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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 8

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MOLECH, THE TORMENT DEITY

8:1. And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in mine house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the Lord God fell there upon me. — Chapters 8 to 24 continue the recital of the sins of Jerusalem, Christendom, and the Divine punishment to be inflicted on her. Chapter 8 refers literally to the temple, and its defilement by the seating of an idol of Baal at the door near the Brazen Altar, by the desecration of its interior with symbols of Egyptian heathenism, and by the practicing of heathen worship within the temple. This types the condition of the spiritual Temple of God, "which Temple ye are", the Church of God, originally pure and holy, but denied by the clergy with pagan practices. The type refers back to 2 Chronicles 33:1-9, where King Manasseh established heathen worship throughout Palestine, set up a carved image in Solomon's temple and "made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err and to do worse than the heathens whom the Lord had destroyed before the children of Israel." This resulted in Manasseh's overthrow at the hands of the Assyrians. The name Manasseh means "causing forgetfulness." He typed Satan, the god of this world, who, by his lying deceptions has made professing Christians forget God. Satan's chief "angel of light" is the pope of Rome, ably seconded in keeping the people in the dark by the cardinals, bishops, priests, monks and sisters of apostate Rome and by the bishops and ministers of an apostate Protestantism. These keep "their people" from real Bible study, and encourage them in their forgetfulness of God and their individual obligations to God, the Word of God, to fellow-Christians and to the world. The house is the House of the Sons of God, the consecrated. The elders, chosen by the people, represented all the people. The Protestant clergy continually sat before the Lord's steward, could not pick up a paper that they did not see his sermons in it; but they would not hear his words, and they rejected him and the truths which he so plainly and so kindly stated.
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8:2, 3. Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the colour of amber. And He put forth the form of a hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy. — Through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, the Ezekiel class is now taken up mentally into the powers of spiritual control, to discern the significance of the evil done by Satan and the clergy. They are brought to Jerusalem the anti-typical, to consider established priestcraft. They are brought to the door of the inner gate, the gate of the altar between the people's court and priest's court — (the same as the Tabernacle court.) They are brought to the antitypical Temple, to the Church of God, to the Lord's people — "Ye are the Temple of God". (1 Cor. 3:16.) "I am the Door" (John 10:9.) The Door represents Christ, through whom all that enter must come. The North symbolizes the seat of Divine government, the spiritual phase of the Kingdom. (Isa. 14:13.) The Door, Christ, looks toward, tends toward spiritual things. Those that enter through Christ are expected to look forward! from the condition of belief to that of full consecration, the spirit-begotten condition. In the Door, in the very place of Christ, Manasseh, type of the devil, and an apostate clergy set up an idol, an image of the Devil himself. Those who thereafter entered the court had to worship the image, typing that under clergy rule all entering the church, the condition of belief, had to do honor to Satan, whose seat of chief power is at Rome, and whose influence spreads wherever the clergy class is found.
The word "Baal" means "Lord." The clergy have set themselves as lords over God's heritage (1 Pet 5:3), the Church. By perversion of the plain meaning of literal Bible statements, they have set up in the place of God the deity of the Devil. This God of Romanism and Protestantism is not one, but three; he inflicts tortures eternal; his favor can be bought for money; he dwells in earthly buildings (Acts 7:48), which are consecrated to him; he teaches the direct opposite of the Word of God — that the dead are alive; he favors spiritual adultery — the union of the church with the governments of this world; he fosters lordship of the clergy class. The clergy's God is plainly not Jehovah, but the ancient deity, hoary with the iniquities of ages — Baal — the Devil himself. God pity the clergy, who have so
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long deceived themselves and the people with their "carved image, the work of their own hands!" "I am jealous for Zion with a great jealousy." (Zech. 1:14.) "I, Jehovah, thy God, am a jealous God." (Ex. 20:5.) There is little wonder that the literal typical Baal of the Jews and the anti-typical eternal-torment God of the clergy should provoke Jehovah to jealousy.
8:4. And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain. — The usual place of the Shekinah Light was in the Most Holy between the cherubim above the golden Mercy Seat. It was from this glory that fire came out at times like lightning to consume and destroy iniquitous offenders. (Lev. 10:2.) It bodes ill for the devotees of the eternal-torment god that the glory of Jehovah has come out against them.
8:5, 6. Then said He unto me, Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the North. So I lifted up mine «yes the way toward the North, and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry. He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from My sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations. — It is needless to look for abominations far off when such an abomination has been set up by "impudent children" at the very door of the Church.
8:7. And He brought me to the door of the court; and When I looked, behold a hole in the wall. — In Solomon's temple the court of the priests was surrounded not by a simple wall, but by a row of rooms or chambers where the priests and Levites stayed. The hole in the wall was an opening or window into one of the chambers.
8:8. Then said He unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall, and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door. — The wall was the wall of secrecy, misrepresentation and deception, by reason of which the pagan practices and beliefs of various classes of professed Christians were hidden from publicity and consequent popular judgment. A little was known about them, represented by the little hole in the wall. It is the work of the Ezekiel class to dig through the wall and throw the light on these hidden things. The time has come for judgment, and for everything that is done in a chamber to be proclaimed from the housetops. (Luke 12:3.) Once the wall of secrecy is dug through, the door is open to see whatever transpires.
8:9. And He said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here. — The court typifies the condition of faith — tentative justification. The chambers
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surrounded the court. They symbolize the condition of those who profess faith and justification, hut whose lives and beliefs contradict their professions.
8:10. So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about. — To the Egyptians, artistic portrayals of creatures had a religious significance. All kinds of living creatures were worshipped. Chief of these was the bull Apis, which symbolized life and especially the power of procreation. The devotees of the antitype are never so happy as when giving life to new spiritual offspring. The children thus begotten are mostly tares. But few of them have the life that comes from consecration to the Word of God. The revivalist and the clergy care little for any begotten of the Word of God and do little to help them grow up in Christ. They grow, if at all, like starved, neglected children. As the service of this worship could be conducted only by the regular priests of Egypt, so the antitypical work can be done only by the man-made clergy class of the world (Egypt) and those "ordained" by them. Among the creeping things, objects of worship, was the fly — the evangelist. (Rev. 16:2.) The prince of the flies was Beelzebub. Flies breed in and feed upon the "dung hill of Popish decretals" and other "traditions of men." They never get far above earthly things, but circulate in the lower strata of the air — ecclesiasticism. They bite and annoy both worldly people and the Lord's people, as did the plague of flies in Egypt, and are specially persistent in the humid condition of a rain — a downpour of Truth. These, like all clergy-approved workers, are looked up to, worshipped by the people of Christendom. Other creeping things that fly signify degrading or forbidden beliefs and practices, attractive, garbed in the cloak of religion, under church auspices, as typed by their flying in the air, ecclesiastical powers; but they are displeasing to God and tending toward death.
8:11. And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up. — Worshipping the pictured images were the elders, or ancients, appointed by and representing all the people of Jerusalem. Jaazaniah was a Levite, typical of a believer in Christ. The word Shaphan means "sly", and suggests the slyness of the adherents of wrong beliefs. Jaazaniah means "God is listening," and signifies the fact that whatever "Christian" sinners may say, God is actually paying attention. The censer was used to carry the fire in which
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incense was burned. (Rev. 8:3.) It types the bearing of the fiery trials signified by the fire. The devotees of error suffer in its behalf, as Truth people suffer for the Truth. Incense types the heart's best endeavors, here wrongly directed by many professing Christians in the service of Satan, as were Saul's in persecuting Christians. (Acts 22:3, 4.) Tares are often more devoted to their errors than are the Lord's people to the Truth. "The children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light." (Luke 16:8.) It was unlawful for a Hebrew to burn incense, except as in the regular temple service. It is an abomination for a professing Christian to put forth his heart's best endeavors except in the service of God.
8:12. Then said He unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The Lord seeth us not; the Lord hath forsaken the earth. — These departures from true Christian belief are carried on "in the dark." (John 3:19.) Every tare, imitation Christian, has his own peculiar beliefs and practices in "the chamber of his imagery," his mind. Because God knows how to defer retribution until the Day of Judgment (2 Pet. 2:9), these unwise ones delude themselves that the All-Seeing One does not see. Those not familiar with the Divine Plan of the Ages, seeing the conditions of savage war trending into worse things, apparently have the delusion that the Lord has forsaken the earth.
8:13, 14. He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do. Then He brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord's house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. — Tammuz means "perfect (tam) by burning" (muz). He was a heathen god whose death was lamented annually by women idolaters. He was the god of fire worship, the same as Molech, to whom children were burned alive. He types the eternal-torment-purgatory God, who perfects (supposedly) by the fires of purgatory. The women weeping for him typify the once-virgin churches, who honor the alleged hell-fire god and lament the ones in the fire. There is a unity of heathen religions with apostate "Christianity" which stamps them all as pagan. The original heathen god was Nimrod, "the mighty hunter" of Gen. 10:8-14, where is related the origin of Babylon and Nineveh. Nimrod led men and women from the true religion of devout Noah into gross sensuality and neglect of the worship of Jehovah. He was beloved by fallen women. For his iniquitous influence, Nimrod was condemned to death by the council of judges; and his dead body was
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cut into pieces, which were sent to all parts of the inhabited world, with the threat of death to any who practiced his evil ways. Nimrod married his own mother, Semiramis, so that, in a sense, he was his own father and his own son. Here was the origin of the Trinity doctrine.
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The practices of Nimrod were continued in secret by Semiramis; and as every caution had to be taken, the things done were veiled in mystery. Each act and person was represented only in symbols known to the initiated. Here originated the various secret societies, with their blood-curdling oaths of secrecy — Masonry, Oddfellowship, Jesuitism, Knights of Malta, and so on. These are lineal descendants of the "mysteries" of pagan sensuality, all of them abominations to God. Semiramis, to further her schemes, pretended that Nimrod, the father-son, had been raised from the dead in the form of the sun, which thus became an object of worship. She represented herself as the moon which was also adored. This was the original Trinity — Nimrod the father, Nimrod, or Tammuz, the son, and Semiramis the mother, the power, or spirit, back of all. As the people multiplied and scattered they took with them this heathen Trinity which appears in various nations in the partial list shown on the preceding page.
These under inspiration of the Devil, put the false seed of the woman — Nimrod, Tammuz, etc., — in the stead of the true Seed, pushed Jehovah aside, then into the background, and then out altogether. The Devil, through the Pope of Rome substituted forms of paganism for the simplicity of true Christianity. "Such things are," says Cardinal Newman, "the very instruments and appendages of demon worship," but "sanctified by adoption into the church." Roman Catholicism is a heathen religion. Protestantism also worships Molech, the fire god, Tammuz, the deity of torture, whom popes, cardinals, bishops, priests, clergy, ministers and laymen unite in honoring and worshipping under the delusion that they are worshipping Jehovah, God of Abraham, the true God of the Bible. However, ignorantly, "they worship devils." —1 Cor. 10:20.
8:15, 16. Then said He unto me, Hast thou seen this, 0 Son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou Shalt see greater abominations than these. And He brought me into the inner court of the Lord's house, and behold, at door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east. — In the court itself (1 Ki. 6:36), in the very presence of the blood-bought sacrifice, these men were gathered. priests and Levites might be in this court. They typified the believers and spirit-begotten ones of the Christian Church They were divided into about twenty-five courses or sections and served in rotation. These typed the divisions of Christians into about twenty-five principal denomi-
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nations. In the United States these are Adventists, Baptists, Brethren (Dunkards), Catholics (Greek), Christian, Churches of Christ Scientist, Churches of God, Congregationalists, Disciples of Christ, Evangelical, Friends, German Evangelical Protestant, German Evangelical Synod, Latter Day Saints, Lutherans, Scandinavian Evangelical, Menonites, Moravians, Methodists, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, Protestant Episcopals, Reformed, Salvation Army, and United Brethren. With their backs toward the Temple of the Lord (Jer. 2:27), these treat with contempt and scorn the little company of God's true saints, rich in faith, "the Temple." To turn the back is a gross insult. Their faces are toward the east. (Jer. 8:2.) All these denominations worship the fire-god, the sun, the heathen god whose identity with paganism appears foregoing.
8:17. Then He said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O Son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke Me to anger; and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. — So lightly do modern Babylonians, apostate religionists, regard their abominable beliefs, that they will not even give consideration to the presentation of the truth about Jehovah and His Divine Plan of the Ages. It is the church — clergy and members — who brought on the barbarous world-war. They could have stood like a rock for peace; but the clergy, with devilish exhortations, urged their fellow-savages to bloodshed. The Divine judgment has gone against them and soon will swallow them up in the earthquake (revolution) and fire (anarchy) of the Time of Trouble. The last clause should read. "They Bend a stench to My nostrils."
8:18. Therefore will I also deal in fury; Mine eyes shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in Mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them. — The fury of "Christians" in this savage war will be visited upon them in the succeeding revolution and anarchy. When the real Time of Trouble is on, after the war, Christendom will realize the terrible truth that it is the punishment of Divine Justice — and will pray mightily to God. Their prayers cannot be favorably answered (Prov. 1:28) until "the great tribulation" (Rev. 7:14) has finished its work of "bruising to heal." — Hos. 6:1.



"In the world despised, neglected,
Deemed its refuse and its dross,
She whose Lord the earth rejected
Shares His sorrow, bears His loss."

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