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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 16

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UNFAITHFULNESS OF GOD'S PEOPLE

16:1-5. Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, and say, Thus saith the Lord God unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother a Hittite. And as for thy nativity, in the day thou was born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the loathing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born. — Chapter 16 is an amplification of the symbolic description of Babylon the Great (Jerusalem), ecclesiasticism (Rev. 17), as a once virgin but now apostate woman (church). The peoples of whom the church was composed were originally heathen (16:3), in and of the world (field).
16:6-8. And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live. I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare. Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread My skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with) thee, saith the Lord God, and thou becamest Mine. — God through Christ loved these people and espoused them, He caused the church to grow beautiful.
16:9-12. Then washed I thee with water; yea, I thoroughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil. I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badger's skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk. I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck. And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head. — He anointed them with the Holy Spirit (16:9, oil), clothed them with the robe of Christ's
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righteousness (Matt. 22:11) with the embroidery of character fruits (Psa. 45:14), and gave them precious ornament of Divine (golden) promises, put a jewel (pure, diamond-sparkling Truth — 1 Cor. 3:12) on their forehead (minds — Rev. 7:3), golden earrings in their ears (ears to ' hear Divine things — Gen. 24:22), and a beautiful crown on their head (tentative kingship). — Rev. 2:10.
16:13. Thus was thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil; and thou wast exceedingly beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom. — He gave them the purest and best food from the Word of God (Psa, 147:14); and they became beautiful in the beauty of holiness (Psa. 110:3), and prospered even unto inheritance of the Kingdom of Heaven. — Col. 1:13.
16:14. And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty; for it was perfect through My comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord God. — They became renowned for their holy, kindly characters; obtainable through sacrificial suffering. — Heb. 2:10.
16:15. But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was. — The spirit of fornication in a church is the desire to form a union with any world-government (Rev. 18:9); this spirit was manifested to every government. — Isa. 1:21.
16:16. And of thy garments thou didst take, and deckedst thy high places with divers colours, and playedst the harlot thereupon; the like things shall not come, neither shall it be so. — The high places are the tops of mountains, the rulers of governments; there the church displayed her greatest attractions, and induced the spiritual fornication of governments, to an extent never to be witnessed again.
16:17. Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of My gold and of My silver, which I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them. — She took the Divine treasures of Truth, and shaped and distorted them into the form of traditions of men.
16:18, 19. And tookest thy broidered garments, and coverdst them; and thou hast set Mine oil and Mine incense before them. My meat also, which I gave thee, fine flour, and oil, and honey, wherewith I fed thee, thou hast even set it before them for a sweet savour; and thus it was, saith the Lord God. — The spiritual food of the Word of God was spiced with human errors; such as Divine right of kings and clergy, immortality, Trinity and eternal torment, preached in a way to please the ruling powers and serve their unholy purposes. — Hos. 2:8.
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16:20, 21. Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto Me. and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter? That thou hast slain My children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them? — The Church gave the children of God, begotten of the Word, to endure doctrines of hell fire (Jer. 7:31) and fiery trials in the warfares of governments.
16:22. And in all. thine abominations and thy whoredoms thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, when thou wast naked and bare, and wast polluted in thy blood. — In her pride of place, the church forgot the heathendom from which her members had been raised.
16:23-25. And it came to pass after all thy wickedness, (woe, woe unto thee! saith the Lord God.) That thou hast also built unto thee an eminent place, and hast made thee a high place in every street Thou hast built thy high place at every head of the way, and hast made thy beauty to be abhorred, and hast opened thy feet to every one that passed by, and multiplied thy whoredoms. — Woe, woe, distress, trouble and destruction to such an apostate, who in every conspicuous way (Isa. 57:7) served the interests of the god of this world, made her "virtues" detestable to thoughtful men, and offered herself for state-church union to every government (street), state, city and town!
16:26. Thou hast also committed fornication with the Egyptians thy neighbors, great of flesh; and hast increased thy whoredoms, to provoke Me to anger. — She united herself with the most worldly people, great in earthly things.
16:27. Behold, therefore I have stretched out My hand over thee, and have diminished thine ordinary food, and delivered thee unto the will of them that hate thee, the daughters of the Philistines, which are ashamed of thy lewd way. — God has now, since 1878, brought the powers of judgment against the apostate church and caused a famine of the Word of God within church doors. He has given her over to the encroachments of church daughters of aggressive worldliness and doctrines of devils (Philistines) — Christian Science, Theosophy, New Thought, Higher Criticism and Spiritism. Even these churches, founded on doctrines of devils, are ashamed of the worldly, self-debasing ways of the professedly orthodox Church of Christ.
16:28, 29. Thou hast played the whore also with the Assyrians, because thou wast unsatiable; yea, thou hast played the harlot with them; and yet couldest not be satisfied. Thou hast moreover multiplied thy fornication in the land of Canaan unto Chaldea; and yet thou wast not satisfied herewith. — The Church has even sought union
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with the forces (Assyrians) destined to overthrow Christendom — Socialism, Communism, Industrial Workers of the World, Trade Unions, Syndicalists, revolutionists, anarchists, — insatiable in her desire for power.
16:30-34. How weak is thine heart, saith the Lord God, seeing thou doest all these things, the work of an imperious whorish woman, in that thou buildest thine eminent place in the head of every way, and makest thine high place in every street; and hast not been as a harlot, in that thou scornest hire, but as a wife that committeth adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her husband! They give gifts to all whores; but thou givest thy gifts to all thy lovers, and hirest them, that they may come unto thee on every side for thy whoredom. And the contrary is in thee from other women in thy whoredoms, whereas none followeth thee to commit whoredoms; and in that thou givest a reward, and no reward is given unto thee, therefore thou are contrary. — How despicable is the attitude of the professed church!.....lower even than an harlot! For a harlot has some self-respect and gives herself only for gifts in return; but the "Christian" church has offered inducements to every possible kind and grade of governmental power to enter into Divinely condemned union of church and state. — Hos. 8:9.
16:35-37. Wherefore, O harlot, hear the word of the Lord: Thus saith the Lord God; Because thy filthiness was poured out, and thy nakedness discovered through thy whoredoms with thy lovers, and with all the idols of thy abominations, and by the blood of thy children, which thou didst give unto them. Behold, therefore I will gather all thy lovers, with whom thou hast taken pleasure, and all them that thou hast loved, with all them that thou hast hated; I will even gather them round about against thee, and will discover thy nakedness unto them, that they may see all thy nakedness. — Therefore God will cause the governments, with which the apostate church has made alliance, to hate and burn her with fire. — Rev. 17:16.
16:38-40. And I will judge thee, as women that break wedlock and shed blood are judged; and I will give thee blood in fury and jealousy. And I will also give thee into their hand, and they shall throw down thine eminent place, and shall break down thy high places: they shall strip thee also of thy clothes, and shall take thy fair jewels, and leave thee naked and bare. They shall also bring up a company against thee, and they shall stone thee with stones, and thrust thee through with their swords. — By Moses' Law women that broke wedlock were stoned to death; in earlier days they were burned alive; and the
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guilty men also were killed. (Lev. 20:10, 14, 27.) Ecclesiasticism will be smitten down with the stones of hard facts, and be destroyed in the fires of anarchy, "with the fire of God's jealousy." (Zeph. 3:8.) She shall be stripped of her tinsel and gilt (imitation immortality), her purple (imperial) and scarlet (bloody) colors, and of her real and imitation jewels of Truth. The masses, incensed by vain sacrifices and privations of a world-war, will despatch her.
16:41. And they shall burn thine houses with fire, and execute judgments upon thee in the sight of many women; and I will cause thee to cease from playing the harlot, and thou also shalt give no hire any more. — Her houses (denominations) will be wiped out in the anarchy. She will receive her terrible judgments in the wondering sight of many heathen religions (women).
16:42, 43. So will I make My fury toward thee to rest, and My jealousy shall depart from thee, and I will be quiet and will be no more angry. Because thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, but hast fretted Me in all these things; behold, therefore I also will recompense thy way upon thine head, saith the Lord God: and thou shalt not commit this lewdness above all thine abominations. — Not till ecclesiasticism has perished from the face of the earth will God's fury and jealousy cease its retributions.
16:44, 45. Behold, every one that useth proverbs shall use this proverb against thee, saying, As is the mother, so is her daughter. Thou art thy mother's daughter, that loatheth her husband and her children; and thou art the sister of thy sisters, which loathed their husbands and their children: your mother was a Hittite, and your father an Amorite. — The Hittites, Amorites, Samaritans and Sodomites were all worshipers of Baal and Astarte, under one name or another, and were adepts in the heathen and immoral beliefs and practices of that religion, typical not of fleshly but of spiritual uncleanness, as explained in foregoing pages. The true Church's father was our Father, her mother the Sarah Covenant of Grace, and her espoused husband, Christ. Ecclesiasticism's parentage, as becometh the "dwellers in the summits," the proud "best" people, was the proud, self-sufficient one, the Devil (John 8:44.) Romanism and Protestantism are begotten, not by the Word of God, but by the words of pride, of selfishness, of earthly ambition. Her mother was of the Hittites, a commercial people, descendants of Ham, under Divine disapproval; her spiritual mother was the false promises of human tradition, which would barter a Divine promise for an earthly meal; she loves compromise, and knows not principle. "Like mother, like daughter."
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16:46. And thine elder sister is Samaria, she and her daughters that dwell at thy left hand; and thy younger sister, that dwelleth at thy right hand, is Sodom and her daughters. — Samaria and Sodom were worshipers of Baal. With like parentage, ecclesiasticism is a sister religion with the heathen religions, even acknowledging in many volumes the unity of all religions, herself included. Samaria, the ten apostate tribes, mingled the religion of Jehovah with that of Baal — a fit religious sister of the "nominal church," which reads the Bible and serves the god of selfishness. Samaria elsewhere types not merely ecclesiasticism's sister, but churchianity herself. Sodom, here named Jerusalem's (ecclesiasticism's) sister religion, is directly identified as churchianity in Rev. 11:8 — "The great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified." It types professed Christianity in its lowest phase.
16:47. Yet hast thou not walked after their ways, nor done after their abominations: but, as if that were a very little thing, thou was corrupted more than they in all thy ways. — As though the ill-fame of Sodom were not enough, (apostate) Christianity has excelled her in corruption; Sodom's literal depravity was "a very little thing" to ecclesiasticism's ways.
16:48-50. As I live, saith the Lord God, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters. Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw good. — Sodom's greatest depravity (A111, 112) was a result of depraved sexuality in connection with the religion of Baal. "This dreadful 'consecration' spread over Phoenicia, Syria, Phrygia, Assyria and Babylonia. Ashtaroth, the Greek Astarte, was its chief object." Its antitype in the churches was, for national, state or municipal rulers, under guise of advancing religion, to cause their tributary governments to become "Christianized." Whole nations were thus "Christianized" and baptized — the peoples of savage governments. Through a letting down of the bars of immorality, spiritual and fleshly, this ministered to the beastly propensities of rulers and of others. The clergy, from Pope to class leader, prostituted religion for the pleasure and profit of association with the rich and powerful. Rulers were assured of the "Divine right of kings," and received homage, as God's representatives. The people were led
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to believe that death for rulers was entrance to Heaven, and thousands died in the exhilaration — mistaken for religious uplift — of self-sacrifice in their behalf. Ministers of Satan masquerading as angels of light, preached these falsities and millions believed them, and for their own good, and the good of the world which they have corrupted, God is about to take them away. — Z.'95-56.
16:51, 52. Neither hath Samaria committed half of thy sins; but thou hast multiplied thine abominations more than they, and hast justified thy sisters in all thine abominations which thou hast done. Thou also, which hast judged thy sisters, bear thine own shame for thy sins that thou hast committed more abominable than they; they are more righteous than thou; yea, be thou confounded also, and bear thy shame, in that thou hast justified thy sisters.  — As Jerusalem's moral corruption justified Sodom and Samaria, so ecclesiasticism's moral and spiritual depravity have justified those elements in Christendom typed by Samaria and Sodom. The clergy, and their churches, because of pride of being the "best people", have been more abominable than those of baser sort. — Psa. 119:113; Prov. 6:17; 8:13; 16:18.
16:53-55. When I shall bring again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, then will I bring again the captivity of thy captives in the midst of them. That thou mayest bear thine own shame, and mayest be confounded in all that thou hast done, in that thou art a comfort unto them. When thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate. — In the resurrection of the dead, "just and unjust" (Acts 24:15), Jerusalem, in shame, will face Sodom and Samaria, confounded and abased by the fact that her evil practices justified, excused and "comforted" Sodom and Samaria. Likewise ecclesiasticism, the clergy and their following of "best people", will be in shame over the fact that their iniquity was an incentive to the evil doing of the baser elements of Christendom.
16:56-59. For thy sister Sodom was not mentioned by thy mouth in the day of thy pride. Before thy wickedness was discovered, as at the time of thy reproach of the daughters of Syria, and all that are round about her, the daughters of the Philistines, which despise thee round about. Thou hast borne thy lewdness and thine abominations, saith the Lord. For thus saith the Lord God; I will even deal with thee as thou hast done, which hast de-
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spised the oath in breaking the covenant. — Among a proud and corrupt "best" people it was a tabooed subject even to mention the depravities of the "worser kind"; but in the last two score years of merciless "muckraking" and publicity of "Christian" criminality in choir lofts, Sunday "School rooms, church "studies", belfries, orphan asylums and convents, "the wickedness was discovered" of clergy and church people, and so widely published that the heathen religions (daughters of Syria and of the Philistines) have come to know about it and to despise so-called "Christianity." Christendom has despised its vow of consecration to God and the Covenant of Grace, by which "We, as Isaac was, are the children of the Promise." (Gal. 4:28), and under which she was betrothed to Christ. God will deal with Christendom in like manner as Christendom has dealt with God.

GOD'S AFTER BLESSING.

16:60. Nevertheless, I will remember My covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant. — Nevertheless, "God is faithful." (1 Cor. 1:9); and as He made a covenant with the church in the pure and faithful days of her youth, He will remember that covenant, and in the Times of Restitution will make with all people, through the Jews, the New Covenant, everlasting, under which there will be showers of blessing. — Ezek. 34:26.
16:61. Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger: and I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by thy covenant. — When the people of Christendom, come back from the dead to life on the earth they will remember their evil, faithless ways, and experience deepest shame when people of the baser sort are given to them as daughters, to love and cherish in the Lord — D638.
16:62. And I will establish My covenant with thee: and thou shalt know that I am the Lord. — The coming blessings are not for any faithfulness of Christendom, but because God is faithful.
16:63. That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord God. — Then the once apostate people, at last returned to "the Bishop and Shepherd of their souls" (1 Pet 2:25), will realize the fullness of God's eternal goodness and love, and come into the peace of God (Phil. 4:7) — a peace that will be eternal. — A111; Z.'94-46.

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