by John and Ruth Greene
The Holy Spirit [Sanctified, Set Apart Spirit] came to Ezekiel and caused him to ponder the plight of the nation of YHWH’s [Elohim, ‘God’] people of that day. (Ezekiel 2:1-2) YHWH had given similar messages to prophets of the past, and would continue to do so in the future as needed. (Isaiah 6:9-12; Jeremiah 1:17-19; Matthew 25:31-46) As for Ezekiel, he was in charge of speaking truth to what had become a rebellious, stiff-necked nature of YHWH’s people. (Ezekiel 2:3-4) The entire gathering of YHWH’s people was teetering on the brink of spiritual oblivion. Because of this sorry plight, Ezekiel had a pressing purpose to minister. In the same way, YHWH raises up prophets and bold teachers that are receptive to His Holy Spirit. They are willing to reveal the truth of YHWH to rebellious hearts in boldness to an errant people. (Genesis 50:10; 1 Samuel 31:13; Job 2:13) He instructed Ezekiel not to fear the thorns and scorpions of circumstance around him. The Almighty instructs the same to prophets and teachers today. The religion of Christianity and the world around may reject what YHWH has given in truth, but that is the call; to reveal truth and to allow the acceptance or rejection of that truth. (Ezekiel 2:5-7; Matthew 28:18-20) What is important to remember is your answerability as a messenger of YHWH’s truth! (“Holy Spirit 101“, “How to Receive the Holy Spirit“; “Being Set Apart Makes You Aware of Sin“)
“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. And hear the Word of My mouth, and warn them from Me.” – Ezekiel 3:17, HRB
“In My saying to the wicked, surely you shall die; and you do not warn him, and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, he, the wicked, shall die in his iniquity. But I will require his blood at your hand. And you, because you have warned the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his way, he, the wicked, shall die in his iniquity. But you have delivered your soul. And when the righteous turns from his righteousness and does injustice, and I lay a stumbling-block before him, he shall die. Since you have not warned him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered. But I will require his blood at your hand. But you, because you warned him, the righteous, so that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, surely he shall live because he is warned. And you have delivered your soul.” – Ezekiel 3:18-21, HRB
This was the call of the Messiah during His earthly ministry and the purpose of disciples then, as well as in the future. (Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-47; Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 1:22-23) The failure to react in trust and acceptance of YHWH’s purpose will not prevent His plan for the ultimate cleansing of the world and the advent of His Kingdom. It is each person’s answerability to their Heavenly Father that determines his or her future in the eyes of YHWH. (“YHWH’s Threshing Floor“; “Knowing Where You Stand on YHWH’s Threshing Floor“; “The Wheels of Ezekiel“)
“ And He said to me, ‘Son of man, all My Words which I speak to you, receive into your heart, and hear with your ears. And go! Come to the exiles, to the sons of your people, and speak to them, and say to them, ‘So says Adonai YAHWEH,’ whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.'” – Ezekiel 3:10-11, HRB
Multitudes of those that professed to be Elohim’s people had become captives, slaves to a word other than YHWH’s (just as in the original Babylon). They had become deceived and scattered from His purpose, if they have ever recognized that purpose. They were slaves to behaviors and ideas that did not belong to YHWH. (The New Man in Messiah; “Deceptions of Ages: How People are Deceived“) This purpose of the disciple of the Messiah is not one of shame and drudgery, but is of uplifting vital importance. Why? The Almighty wills that obedient true believers follow through with His purpose, set apart from the world [kosmos] of man. This is part of their divine purpose in a sin-filled world. (Romans 12:1-2; “Disciples: Focused on the Messiah & His Purpose“; “Understanding Sin“)
“And I looked, and behold, a hand was extended to me. And behold, a roll of a book was in it. And He spread it before me, and it was written on the face and the back. And written on it were weepings, and mourning, and woe. And He said to me, ‘Son of man, eat what you find. Eat this roll, and go speak to the house of Israel.’ So I opened my mouth, and He made me eat that roll. And He said to me, ‘Son of man, make your belly eat, and fill your bowels with the roll, this that I give to you.’ And I ate, and it was in my mouth like honey for sweetness.” – Ezekiel 2:9-3:3, HRB
Ezekiel was told to do something that might appear to be unusual. Whether this task was real or figurative doesn’t matter. The words and ideas on the scroll appeared to be less than pleasant, full of lamentation. The same could be said with any spiritual message or task that the sanctified disciple of Messiah must learn, act on, and deliver to others, whether as a prophet or a teacher. The obedient Ezekiel was full of YHWH’s Spirit, but this task must have given him a moment of pause. He did as he was told and what was the end result? What would seem to be an unpleasant task to many, YHWH, your Heavenly Father, the Elohim of Hosts makes pleasant. (“Your Purpose in the Body of Messiah“; “The Importance of Practical Repentance“)
Today, all disciples (are you one?) have the call of a watchman as YHWH puts his message into the hearts and minds of others that are willing to listen.
“And He said to me, ‘Son of man, Go! Come to the house of Israel and speak with My Words to them. For you are not sent to a people of deep lip and difficult of language, but to the house of Israel; not to many peoples of deep lip and of a difficult language, whose words you cannot hear. If I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you. But the house of Israel is not willing to listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to Me, for all the house of Israel are strong of forehead and hard of heart.
Behold, I have made your face strong over against their faces, and your forehead strong over against their foreheads. I have made your forehead as an adamant harder than flint. Do not fear them, and do not be frightened by their faces, though they are a house of rebellion.’ And He said to me, ‘Son of man, all My Words which I speak to you, receive into your heart, and hear with your ears. And go! Come to the exiles, to the sons of your people, and speak to them, and say to them, ‘So says Adonai YAHWEH,’ whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.'” – Ezekiel 3:4-11, HRB
The end result of obedience to YHWH is His presence and support, and along with it, the splendor and favor of His presence. (Ezekiel 3:12-13) As it was with Ezekiel, the task may initially cause personal concern, even a measure of heated bitterness because of what is against the foolish in the divine task at hand. The Almighty is always your balance despite your human leanings. He always carries you through when you abide in Him. (“Christianity: A Crisis in Prayer & Spirit“; “Seeking a New Spirit“; “Which Shepherd Do You Believe?“; “Disciple: Live Your Belief“)
“Then I came to the exiles at Tel-Aviv, those dwelling by the river Chebar. And I sat there where they were sitting. I also dwelt there seven days, being appalled among them.” – Ezekiel 3:15
Notice that Ezekiel was not sent to charge into an immediate spiritual battle against the inhabitants of the city where he was sent. He went among them for seven days. They were able to acclimate to him and him to the surroundings. Ezekiel was able to reside in peace with YHWH and prepare for delivering the message. Your Heavenly Father’s message needs to be pondered, to sink deeply into your heart, another valid reason for pause before battling against a stronghold. But there was a larger significance to the seven day delay in delivering whatever message the Almighty would have Ezekiel to speak. This seven days was the customary period for mourning the dead before Ezekiel was to begin preparation for YHWH’s message to the people. Ezekiel went among them to mourn for the spiritually dead. His goal would shortly be to wake them from their spiritual slumber into life. At times, this task would be tedious and fraught with danger, but YHWH had given His assurance that He was with Ezekiel. The same is true for obedient disciples that teach and prophesy YHWH’s truth today. (“Abiding With YHWH in Quiet Places“; “Abiding in Trust“)
“And the hand of YAHWEH was on me there. And He said to me, ‘Arise, go forth into the plain, and I will speak with you there.’ And I rose up and went forth into the plain. And, behold, there the glory of YAHWEH was standing, like the glory which I saw by the river Chebar. And I fell on my face.
And the Spirit entered into me and stood me on my feet and spoke with me. And He said to me, ‘Come, shut yourself within your house. But you, son of man, behold, they shall put on you cords and shall bind you with them, and you shall not go out among them. And I will make your tongue cling to your palate, and you shall be dumb. And there shall not be to them a reproving man. For they are a rebellious house.
But in My speaking with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them, ‘So says Adonai YAHWEH.’ He who hears, let him hear; and he rejects, let him reject. For they are a rebellious house.'” – Ezekiel 3:22-27, HRB
Ezekiel entered a time of spiritual preparation and physical preparation, even as he was among the people of Jerusalem. The time was not yet for any message to be delivered or Ezekiel would be imprisoned and YHWH’s plan thwarted. This was because of the hard-heartedness of the people. More preparation was needed and more time needed to pass. The city would continue to be conditioned to Ezekiel’s presence. In the meantime, Ezekiel was to prepare by quietly listening to YHWH, obeying Him in the smallest details as He showed Ezekiel what would happen to Jerusalem as the people strayed apart from Him. During this time of preparation, Ezekiel ate a ration like that which would be available during a time of siege. In the same way, there may be a period of preparation where the Almighty has you to reside in quiet and peacefully abide in Him, in your prayer closet. Ezekiel was to do nothing on his own in relaying a message to Jerusalem. He was to wait until YHWH made the message known to Ezekiel. This wasn’t about vain imaginings of the human mind, but about spiritual communion and obedience to YHWH, Elohim of Hosts. (“Spiritual Growth or Spiritual Death“; “Bible Truth About Death“; “Filling Your Life with Truth Instead of Deception“)
Have you seen any event like this in your life? Have you experienced a similar event in your life and believe that you have missed it? Turn aside from the past and repent of the past. Instead, are you prepared to obey, even preparing quietly and learning to abide in your prayer closet before you are released into the purpose and service of your Heavenly Father? The only way you will know your Father’s purpose for you is if you accept the quiet spiritual voice of the Holy Spirit, your Divine Counselor, as you pray and study His Word, the Bible. The Holy Spirit is not optional, which is one reason why the world is so full of apostasy and false teaching. Remember that without the voice of YHWH and the Bible, you are acting on your own, outside of obedience to Him. The Holy Spirit will help you to personally conduct your life within YHWH’s purpose as you allow Him to build you up spiritually and physically prepare you for the journey. (“Abiding with Your Heavenly Father“; “Disciple: The Pattern of Your Life“; “Are You Rejecting YHWH’s Holy Spirit“; “A Coming Peril Before Change“; “The Antichrist & the War on Reality“)