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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 19

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THE LION'S WHELPS

19:1. Moreover, take thou up a lamentation for the princes of Israel. — Chapter 19 has the form of a dirge. It represents in antitype the downfall, in the Time of Trouble, of ecclesiasticism pictured first, as two roaring lions which are taken captive; and secondly, as a vine destroyed by fire of internal origin. The princes of Israel are the clergy.
19:2. And say, What is thy mother? A lioness: she lay down among lions, she nourished her whelps among young lions. — As the father and the mother of Isaac were Abraham and Sarah, and the spiritual father and mother of the (rue Church are Jehovah and His Covenant of Grace (Gal. 4:22-28), so the spiritual father and mother of ecclesiasticism, priestcraft, are the Devil and his covenant with death. (Gen. 3:4; Isa. 28:18.) "The Devil goeth about like a roaring lion." (1 Pet. 6:8.) Their nourishment has been "doctrines of devils."
19:3. And she brought up one of her whelps; it became a young lion, and it learned to catch the prey; it devoured men. — Ecclesiasticism divided into two classes; one higher, richer, more educated than the other — "one of her whelps." They learned to devour men, make them their prey.
19:4. The nations also heard of him; he was taken in their pit, and they brought him with chains unto the land of Egypt. — The unbelieving peoples heard them; they, the clergy, were taken in the pit of corrupt doctrine; they were captivated, taken captive, into worldliness, the wisdom of this world, of "Egypt."
19:5. Now when she saw that she had waited, and her hope was lost, then she took another of her whelps, and made him a young lion. — Another class of ecclesiasticism was developed, under the same false covenant with death, into a full-fledged lion, an embodiment and child of the eternal torment, trinity, inherent-immortality teachings.
19:6. And he went up and down among the lions, he became a young lion, and learned to catch the prey, and devoured men. — This was the popular evangelist well trained in catching men and shekels.
19:7. And he knew their desolate palaces, and he laid waste their cities; and the land was desolate, and the fulness thereof, by the noise of his roaring. — The revivalist? caught men by thousands, and "the fulness thereof," great contributions for a few weeks of noisy evangelism.
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19:8. Then the nations set against him on every side from the provinces, and spread their net over him; he was taken in their pit. — Then the "unconvertible" people, anarchists, Socialists, etc., spread the net of their teachings. The people, indignant at their sufferings from wars and high cost of living, declined further support.
19:9. And they put in ward in chains, and brought him to the king of Babylon: they brought him into holds, that his voice should no more be heard upon the mountains of Israel. — Revolution and anarchy will place a complete restraint upon the revivalists, and bring them to their end.
19:10. Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood, planted by the waters: she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters. — The false covenant-mother of ecclesiasticism is a system of thought, in the very blood; it is part and parcel of the existence of ecclesiasticism. It is "the vine of the earth," of Rev. 14:19. This system of error was once fruitful in gaining adherents.
19:11. And she had strong rods for the sceptres of them that bare rule, and her stature was exalted among the thick branches, and she appeared in her height with the multitude of her branches. — The vine had seeming strong authority for the rulership "of them that bare rule," the clergy, "lords over God's heritage." (1 Pet. 5:3.) To a mighty and lofty height did the vine of the earth grow.
19:12. But she was plucked up in fury, she was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit: her strong rods were broken and withered; the fire consumed them. — But in the fury of the world-wide war she will be "cast down to the ground." The truths arising from the presence of the dawning Sun of Righteousness will dry up the support of her fruit (church members). Her authority — rod — will be broken, withered, and destroyed in anarchy.
19:13. And now she is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty ground. — In a world of hostile doctrines of Socialism and anarchy, in a world-wide drought of the water of the Word of God, the old system of sophistries will soon be in the wilderness condition, in a state of complete ostracism.
19:14. And fire is gone out of a rod of her branches, which hath devoured her fruit, so that she hath no strong rod to be a sceptre to rule. This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation. — The savage application in the world-wide war of the rod of the Divine authority of rulers will cause revolt, revolution and anarchy to spring up, like a fire, which will bring to an utter end the denominational clusters, the fruit of the vine of the earth.

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