Bible In One Year-Day 210 (Monday, July 29, 2013)
Commentary: Ezekiel1-3. Ezekiel was a prophet and a priest in the time when Judah was carried captive in Babylon. Right from the first verse we could read about his commissioning as a prophet; he was already a priest.
Ezekiel 1:1 “Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.”
By descend, he was a priest but by calling he was a prophet of God. There is difference between these two offices. The priest is to teach, interpret the law and offer sacrifices in the Temple. That is, he carries out all the necessary ceremonies in the house of God. He acts as a shepherd; the pastor. On the other hand, the prophet hears directly from God and delivers the word as is. He doesn’t mind peoples’ opinion, concerns or persecutions; he is only concerned about what God says. He doesn’t mind the sufferings prepared for him for as long as it is in God’s agenda; he glorifies God in it. Prophets, generally, are very radical in carrying out divine instructions. They never regard such names as “Prophet, Pastor, Reverend (which is not in the Bible anyway), Deacons etc” as titles for which they demand to be respected or recognized, but as responsibilities that demands prompt action to serve; it is God that testifies to what He has sent them to do for as long as they are faithful to their calling. Though, the prophet may intercede where necessary, but he is not on the side of the peoples’ opinion. For instance, the wife of Ezekiel died and God told him never to mourn her. People were concerned about his behavior, but he did exactly as the Lord commanded, Ezek24:15-19. Aaron yielded to the peoples’ opinion. Moses was concerned about God’s emotion and stand. One could be trained or grow up to be a priest, but to be a prophet, only God can ordain for that without asking for anybody’s approval. Lot grew up to learn how to be righteous because he saw the life style of his uncle, Abraham, and he loved it. But Abraham spoke with God. The ability to expound the scripture very well does not mean you are a prophet. The priest could teach the Bible by the help of the Holy Spirit (He reminds us of the word), it does not mean he is a prophet. He is only under the teaching grace of the Holy Spirit. The prophet has seen and experienced something the priest has not seen; the glory (or visions of God) and the hand of the Lord also referred to as the Spirit of the Lord. No one sees and experiences these two things ever remain the same. Ezekiel could have been living a priestly world and life, but to be a prophet of God, he needed a transformation, a change of world and a rebranding and this could only be achieved by the glory of God which he narrated in chapter1 of Ezekiel. Hear the conclusion of what he saw;
Ezekiel 1:25-28 “… As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.”
This glory crushed the strength of his knees (flesh). No knee can stand the sight of His glory, beloved. Ezekiel fell on his face; this is the beginning of his brokenness. The flesh was, in this respect, dealt with and torn to pieces. If the flesh is not torn, we cannot do the work of God accordingly. A renewing of the mind started in the life of Ezekiel; a change of soul was carried out at this point. Without the renewing of the mind, the Spirit will not enter. And if the SPIRIT does not enter, you cannot hear the WORD of the FATHER clearly; the Spirit and Word are one in agreement with the Father.
1 John 5:7 “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit: and these three are one.”
And if you do not hear God clearly, your message becomes superficial, not deep enough to change life; it is the Spirit that gives life to the Word, therefore, the message must come from God and not from the flesh. There must be a change within you before there could be a change outside. The fall of Ezekiel on his face was death to sin. Chapter2 made us to understand that it was the Spirit that raised him up and set him on his feet. Yes the Spirit quickens, John6:63.
Ezekiel 2:1-2 “And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee. And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.”
Consider the epistle also;
Romans 8:11 “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”
Ezekiel’s understanding was opened by the Spirit. The stand on the feet was no more Ezekiel (or the old Ezekiel) but the Spirit that worked in him. Not until you have this experience, there can’t be the specific assignment handed over to you. And if you decide to go on the errand He has not sent you, it is self-suicide. Ezekiel was sent to specific people, Ezek3:5.
Ezekiel 2:3-5 “And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: … (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.”
If Ezekiel was not equipped for this job, there was no way he could have succeeded considering how God described the Israelites; this is why you must no those God has sent you to. A priest could talk to every person that comes his way, this is not so for prophets. God wants you to serve Him in the fear of Him, i.e. to honor Him in servitude; God accused Moses of dishonoring Him before the Israelites, Deut32:51. This is why He needs to first change our heart or soul and then put His Spirit in us. The Spirit helps us to do His will, not ours. By the Spirit of God, you could endure the hardship and difficult times in the ministry, Ezek3:25-26.
Ezekiel 3:25-26 “But thou, O son of man, behold, they shall put bands upon thee, and shall bind thee with them, and thou shalt not go out among them: And I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a reprover: for they are a rebellious house.”
The Spirit gives the strength to do the work without becoming sick or weary. By the Spirit, mysteries and deep things are being uttered which amazes the hearers. The words that come out cannot fail because the Spirit spoke. When a prophet says “in the name of Jesus”, he is not the one who says that but the Spirit in Him; something must happen. The Spirit gives the leading and not your mind, will or emotion. Moses took action in striking the rock by the leading of his emotion which terminated his appointment with God.
Ezekiel 3:14 “So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me.”
This is the Spirit of a prophet. In most cases, people regard them as strange people and mostly misinterpret. Yes, it is because the nature in them is no more natural but spiritual and natural people do not understand spiritual things.
1 Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
The glory of God is full of brightness and this brightness turns them to flames of fire. Prophets go through this experience, Ezek1:25-28.
2 Samuel 22:13 “Through the brightness before him were coals of fire kindled.”
Psalms 104:4 “Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:”
To be an oracle of the living God, you need a change of soul. This is not a matter of brain-power (i.e. acquired knowledge, which is not a bad thing), but an experience of the supernatural. The one who dreams is different from the one who sees vision and that which sees visions is different from the one who talks with God mouth to mouth. There are levels of prophets, priests, pastors and teachers.
Numbers 12:5-9 “And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed.”
It is the Spirit of God that gives as He wills; NOTE THIS. God can be angry with (if not abandon) a prophet because of another prophet. Miriam’s name was never mentioned again in the scripture after this scenario except when she died; no record of vision or prophecy again because of Moses. Many men of God have lost God’s grace for rubbishing the calling of another man of God, 1Kings22. He, i.e. God, does not need anybody’s approval before He chooses anyone for an assignment. We need to respect Him for that. We don’t need any unholy rivalry in the things of God; rather, we must respect the grace in each other’s ministry and life. He has never given us the ministry of being the best or greatest but that of a faithful servant (Luke22:24-30). God has not given us any platform for competition but offers the garment of humility (Matt18:1-4) in our service to Him. Each time we go into contest and rivalry in the things of God, we have lost focus of the true calling and if care is not taken, the glory might depart. When this happens, we start glorifying the flesh. God’s assignment or work must be done by His Spirit; nothing of Him must the flesh lead.
Two times Ezekiel fell on his face in our reading (the second time is Ezek3:23-24), the Spirit lifted him up on the two occasions; it is the Spirit that helps our weaknesses. The fallings of Ezekiel were reflections of man’s frailty and the help from the Spirit of God is a reflection of His grace and faithfulness. Your dry bones shall arise again in the name of Jesus. The ministry of Ezekiel started with open heavens, open eyes, open understanding, open ears and a changed soul, life and world. It is a matter of experience.
Zechariah 4:6 “Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.”
In conclusion, the Spirit of the Prophet is the Spirit of adoption (Romans8:15) and also the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation19:10). You can be adopted by His Spirit to be a Pastor, Prophet, Teacher, Evangelist etc. Only God can adopt you by His Spirit, not any bishop, pastor, father, mother, General Overseer etc. It is not by your self-righteousness but by His grace alone.
Let us listen to the trumpet’s sound, wherewith we could escape the calamity to come. Our reading for today is Ezekiel4-6. Keep the fire of LOVE burning and alive.
Pastor Supo Abayode
Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries
Pingback: The Battle between the Rebellious Flesh and the Spirit | Inspirational Matters
Pingback: Day 254: Ezekiel 46-48; The River of God | Overisel Reformed Church
Thank you for the insightful lesson