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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 13

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THE GAPS IN THE WALL

13:1, 2. 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. — God's Word is to write and speak against the preachers of Christendom that say things originating in their own imaginations; let them listen now to the Words of Jehovah.
13:3. Thus saith the Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing. — Woe to the foolish preachers, who as blind leaders have seen nothing respecting today's crisis in the Word of God, or in the signs of the times!
13:4. O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. — O Christendom, thy preachers will be like cunning foxes, finding profit in the desolation of their country!
13:5. 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 not preached God's Truth to fill up the breaches among Christendom's defenders, or to build up the broken-down forsakers of Christendom's moral and spiritual defences, to enable Christendom to have strength to stand before God in the Time of Trouble.
13:6. They have 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. — They have taken and taught fallacious and delusive theories of evolution, destructive criticism of the Bible, the Divine right of kings and of clergy, and preached their people into savage warfare, saying it was the Word of God, when God has not said it; and they have made others believe their lies.
13:7. 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. — They have misrepresented Jehovah.
13:8. Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am
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against you, saith the Lord God. — Wherefore God is against them.
13:9. 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. — God will stretch out His hand against these preachers. They shall not be in the Church triumphant (Heb. 12:23), nor shall they be written as members of the spirit-born Great Company; nor shall they enter the Heavenly phase of the Kingdom.
13:10. 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 untempered mortar. — Because the clergy have deceived and ruined Christendom (Micah 3:5-7) proclaiming peace when there was no peace (Jer. 6:14); and when one of them would build up a slight wall of workers of earthly, civic, social betterment, the others would bind it together with the binder of self-interest, not with truth (water) or love.
13:11. Say unto them which daub it with untempered mortar, that it shall fall; there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it. — It shall fall; there shall be an overflowing downpour of the water of Truth; and hard truths, great hard facts shall fall upon the wall; and gigantic wars and world wide commotion shall tear to pieces the preachers' earthly-civic-social defense.
13:12. Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where is the daubing wherewith ye daubed it? — Behold, when Christendom's slight defense against the forces of evil, is fallen, it shall be inquired of the clergy, "Where is that worthless, loveless, selfish binder wherewith you inefficiently cemented together its members?"
13:13. 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. — Therefore God says: I will destroy your defense with a furious storm of war and revolution, with a flood of Truth and great hard facts.
13:14. So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered mortar, and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and ye shall know that 1 am the Lord. — So will I break down your flimsy defenses of selfishness; they shall fall and you shall be buried in their fall.
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13:15. Thus will I accomplish My wrath upon the wall, and upon them that have daubed it with untempered mortar, and will say unto you, The wall is no more, neither they that daubed it. — The defense of Christendom exists no more, neither they that plastered it with showy self-interest.
13:16. To wit, the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her when there is no peace. — Namely, the preachers of Christendom who preach peace when there is no peace. 13:17. Likewise, thou son of man, set thy face against the daughters of thy people, which prophesy out of their own heart; and prophesy thou against them. — God directs true Christians to set their faces against the man-made churches, which preach things of their own imagining.
13:18. And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls! Will ye hunt the souls of My people, and will ye save the souls alive that come unto you? — Woe to the churches (women) that practice superstition (sew amulets about their elbows — an oriental method of incantation), and wear veils of mystery to ensnare men.
13:19. And will ye pollute Me among My people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to My people that hear your lies? — Shall they continue to profane and prostitute My name among My people, for the price of the spiritual fornication of church-state union (barley was the customary offering for an adulteress) and for the weekly collections offering, to discourage, persecute and kill the godly?
13:20. Wherefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly. — God will strip the churches of the power of their superstitions, and will let the people go out of the bondages.
13:21. Your kerchiefs also will I tear, and deliver My people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand to be hunted, and ye shall know that I am the Lord. — Their veil of mystery will He tear away, and deliver His people, the Great Company, out of bondage.
13:22. Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life. — Wherefore the churches shall no more hold forth delusive hopes.

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