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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 7

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DAWN OF THE EVIL DAY

7:l-6. Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Also, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord God unto the land of Israel; An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land. Now is the end come upon thee, and I will send Mine anger upon thee, and will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense upon thee all thine abominations. And Mine eye shall not spare thee, neither will I have pity; but I will recompense thy ways upon thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God; An evil, an only evil, behold, is come. An end is come, the end is come; it watcheth for thee; behold, it is come. — Chapter 7 includes what Ezekiel saw in type and what the Ezekiel class now sees in antitype — the destruction of the symbolic earth (the social order), and the causes therefor; the escape of the remnant who will pass alive through the trouble into the better order of things; the defilement and destruction of God's "ornament," Christendom; and the binding and destruction of the rule of wicked might. Pastor Russell's mission, in large part, was to advise Christendom of its impending end, in the time of world-wide trouble. It is the Divine judgment upon the nations. They reap as they have sown. In times past God winked at the iniquity of men (Acts 17:30); but now evil shall receive its just recompense in the wrath of long-insulted Justice. It will be a period of unmixed evil upon Christendom, the purpose of which will be to demonstrate to men's certain knowledge that "thy God reigneth." (Isa. 52:7.) There will be no chance of escaping from destruction, though the nations — as in cases of Germany, the Allies and the United States — earnestly seek in vain for some way of securing peace. The trouble is due to the dawning of the Day of Christ, the Millennium. It is the Day of Vengeance, which began in the world war of 1914 and which will break like a furious morning storm in 1918. — Lam. 4:18.
7:7-9. The morning is come unto thee, O thou that dwellest in the land: the time is come, the day of trouble is near, and not the sounding again of the mountains.
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Now will I shortly pour out My fury upon thee, and accomplish Mine anger upon thee; and I will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense thee for all thine abominations. And Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity; I will recompense thee according to thy ways and thine abominations that are in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I am the Lord that smiteth. — The chiefest sufferers will be those setting affections on earthly things, earth dwellers and earth lovers. Steep mountain valleys are full of echoing sounds, falling trees, dislodged rocks, avalanches, landslides, waterfalls, or the thunders of local storms. Earth's nations have been resounding for centuries with local wars, seditions, revolutions, famine and pestilence. (A318.) These passed away; but the present commotion and impending revolution and anarchy will not cease, but will spread and increase until this order of things is destroyed.
7:10. Behold the Day, behold it is come: the Morning is gone forth; the rod hath blossomed, pride hath budded. — "Pride goeth before destruction." (Prov. 16:18.) Human pride [among kaisers, clergy, labor leaders, and capitalists], has budded, blossomed forth into acts that will bring destruction. The rod is a symbol of authority. Organized authority is perverted from its Divinely appointed function of restraint and punishment of crime into a ruthless rule of might and bloodshed.
7:11. Violence is risen up into a rod of wickedness; none of them shall remain, nor of their multitude, nor of any of theirs; neither shall there be wailing for them. — Those who rule by violence shall be utterly rooted out of the earth in the Time of Trouble, unhonored and unwept (Jer. 16:4-6), accursed for the evil they have wrought. The clergy, for whom many would even have died in the past, but who have preached the people into this war and into the world's ruin, will become objects of popular hatred.
7:12. The time is come, the Day draweth near; let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn; for wrath is upon all the multitude thereof. — The year 1918, with its fearful revolutions, and succeeding anarchy, is at the door.
7:13. For the seller shall not return to that which is sold, although they were yet alive: for the vision is touching the whole multitude thereof, which shall not return; neither shall any strengthen himself in the iniquity of his life. — This indicates the languishing and eventual decline and cessation of business. (Isa. 33:8.) Symbolically, it represents the ceasing of the clergy from "selling" religion and the people from buying. "Success consists in knowing how to be discreetly dishonest," is now a common
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rule of practice; but the time is at hand when iniquitous practices and precepts will no longer profit any.
7:14. They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the Battle; for My wrath is upon all the multitude thereof. — There are other trumpets than the trumpet of Truth. Established error has its trumpet message. Ecclesiasticism, capitalism, and governments together have blown the trumpet of the Divine right of kings, magnates, and clergy, of the civic-betterment gospel and of "preparedness." Labor leaders have rallied the people to fight for their unions. Trumpet messages will summon the people of the world to yet other strife. But so furious and heart-breaking will be the trouble that none will have the spirit to respond in the perplexing and depressing conditions then prevailing.
7:15. The sword is without, and the pestilence and the famine within: he that is in the field shall die with the sword; and he that is in the city, famine and pestilence shall devour him. — Worldly people in Christendom, not professors of Christianity, will be pressed into the active fighting of the Time of Trouble and will perish. (Deut. 32:25; Jer. 14:18.) Those in the city refer to the professors of Christianity — church members.
7:16. But they that escape of them shall escape, and shall be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning, every one for his iniquity. — There will be survivors of the Time of Trouble who will live on into the Millennium proper. Those of dove-like character will be most likely to survive. The dove has a mournful note. This class will appreciate their iniquity, repent of it and pray for forgiveness and deliverance. — E 231, 212.
7:17. All hands shall be feeble, and all knees shall be weak as water. — The hands symbolize power. The people of Christendom will realize their helplessness. The extremity of the situation will weaken the strongest. — Zeph. 1:14; A315.
7:18. They shall also gird themselves with sackcloth, and horror shall cover them; and shame shall be upon all faces, and baldness upon all their heads. — In mourning for their dead, men's minds and hearts will revolt at the horrors of the calamity. All will realize with shame that by drunkenness with Babylon's mixed teachings (Rev. 17:2) they have brought the trouble on themselves. In grief the Hebrews shaved the head. — Isa. 3:24.
7:19. They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed; their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord; they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill
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their bowels; because it is the stumbling-block of their iniquity. — With the demonetization of silver, gold has become as a thing unclean (is losing its purchasing power). All forms of money, bonds, stocks and valuables will he worthless when governments are gone and whole nations are starving. (D45.) There was a literal fulfillment of this Scripture in 1898 when in Italy a miller who had publicly thanked the Virgin for dear bread, literally threw gold and silver to a crowd in the streets in a vain endeavor to pacify them. They demanded his life and took it. — Z.'9S-331.
7:20. As for the beauty of His ornament, He set it in majesty; but they made the images of their abominations and of their detestable things therein; therefore have I set it far from them. — "Jerusalem is a crown of glory and a royal diadem". (Isa. 62:3.) Christianity, the embryonic Kingdom of God, was originally "His ornament," in the apostolic age of the Church. Literal images were set up by the Hebrews in secret places, and to this day are worshipped by Romanists literally. Romanists and Protestants alike worship the images of world-power, wealth, state-church affiliation, clergy lordship, eternal torment, human immortality and trinity, all alike detestable to a jealous God. The actual ornament of God, His jewel, His diadem, is the true Church, composed mostly of the poor, rich in faith (Jas. 2:5) — of the reform element who since 1878 have been withdrawing from ecclesiasticism and coming to God.
7:21. And I will give it into the hands of the strangers for a prey, and to the wicked of the earth for a spoil; and they shall pollute it. — The nominal jewel, churchianity, has become the prey of clerical and social anarchists. — D550.
7:22. My face will I turn also from them, and they shall pollute My secret place; for the robbers shall enter into it, and defile it. — The secret place is the condition of consecration, which an apostate clergy pollute by misrepresentations, such as that bravery in battle, suffering in the trenches, devotion to a falling order of things (Hab. 2:13), win a place in Heaven — won only by loyal devotion to God's Word, and by the spirit-begotten alone. "I am the Door. He that entereth in by another way is a robber." — John 10:1.
7:23. Make a chain: for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence. — Bind, unite them together, let the Divinely (!) appointed clergy and the governments for which they stand sponsor, make common cause. (D550.) Christendom is full of the beastly crimes of the most barbarous warfare ever known. A city symbolizes a government.
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7:24. Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall possess their houses: I will also make the pomp of the strong to cease; and their holy places shall be defiled. — Macaulay, the English historian, spoke of America as destined to be destroyed by its own Huns and Vandals, the unassimilated, uncivilized elements, especially of the cities. The anarchistic masses will literally live in the houses of the erstwhile rulers and prominent people. The display of power and magnificence of the strong one, Satan, the alleged eternal-torment God, and the devil-worshipers of Christendom shall cease. Literally, the churches, Y. M. C. A.'s, monasteries and convents, supposedly holy, will be denied by the impious.
7:25. Destruction cometh; and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none. — There shall be no peace with God, or peace among the conflicting elements of society.
7:26. Mischief shall come upon mischief, and rumour shall be upon rumour; then shall they seek a vision of the prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients. — Literally "accident upon accident" will befall the affairs of Christendom. (Jer. 4:20.) The people, wild with perplexity, will seek to the clergy for an understanding of the world-holocaust; but the true Law, the Word of God, has departed from a clergy more learned in church politics and money-raising schemes than in the Bible. The ancients, the "reverends," college professors and savants do not know what counsel to give to meet the crisis. — Isa. 29:9-14.
7:27. The king shall mourn, and the prince shall be clothed with desolation, and the hands of the people of the land shall be troubled: I will do unto them after their way, and according to their deserts will I judge them; and they shall know that I am the Lord. — Satan shall mourn the downfall of his power, as will the heads of the savage, beastly governments under his control. (Matt. 4:8, 9.) "The exalted one" or prince, Satan's chief representative among men, is the pope; and he, with his princes, cardinals, archbishops, bishops, priests and clergy, shall see the desolation due to their work.




"O thou of little faith, who dost thou fear?
The tempest hath no power when I am near;
Will not the angry waves be still at My command?
Step out, I'll hold thy hand,
Then, wherefore dost thou fear?"

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