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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 12

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CHRISTENDOM'S BLIND FLIGHT

12:1, 2. The word of the Lord also came unto me, saying, Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not; for they are a rebellious house. — In Chapter 12:1-16 is depicted the blind flight of Christendom into revolution and anarchy. Pastor Russell and his co-workers once dwelt in the midst of the rebellious nominal house, or church, of God, with eyes blinded and ears made deaf by their spiritual defection. — Matt. 13:13.
12:3. Therefore, thou son of man, prepare thee stuff for removing, and remove by day in their sight; and thou shalt remove from thy place to another place in their sight: it may be they will consider, though they be a rebellious house. — He found in the Bible the Truth of God, which exhorts to "come out of her, O My people" (Rev. 18:4); and in obedience, he came out of his church home into a condition of separateness, by every means of publicity (in their sight) drawing the attention to his removal, in the hope that those left behind might turn truly back to God.
12:4. Then shalt thou bring forth thy stuff by day in their sight, as stuff for removing: and thou shalt go forth at even in their sight, as they that go forth into captivity. — In their estimation, he did this, as one taken by the Evil One.
12:5. Dig thou through the wall in their sight, and carry out thereby. — He dug through the creeds walls and thus "came out of her."
12:6. In their sight shalt thou bear it upon thy shoulders, and carry it forth in the twilight: thou shalt cover thy face, that thou see not the ground: for I have set thee for a sign unto the house of Israel. — To them he was one not knowing whither he went, with eyes blinded; whereas his action and his publishing of the Truth was but God's way of beseeching Christendom and warning her of her own fate.
12:7 And I did so as I was commanded: I brought forth my stuff by day, as stuff for captivity, and in the even I digged through the wall with mine hand; I brought it forth
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in the twilight, and I bare it upon my shoulder in their sight. — Pastor Russell and the Truth people did this with their limited power (hand), and laboriously (upon shoulder) made their way with their goods, the precious Truths, "out of her."
12:8-9. And in the morning came the word of the Lord unto me, saying, Son of man, hath not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said unto thee, What doest thou? — The nominal church (home) of Spiritual Israel have often inquired of Pastor Russell and of the Truth people, "What doest thou?"
12:10. Say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; This burden concerneth the prince in Jerusalem, and all the house of Israel that are among them. — The import of the answer concerns the exalted class (prince, exalted one), the lords in Christendom, the clergy, and all professing Christians that are with them.
12:11. Say, I am your sign, like as I have done, so shall it be done unto them: they shall remove and go into captivity. — What has been, is a lesson for them; as the Royal Priesthood has done, so shall it be done unto them; they shall move down from their exalted place and go into captivity to the laborite and revolutionary elements. The Jews were literally to go into captivity into ancient Babylon, which they did.
12:12. And the prince that is among them shall bear upon his shoulder in the twilight, and shall go forth: they shall dig through the wall to carry out thereby; he shall cover his face, that he see not the ground with his eyes. — As to the Jews, their ruler Zedekiah was by night to try to escape from Jerusalem, but he should not see the way. Regarding Christendom's clergy, they shall at the close of their day, abandon Christendom in the time of revolution, to save what they can for themselves, and "get out of her." They shall find a still more worldly way out of their creed walls and shall be self-blinded to the real condition of society (the earth).
12:13. My net also will I spread upon him, and he shall be taken in My snare: and I will bring him to Babylon to the land of the Chaldeans; yet shall he not see it, though he shall die there. — Like a snare shall revolution, in the guise of freedom for all, come upon them; and, utterly blind to the significance of world events, they shall be forced into revolution and anarchy, and there shall this lordly class come to its end. (Hos. 7:12.) The literal application upon King Zedekiah is of course understood; for he went to Babylon, but never saw it, because his eyes were put out.
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12:14. And I will scatter toward every wind all that are about him to help him, and all his bands; and I will draw out the sword after them. — God will scatter in war, tumult and confusion and in error; all that adhere to the clergy class, and all their congregations (bands); and against them shall He direct weapons of war and the Word of God, the Sword of the Spirit.
12:15. And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall scatter them among the nations, and disperse them in the countries. — And they shall appreciate that Jehovah is God, when this has come.
12:16. But I will leave a few men of them from the sword from the famine, and from the pestilence; that they may declare all their abominations among the heathen whither they come: and they shall know that I am the Lord. — From among them God will leave a few manly believers, who shall escape the sword, the famine, literal and of the Word, and from the pestilential errors; that they, as then faithful members of the Great Company, may explain to the revolutionists and anarchists the Truth about the Divinely forbidden doctrines and deeds of the clergy, and their following.
12:17, 18. Moreover the Word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, eat thy bread with quaking, and drink thy water with trembling and with carefulness. — The Lord's people were to eat, drink and live with great economy.
12:19. And say unto the people of the land, Thus saith the Lord God of the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the land of Israel; They shall eat their bread with carefulness, and drink their water with astonishment, that her land may be desolate from all that is therein, because of the violence of all them that dwell therein. — They were to say to the people of Christendom: "God says to the clergy and people of nominal Spiritual Israel, the churches: You shall eat your food by measure, and with economy — on the food-ticket plan — and drink your Truth with amazement at the famine; for Christendom is to be desolated of its people, because of the violent wars, and the revolutions and anarchy of the people."
12:20. And the cities that are inhabited shall be laid waste, and the land shall be desolate; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. — The governments (cities) shall be destroyed and the social order desolated in anarchy; and they shall feel the outworkings of Jehovah's purposes upon them.
12:21, 22. And the Word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, what is that proverb that ye have in
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the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth? — Nominal clergy and Christians say concerning the Bible, that this Age will last for thousands of years and that Bible prophecies fail of fulfillment. — 2 Pet. 3:4.
12:23. Tell them therefore, Thus saith the Lord God; I will make this proverb to cease, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel; but say unto them, The days are at hand, and the effect of every vision. — God says that He will make their saying to cease; for close at hand is the Time of Trouble and of the Kingdom of God, and the fulfillment of prophecy.
12:24. For there shall be no more any vain vision nor flattering divination within the house of Israel. — There shall be no more, in the churches, delusive theories of the everlasting welfare of Christendom or of evolution, or immortality, or flattering prediction of peace, peace. — Lam. 2:14.
12:25. For I am the Lord; I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged: for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord God. — Jehovah's Word shall come to pass promptly, in the present day. — Isa. 55:11.
12:26, 27. Again the Word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, The vision that he seeth is for many days to come, and he prophesieth of the times that are far off. — The clergy say that Pastor Russell's predictions of early trouble and the setting up of the Kingdom are for hundreds or thousands of years to come, and about things that are far off. — Amos. 6:3.
12:28. Therefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God, There shall none of My words be prolonged any more, but the Word which I have spoken shall be done, saith the Lord God. — Jehovah says that none of the words spoken through His servant Pastor Russell, shall wait any longer for fulfillment, but the things shall come as spoken.



"Sometime, when all life's lessons have been learned,
And sun and stars forevermore have set,
The things which our weak judgment here has spurned —
The things o'er which we grieved with lashes wet —
"Will flash before us out of life's dark night,
As stars shine most in deeper tints of blue;
And we shall see how all God's plans were right,
And how what seemed unkind was love most true."

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