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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 37

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THE VALLEY OF DRY BONES

37:1. The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones. — Chapter 37:1-14 has a fourfold application: (1) to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, the Adamic death, into which the Hebrew nation has gone; (2) to the captivity of the Hebrews in literal Babylonia; (3) the captivity of the Hebrews in Mystic Babylon, Christendom; and (4) the dead condition of the hopes of Christendom in and after the Time of Trouble. It is because the Jews were types of the Christians that the blessed fulfilment of this prophecy applies with peculiar force to Christendom in and after the Time of Trouble. The power (hand) of Jehovah was upon Ezekiel to enable him to see and expound this vision for the benefit of the Hebrews and their dead hopes in captivity (2) in literal Babylon, (3) in Mystic Babylon (Christendom) and (1) in the Adamic death. (Z.'99-190; '01-358.) The power of God is now upon His people to understand the application of the vision of dry bones as pertaining to the hopes of (4) the people of Christendom, who, though believers in God, have not the Holy Spirit to illuminate their mental vision, and who will find themselves in the depths (valley) of despair in and after the Time of Trouble.
The condition of the withered hopes of Christendom in the Time of Trouble and death is pictured by the Valley of Jehoshaphat (Joel 3:2, 9-14): "I will gather all nations, and will bring them down into the Valley of Jehoshaphat [of judgment and death], and will plead [in war, revolution and anarchy] with them there for My people and My heritage Israel [the true Church] whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted My land [into several hundred denominations]. Proclaim ye this among the nations: Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up; beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak [Belgium, etc.] say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about; thither cause thy mighty ones [the Little Flock, mighty in the power of the Lord] to coma down, O Lord. Let the heathen [in Christendom, and out)
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be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest [of the vine of the earth, (Rev. 14:19) Christendom] is ripe; come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision [for or against God and His Word] for the Day [of vengeance] of the Lord is near in the valley of decision." — Joel 3:2, 9-15.
Vast will be the slaughter, complete the devastation, heart-rending the ruin and the desolation of the hopes and aspirations of Christendom in the dark and gloomy valley of the Day of Vengeance of Jehovah. It will indeed be a valley — a cast down, humbled, lowly condition, in which the people of proud Christendom will suddenly find themselves, a condition full of the memories of ruined hopes, (bones) (Mal. 4:1.) The valley is full of dried-up hopes (bones): (1) the twelve tribes of Israel in death; (2, 3) the Hebrews in captivity to literal and mystical Babylon; and (4) the hopes of Christendom.
37:2. And caused me to pass by them round about: and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and lo, they were very dry. — The hopes of the Hebrews, held out to them in Scripture, were very many, but until the regathering out of literal and mystical Babylon, and from the dead, were and shall be lifeless. Pastor Russell, in Volume IV of Studies in the Scriptures, compassed the entire range of the afflictions and desolated hopes of mankind in war, revolution and anarchy of the great Time of Trouble.
37:3. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live! And I answered, O Lord God, Thou knowest. — "Is there any hope for the scattered people of Israel, that they will ever be restored as a nation? Can the good hopes of Christendom, ruined by war, revolution and anarchy, be revived?" "O Jehovah God, Thou knowest and hast foretold the answer by the mouths of Prophets and Apostles, and Thine own Son!"
37:4. Again He said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord. — And God says about the Scriptural hopes of both Jews and of Christendom, whose fall, ignominy and captivity in literal Babylon, in mystic Babylon, in the Adamic death and in the Time of Trouble have caused, and will cause, so great sufferings and so many tears. "Hear the good Word of Jehovah concerning thy ruined hopes."
37:5. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live. — Thus saith Jehovah God about the hopes of Chris-
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tendom: Behold, in the blessed Times of Restitution, the time for His great love for men to be revealed, He shall cause the people that are left among the Hebrews and in Christendom to talk and pray about their good hopes for the uplift of themselves and all the world to better, higher things. And their hopes shall live again; for God will cause the spirit of life, life-energy, to enter into their hopes and into their dead — those captive in the Adamic death and in the ruin of the great tribulation. — E341, 316.
37:6. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. — God will make their hopes strong; for His Word encourages their realization; and He gives them power, form and substance and protection, and will finally give them vitality, and they shall live, shall become a bright and vital reality. Then with thanksgiving they shall know Him truly as Jehovah. — E341, 316.
37:7. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. — While Ezekiel was speaking there began "a shaking" — the commotion incident to the fall of Babylon and the transfer of the empire to the Medes and Persians, typifying the coming Time of Trouble. And while Pastor Russell was preaching there began — in 1914 — the shaking of Christendom, in wars, revolutions and anarchy, preparatory to the transfer of the rulership from Mystic Babylon, Christendom, to the two-phase, spiritual and natural, Kingdom of God; also the Zionistic hopes of the Jews began to assume definite, connected and Scriptural form. In due time, after the hopes of Christendom shall have been utterly ruined in the trouble, there will be "a noise," as of the rushing wind of a second Pentecostal outpouring of the Holy Spirit "upon all flesh." It will be upon all Christendom, where men will be awaiting it with prayer and supplication. And behold! all Christendom will be shaken with emotion and with a revival of hope; and all the good hopes of Christendom, whose realization hitherto had been vague and disconnected, will be seen in their proper and Divinely appointed relation (bone to his bone). — Z.'99-191.
37:8. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. — As a result of Ezekiel's prophesying among the Hebrews captive in Babylon, hope grew strong and positive, and the protection of Jehovah (skin) was seen to be upon it, but yet there was no vitality to it. The time was not ripe for the fruition of hope.
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Pastor Russell, too, preached to the Jews about their Zionist hopes, and pointed them to the Hebrew Bible to understand the proper fulfillment of their hopes; and while he was preaching Zionism grew into a strong movement. There is a due time also for Christendom's hopes to be strengthened by the books of Pastor Russell in millions of homes throughout Christendom. The surviving people of Christendom will read the Studies in the Scriptures during and after the time of the ruination of their hopes. But even then something will be lacking — the Spirit, power, to cause the fulfillment of hope. — E341, 316.
37:9. Then said He unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. — Ezekiel was commissioned to say, as the Word of God Himself, concerning the operation of the Holy Spirit (wind, ruach) or power of God, that the whole power (four winds) of God as concerned the Hebrew nation in captivity in literal Babylon should be exercised to cause the revival of their national and Messianic hopes. "The words that I speak, they are Spirit." The whole Word of God (four winds, the whole Spirit) foretold the regathering of the willing and obedient of the Hebrews from Babylon to Jerusalem, after seventy years' captivity. Pastor Russell, as Ezekiel's antitype, was commissioned to say to the Hebrews, scattered throughout the world in captivity in Mystic Babylon, Christendom, that the whole Word of God pointed to two great blessings: (1) the revival of their Zionist hope and its realization in the regathering of many Hebrews to Jerusalem, and the founding there of the world-wide Hebrew dominion over the whole world, into which should be gathered, out of Mystic Babylon, all the Hebrews in the world, wherever they might remain; and (2) the regathering of the Hebrews of all ages from the captivity of death — the tomb — to live on earth again in the earthly phase of the Kingdom of God, under the invisible spiritual dominion of Christ, Head and Body, and under the visible earthly rulership of the resurrected Ancient Worthies. Beginning in October, 1910, Pastor Russell called the attention of Hebrews by thousands, throughout the world, to the fact that the whole Old Testament foretold this as the legitimate aspiration of the Hebrews. For the Christian people of the world Pastor Russell has a similar message:
(1) For believing Christians having the Holy Spirit, he revived their hopes and pointed out clearly their gathering out from captivity in Mystic Babylon and in death, unto the glorious spirit phase of the Kingdom of God. (2) For the
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mass of professing Christians, who through some measure of unbelief or of unfaithfulness are not begotten of the Spirit to a change of nature from human to spiritual, he has a Divine message, which in due time will bring strong hope and comfort. As the Time of Trouble progresses, professing Christians by the millions, losing faith, as did the Apostles when, on the arrest of Christ they all forsook Him and fled, will forsake Christianity and all profession of being Christians. They will lose all the hopes they had as Christians. Then Pastor Russell's message will preach to Christendom the necessity of receiving the Holy Spirit in its entirety, in order to realize their hopes; will turn the people to the whole Troth of the Word of God (the four winds, all the Truth), all the witness of the Spirit for them, that "salvation cometh of the Jew" (John 4:22), and that they must connect themselves with the Ancient Worthies, resurrected and reigning at Jerusalem; for without these Worthies their hopes must remain inactive — through them alone hope can be vitalized. Then Christendom will pray to God, "We submit ourselves wholly to Thee in heartfelt consecration. Come, O Spirit, all the Spirit, in the appointed way, and breathe life into our hopes, that they may live at last!"
37:10. So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. — From paying attention to Ezekiel's message, the Hebrews captive in Babylon realized their hopes at the end of the seventy years captivity. As a result of Pastor Russell's teaching, Zionistic hopes have gained new vitality; and in due time the Hebrew dead will come forth from the Adamic death in multitudes. From his teachings to the true Church, captive in Mystic Babylon, Christendom, the Scriptural hopes of the Church were clearly seen, and vitalized for those in Present Truth. From his teachings hope will grow afresh in the hearts of the survivors of desolated Christendom; and as a result of their prayers the dead of Christendom will come forth, an exceeding great army. — E341, 316.
37:11. Then He said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. — The dried bones represent all the Hebrews, Fleshly Israel, and all the professing Christians, spiritual Israel. As outlined foregoing, they say that their hopes are lost, and that they are cut off from Divine favors for their evil course in life. — Isa. 49:14; Z.'99-191.
37:12. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O My people, I will open your
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graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. — The various classes mentioned were to be brought up from their condition — dead as to their hopes — and brought, the Hebrews into Palestine; the true Christians, into the Spirit phase of the Kingdom; and the nominal Christians, into a place of favor in the earthly phase of the Kingdom. — Isa. 60:21; Z.'99-190.
37:13, 14. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put My Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord. — They shall all know that God is the Jehovah of infinite Justice, Wisdom, Love and Power, when the wonderful power of God has thus wrought in them for their blessing. — E341, 316; Z.'99-190.

TWO STICKS MADE ONE

37:15. The Word of the Lord came again unto me, saying. — Verses 15-28 recount the separation of the Hebrews into two distinct kingdoms; Israel, the corrupt ten tribes; and Judah, the less corrupt two tribes. In antitype it represents corrupt Catholicism, the larger branch of Christendom, and Protestantism, the smaller and less corrupt.
37:16, 17. Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel and his companions: And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. — By the power of God the two were to be made one nation in the return of the Hebrews from Babylonia, and again will be made one in their return from Mystic Babylon, Christendom, to Palestine. Likewise the denominational divisions of Christian people have been obliterated among those gathered out of Mystic Babylon into Present Truth, as they will yet be in the regathering of the dead of Christendom in the resurrection, and in the unifying influences that will work among the survivors of Christendom's trouble. All these are to have as their Prince forever, the Beloved (David, beloved) of God, The Christ in glory.
37:18. And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt Thou not show what Thou meanest by these? — Both Jews and Christians have long inquired what God has signified by this prophecy.
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37:19. Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in Mine hand. — The reuniting of the Hebrews and of the divisions of Christians will be by the power of God, and they shall remain one.
37:20. And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. — The uniting of the Hebrews was apparently due to the prophecy of Ezekiel. That to come — of the Hebrews and of the Christians — will be in accordance with the teachings of Pastor Russell.
37:21, 22. And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all; and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all. — In 536 B. C. God regathered the Natural Israelites into Palestine as one nation, and will soon regather them out from all the nations of the world. He will gather true Spiritual Israel into the Heavenly phase of the Kingdom, where they shall ever be one people in mind in Christ, no longer separated as Little Flock, loving Heavenly things, and Great Company, loving the earthly. He will regather nominal Spiritual Israel from the dead and from their hopeless earthly condition, into the earthly phase of the Kingdom, no longer divided as Catholic and Protestant. — Jer. 50:4-6.

A GREAT RELIGIOUS REFORMATION

37:23. Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be My people, and I will be their God. — God will cleanse them all from everything relating to this present evil age and will save them out of their dwelling-places — the spirit children from their corrupt bodies; the Great Company from their spiritual bondage; the nominal Christians from their sects; and the Jews from their domiciles in all nations; and all classes from the sleep of death. They shall all be truly God's people; and Jehovah, Just, Wise, Loving and Powerful, their God.
37:24. And David My servant shall be king over them; and they shall all have One Shepherd: they shall also walk
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in My judgments, and observe My statutes, and do them. — Over them as King shall be Christ Jesus, the Beloved Head of His Body the Church, and the whole Beloved Christ, Head and Body, for all the other classes. Christ Jesus the Head shall be the Shepherd of the Spirit classes; and The Christ, Head and Body, the Shepherd and Pastor of all the others. All classes in Heaven and on earth shall walk in the royal Law of Love.
37:25. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob My servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they and their children, and their children's children for ever: and My servant David shall be their prince for ever. — The promise to Jacob is to be understood as both spiritual and earthly, a place spiritually typifying a condition. The Jews, living and resurrected dead, shall dwell forever in Palestine, given by God to Jacob, wherein their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, dwelt. The Little Flock and the Great Company will dwell forever in the Heavenly condition, where their great Father dwells. The nominal Christians will dwell in the whole earth, wherein their then Father, The Christ, Head and Body, dwelt in bodies of humiliation and sacrifice. The Christ shall forever be their King.
37:26. Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting Covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set My Sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. — God will make effective with the Jews the everlasting New Covenant, guaranteeing eternal earthly blessings to the willing and obedient; and the nominal professing Christians will come under the benefits of the Covenant. He will make effective the complete fulfillment of the Covenant of Grace for the Church in the spirit phase of the Kingdom. He will set both classes up in power — the Church as spiritual Kings and Priests unto God; and the Jews as the rulers of the earth. He will multiply their numbers by the resurrection. He will dwell in the spiritual class, making them His Sanctuary to the earthly class.
37:27. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be My people. — God's abode will be in the spiritual class; and they will be God's Temple or Dwelling-place, from which the Law of Love shall proceed for the earthly class.
37:28. And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when My Sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore. — Then will follow the conversion of the heathen peoples of the earth — "the residue of men, even all the Gentiles." — Acts 15:17.

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