“Hey Ezekiel, up on the wall? What do you see? Something good?”
Anyone called to be God’s watchman
wishes he didn’t have to say: yeah, good … grief!
Today we might expect the difference between good and evil to be a cavernous gap, but actually it’s becoming so blurred so that many can’t tell the difference (Isa. 5:20). It’s getting harder to stand in the gap today!
Satan deceives the whole world (Rev. 12:9) and is the unseen ruler of this world who needs to be impeached. Alas, that won’t happen until Jesus Christ removes him probably 10 days into His millennial rule on the Day of Atonement (Rev. 20:1-3). Until then, not many will heed the watchman’s warning, but we must warn anyway.
We wish we could tell them smooth things (Isa.30:10)—what they want to hear so we’d be popular and praised and sent viral on social media. “Just believe in the Lord.” Yes, but even the demons believe and tremble (James 2:19). “Just give your heart to the Lord.” Jesus said why call Me Lord, Lord, and don’t do what I say? (Luke 6:46).
“All roads lead to heaven.” Jesus said no one but Him has ever been on that road (John 3:13). People will not live in heaven or eternal hellfire after they die. People do not have an immortal soul, but as Ezekiel explains, they are a soul that will die (18:4) and eventually be resurrected. He gives the amazing truth about the Second Resurrection (Ezk. 37). Ezekiel ends his book with glorious news about the millennial temple and the Kingdom of God on earth, which has always been for the meek to inherit (Matt. 5:5).
Except for a Dallas Cowboys running back, I don’t know of anybody named Ezekiel, meaning “God is strong.” Maybe you were given a pretty good name to live up to, but then you will have to watch it that you always realize of your own self you can do nothing, but you can do all things only through Jesus Christ who strengthens you (Php. 4:13).
We will need to trust God completely
for the needed strength to confront our fellow Israelites about their rebellion. “Rebellion? What rebellion? We’re God’s people! We’re Judaeo-Christian! We have the Bible and our missionaries have circulated it around the world. We have done our best to police the world.”
The Jews around Ezekiel in captivity thought God would never allow Jerusalem or its temple to fall. Ezekiel’s commission was actually to the “House of Israel (3:1),” which he did not reach back then because the 10 tribes had been taken captive by the Assyrians about 130 years earlier.
James addressed his book to the “12 tribes scattered among the nations” (1:1). We must take Ezekiel, James, and the whole Bible really to the whole world (Matt. 24:13, 28:18-20), but especially strong to the nations of all 12 tribes of Israel which God expects to be the example to the Gentiles.
We must lift up our voices like a trumpet and tell my people their sins (Isa. 58:1).
God is going to punish for two specific major sins:
Sabbath-breaking and idolatry (Ezk. 20). Idolatry is far more than wooden figures to worship, but rather, anything that comes between us and God. Even us watchmen have to watch ourselves closely on that one and ask God to deliver us from “secret” sins (Psa. 19:12).
The 4th Commandment has always been “the test commandment” (Exo. 16). Most societies appreciate the good in the other Nine, but don’t want to submit to that 4th one! Most who submit themselves to keeping God’s Sabbath will then see that He also expects us to keep “sabbaths“—plural (Ezk. 20:12)!—His Annual Sabbaths (Lev. 23)—and why wouldn’t He? We have to keep these annual Holy Days to understand His awesome plan of salvation.
What’s the big deal? Ezekiel in the end-time has to give the House of Israel the numbing shocking news that they are going to suffer famine and disease leading to cannibalism (Lev. 26:29), conquest by military invasion, and then national captivity (Ezk. 5:1-4). Her cities will be destroyed (6:6), you’d have to think by nuclear means. The curses of Lev. 26 and Deut. 28 are coming with increasing intensity. Amos 5:3 and Isa. 6:11-13 add that only 1/10 will be left—tithing is consistently important to God. Most don’t see God’s hand in giving victories in the past, thinking it was by our military and economic might. Who more than the modern English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and others think they are invincible. As the old saying goes, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. The Gentiles are eager for their “time.”
Christ’s disciples today, committed to fulfilling Ezekiel’s commission in the end-time, will need God to make us properly tough even as we “sigh and cry for all the abominations done in Israel” (9:6). Honestly, who can sigh and cry that much.
Christianity isn’t for wimps
Will you be strong for God to use? Are you a watchman willing to “stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it” (Ezk. 22:30)?