Sea, and He is going to bring the Dead Sea to life. Now, you and I have been to the Dead Sea.
Tim Moore: Yes, I have.
Nathan Jones: Nothing grows in the Dead Sea. But the Bible prophesies that during the Millennial Kingdom it will have life, it will have fish, it will have fishermen, it will have bounty. And we read how back in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah that area used to be a garden, Lot wanted that land because it was so bountiful. Today it is dead. And it is a symbol of how the Lord brings life back from death.
Tim Moore: Yes.
Nathan Jones: The whole book of Ezekiel I think is pointing to that fact. My application, at least for this is the whole structure of Ezekiel says that we are fallen in sin and dead, but the Lord returns to bring back life as long as we repent and turn to Him.
Tim Moore: Amen, Brother.
Nathan Jones: It is the whole salvation message tied into 48 chapters.
Tim Moore: You know we don’t have to wait. Yes, there is going to be glorious restoration of life when Jesus reigns from the Throne of his father David on Mount Zion. But we can tap into that life right now. We can attach ourselves to the living vine, and flourish even now. Yeah, we are going to have troubles in this world, but that is not what constrains us. Just like we know many people have tribulation, little “t” but they still have great joy. You know one of my key verses is in chapter 18, verse 32, Ezekiel has described the horrors that are going to befall Israel and he says, “Repent,” this is in verse 30, “and turn away from your transgressions so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you. Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel?” And then the Lord says this, “For I have no pleasures in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord. “Therefore repent and live.” And that too is the Gospel message.
Folks, we encourage you right now. Do not delay. Do not wait. Repent and live. Put your trust in Jesus Christ. Tap into His life giving Spirit. And right now, you can have life everlasting which will fill you with joy to overflowing. You’ll be excited about the Lord’s return, just like we are. And so, throughout the book of Ezekiel we have this Gospel message. And we have visions of our soon returning King.
Nathan Jones: Amen. For my last key verse before we close I want to give this, 38:23, “Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.” Why does the Lord do all this? He wants the world to know Him as their Savior.
Tim Moore: He certainly does. And I’ll add one other, and that is in chapter 34:11, 15, 22-23. The Lord says, “I Myself will search for My sheep I will seek them out. I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest.” And in verse 22 He says, “I will deliver My flock, and they will no longer be a prey; and I will judge between one sheep and another. Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them; and he will feed them himself and be their shepherd.”
Nathan Jones: Amen.
Tim Moore: A picture, as you said already, Nathan, of Jesus Christ. Folks, we are excited about the Lord’s return, we pray you are as well. We hope you will join us again next week for Christ in Prophecy as we continue to look for Jesus in the Old Testament.
End of Program