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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 22

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THE MELTING POT OF WAR

22:1-4. Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? yea, thou shalt shew her all her abominations, then say thou, Thus saith the Lord God; the city sheddeth blood in the midst of it, that her time may come, and maketh idols against herself to defile herself. Thou art become guilty in thy blood that thou hast shed; and hast defiled thyself in thine idols which thou hast made; and thou hast caused thy days to draw near, and art come even unto thy years: therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the heathen, and a mocking to all countries. — In Chapter 22 the various iniquities of Jerusalem are related. (22:1-12.) Their punishment is described under the figure of a melting-pot. (22:13-22.) Christendom, and especially ecclesiasticism, is guilty of bloodshed and of defiling paganism. This, by a natural process, has brought about a situation which could not continue. The present outbreak of evil and trouble, in view of the lofty pretenses of the past, has made paganized Christendom a byword among acknowledgedly pagan peoples. — D72.
22:5. These that be near, and these that be far from thee, shall mock thee, which art infamous and much vexed. — The unbelievers, both in and out of "Christian" countries, scoff at "Christendom" — now denied of name and "full of tumult."
22:6. Behold, the princes of Israel, every one were in thee to their power to shed blood. — In Christendom all the rulers, in the mania for war, have used every power to promote bloodshed. The spiritual rulers have, by false teachings, destroyed the spiritual hopes of millions. — Luke 11:52.
22:7. In thee have they set light by father and mother: in the midst of thee have they dealt by oppression with the stranger: in thee have they vexed the fatherless and the widow. — They have dealt unjustly by the classes needing help. Spiritually they have despised our Father and His Covenant of Grace, and oppressed those who are His pilgrims and strangers in the world. — 1 Pet. 1:1.
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22:8. Thou hast despised Mine holy things, and hast profaned My sabbaths. — They have despised the holy teachings of God's Word, respecting the seventh thousand-year Day of rest, and have attempted justification by works instead of in the rest of faith.
22:9. In thee are men that carry tales to shed blood: and in thee they eat upon the mountains: in the midst of thee they commit lewdness. — In the churches are gossipers, evil speakers, assassins of reputation. In them are some that feast at the tables of devils (1 Tim. 4:1; 1 Cor. 10:21), like lords or rulers at the heads of the nations; they long for unhallowed church-state union.
22:10, 11. In thee have they discovered their fathers' nakedness; in thee have they humbled her that was set apart for pollution. And one hath committed abomination with his neighbor's wife; and another hath lewdly defiled his daughter-in-law; and another in thee hath humbled his sister, his father's daughter. — They have not only made state-churches in every possible direction, but have been in vast numbers guilty of sexual immorality.
22:12. In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbors by extortion, and hast forgotten Me, saith the Lord God. — They have used the gifts of God for evil purposes, even to slay God's holy martyrs; they have even practised extortion upon those close to them. This they have done because they have forgotten the Lord.
22:13. Behold, therefore I have smitten Mine hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made, and at thy blood which hath been in the midst of thee. — God has shown plain signs of anger against ecclesiasticism's hypocrisy and her spirit of murder.
22:14. Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with thee? I the Lord have spoken it, and will do it. — Her heart must fail her, and her powers weaken, before an abused conscience, in the days when God will deal with her iniquities.
22:15. And I will scatter thee among the heathen, and disperse thee in the countries, and will consume thy filthiness out of thee. — He will scatter the ecclesiastics and by fiery trials consume the uncleanness out of ecclesiasticism.
22:16. And thou shalt take thine inheritance in thyself in the sight of the heathen, and thou shalt knew that I am the Lord. — She shall be profaned, desecrated and destroyed in the sight of earth's nations.
22:17,18. And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, the house of Israel is to Me become dross; all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst
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of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver. — Ecclesiasticism, clergy and laity alike, are to the just and holy God become as the refuse of the baser metals in a fiery furnace of affliction; they are the dross of the Great Company (silver). (Jer. 6:30.) The baser metals type degrees of earthly natures; brass (human perfection), tin (tares, begotten of error), iron (savage worldly power), and lead (sin, iniquity).
22:19. Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. — God will gather the corrupt peoples and the nations of Christendom.
22:28. As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in Mine anger and in My fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you. — This great conglomeration of persons of all shades of baseness shall be gathered as into a blast furnace, where God will permit indescribable troubles to afflict them; and there fie will leave them.
22:21. Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the tire of My wrath and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof. — They are to be melted in heart and spirit in the fiery afflictions of His wrath.
22:22. As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the Lord have poured out My fury upon you. — As the Great Company of God's, spirit-begotten children have suffered by the millions, so shall it be with the clergy and laity, who profess Christianity without its spirit.
22:23, 24. And the Word of the Lord came unto me, saying. Son of man, say unto her, Thou art the land that is not cleansed, nor rained upon in the day of indignation.  — Christendom in this Time of Trouble is without the cleansing, refreshing showers of the water of God's Word.
22:26. There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof. — Among the clergy there is a conspiracy against the Truth. The "Federation of the [so-called] Churches of Christ in America," like a very devil (roaring lion), will yet tear to pieces the Present Truth people, will put many to death, and cause some weaker ones to lose their spiritual lives. They will take and destroy the literature containing the precious Bible truth. Literally the preachers by preaching the men into war have made widows by the millions.
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22:26. Her priests have violated My law, and have profaned Mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from My sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. — The Roman Catholic priests — and the Protestant clergy — have violated the Law of Divine Love; have polluted God's truths with pagan teachings, have shown no difference between those cleansed by the blood of Christ and those still in their sins, have denied the Bible teaching of the Millennium (Rev. 20:2-7), have hidden the Sabbath rest of justification by faith, and have promoted a money-grabbing system of penances and masses for sin and of collections, which discredits and profanes God's name.
22:27. Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain. — The ecclesiastics, "wolves in sheeps' clothing" (Matt. 7:15), tear their prey, the Body members of Christ, shed blood in persecution, and destroy spiritual life — all to acquire money to perpetuate their infamous, paganized religion. — Micah 2:9-11.
22:28. And her prophets have daubed them with untempered mortar, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord God, when the Lord hath not spoken. — The preachers of Protestantism have whitewashed the whole crowd of ecclesiastics. imagining empty doctrines of Evolution and Higher Criticism, and lying to the people by giving their own theories as God's Word.
22:29. The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy; yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully. — The laity of both Romanism and Protestantism have oppressed the poor in spirit, have robbed those needing God's help of what comfort they had, and have wrongfully oppressed the "pilgrims and strangers" (Heb. 11:13) among them.
22:30. And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found none. — God promised not to destroy Sodom if there should be ten righteous men in it; He will seek for even one who is righteous in Christ's righteousness, in ecclesiasticism, to make up the wall of her goat-fold, and stand in the gap, that He should not destroy her; but He will find not one!
22:31. Therefore have I poured out Mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord God. — Therefore ecclesiasticism is doomed to extinction.

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