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THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET EZEKIEL





EXPLANATORY NOTE

This posthumous work of Pastor Russell (arranged for use as a textbook) is much condensed, including the extracts from the Pastor's pen, all of which are referred back to his works. The abbreviations used are:

A, B, C, D,E, FThe six preceding volumes of "STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES".
(Citations to E in italic figures refer to old editions, figures in ordinary type to later editions.)
B. S. M..........."THE BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY."
H....................."What Say the Scriptures ABOUT HELL?"
P-D................. "PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION" Scenario.
T....................."TABERNACLE SHADOWS."
S....................."SPIRITISM" Pamphlet.
Z......................"ZION'S WATCH TOWER," followed by year and page.

The citations to REVELATION and EZEKIEL refer to the comments herein, as well as to the Bible text.
Other abbreviations used are:

Barnes..........Barnes' "Revelation".
Brit................."Encyclopedia Britannica."
Buck..............Buck's "Theological Dictionary".
Coffin............Coffin's "Story of Liberty".
Cook.............Cook's "Revelation" ; a compendium of the presentations of seventy-two leading commentators on Revelation, in all languages and all ages of the Church.
Edgar............Edgar's "Pyramid Passages". Vol. II.
McC...............McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia.
Mosheim......Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History.
S. B. D...........Smith's Bible Dictionary.
Smith.............Smith's "Thoughts on Daniel and Revelation".
Weym............Weymouth's New Testament in Modern Speech.



EZEKIEL 11

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THE WICKED COUNSEL

11:1. Moreover the Spirit lifted me up, and brought me unto the east gate of the Lord's house, which looketh eastward: and behold at the door of the gate five and twenty men; among whom I saw Jaazaniah, the son of Azur, and Pelatiah, the son of Benaiah, princes of the people. — The east gate types Christ, the entrance to true Christianity. (John 10:9.) At the door of the gate were the leading sects, Jaazaniah, the son of Azur (helper) types the idea that by self-help man can please God. Pelatiah (Jah delivers), the son of Benaiah (Jah is intelligent), types the belief that earthly wisdom will deliver the world from its difficulties. (1 Cor. 1:21.) These were "princes among the people" — very popular ideas.
11:2. Then said He unto me, Son of man, these are the men that device mischief, and give wicked counsel in this city. — These teachings have actuated many of the erroneous beliefs and wicked acts of nominal Christians.

CHRISTENDOM THE CALDRON

11:3. Which say, It is not near; let us build houses: this city is the caldron, and we be the flesh. — Ecclesiasticism's thought is that the Time of Trouble is not near, and the destruction of Christendom is not to be thought of. (1 Thes. 5:3.) "Let us build houses" is an expression implying confidence in the permanence of things as they are. (2 Pet. 3:4.) "This city is the caldron, and we be the flesh" (Jer. 1:13) is a proverb, here applied to the iron sides of the caldron keeping away the fire, or in antitype civil and military powers, protecting from actual anarchy (fire), however hot things may become.
11:4, 5. Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, O son of man. And the Spirit of the Lord fell upon me, and said unto me, Speak: Thus saith the Lord; Thus have ye said, O house of Israel: for I know the things that come unto your mind, every one of them. — The false teachings of the clergy are nothing new. Every one of them is the old worship of Nimrod and Baal.
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11:6. Ye have multiplied your slain in this city, and ye have filled the streets thereof with the slain. — There never was a war that a clergy, did not preach "their people" into it, and multiply the slain. Furthermore, the number is legion of those who would have liked to gain spiritual life, but the clergy have discouraged (John 7:48), and in millions of cases caused their actual death.
11:7. Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Your slain whom ye have laid in the midst of it, they are the flesh, and this city the caldron: but I will bring you forth out of the midst of it. — Another sense in which the Jerusalem Jews used this proverb was that the Jews taken captive into Babylon were worthless, and they in Jerusalem were the valuable flesh remaining. (Mi. 3:3.) God here tells that the only ones to remain in Christendom will be the literally dead, or those who are dead to the claims of Mystic Babylon. These have the best chance of surviving the trouble. The walls, defences, military and police, will be broken down by war and revolution; and nothing can save the adherents of ecclesiasticism from their fate.
11:8. Ye have feared the sword; and I will bring a Sword upon you, saith the Lord. — The devotees of established priestcraft fear both the literal sword and the Sword of the Spirit. The armies of the nations will be in open revolt against the established powers, religious, political and economic. Also the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, will cut through all pretense and bring about the death of religion in all not begotten of the Holy Spirit.
11:9. And I will bring you out of the midst thereof, and deliver you into the hands of strangers, and will execute judgments among you. — Christendom will fall literally into the hands of revolutionists and anarchists, Industrial Workers of the World, Syndicalists, Socialists, unfriendly to established systems, and spiritually into the power of the Word of God in the hands of His "strangers." (1 Pet. 1:1; 2:11,) a "just recompense of reward." (Heb. 2:2.)
11:10,11. Ye shall fall by the sword; I will judge you in the border of Israel, and ye shall know that I am the Lord. This city shall not be your caldron, neither shall ye be the flesh in the midst thereof; but I will judge you in the border of Israel. — The Jews taken captive out of Jerusalem were tried and slain at Riblah (a bare place) outside of Palestine, typifying that the destroying judgments on Christendom will come upon her after her institutions have gone to pieces, and she is desolated.
11:12. And ye shall know that I am the Lord: for ye have not walked in My statutes, neither executed My judgments, but have done after the manner of the heathen
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that are round about you. — The people of Christendom will finally appreciate that their distress is a punishment from God, because of not having followed the plain injunctions of the Bible, having mistaught the Word of God, and having lived no better than unbelievers.
11:13. And it came to pass, when I prophesied, that Pelatiah, the son of Benaiah, died. Then fell I down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice, and said, Ah Lord God! wilt Thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel? — While Pastor Russell's reasonable and Divinely appointed teachings are doing their good work throughout Christendom the idea that human wisdom, Prussian culture, etc., can save the old order of things, will be seen lifeless.
11:14. Again the Word of the Lord came unto me, saying. — Verses 14 to 25 are the message of comfort and hope to those who are now out of harmony with ecclesiasticism.
11:15. Son of man, thy brethren, even thy brethren, the men of thy kindred, and all the house of Israel wholly, are they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get you far from the Lord: unto us is this land given in possession. — The Jews in captivity were despised by those remaining in the "holy" city, Jerusalem. They type the people of Christendom who honestly own themselves to be of the world and are despised by the "best people," the educated, religious "holy" Churchianity. "Get you far from the Lord" is the attitude of the tares toward those who do not pretend as much, but who are often much better in God's sight. The "best people" not merely own most of the earth now, but expect to own Heaven too — with the now worldly people forever consigned to a devil-imagined hell of eternal torment.
11:16. Therefore say. Thus saith the Lord God; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little Sanctuary in the countries where they shall come. — God especially favors the honest-hearted, humble-minded, however far they may now be from Him in outward appearance. Christ avoided the Scribes and the Pharisees, but freely associated with the publicans and sinners.
11:17. Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. — In the coming Kingdom God will gather first the outcasts from their condition of disfavor, even from the dead, and will give them possession of the earth before the proud-minded ecclesiastics are per-
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mitted to return from the dead. This is to have also a literal fulfillment on Fleshly Israel. — Z.'94-76.
11:18. And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence. — The common people, free from the perverse influence of priestcraft, in Christ's Millennial Kingdom will abolish all the clergy-fostered ideas and practices now so abominable to God.
11:19. And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh. — They will be single-hearted to serve God and do His will alone. (Jer. 32:39.) From having the spirit or mind of natural men they will be given the Holy Spirit, when God "pours out His Spirit upon all flesh." (A333; Z.'03-171.) From being hard-hearted they will become tender-hearted, forgiving one another even as God, for Christ's sake will forgive them. — Eph. 4:32.
11:20. That they may walk in My statutes, and keep Mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be My people, and I will be their God. — They will keep God's Law of Divine love. The "best people," who now regard themselves as God's people, in the Age to come will learn that God opposes the proud and favors the humble.
11:21. But as for them whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord God. — Those who at heart love established ecclesiasticism are counted as having the heart, mind or will of the author of priestcraft, the Devil. "Ye generation of serpents (devils), how scarcely shall ye escape the condemnation of Gehenna (Second Death)." — Matt. 23:33.
11:22, 23. Then did the cherubim 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. — God, and Divine favor, has ceased to be in or with Christendom (D527), but is upon and with the true Kingdom (mountain) of God (A318), toward the east (Zech. 14:4), the antitypical Mount of Olives. — D653.
11:24, 25. Afterwards the Spirit took me up, and brought me in a vision by the Spirit 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. — These things seen in the Scriptures are now preached and published to the captives in Mystic Babylon.

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