Saturday, August 05, 2017

Similarities Found

Similarities between the destruction of Jerusalem witnessed by Ezekiel and the judgements of
The Great Tribulation affecting the entire world.

   Ezekiel and John
Ezekiel lived among the Jewish exiles in Babylon; the Apostle John was exiled on Patmos. Both were separated from the land/areas being judged and punished, though John was witnessing events far in the future.
The first seven chapters in Ezekiel lay out God’s evidence against the people of Judah and Israel which brings about the much-deserved judgement, recorded in Ezekiel chapters 8-11.
   Ezekiel 8:3-Ezekiel’s call:
3He stretched out the form of a hand and caught me by a lock of my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court, where the seat of the idol of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy, was located.
   Revelation 4:1-John’s call:
1After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.”
Four corners-may signify complete areas of destruction
   Ezekiel 7:1
1Moreover, the word of the LORD came to me saying,
2“And you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD to the land of Israel, ‘An end! The end is coming on the four corners of the land.
   Revelation 7:1
1After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree.
Jerusalem’s judgment is recorded beginning in Ezekiel 9:1-2
1Then He cried out in my hearing with a loud voice saying, “Draw near, O executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand.” 
2Behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate which faces north, each with his shattering weapon in his hand; and among them was a certain man clothed in linen with a writing case at his loins. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar.

This ‘certain man in linen with a writing case at his loins’ is quite possibly a Christophany, an image of the Pre-Incarnate Christ. Just as Christ in Revelation is seen as ‘a son of man’, a lamb as if slain, a conqueror coming mounted on a horse with his robes dipped in blood, the ‘certain man in linen’ has a writing case, possibly a symbolic identifier for Christ (The Word). His actions in Ezekiel chapter 9 show that this may be Christ.
   Ezekiel 9:3b-4
And He called to the man clothed in linen at whose loins was the writing case. 
4The LORD said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst.” 
Only Christ or an angel given knowledge by God would know the minds and hearts of those in Jerusalem who ‘sigh and groan over all the abominations’. These would be God’s people, the sheep known by their Shepherd.
The marking of these people for special protection from the judgement about to fall on their city is echoed in Revelation 7:2-3
2And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea,
3saying, Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.”
This group is the 144,000 sealed from every tribe in Israel. They are found with Christ in Revelation 14:1
1Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.

Ezekiel 9:5-6 speaks to the six men with shattering weapons:
5But to the others He said in my hearing, “Go through the city after him and strike; do not let your eye have pity and do not spare. 
6“Utterly slay old men, young men, maidens, little children, and women, but do not touch any man on whom is the mark; and you shall start from My sanctuary.” So they started with the elders who were before the temple.

The man in linen notes in Ezekiel 9:11:
11Then behold, the man clothed in linen at whose loins was the writing case reported, saying, “I have done just as You have commanded me.”

Next, the man is charged in Ezekiel 10:
1Then I looked, and behold, in the expanse that was over the heads of the cherubim something like a sapphire stone, in appearance resembling a throne, appeared above them.
2And He spoke to the man clothed in linen and said, “Enter between the whirling wheels under the cherubim and fill your hands with coals of fire from between the cherubim and scatter them over the city.” And he entered in my sight.”
In Revelation chapter 8 we find:
5Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.”
Notes: these are a few similarities, but hardly a complete list-the rest of Ezekiel deals with future Judgement all the way through history.
In Revelation, we have three series of judgements: Scroll with seven seals, seven trumpets and seven bowl judgements.
Scroll with seven seals- may symbolize ‘the written Word’, satisfying the sins against Christ.
Seven trumpets- may symbolize ‘voice of God’, satisfying the sins against God the Father-throughout Scripture the voice of God is said to be like the sound of trumpets:
Exodus 19:16-19, Revelation 1:10, Revelation 4:1
Seven bowls being poured out- may symbolize satisfying the sins against the Holy Spirit which is described as being ‘poured out on all flesh’:
Isaiah 44:3, Joel 2:28-29, Zechariah 12:10

It seems that the destruction of Jerusalem may be an approximation in miniature of the worldwide judgements found in the book of Revelation. In both cases God shows exactly WHY Judgement is due.
And He is honored and glorified.

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