Would You Stand Back and Watch the Glory Depart?

Today ‘s selected reading continues in the Old Testament prophetic book of Ezekiel the priest which he began receiving in the land of the Chaldeans by the river of Chebar. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters ten through thirteen of this Old Testament book. When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the prophet Ezekiel continuing to be present within the visions of God which began in the eighth chapter. If you journey back to the eighth chapter of this prophetic book you will find it recorded how in the sixth year, in the sixth month, and on the fifth day of the month while Ezekiel sat in his house, and while the elders of Judah sat before him, the hand of the LORD fell upon him there. What’s more, is that not only did the hand of the LORD fall upon Ezekiel there in that place, but a likeness as the appearance of fire—from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the colour of amber—was manifested before and unto him. This appearance of an individual would stretch forth the form of a hand and would take Ezekiel by a lock of his head. Moreover, the spirit lifted Ezekiel up between the earth and the heaven, and brought him in the visions of God to Jerusalem, and to the door of the inner gate that looked toward the north. It would be there at the door of the inner gate which looked toward the north where there was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoked unto jealousy. It would be there the glory of the God of Israel appeared before the prophet Ezekiel as it had according to the vision which he saw in the plain. It’s actually quite unique and interesting when you think about and consider this particular reality, for this would be the second time Ezekiel would experience the manifestation of the glory of the LORD, and it would be the second time we find it written concerning “the vision of God.” It would be in the vision of God Ezekiel would be brought unto Jerusalem, and it would be according to the spirit which lifted Ezekiel up between the earth and heaven. In all reality, I find it absolutely remarkable and astounding to think about and consider the fact that this would be the second time within the prophetic book of Ezekiel we read of the hand of the LORD being manifested in his life, the visions of God being manifested before and unto him, and even the presence of the Spirit of the LORD. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of what took place within this passage of Scripture, for it is a direct continuation of that which we find and read in the opening chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel. In fact, I would invite you to consider the words which are found in the opening chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel, as well as the opening verses of this chapter:

“Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s captivity, the word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him. And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire” (Ezekiel 1:1-4)

“And above the firmament that was over their heads the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake” (Ezekiel 1:26-28).

“And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in mine house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the LORD God feel there upon me. Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and Freon his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the colour of amber. And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the. North; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoke the to jealousy. And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain” (Ezekiel 8:1-4).

It is actually quite remarkable and astounding when you read and consider the words which are found in both of these passages of Scripture, for what you find within them are two very powerful descriptions of the glory of the God of Israel appearing unto Ezekiel. In the first and opening chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel we find the heavens being opened unto Ezekiel and his seeing visions of God. It would be in those visions of God Ezekiel would see the glory of the LORD coming out of the north as the appearance of a great fire infolding within and upon itself, and the appearance of brightness. It would be there in the plain by the river of Chebar Ezekiel would see and witness the glory of the God of Israel as it would appear and manifest itself before him as he sat among the captives of Judah which were present there in the land of the Chaldeans. In the first and opening chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel we find Ezekiel sitting among the captives of Judah which were present in the midst of Judah, while in the eighth chapter we find Ezekiel sitting in his house, and the elders of Judah sitting there with him. If there is one thing we must recognize and understand when reading each of these passages it’s that within these visions of God Ezekiel would see and witness a tremendous manifestation of the glory of the God of Israel which would be manifested before and unto him there in the land of the Chaldeans. Although Ezekiel would be separated from the land of promise, blessing and inheritance, he would experience the heavens being opened before and unto him, and would experience the manifestation of the glory of the living God. In the first chapter, however, it would be only a manifestation of the glory of the LORD of Israel, while in the eighth chapter we find something dramatically different. It is true that in the eighth chapter we find Ezekiel being taken in visions of God unto Jerusalem, and it is true that Ezekiel would be brought by the Spirit of the LORD between heaven and earth unto Jerusalem, and unto the Temple of the LORD. It is true that Ezekiel would see and witness the glory of the LORD being manifested there in the midst of the city of Jerusalem at the Temple of the LORD, however, there would be a direct contrast between the glory of the LORD God of Israel Ezekiel would see there at the Temple and the tremendous wickedness which would be seen immediately after. Ezekiel would be brought up in visions of God unto the city of Jerusalem, and Ezekiel would see the glory of the LORD God of Israel there at the Temple, however, in direct relation to the manifestation of the glory of the God of Israel we find Ezekiel seeing there at the door of the inner gate of the sanctuary the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoked unto Jealousy.

We dare not and must not miss the tremendous significance of what is found in the eighth and ninth chapters of the prophetic book of Ezekiel, for what we find and read within these chapters is something that is absolutely astounding and remarkable. It is in the eighth chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel we find a powerful contrast between the glory of the God of Israel in the midst of the city of Jerusalem at the Temple and sanctuary of the LORD, while it is in the ninth chapter we find six men who were called by the LORD to come forth in order that they might fulfill and accomplish something very specific and very powerful in the midst of the city. In the eighth chapter of this prophetic book we find the prophet Ezekiel being brought further and deeper in the visions of God into the Temple of the LORD which was present in Jerusalem, for at this time the Temple had not been destroyed. How absolutely and incredibly powerful it is to think about and consider the fact that it would be there in visions of God which would bring Ezekiel unto the city of Jerusalem—and not only which would bring Ezekiel unto Jerusalem, but which would also bring him not the Temple and sanctuary of the LORD—the LORD would show him the tremendous and great wickedness that was found in the midst of the sanctuary. It is truly something incredible to think about the fact that in the first chapter of this prophetic book we find the heavens being opened unto Ezekiel and his seeing visions of God. It would be in the midst of those visions of God Ezekiel would see the glory of the LORD which would come out of the north as a fire infolding itself, and which would have the appearance as of brightness. It would be there in the plain by the river of Chebar Ezekiel would see and behold the glory of the living God in full display and full color, as he would behold with his eyes the awesome and tremendous manifestation of the glory of the LORD. What’s more, is Ezekiel would not only see the glory of the LORD God of Israel, but Ezekiel would also see the four living creatures which would be spoken of again in the fourth and fifth chapters of the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, as well as the throne of the living God of Israel. It would be in the eighth chapter, however, we would find it written how Ezekiel would see in visions of God the glory of the living God—yet not only would Ezekiel see the glory of the LORD there at the Temple and sanctuary which would be in the midst of Jerusalem at the Temple and sanctuary, but Ezekiel would also see a tremendous amount of wickedness which would be found in the midst of the Temple and sanctuary of the LORD. Consider if you will the words which are found within this passage of Scripture beginning to read with and from the fifth verse of this chapter:

“Then said He unto me, Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the north. So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the north, and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry. He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, sees thou what they do? Even the great abominations that the house of Israel commit tenth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? But turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations. And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall. Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had dogged in the wall, behold a door. And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here. So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, poutrayed upon the wall round about. And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up. Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? For they say, The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth. He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do. Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’s house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. Then said he unto me, hast thou seen this, O son of man? Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these. And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD’s house, and behold, at the door of the Temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east. Then he said unto me, hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? For they have filled the land with violence, and returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them” (Ezekiel 8:5-18)

It is absolutely necessary that we read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture, for the words we find in this passage of Scripture provide us with a direct contrast between the glory of the God of Israel, the seat of the image of jealousy which was present at the court and sanctuary of the LORD, and all the evil and wickedness which would be present in the midst of the sanctuary. You cannot read the eighth chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel and not encounter and come face to face with the incredible vision which Ezekiel was given according to the glory of the LORD which would appear before and unto him. In the first and opening chapter of this prophetic book we find Ezekiel seeing in visions of God the glory of the LORD coming out of the north, as well as the very throne of the living God which would come forth out of the north. In the first chapter we find solely and simply a vision of the divine glory of the living God, while in the eighth chapter that manifestation and that vision of the glory of the LORD would be in direct contrast to the wickedness which would be present in the midst of the sanctuary. The spirit brought Ezekiel in visions of God and lifted up between earth and heaven that he might be brought unto the city of Jerusalem—and not only brought unto the city of Jerusalem, but brought unto the Temple and sanctuary of the LORD. Oh, I can’t help but wonder what this would have been like for Ezekiel having been a priest. We know from the opening verses of this particular prophetic book that Ezekiel was a priest, and how he was among those carried away captive by the LORD unto the land of the Chaldeans. Scripture doesn’t give us any other details concerning Ezekiel and his ministry and service as a priest, and we aren’t given any indication of his service before and unto the LORD in the midst of the Temple and sanctuary of the LORD. Did Ezekiel serve before the LORD in the Temple of the LORD before he was carried away captive into the land of the Chaldeans? Was it even possible for the priests of the LORD to fulfill and carry out their ministry in the Temple and sanctuary of the LORD with all the wickedness and abominations that were found in the midst of the inner and outer courts of the sanctuary? I can’t help but wonder what it must have been like for Ezekiel to be caught up in visions of God and brought unto the Temple and sanctuary in the midst of Jerusalem, and there at the Temple and sanctuary witnessing and beholding the tremendous atrocities that were committed within the LORD’s house.

SOMETIMES SEEING THE GLORY REQUIRES YOU TO BEHOLD WICKEDNESS! If there is one thing I can’t help but be absolutely gripped and astounding by when reading the words found in the eighth chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel it’s that although and despite the fact the LORD God of Israel showed unto Ezekiel His glory one more time, the manifestation and revelation of that glory would essentially position Ezekiel to behold and witness the great iniquity and idolatry that was committed in the house of the LORD and in the sanctuary. We dare not, we cannot and must not miss and lose sight of this particular reality, for when the LORD brought Ezekiel through His sanctuary—not only did He ask this prophet if he had seen what the LORD had showed unto him, but the LORD also declared unto him that he would see greater abominations and greater wickedness than previously seen. How absolutely and incredibly intriguing it is to think about the fact that in these visions of God there would almost be progressive revelations and progressive visions of the wickedness that was found in the midst of the sanctuary and courts of the LORD. This would be in spite of the fact that only a short while earlier Josiah the son of Amon would completely cleanse the Temple and sanctuary of the LORD, and would have the priests bring out all the abominations and wickedness that was found in the midst of it. When Josiah cleansed the land he deliberately and intentionally chose to begin in and with the house of the LORD, and would choose to cleanse the sanctuary which was that place the LORD placed His great and holy name. We dare not miss the awesome importance of this reality, for to do so would be to miss out on the reality that when the LORD brought Ezekiel unto the city of Jerusalem, and brought Ezekiel unto the Temple and sanctuary of the LORD, He would show him different degrees of wickedness and iniquity found in the midst thereof. The prophet Ezekiel would be brought unto the city of Jerusalem according to the hand of the LORD being upon him, and according to the Spirit lifting him up between heaven and earth and bringing him there. It would be when and as the Spirit brought Ezekiel unto Jerusalem that he would be brought unto the Temple and sanctuary of the LORD, and it would be there in the midst of the Temple and sanctuary the LORD God of Israel would show and reveal unto him the tremendous filth, abominations, lewdness and wickedness that was found in the midst thereof. \

As I sit here today I can’t help but encounter and come face to face with the awesome reality that when Ezekiel experienced the hand of the LORD coming upon him, and when Ezekiel would be caught up in visions of God on this particular occasion in the sixth year of Jehoiachin’s captivity and exile, he would indeed and would in fact see and witness the glory of the LORD, however, that glory would carry with it the responsibility of beholding and looking upon the wickedness that was being committed in the sanctuary in Jerusalem. In the city of the great King, and in the house where the LORD had placed His holy name. In the visions of God which the LORD of hosts revealed unto Ezekiel the prophet—not only do we find the LORD revealing unto Ezekiel His glory once more, but directly linked to that glory was that which violated and profaned it. You cannot read the eighth chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel and not encounter and come face to face with the awesome reality that this particular revelation of the glory of the LORD would also carry with it a vision and revelation of that which the people had done to violate that glory. These visions of God would indeed allow Ezekiel to see the Temple and sanctuary of the LORD, and these visions of God would allow Ezekiel to see the glory of the LORD in the city of Jerusalem, however, those visions would bring Ezekiel to the place where he would see all the abominations and wickedness the people did in the sight of the LORD to violate His covenant and to profane His great and holy name. We would like to think that visions of God deal exclusively and primarily with manifestation of His glory, his presence, His splendor, His majesty, and the like, and yet what the eighth chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel reveals to us is that these visions of God would bring Ezekiel face to face with the tremendous reality of that which was contrary to the glory of the LORD. What’s more, is I would dare say the LORD allowed the prophet Ezekiel to see the glory of the LORD there at the sanctuary and Temple in Jerusalem, for the LORD was going to show Him that which violated and profaned that glory, and that which would drive that glory out of the Temple and sanctuary. We know for a fact that in the days of Solomon king of Israel the glory would first appear and first fill the Temple, however, what we see and witness in this passage of scripture is the living and eternal God revealing unto Ezekiel that which would cause His glory to depart from the Temple and sanctuary. In fact, as you read the latter and final verses of this passage of Scripture you will find the LORD speaking unto the prophet Ezekiel and asking him if he had seen all the great wickedness and abominations which had been committed by His people—not only to provoke Him to anger, but also to cause Him to go forth from that place.

What makes the truth that is contained in the eighth chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel so absolutely remarkable and astounding is when you think about and consider the fact that as you continue reading in these chapters you will find the narrative of those men whom Ezekiel saw go throughout the city to unleash the judgment and wrath of the LORD. If you turn and transition to the ninth chapter of this prophetic book you will find and discover the tremendous truth that there would be two distinct directives that would be completed in the midst of city of Jerusalem. ON the one hand you would find the one clothed in linen with a writer’s ink horn who would go throughout the city and put a mark on the foreheads of all those who sighed and groaned over the wickedness of the city, while the others who were there with him would go through the city and utterly slaughter all those who did not have the mark. It’s actually something worth thinking about and considering, for not only would this not be the first time the LORD would order death to go throughout the city, but it also shines a tremendous light on to what is found in the final book of the New Testament—the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ. It is in the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ you find the false prophet causing all those upon the earth to take the mark of the beast upon their foreheads or upon their hands, and anyone who did not have the mark of the beast could neither buy nor sell in the midst of the earth, and ran the risk of being killed. IN the Old Testament prophetic book of Ezekiel, however, we find the LORD marking and setting a seal upon those who groaned and sighed over the great abominations and great wickedness that would be committed in the earth. This reality of marking and sealing the people of God would in fact be seen in the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ in an additional manner, as the LORD would call for the sealing of the one-hundred and forty-four thousand of Israel—twelve thousand from each tribe. Before I present you with the words which are found in this passage of Scripture I would like to call and draw your attention to the words which are found in this final New Testament book, and the description of the sealing of the one-hundred and forty-four thousand, as well as the mark of the beast which the false prophet would make the inhabitants of the earth take:

“And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand” (Revelation 7:1-8).

“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exercise the all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might but or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six” Revelation 13:11-18).

The words and language we find written and contained within these passages of Scripture bring us face to face with the awesome reality that in the Last Days there will essentially be two distinct marks and seals which would be placed upon different individuals upon the earth. There would be the seal which would be upon the one-hundred and forty-four thousand of the nation and people of Israel—twelve thousand from each tribe—and there would be the mark which the false prophet would cause all men to take upon their right forehand or their forehead. This is actually something that is worth thinking about and considering when you take the time to think about it, for Ezekiel would essentially be a prophet the LORD would raise up during the Last Days of Jerusalem and Judah before the Babylonian army would be permitted to invade the land and carry away the final captives, break through the wall and gates of the city, and destroy the Temple of the LORD. It’s something worth considering when you think about the fact that Ezekiel would see a sealing and mark that would be instituted in the days leading up to the judgment and wrath which would come upon the city of Jerusalem, and all those who weren’t sealed, and all those who did not have the mark upon them were in a way marked for something different—marked for judgment, marked for wrath, and marked for death. In all reality, it is necessary that we recognize that there are essentially two distinct and two marks and seals found within Scripture. On the one hand there is the mark and seal of the righteous and those who walk in faithfulness and obedience to the LORD, while on the other hand there is the mark and seal of those who choose not to walk in obedience before the LORD, and those who are essentially marked for death. The mark and the seal which we read about in the ninth chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel is one that is quite astonishing and quite unique when you take the time to think about it, for the LORD instructed that one who was clothed in linen and had the writer’s ink horn in his hand to place a mark on the foreheads of all those who sighed and groaned over the abominations and wickedness that was committed in the land. Any of those who lived and dwelt in the midst of the city of Jerusalem who did not have this mark upon them were marked in an entirely different way, and would be marked for death. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the ninth chapter of this prophetic book beginning to read with and from the first verse:

“He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand. And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s ink horn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar. And the glory of the GOd of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s ink horn by his side; and the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mien hearing, GO ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city. And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah LORD God! Wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem? Then said he unto me, THe iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The LORD hath forsaken the earth, and the LORD seeth not. And as for me also, mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head. And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the ink horn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me” (Ezekiel 9:1-11).

What we find within this passage of Scripture is a powerful reality found within the Last Days of Jerusalem and Judah before the full judgment and wrath of the LORD would be poured out upon it. There is something to be said about those last and final days before the judgment and wrath of the LORD would be poured out upon Jerusalem and Judah that are truly astonishing and remarkable when you take the time to think about it, for it would be in those last days the LORD would make a powerful statement showing those who were truly His, and those who were not. In fact, I can’t help but wonder if what we find in the New Testament prophetic book of the revelation of Jesus the Christ is a powerful reenactment of what took place during the days of Ezekiel when the LORD called for the marking of all those who sighed and cried over the wickedness and abominations which were committed within the land. The living and eternal God instructed that one with the writer’s ink horn at his side to go within and throughout the city of Jerusalem and place a mark on the foreheads of those whose hearts and souls were grieved and anguished over the atrocities that were committed in the land, thus indicating and revealing the powerful truth that He had a remnant in the midst of the city whose knees would not bow to the false and strange gods and idols which were found within and throughout the land. There is not a doubt in my mind that the underlying theme and language that is found within this passage of Scripture is that of remnant, and how the LORD did in fact have a remnant of faithful men and women who deliberately and intentionally chose not to bow down and worship the strange and foreign gods which had been brought in the land. If there is one thing I find myself being absolutely awed by when reading these words, it’s that even during those days leading up to the judgment and wrath of the LORD being poured out, there were those who would not and could not bend the knee in worship and fidelity to the false and strange gods found in the midst of the city. In all reality, this reminds me of the discourage and exchange which took place between Elijah and the LORD at Horeb the mountain of God in the wilderness. Consider if you will the words which are found in the nineteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of First Kings and the tremendous dialogue and discourse that took place between the LORD and this fearful—and perhaps fatigued prophet of the LORD:

“And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and said unto him, What doest thou here, ELijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even i only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when ELijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: and Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and ELisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. YET I HAVE LEFT ME SEVEN THOUSAND IN ISRAEL, ALL THE KNEES WHICH HAVE NOT BOWED UNTO BAAL, AND EVERY MOUTH WHICH HATH NOT KISSED HIM” (1 Kings 19:9-21).

Please don’t miss the awesome reality surrounding remnant found within this encounter between the prophet Elijah and the LORD his God, for there at the entrance to the cave at Horeb in the wilderness the LORD would proclaim and declare something truly and utterly astounding to him. It would be there the LORD would correct the thinking of Elijah and would reveal unto him how He had reserved unto and for himself seven thousand in Israel—all those whose knees have not bowed down unto Baal, and every mouth which had not kissed him. It is absolutely necessary we recognize and understand the words and language found within this passage of Scripture, for it helps shine a tremendous amount of light on the fact that even in the midst of rampant and widespread wickedness, idolatry, immorality and iniquity, there are still those whose knees have not bowed down unto the strange and foreign gods of this age, and who have not kissed with their mouth, nor paid homage with their lips unto them. Even in the midst of days and times of great perverseness and abominations in the midst of the land there have always been and there will always be those whom the LORD has faithfully reserved unto and for Himself—those who refuse to bow down to the false gods and strange idols found in the midst of the land. During the days of Elijah the LORD had seven thousand in Israel who had not bowed their knee unto Baal, and who had not kissed him with their mouth, and I have to believe that this declaration was simply and solely concerning the northern kingdom of Israel. There is absolutely no mention of the southern kingdom of Judah in this passage of Scripture, and we have to believe that there were those in the southern kingdom of Judah who refused to bow down and worship the idols and images which had been set up in the midst of the land. In order to illustrate this reality even more, it is absolutely necessary that I call and draw your attention to the words found in the Old Testament book of Second Chronicles concerning the days of Jeroboam son of Nebat and Rehoboam the son of Solomon. It would be during the days of these two kings that priests, Levites, and all those who weren’t willing to serve and worship the idols Jeroboam son of Nebat had set up in the northern kingdom of Israel would leave their inheritance and possessions behind in order that they might come down unto the southern kingdom of Judah, and unto the city of Jerusalem, and ultimately unto the Temple and sanctuary of the LORD. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the eleventh chapter of the Old Testament book of Second Chronicles beginning to read with and from the fifth verse:

“And Rehoboam dwelt in Jerusalem, and built cities for defence in Judah. He built even Beth-lehem, and Etam, and Tesla, and Beth-zur, and Shock, and Adullam, and Gath, and Mareshah, and Ziph, and Adoraim, and Lachish, and Azekah, and Zorah, and Aijalon, and HEbron, which are in Judah and in Benjamin fenced cities. And he fortified the strong holds, and put captains in them, and store of virtual, and of oil and wine. And in every several city he put shields and spears, and made them exceeding strong, having Judah and Benjamin on his side. And the priests and the Levites that were in all Israel resorted to him out of all their coasts. For the Levites left their suburbs and their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem: for Jeroboam and his sons had cast them off from executing the priest’s office unto the LORD; and he ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made. And after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the LORD God of their fathers. So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong, three years: for three years they walked in the way of David and Solomon” (2 Chronicles 11:5-17).

SUCH AS SET THEIR HEARTS TO SEEK THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL CAME TO JERUSALEM, TO SACRIFICE UNTO THE LORD GOD OF THEIR FATHERS! These words are absolutely necessary to think about and consider when trying to have this conversation around remnant, for not only was there a remnant during the days of Elijah when Ahab and Jezebel ruled the land, but there was also a remnant when the nation and kingdom of Israel was first divided. It was during those early days of the divided kingdom and nation of Israel that there was a remnant of all those who set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Jerusalem who came unto Jerusalem and unto the Temple and sanctuary of the LORD that they might worship the God of their fathers. These individuals were not willing to worship at the high places, nor worship the devils, nor worship the calves which Jeroboam the son of Nebat had made, and as a direct result of this unwillingness to worship these strange and foreign gods they chose to depart from the land of Israel and journey down unto the southern kingdom of Judah, and unto the city of Jerusalem, and unto the Temple and sanctuary of the LORD that they might worship Him with their sacrifices and offerings. This is actually something worth mentioning, for the whole reason Jereoboam son of Nebat set up the golden calves in the first place was to prevent the people of Israel from having to go down unto Jerusalem to worship the LORD at the Temple, and as a direct result of their worship of the LORD—would defect unto Rehoboam the son of Solomon and turn the kingdom back over into his hands. It’s quite telling, however, to think that that which Jeroboam son of Nebat sought to prevent from happening actually happened to a certain degree and measure, as not only did the priests and Levites who dwelt in the midst of the northern kingdom of Israel abandon their inheritance and their possessions to come unto Jerusalem and unto the Temple and sanctuary, but so also did all those whose hearts were set to seek the LORD God of their fathers. What a powerful reality and concept this truly is when you think about it, for not only would there be a migration of priests and Levites who would come down unto the city of Jerusalem and unto the sanctuary of the LORD, but there would also be a remnant of those who weren’t willing to worship the golden calves which Jeroboam son of Nebat had set up, nor worship the devils he invited into the midst of the land. This concept of remnant was found during the days of golden calves, as well as during the days of Jezebel and the worship of Baal in the midst of the land.

As I sit here today I can’t help but think about and consider just how powerful this reality of remnant is, for when the LORD instructed that one clothed in linen who had a writer’s ink horn by his side to put a mark on the foreheads of all those who sighed, groaned and wept over the abominations which were committed in the land, He was essentially speaking about and speaking of the language of remnant. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this awesome reality—not only of remnant, but also of being sealed and marked by God—for what we find in the ninth chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel is a powerful statement of remnant in the midst of the southern kingdom of Judah during those last days leading up to the judgment and wrath of the LORD, as well as those who groaned, sighed and wept over the abominations which were committed in the land being sealed and marked by the living God. There would indeed and in fact be a remnant that would be present in the midst of the land of Judah during those last days, as there would undoubtedly be those who would choose not to worship the false and strange gods in the midst of the land, nor bow down and worship the idols found in the midst of the land, nor worship at the high places, the shrines and groves there in the midst of the land. What’s more, is that if you read the prophetic books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel you will find the word of the LORD revealing that those who would be carried away as captives out of the land of Judah, and out of the city of Jerusalem whom the LORD appointed to live and not die. It would Jeremiah who would see a vision of two different baskets of figs—those which were so good they could be eaten, and those which were so rotten they were only fit to be discarded. Those figs which were good represented those in the midst of the city whom the LORD would bring out of the midst of it and would allow to be carried into captivity that He might watch over and preserve them, while those which were bad would be the ones who would be given over to the famine, the pestilence and the sword. It’s important to recognize and understand that this concept of remnant not only touches those who would receive this mark upon their foreheads, but it would also touch those who would be carried away captive into the land of the Chaldeans. There is this underlying concept and notion that the carrying away captive of the people of God was this tragic and detrimental act which was committed by the living God, and yet the truth of the matter is that the LORD would bring men and women into the land of the Chaldeans in order that He might watch over, protect and preserve them. Those who would go out unto the Chaldeans would be rewarded with their lives, and would be carefully preserved and watched over by the LORD in the land of the Chaldeans. Even Jeremiah the prophet of the LORD would write a letter unto those who were captive in the land of the Chaldeans and instruct them to build houses and dwell in them, to plant vineyards and partake of them, and to multiply in the land that they might increase and not diminish.

I have to admit that I find this reality of remnant found within ninth chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel truly remarkable and astonishing when you take the time to think about and consider it, for the remnant which would be found in the midst of the land would be those who groaned, sighed and cried over the abominations and wickedness in the land. Those who wept as it were between the porch and the altar would be marked by the LORD for the preservation of life, while those who did not were essentially marked for death by the LORD. The LORD would instruct those who were with this one with the writer’s ink horn to go into the city and utterly slay and slaughter all those who did not have the mark upon their foreheads, thus indicating that they were marked for devastation, destruction, as well as judgment and wrath. Please don’t miss the tremendous reality of this, for it would directly tie into the words which are found in the tenth chapter of this prophetic book. IN the eighth chapter of this prophetic book we find Ezekiel being brought in visions of God unto Jerusalem and unto the sanctuary of the LORD where he would see the gross iniquity and immorality that would be committed within the courts of the house of the LORD. Ezekiel would experience progressive revelations as it were, yet those progressive revelations would be revelations of the wickedness and iniquity in the house of the LORD. Those revelations would be directly linked and intrinsically connected to the glory of the LORD, as the prophet would behold the glory of the LORD that in response and in comparison to the glory of the LORD he might be utterly disgusted with the wickedness and abominations which were found in the midst of the land. It seemed that the further Ezekiel went into this vision of God the more he would encounter and come face to face with the tremendous wickedness and iniquity that was being committed in the house of the LORD, in His holy sanctuary and in His courts. More over, what we find in the ninth chapter is a powerful picture of the presence of those within the southern kingdom of Judah, and those within the city of Jerusalem who would weep, sigh and groan over the devastation and destruction that would be found within the city of Jerusalem—and not only in the city of Jerusalem, but also within the sanctuary and Temple of the LORD. What is also quite interesting is when you come to the tenth chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel and find a further revelation and vision of the glory of the LORD in direct connection to the house of the LORD. Consider if you will the following words which are found in this passage of Scripture beginning to read with and from the first verse:

“Then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubims there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne. And he spake unto the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter them over the city. And he went in my sight. Now the cherubims stood on the right side of the house, when the man went in; and the cloud filled the inner court. Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD’s glory. And the sound of the cherubim’s wings was heard even to the outer court, as the voice of the Almighty God when He speaketh. And it came to pass, that when He had commanded the man clothed with linen, saying, Take fire from between the wheels, from between the cherubims; then he went in, and stood beside the wheels. And one cherub stretched forth his hand from between the cherubims unto the fire that was between the cherubims, and took thereof, and put it into the hands of him that was clothed with linen: who took it, and went out” (Ezekiel 10:1-7).

“And there appeared in the cherubims the form of a man’s hand under their wings. And when I looked, behold the four wheels by the cherubims, one wheel by one cherub, and another wheel by another cherub: and the appearance of the wheels was as the colour of a beryl stone. And as for their appearances, they four had one likeness, as if a wheel had been in the midst of a wheel. When they went, they went upon their four sides; they turned not as they went, but to the place whither the head looked they followed it; they turned not as they went. And their whole body, and their backs, and their hands, and their wings, and the wheels, were full of eyes round about, even the wheels that they four had. As for the wheels, it was cried unto them in my hearing, O wheel. And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third was a face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. And the cherubims were lifted up. This is the living creature that I saw by the river of Chebar. And when the cherubims went, the wheels went by them: and when the cherubims lifted up their wings to mount up from the earth, the same wheels also turned not from beside them. When they stood, these stood; and when they were lifted up, these lifted up themselves also: for the spirit of the living creatures was in them” (Ezekiel 10:8-17).

“Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims. And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they went out teh wheels also were beside them, and every one stood at the door of the east gate of the LORD’s house; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar; and I knew that they were the cherubims. Every one had four faces apiece, and every one four wings; and the likeness of their faces was the same faces which I saw by the river of Chebar, their appearances and themselves: they went every one straight forward” (Ezekiel 10:18-22).

It’s truly something worth thinking about and considering when reading the words found in the tenth chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel that Ezekiel would have a further vision of the glory of the living God, and would in fact see the throne which he had seen in the plain at the river of Chebar. What we find in the tenth chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel is essentially a second vision of the glory of the God of Israel as Ezekiel had seen in the opening chapter of this book when we read of him sitting among the captives by the river of Chebar. After showing Ezekiel the great abominations and wickedness which was committed in the courts of the sanctuary of the LORD the LORD would then show Ezekiel a vision of remnant as those who groaned, sighed and cried over the abominations committed in the land would be marked by the LORD to be preserved and protected from the death that would come upon the city. Ezekiel would see and watch as those who were with the man clothed in linen with the writer’s ink horn would go up after him and utterly strike down and smite all those who did not have the mark—those who were not sealed by the living and eternal God. Now we come to the tenth chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel and we find the prophet Ezekiel seeing a further vision of the glory of the LORD, and we find Ezekiel seeing a vision similar to that which he saw in the plain when he was sitting among the captives at the river of Chebar. Perhaps what is tragic when you read the words which are presented before us in the tenth chapter is that despite the vision of the glory of the LORD God of Israel which Ezekiel saw there would be this impression that the glory of the LORD would rest upon the sanctuary that He might judge its wickedness, its idolatry and its immorality before departing from it. What we find in the tenth chapter of this prophetic book is essentially the preparation for “Ichabod”—that moment when the glory of the LORD would depart. We must note how in the Old Testament book of First Samuel we find the Ark of the Covenant being taken from its place in Shiloh, and how the Ark of the Covenant would be captured in battle by the Philistines. In all reality, I would dare say the LORD allowed the Ark of the Covenant to be brought forth from its place at Shiloh as a sign of judgment upon that house. What’s more, is I would dare say that the LORD would remove His Ark from the midst of the house at Shiloh because the LORD was prepared to bring an end to that house, and to judge it together with the house of Eli the priest and his two sons Hophni and Phineas. What we learn during this time is that when the Ark of the Covenant was carried out of the sanctuary and brought into battle where it was captured by the Philistines, when Hophni and Phineas were killed in battle, and when Eli the high priest also died, his daughter in law would name that child which was born unto her “Ichabod,” which literally means the glory of the LORD has departed.

There are two distinct times within the narrative of the people of Israel found in Scripture when the glory of the LORD would depart from the house in which He placed His name. During the days of Samuel the glory of the LORD would depart from the house in Shiloh as a sign that the LORD would judge and bring His wrath and punishment upon that house, and upon the house of Eli. There is not a doubt in my mind that the Ark of the Covenant was brought forth from its place in the house at Shiloh—not as a means to secure victory in battle for the people of God, but rather as a sign and portent of the LORD’s judgment upon the house. When the Ark of the Covenant is removed and carried out of the house—even if it is believe it can and will secure victory in battle—it is a sign that the judgment of the LORD is going to fall. What’s more, is that the LORD would allow that same Ark which would be a sign and portent of judgment upon the house to be brought behind enemy lines that he might do and perform in the territory of the enemy what no soldier in the army of Israel would or could do. The Ark would be brought forth from the house in Shiloh as a sign of judgment against that house, and it would be captured by the enemy and adversary that it might unleash and wreak havoc in the midst of the territory of the enemy as a sign of the LORD’s judgment upon them as well. It’s absolutely necessary that we understand what took place at Shiloh, for not only did Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah prophesy concerning it, but the prophet Ezekiel would see the literal fulfillment of that which Jeremiah the prophet had prophesied and spoken of. With this in mind, I invite you to consider the words which are found in the prophetic book of Jeremiah, and specifically in the seventh chapter concerning the LORD’s house at Shiloh, and how the LORD would do to His house in Jerusalem the same thing he did to that house. Consider if you will the following words found in this chapter beginning to read with and from the first and opening verse:

“The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Stand in the gate of the LORD’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The Temple of the LORD, The Temple of the LORD, The Temple of the LORD, are these. For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever. Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; and come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD. But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not; therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim. Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee. Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their sought, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger. Do they provoke me to anger? Saith the LORD: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces? Therefore thus saith the LORD God; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched” (Jeremiah 7:1-20).

Through the prophet Jeremiah the LORD would make it very clear unto the house of Judah and unto Jerusalem that He would do unto the Temple and sanctuary in the midst of the land the very same thing He did unto the house which was at Shiloh. It would be there in Shiloh where the LORD would pronounce “Ichabod” over the house as He would not only allow the Ark of the Covenant to be brought forth out of the house and captured by the enemy and adversary, but the LORD would put an end to the house Eli and all its corruption, wickedness, adultery and immorality. What we find here in this prophetic book of Ezekiel is a powerful testament and statement of the LORD doing exactly what He said He would do—namely, do unto the house which was in Jerusalem that which he had done unto Shiloh. The glory of the LORD would be witnessed and beheld by Ezekiel as departing from the sanctuary, and the departed glory is most certainly and always a sign of divine judgment and wrath upon the house itself, upon a city, and even upon a nation. The glory of the LORD departing from the house of the LORD which stood in the land of Judah was a sign and portent of the judgment and wrath which would come upon both the land and the sanctuary. Oh how absolutely necessary it is for us to recognize and understand this, for what we find in these chapters is not only a powerful picture of Ezekiel witnessing and seeing the wickedness, iniquity and abominations which were found in the house of the LORD, but also witnessing and beholding the glory of the LORD departing from the sanctuary. What’s more, is that as you continue reading the words which are found in these chapters you will come to the eleventh chapter—specifically the final verses of the chapter—and encounter a continuation of this vision. If you begin reading with the twenty-second verse of this chapter you will find the following words which further speak of the glory which had risen from the threshold of the house and mounted upon the cherubim and departed from the sanctuary. Consider if you will the following words which are found in this passage of Scripture:

“Then did the cherubims lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city. Afterwards the spirit took me up, and brought me in a vision by the Spririt of God into Chaldea, to them of the captivity. So the vision that I had seen went up from me. Then I spake unto them of the captivity all the things that the LORD had shewed me” (Ezekiel 11:22-24).

As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I feel it absolutely necessary to draw and call your attention to the fact that Ezekiel would be caught up in visions of God, and would initially see the glory of the LORD before the LORD would show him all the wickedness that would be found in the midst of the sanctuary. Not only would Ezekiel see the tremendous wickedness that was found in the midst of the sanctuary of the LORD God of Israel, but Ezekiel would also see the marking of that remnant which was found in the midst of the land who groaned, cried and sighed over all the abominations which were found in the midst of the land, and in the midst of the sanctuary. It would be in the tenth chapter Ezekiel would once more see a vision of the glory of the LORD, however, Ezekiel would see a vision of the glory of the LORD rising up from the threshold of the sanctuary in Jerusalem, and ultimately—in the final verses of the eleventh chapter—we find the glory of the LORD standing upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city. If there is one thing we must learn and must recognize when reading these words it’s the tremendous portent and sign the glory of the LORD departing from the sanctuary actually is, for just as in Shiloh when the Ark of the Covenant was removed from the sanctuary, and Ichabod was pronounced upon both the sanctuary and the land, so also would Ichabod be pronounced over the house of the LORD during these days, as well as over the entirety of the land. The glory of the LORD would indeed depart from his holy sanctuary where He had placed His holy name, and where he had allowed HIs glory to inhabit and dwell during the days of Solomon, as well as causing His fire to come down from heaven upon the sacrifices and offerings which were upon the altar. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this truly incredible reality, for to do so would be to miss out on just how important the glory of the LORD truly is in our midst—and not only how important the glory of the LORD is, but what departed glory means as a sign and portent of judgment and wrath being at the door. It’s almost as if departed glory would make way for and invite the judgment and wrath upon the house, for the glory of the LORD would no longer be there to withhold the judgment and wrath. Instead of the house being inhabited and dwelt by the glory of the LORD it would now find itself on the verge of ruin and devastation as the judgment and wrath of the LORD would come upon and be released against it. Oh that we would truly recognize and understand just how incredibly critical and vital the glory of the LORD truly is, and how departed glory may very well be a portent and sign—not only of judgment against that house and against that sanctuary, but also against the nation in which that sanctuary resides and rests.

The words which we find within these chapters bring us face to face with the awesome and incredible reality that Ezekiel was brought in visions of God into the city of Jerusalem and unto the Temple and sanctuary of the LORD where he would see and witness the grievous and grotesque immoralities and abominations that were committed there. When the Spirit brought Ezekiel unto the city of Jerusalem and unto the sanctuary of the LORD there was this progressive revelation of the wickedness and iniquity that was found in the house of the LORD, and Ezekiel would continue seeing greater and greater wickedness that was committed in the courts of the LORD. It’s necessary that we understand this, for Ezekiel would be the prophet who would—in visions of God—see the glory of the LORD departing from the Temple of the LORD in the midst of Jerusalem, and would see this house which the LORD had placed His name be a place where “Ichabod” would be pronounced over it. Ezekiel would indeed and would in fact see the glory of the LORD departing from this house, which would be a direct fulfillment of the word which Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah prophesied and proclaimed. It was Jeremiah who spoke of the LORD doing unto that house what He had done unto His house in Shiloh. It was in the house at Shiloh the LORD would allow the Ark of the Covenant to be brought forth, and while the children of Israel thought it would give them victory in battle, it would actually be a sign of judgment upon the house in the midst of them. Stop for a moment and think about the fact that the children of Israel thought and believed that bringing the Ark of the Covenant was a means of bringing the Ark of the Covenant into battle that they might gain victory over their enemies and adversaries, and yet what they were actually doing was producing a sign of the judgment and wrath of the LORD upon the house. What the children of ISrael thought and believed would secure them victory against their enemy would actually be the means which the LORD would use to execute His judgment and wrath upon the house, as well as upon a corrupt priesthood. We cannot and must not miss and lose sight of this awesome reality and truth, for it is through the visions of God which Ezekiel would see that we encounter the manifestation of the glory of the living God departing from the midst of the sanctuary and from the midst of the house where He had placed His holy name. Ezekiel—this priest of the LORD who had spent his entire life consecrated and holy before and unto the LORD—would have to witness and behold the great evil and wickedness that would be found in the midst of the people of God.

The underlying question we must ask ourselves when reading the prophetic book of Ezekiel is centered upon recognizing and understanding the glory and presence of the LORD, and that which we might be doing to somehow cause His glory and His presence to depart. Ezekiel saw in visions of God, and he would not only see a vision of the glory of the LORD appearing before and unto him, but he would also see visions of the glory of God in direct connection to the house of the LORD. It is necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand this awesome reality, for when the glory of the LORD departs from the sanctuary, and when the glory of the LORD departs from a people—even if it’s for a period of time—it’s a sign and portent of the LORD doing a deep work in the midst of that people, in the midst of that nation, and in the midst of that house. Oh, I can’t help but wonder what many of our churches would like if we were able to see them as Ezekiel saw the Temple of the LORD in visions of God. Ezekiel saw the great atrocities and abominations that were committed by the people of God, and he saw the tremendous wickedness and vile filth that was found present within the house of the LORD, and I can’t help but think what it would be like if the veil and curtain was removed from our houses of worship today in this generation and we were able to see the true nature and condition of the churches we worship in. Ezekiel was brought into the city of JErusalem and was permitted to see the Temple of the LORD beyond the facade and the veneer which men and women had attempted to plaster upon it. Ezekiel was able to truly see the Temple of the LORD—this same Temple which the glory of the living God had filled during the days of Solomon, and that same altar upon which the consuming fire of the LORD came down—as it was during that generation. Ezekiel saw the Temple of the living God as a house that was completely and utterly defiled and polluted, and as a direct result of this filth and wickedness the glory of the LORD would depart from the house, and the LORD would allow the house to be destroyed by the Babylonians when they would invade the city for the last time. The Temple which Ezekiel would see in the sixth year of Jehoiachin’s captivity would be a Temple that would be absolutely and utterly corrupted and defiled with the filth and wickedness of the people of God, and Ezekiel would be permitted to see that filth, and how it would ultimately lead to the glory of the LORD departing from the midst of it, and thus exposing the house to the judgment and wrath of the LORD being poured out upon it.

I cannot help but feel compelled to leave you with the words which are found in the thirteenth chapter of this prophetic book, as the words which we find within this chapter bring us face to face with the wickedness of the prophets who prophesied falsely, and claimed to prophesy according to the name of the LORD. As I close out this writing I feel the need to call your attention to the prophetic warning and words Ezekiel spoke unto the prophets, for the prophets which rose up during those days prophesied smooth and velvety messages that appealed to the senses and emotions of those during that time. There were very few prophets who would actually stand in the counsel of the LORD and actually prophesy and proclaim that which the LORD was speaking unto that generation. When you come to the thirteenth chapter of this prophetic book you will find the LORD once more expressing the controversy He had with the prophets of Israel who prophesied falsely in his name, and who prophesied nothing but their own imaginations and their own dreams and inspiration. It is necessary that we pay close attention to the words which are found within this passage of Scripture, for in the days leading up to judgment, and in the days leading up to the wrath of the living God there can and there will be false prophets who will rise up and fully and completely contradict the true word of the LORD which His faithful few servants will powerfully proclaim without reservation and without hesitation. With this in mind I invite you to consider the words which are found in the thirteenth chapter, and invite you to consider it in light of the countless “words,” and “messages,” and “teachings,” and that which individuals believe “the LORD showed them.” Consider the following words which are found in the thirteenth chapter beginning with the first verse of this chapter:

“And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the LORD; Thus saith the LORD God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD. They have a seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD saith: and the LORD hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word. have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The LORD saith it; albeit I have not spoken? Therefore thus saith the LORD God; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen likes, therefore, behold, I am against you saith the LORD God. And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the LORD God. Because even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with us tempered morter: Say unto them, which daub it with untempered morter, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a storm wind shall rend it. Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where is the daubing wherewith ye have daubed it? Therefore thus saith the LORD God; I will even rend it with a stormy wind in my fury; and there shall be an overflowing shower in mine anger, and great hailstones in my fury to consume it. So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered morter, and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall e discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and ye shall know that I am the LORD. Thus will I accomplish my wrath upon the wall, and upon them that have daubed it with untempered morter, and will say unto you, The wall is no more, neither they that daubed it; to wit, the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning. Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her, and there is no peace, saith the LORD God” (Ezekiel 13:1-16).

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