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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 21

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THE THRICE-DOUBLED SWORD

21:1, 2. And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face toward Jerusalem, and drop thy word toward the holy places, and prophesy against the land of Israel. — The Lord has drawn the sword against Jerusalem and sharpened and pointed it in fury. (21:1-17.) The king of Babylon (Satan) uses divination as to the route by which to bring the sword against Jerusalem; the Jews deride such a method (21:18-24), but the Hebrew crown is to be overturned. (21:25-57.) The Ammonites (aggressive worldly believers), too, are to be given to the sword. — 21:28-32.
21:3. And say to the land of Israel, Thus saith the Lord: Behold, I am against thee, and will draw forth My sword out of its sheath, and will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked. — Jehovah is against Christendom, has drawn against it both the literal weapons of war, in warfare and revolution, and the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. (Eph. 6:17.) He will cause both righteous and wicked to die in the Time of Trouble; and by His Word He will bring about conditions such that all wicked professing Christians will abandon all pretense of Christianity, and the righteous will "come out of her" (Rev. 18:4) and be gathered as wheat into the Divine garner — Heaven.
21:4. Seeing then that I will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall My sword go forth out of his sheath against all flesh from the south to the north. — Cannon, rifle, shot, shell, bomb and torpedo shall be unleashed and turned against all flesh, from those of the earthly (of the south) to those having the Holy Spirit (of the north). The Word of God will be taken out of its sheath of mystery and plainly show the meaning of this trouble, and that it is to be upon all.
21:5. That all flesh may know that I the Lord have drawn forth My sword out of its sheath: it shall not return any more. — All the people shall know that the trouble has come from Jehovah, and that its consummation is a certainty.
21:6. Sigh therefore, thou son of man, with the breaking of thy loins; and with bitterness sigh before their eyes. —
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Pastor Russell and the Truth people have carried a heavy heart burden in this message of the ills coming upon Christendom.
21:7. And it shall be, when they say unto thee, Wherefore sighedst thou? that thou shalt answer, For the tidings, because it cometh. And every heart shall melt, and all hands shall be feeble, and every spirit shall faint, and all knees shall be weak as water: behold, it cometh, and shall be brought to pass, saith the Lord God. — For the days are near when even the strongest shall falter.
21:8, 9. Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus saith the Lord; Say, A sword, a sword is sharpened, and also furbished. — Modern weapons of destruction are brought to a hitherto unknown efficiency, as is the Sword of the Spirit in the hands of the "feet" members of Christ. — Isa. 52:7.
21:10. It is sharpened to make a sore slaughter; it is furbished that it may glitter: should We then make mirth? it contemneth the rod of My Son, as every tree. — The weapons of war will make a frightful slaughter among men; and the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, will cause millions to cast off Christianity. It glitters with flashes of enlightenment reflected from the risen Sun of Righteousness, which to its idolatrous enemies are gleamings of trouble and distress. Who could rejoice over the trouble? Not the Lord's people; for it presages the destruction of the power (rod) of all professing to be of the Son of God, together with all their institutions.
21:11. And he hath given it to be furbished, that it may be handled: this sword is sharpened, and it is furbished, to give it into the hand of the slayer. — It is given, bright and sharp, to be swung in the hand of skillful slayers.
21:12, 13. Cry and howl, son of man; for it shall be upon My people, it shall be upon all the princes of Israel: terrors by reason of the sword shall be upon My people: smite therefore upon thy thigh. Because it is a trial, and what if the sword contemn even the rod? it shall be no more, saith the Lord God. — The destruction by the weapons of war and by the Word of God shall be upon "My [professed] people," upon all the clergy (princes). Fear shall take hold of churchianity.

TWICE THREE TIMES AND THE POINT

21:14. Thou therefore, son of man, prophesy, and smite thine hands together, and let the sword be doubled the third time, the sword of the slain: it is the sword of the great men that are slain, which entereth into their privy chambers. — Pastor Russell was to give expression to the final wrath of Jehovah. The destruction will be of double 30
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severity three times — in war, revolution and anarchy. The Sword of the Spirit was to be wielded by Pastor Russell twice three times, in his six volumes of Studies in the Scriptures. The weapons of destruction will pursue all the great ones of earth, penetrating info all their most secret places. The Sword of the Spirit will search out all the lords of God's heritage (1 Pet. 5:3), the clergy, exposing their inmost ideas contrary to Jehovah and His Plan.
21:15. I have set the point of the sword against all their gates, that their heart may faint, and their ruins be multiplied: ah! it is made bright, it is wrapped up for the slaughter. — The point of the sword against ecclesiasticism, revealing its true nature and imminent fall, is the present exposition of the prophecies of Revelation and Ezekiel. The Hebrew says that it is made "lightning brightness." It is an illumination of the whole Babylonish system, for ages wrapped in the mystery of types and symbolisms. How gladly the clergy would have destroyed these two books of the Bible, had they known what they taught!
21:16. Go thee one way or the other, either on the right hand, or on the left, whithersoever thy face is set. — Wheresoever Pastor Russell and the Truth people set their face to go, it is authorized for them by the Lord.
21:17. I will also smite Mine hands together, and I will cause My fury to rest: I the Lord have said it. — God will manifest His anger and cause His fury to rest upon ecclesiasticism.
21:18, 19. And the Word of the Lord came unto me again, saying, Also, thou son of man, appoint thee two ways, that the sword of the king of Babylon may come: both twain shall come forth out of one land: and choose thou a place, choose it at the head of the way to the city. — There were two ways that the weapons of war, revolution and anarchy might strike; in either way the blow would come from Satan, the king of anarchy. It was to come from Riblah, the fork of the roads. Riblah means "desolate." Since 1878 the worldly churches, and since 1914 the worldly governments, have been "left desolate" (Matt. 23:38) and subject, the one to desolation by the Sword of the Spirit, the other to desolation by carnal weapons.
21:20. Appoint a way, that the sword may come to Rabbath of the Ammonites, and to Judah in Jerusalem the defenced. — The sword might go east of Jordan against the Ammonites (Amos 1:14; Jer. 49:2), or west of Jordan, directly at Jerusalem, first of all. It might strike the Great (Rabbath) Company (Rev. 7:9) of "fellow companions" (Psa. 45:14) (Ammonites), or directly and first strike against churchianity (Judah) and ecclesiasticism proper —
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"the fenced off," exclusive, superior, "best" people, hitherto so thoroughly defended from harm.
21:21. For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he made his arrows bright, he consulted with images, he looked in the liver. — The forces that will overthrow Christendom are thoroughly under the influence and guidance of evil spirits — as is suggested by the shuffling of arrows named for the two cities, by the consulting of idols (theories), and by the looking in the liver (spiritism), by interpretation. The Devil chooses bitter words (arrows) (Psa. 64:3), consults evil spirits (images), and is guided even in his opposition to Jehovah by his own interpretations of Scripture. — Matt. 4:6; 2 Cor. 11:14.

THIS WILL NOT BE BELIEVED

21:22. At his right hand was the divination for Jerusalem, to appoint captains, to open the mouth in the slaughter, to lift up the voice with shouting, to appoint battering rams against the gates, to cast a mount, and to build a fort. — The proof from the Scriptures shows that the evil spirits directed that the revolutionary and anarchistic movement should proceed first to the destruction of Christendom. The ex-Czar of Russia was a spiritualist, and maintained mediums for consultation. Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany, for years prior to the great war, followed the guidance of a demon which spoke to him clairaudiently. urging him to his present course. A surprising number of prominent men consult spirit mediums. The voice of the spirits was for war by every conceivable means, nation against nation, but destined to effect the desolation of ecclesiasticism as well.
21:23. And it shall be unto them as a false divination in their sight, to them that have sworn oaths: but He will call to remembrance the iniquity, that they may be taken. — In the sight of those that have sworn allegiance to ecclesiasticism's god, the father of lies, this true prediction of the downfall of the nations will seem an erroneous expectation — as it has appeared to all the great ones of Christendom. They have thought that this war would be as other wars. But the end of the Age (world) has come; and ecclesiasticism's iniquities shall no longer go unpunished.
21:24. Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because ye have made your iniquity to be remembered, in that your transgressions are discovered, so that in all your doings your sins do appear; because, I say, that ye are come to
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remembrance, ye shall be taken with the hand. — Universal muck-raking by Socialists, Anarchists, magazine writers, social surveyors and reformers has caused Christendom's forgotten iniquities to be freshly remembered, and her transgressions uncovered, so that there is no department — commercial, financial, political or religious — in which her sinful practices do not appear. These things God has permitted to be made manifest that she may be taken red-handed.
21:25. And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end. — The profane and wicked prince of the Jews was Zedekiah, their last king. (A248; Z.'04-343.) The antitype is churchianity's lordly class, the clergy, profaning the holy Temple of God, the Church, the Body of Christ, with doctrines of devils (1 Tim. 4:1), as wicked in the sight of God as were their prototypes, the scribes, doctors and Pharisees, with their hypocritical pretense of holiness. Their time has come — 1918 — when iniquity in the House of the Sons of God shall have an end.
21:26. Thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. — Thus says Almighty God: Remove the mitre (mistranslated "diadem"). The mitre was a band of linen about the forehead, typing the righteousness of Christ, supposed to be in the minds of the clergy, but no more actually in them as a class than in whited sepulchres. (Matt. 23:27.) The king wore a golden crown on his head, held there by a white linen mitre. (A248; B76, 79; Z.'98-359.) The clergy, the lords of God's heritage, have crowned themselves with the rulership of earth, in the person of the pope and in the general desire of clergymen to rule in the affairs of men, a lordship based upon their supposed righteousness (mitre). This great crisis will not be like the temporary setbacks of ecclesiasticism in past centuries. The lowly, revolutionary, anarchistic masses will exalt themselves to power in the Time of Trouble, and the lofty clergy shall be utterly abased. — Matt 23:12.
21:27. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it; and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him. — In warfare, revolution and anarchy Jehovah will triply overthrow Christendom until Christ in great power will take the crown and rule the affairs of earth. — E147, 133; A248; B76, 79; Z.'05-253; H61.
21:28. And thou, son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord God concerning the Ammonites, and concerning their reproach; even say thou, The sword, the
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sword is drawn: for the slaughter it is furbished, to consume because of the glittering. — Nor will the openly worldly, professing Christian escape, for war, revolution and anarchy are abroad — "the sword is drawn" — to consume the worldly, too.
21:29. While they see vanity unto thee, while they divine a lie unto thee, to bring thee upon the necks of them that are slain, of the wicked, whose day is come, when their iniquity shall have an end. — Destruction will come even when the worldly-wise are mistakenly asserting that it will not come nigh them.
21:30. Shall I cause it to return into his sheath? I wilt Judge thee in the place where thou wast created, in the land of thy nativity. — The tribulation shall not be quieted — the sword shall not "return unto his sheath;" for God wilt condemn the worldly Christian also, in. the condition of unbelief wherein they have been.
21:31. And I will pour out Mine indignation upon thee; 1 will blow against thee in the fire of My wrath, and deliver thee into the hand of brutish men, and skilful to destroy. — God will pour out His wrath upon the worldly professing Christians. He will blow upon them fiery blasts of war. revolution and anarchy. They shall be delivered into the hands of a revolted soldiery, brutal, destructive, pitiless, skilled in the arts of slaughter, taught by Teutons and Allies to know the utmost efficiency in war. The Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, too, will be in the hands of consecrated ones, seemingly but not actually cruel, skilled through Divine power to use it with telling effect.
21:32. Thou shalt be for fuel to the fire; thy blood shall be in the midst of the land; thou shalt be no more remembered: for I the Lord have spoken it. — Institutions Divinely condemned shall be as fuel for the fires of bloody anarchy and pass into oblivion. The war is the melting-pot of ecclesiasticism.



"Beautiful hands are they that do
The work of the noble, good and true,
Busy for them the long day through;
Beautiful faces — they that wear
The light of a pleasing spirit there,
It matters little if dark or fair;
And truly beautiful in God's sight,
Are the precious souls who love the right."

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