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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 14

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INSINCERE INQUIRERS

14:1. Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me. — There will come certain of the clergy of Christendom to the Truth people to listen and inquire.
14:2, 3. And the Word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumbling block of their iniquity before their face: should I be inquired of at all by them? — God's Word for them will be that these men have insincerely set up in their hearts their idols of gold, power, etc., and with a pretended face-to-face sincerity, have retained their iniquitous stumbling block of love of sin. Should God be inquired of at all by such men?
14:4. Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the Lord will answer him that cometh, according to the multitude of his idols: — Every man in the nominal church that insincerely clings to his idols and to his love of iniquity, and yet comes to one of God's people, Jehovah will answer not with words, but with the retribution deserved for his idolatry.
14:5. That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from Me through their idols. — God will treat the nominal Christian church in a manner like their own insincere hearts, because by the idols they serve they are all estranged from their love for Him. — 2 Thes. 2:11, 12.
14:6. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations. — Say first to them: Repent of your evil deeds, turn away from your idols, O Christendom, and resolutely turn your faces unto Him, and from superstition, error, and from practices which are abominable to His standards.
14:7. For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from Me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face,
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and cometh to a prophet to inquire of him concerning Me; I the Lord will answer him by Myself. — Every church member and every one associated with him, who ceases to love God supremely, sets his heart upon other subjects of love or worship, clings to iniquitous practices, and then comes to the Truth people to find what God says, verily Jehovah Himself will answer him — with deeds, not with words merely.
14:8. And I will set My face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of My people; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. — God will thoroughly disfavor that man, and make him an example and a by-word; He will cut him off from a place among His people.
14:9. And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out My hand upon him and will destroy him from the midst of My people Israel. — And if any preacher — even one of the Truth people — shall get so wrong in heart that be is deceived in what he says (Jer. 20:7), Jehovah will "send him a strong delusion that he should believe a lie," and will be against him and will destroy him from the midst of His people.
14:10. And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him. — Both shall bear the same punishment for their iniquity — the preachers and the man that listens to him.
14:11. That the house of Israel may go no more astray from Me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be My people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord God. — Professed Christian people shall stray no longer from Him, nor become unclean spiritually through their wrongdoing, but may truly be God's people, and He their God.

GOD'S FOUR SORE JUDGMENTS

14:12, 13. The Word of the Lord came again unto me, saying, Son of man, when the land sinneth against Me by trespassing grievously then will I stretch out Mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it. — When a whole country sins against God with grievous, willful sin, then will He exercise His power against it, and cut off the necessary supply of material (Lev. 26:26) and spiritual food — send a famine of food and of the Word of God upon it, and cut off all life from it.
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14:14. Though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God. — Though in that country were the three most upright men of history, Noah, Daniel and Job — typing here the Little Flock, the Great Company, and the Household of Faith — they should by their righteousness save but their own lives.
14:15. If I cause noisome beasts to pass through the land, and they spoil it, so that it be desolate, that no man may pass through because of the beasts. — God has caused savage governments to overrun Christendom with military and naval forces, and to ruin and desolate it, so that no manly independent man can exist there.
14:16. Though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters; they only shall be delivered, but the land shall be desolate. — Though these three classes be in Christendom, they shall deliver no one but themselves; they only shall be delivered, but Christendom shall be desolated.
14:17. Or if I bring a sword upon that land, and say, Sword, go through the land; so that I cut off man and beast from it: — God has brought upon Christendom destroying weapons (Lev. 26:25), and the Sword of the Spirit is to go through Christendom and cut off all that can be cut off, and no one shall save aught but himself.
14:18, 19. Though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only shall be delivered themselves. Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out My fury upon it in blood, to cut off from it man and beast. — God will permit a pestilence, both of literal disease and of pestilential errors in Christendom, in wrath to take away life.
14:20, 21. Though Noah, Daniel and Job were in it, as I live saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughters; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness. For thus saith the Lord God; How much more when I send My four sore judgments upon Jerusalem — the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence — to cut off from it man and beast. — Christendom is so corrupt that God is sending upon her His four dreadful punishments — the sword, the famine, the savage government and the pestilence — as His destroyers!
14:22. Yet behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be brought forth, both sons and daughters: behold, they shall come forth unto you, and ye shall see their way and their doings: and ye shall be comforted
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concerning the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, even concerning all that I have brought upon it. — There shall be left from the anarchy a few who shall be brought through into the Kingdom as samples of Christendom's pollution. They will live among those who have suffered -in Christendom's trouble, and amid the blessed Kingdom influences by contrast the others shall see their continued evil ways and doings. And they will cause everyone to feel satisfied, content, over the trouble God is bringing upon Christendom.
14:23. And they shall comfort you, when ye see their ways and their doings: and ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, saith the Lord God. — When the others see their evil ways and doings, they will be content as to the need of the Time of Trouble, for they shall realize that not without good cause shall God have done all that He will do to Christendom.

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