Jottings – Christ, Not Politics, is the Answer

Ezekiel 17

Commenting on Ezekiel 17:22-24 ~

 

Politics always proves to be a washout. Only the return of Christ offers any hope to this sin-drugged world.

 

MacDonald, William. Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. Ed. Arthur Farstad. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995. Print.

 

 

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Jottings – More Difficult to Master Than a Foreign Language

“Ezekiel


Commenting on Ezekiel 3:4-11 ~

 

Strange languages are more easily mastered than the spiritual hindrance of unbelieving hearts.

 

Feinberg, Charles Lee. The Prophecy of Ezekiel: The Glory of the Lord. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2003. 27. Print.

 

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Jottings – One Thing All True Prophets Have Never Done

“Future


Commenting on Ezekiel 3:1-3 ~

 

No true prophet ever chose his own message.

 

Feinberg, Charles Lee. The Prophecy of Ezekiel: The Glory of the Lord. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2003. 27. Print.

 

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Jottings – All Movements Among Men are Under Divine Control

“Future


Commenting on Ezekiel 1:15-21 ~

 

And there are wheels within wheels, so arranged that we cannot follow their intricacies. But we see them everywhere, different principles working at one and the same time, in the world, in politics, in the church, in all phases of human society. So true is this that the mind becomes bewildered trying to keep all the different movements in mind, until we are tempted to think that all is utter confusion, and there is neither order nor sanity in the universe. But the spirit of the living creature is in the wheels and all are controlled by a higher power than the merely human, or blind chance, or what men call fate. Moreover, there are eyes in the wheels, and these speak of intelligence and careful discernment and discrimination. “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good” (Prov. 15:3); and, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him” (2 Chron. 16:9). Those eyes are ever over the righteous, and His ear is open to their cry (Ps. 34:15). And so as the wheels move on, though so high that we are unable to comprehend fully what God is doing, we may rest in this precious truth, that nothing moves but at His command or by His permission. In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God’s long toleration of evils—His apparent indifference to the cruelties practised against His people and the wicked behavior of those who seemed to triumph for a time while the righteous suffered in silence—will all be made clear, and we shall see that though the wheels were high and the mysteries of the divine government beyond our present ability to comprehend, yet all were under His control who was working according to plan in a way that puny man little realized. The wheels have never been separated from the living creatures. Nothing is left to chance. All movements among men are under divine control, and even Satan can act only as God gives permission, as we see in the account of His dealings with the patriarch Job.

 

Ironside, H. A. Expository Notes on Ezekiel, the Prophet. Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1949. Print.

 

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Jottings – Comforting Lies or Cleansing Truth?

“Future

Commenting on Ezekiel 3:4-27 ~

 

The human heart would rather hear lies that bring comfort than truths that bring conviction and cleansing.

 

Wiersbe, Warren W. Be Reverent. Colorado Springs, CO: Chariot Victor/Cook Communications, 2000. Print. “Be” Commentary Series.

 

 

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Eating the Book

 


Editorial Note: This article first appeared in the magazine The Christian’s Friend and Instructor Volume 24, 1897 Edition. I found this little article to be of such a great help in my present study of the book of Ezekiel I decided to reproduce it here in its entirety for your benefit. While the text below is original, I have added formatting for readability and emphasized portions I found of particular importance. The Christian’s Friend and Instructor is available in Kindle format here and at STEM Publishing here.


 

Ezekiel 3
Revelation 10

Both Ezekiel and John were commanded to eat the book which contained the subjects of their future testimonies; and every servant who seeks the grace of bearing testimony for Christ in this world, whether amongst His people, or before the world, will do well to weigh the significance of that which was enjoined. One difference, however, has to be noted. In Ezekiel’s case we are told that when he ate the book, it was in his mouth as honey for sweetness; and also in John’s, but it is added that as soon as he had eaten, his belly was bitter. This difference probably vanishes when the exact language in connection with Ezekiel is considered. He was told to cause his belly to eat, and to fill his bowels with the roll given to him; but he only lets us know the effects of its taste in his mouth. In the combination of the two cases three things are clearly indicated – eating, digesting, and the effect of digesting.

 


Eating the Book



 

By eating, taking the act in its scriptural meaning, we understand that the Word was to be appropriated. These prophets were to make the messages they were commissioned to deliver their own. The Bible – widening the application – is not a book of information to be gleaned, and then to be repeated, but is the voice of God to the soul that reads it, and thus to be heard for oneself before what is heard can be rightly communicated. Thus a well-known servant of the Lord once said that he never read a chapter in the Bible with a view to speaking; and, when he was asked why he read it, he replied that it was for his own profit and edification. In other words, his habit was to eat and to digest the Word before he preached it. We may all learn the lesson, especially when there is such a widespread temptation on every hand to repeat what we have heard before we have appropriated it for ourselves. If, indeed, Ezekiel and John may be taken as examples (and others might be added), we are not qualified to be the living channels of divine truth until we have made it our own.

 


Digesting the Book



 

Even eating or appropriating is not sufficient; there is also to be the digesting of what we have appropriated. There cannot be a doubt that in John 6 eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of man include this, because there is manifestly there the assimilation to the death on which we feed. Most of us know from our own experience that the process of digesting the truth we have really received is often a slow operation; and also that the truth is never effective in us, or through us, until it has been digested. There is a great distinction therefore between the two things mentioned in Ezekiel, having the roll in his mouth and enjoying its sweetness, and eating it with his belly, and filling his bowels with it. For the latter we need to be alone in the presence of God, and to learn there that His Word is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. It is then that the mind of God is really communicated; and, inwardly appropriated, it so molds and controls us, that we are morally fashioned according to the revelation made to our souls.

 


The Effect of Digesting the Book



 

But in connection with this there will be the effect mentioned in the case of John. That which was sweet in his mouth was bitter in his belly. This should be easily understood by every spiritual believer. The opening out of some new truth to the soul, the perception of its character and beauty, is ever a delightful experience; but when it is accepted in the power of the Spirit it gradually brings death in upon all that we are, and then it becomes “bitter” as it discovers to us the real nature of many things which we had hitherto cherished, and, in separating us from them, produces in us a growing conformity to Christ. If it be true, as every Christian knows it is, that Christ Himself had to pass through death to secure the eternal blessing of His people, it is also true that every one of His own must also go through death in order to enjoy what He has secured. This will be acknowledged by all in regard to the future; but the important point is that it is possible for us to anticipate the joys of heaven now if we are willing to die morally, and to enter upon our true place of association with a risen Christ. This, however, must be a “bitter” experience naturally.

It might seem to some that the words of Jeremiah are in conflict with what has been said. He says, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy name, O Lord God of hosts.” (Jeremiah 15:16.) The context, however, shows that he looks back to the time when, as John, he ate the book and found it as sweet as honey in his mouth; for the supplicating cry which he raises betrays the exceeding bitterness of his soul arising from the effect of the words which at first had filled him with rejoicing. On the one hand, he was surrounded with persecutors, and he had to suffer rebuke for the sake of Him who had commissioned him to speak to His people; and, on the other, he was made to feel that the Lord’s hand was upon him, as he cried, “Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuseth to be healed? Wilt Thou be altogether unto me as a liar, and as waters that fail?” Here, therefore, as also in the other instances, we find the same unvarying order – eating, digesting, and bitterness; and we may thus conclude that this will ever be the order in every similar case. If so, there are several important lessons to be learned from the examples cited, which we shall do well to consider.

  • The first is, that we are never qualified to be witnesses until we have gone through the processes indicated. As it was not enough either for Ezekiel or John to hear, or even to understand the divine message they received, so it must not be sufficient for us to be attracted by the beauty of new teachings, and to find them sweeter than honey to our taste; but we must be content to wait until the truth has worked its way into our innermost being, so that, having thus received the testimony, we are enabled from our own experience to set to our seal that God is true. There are two infallible marks of the witness who has eaten, digested, and found the bitterness of the truth in its self-application. The first is humility. Death works in him, while life flows out through his testimony towards others. (2 Corinthians 4:12.) Self, indeed, is practically set aside, as held under the cross; and “the life of Jesus” has then its free and unimpeded course through the vessel.
  • The second is love. In proportion as death (” bitterness”) works in us, the divine nature is in activity; and God is love. Hence the apostle says, after speaking of the gifts which God has set in the assembly, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity [love], I am become as a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”

 


The Lip and the Life



 

But there are lessons for all believers, inasmuch as all are witnesses in their own circles, if not in a public way. Let us then all learn that we cannot study the Bible, or writings upon the Scriptures, or printed ministry, in the way that human subjects are studied. Until what we read or hear is made good in and verified by the soul, we do not really possess it. There are only two channels of testimony – the lip and the life, and the lip should be but the expression of what has first been produced in the life. Thus Paul, after speaking of the gospel which he had preached among the Thessalonians, says: “Ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.” This, then, is what we should all desire, intense reality, to be possessed and controlled by the truth we profess to hold, and thus to shun the use of phrases and sentences which we have never eaten, digested, and found true in our souls.

 

 

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Jottings – A View of the Holiness and Majesty of Our God

“Jottings“

Commenting on Ezekiel’s vision of the Glory of the Lord in Ezekiel 1:4-28:

 

When the average reader of the Scripture comes to a passage such as Ezekiel 1, he sometimes may conceive that the matters under consideration are far removed from his life and service. But the opposite is true. Just as Ezekiel was a faithful messenger for God, warning of judgement for the unbelieving, and assuring of blessing for the believing, so we today have the unparalleled privilege to call men to the truth in Christ the Lord. If we have ever had a view of the holiness and majesty of our God, how can we fail to herald His message of urgency to the lost! If we are faithful, He has promised to call forth a remnant from all peoples. May God grant this fulfillment to be realized in our lives.

 
—————————

Feinberg, Charles Lee. The Prophecy of Ezekiel: The Glory of the Lord. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2003. 21. Print.

 

 

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Jottings – The Secret to Effective Ministry

“Jottings“

Commenting on Ezekiel 1:4-28:

 

The foundation for an effective ministry is understanding who God is. If we have a concept of the awesome holiness of God, we will see ourselves and others in a true light– as sinful people– and this will have a profound effect on our ministry.

 
—————————

Enns, Paul P. Ezekiel. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 1998. 8. Print. Shepherd’s Notes.

 

 

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Jottings – False Doctrine

Jottings Pencil Red

Commenting on Jeremiah 31:29-30 & Ezekiel 18:2-4 “Nothing can be more disastrous in its effect upon men than a false doctrine; that is, a misinterpretation of what God has said to men, resulting as it must in a false conception of God and of man’s relation to Him.”

 

G. Campbell Morgan. Westminster Pulpit, Vol. I. Sermon 59 – Jeremiah 31:29-30; Ezekiel 18:2-4 Sour Grapes. Originally published 1915. Digital edition.

 

 

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Audio: The Temple – Today & Beyond: Ezekiel’s Temple

 

The core of [this] study is the great spiritual truth that the God of Heaven chooses to make His dwelling, His home, in the midst of the people He has redeemed by grace. God does not live in splendid isolation– but lives in us and among us. It is the purpose of God to pull out of the world a people redeemed and called by His name and make His home among the people.

~~Thomas Schetelich. (February 20, 2011). The Temple – Today & Beyond: Ezekiel’s Temple. Sermon presented at Forge Road Bible Chapel, Perry Hall, MD. 12:12 minute mark.

 

This is the ninth and final message tracing the history of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem entitled ‘The Temple: The Biography of a Place.’

This series of messages, along with their accompanying PowerPoint slides, were originally presented by Brother Tom Schetelich at the Forge Road Bible Chapel of Perry Hall, MD in late 2010 and early 2011.

 

 

The Temple – Today & Beyond: Ezekiel's Temple from DigitalSojourner

 

Editor’s Note: I would like to express my appreciation to brother Tom for sharing this series of messages with Digital Sojourner. Thank you brother! ~~Scott

 


The Temple: The Biography of a Place
Series Directory

Part 1 The Temple: Choosing the Place
Part 2 The Temple: David Prepares the Materials
Part 3 The Temple: Solomon’s Dedication
Part 4 The Temple: Ahaz and Hezekiah
Part 5 The Temple: The Glory Departs
Part 6 The Temple: Haggai and the Second Temple
Part 7 The Temple: Herod’s Temple
Part 8 The Temple: Jesus at the Temple
Part 9 The Temple: Today & Beyond: Ezekiel’s Temple

 

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