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Visions of the abominations in the temple

We are back in Ezekiel this week as we continue in his message to the captives in Babylon. Ezekiel has a view of the temple back in Jerusalem in a vision. It would lead to their ultimate destruction.

Ezekiel 8:Abominations in the Temple

1 In the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house, with the elders of Judah sitting before me, the hand of the Lord GOD fell upon me there.

2 Then I looked, and behold, a form that had the appearance of a man. Below what appeared to be his waist was fire, and above his waist was something like the appearance of brightness, like gleaming metal.

3 He put out the form of a hand and took me by a lock of my head, and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the gateway of the inner court that faces north, where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy.

4 And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, like the vision that I saw in the valley.

5 Then he said to me, "Son of man, lift up your eyes now toward the north." So I lifted up my eyes toward the north, and behold, north of the altar gate, in the entrance, was this image of jealousy.

6 And he said to me, "Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that the house of Israel are committing here, to drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see still greater abominations."

7 And he brought me to the entrance of the court, and when I looked, behold, there was a hole in the wall.

8 Then he said to me, "Son of man, dig in the wall." So I dug in the wall, and behold, there was an entrance.

9 And he said to me, "Go in, and see the vile abominations that they are committing here."

10 So I went in and saw. And there, engraved on the wall all around, was every form of creeping things and loathsome beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel.

11 And before them stood seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, with Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan standing among them. Each had his censer in his hand, and the smoke of the cloud of incense went up.

12 Then he said to me, "Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in his room of pictures? For they say, 'The LORD does not see us, the LORD has forsaken the land.'"

13 He said also to me, "You will see still greater abominations that they commit."

14 Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the house of the LORD, and behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.

15 Then he said to me, "Have you seen this, O son of man? You will see still greater abominations than these."

16 And he brought me into the inner court of the house of the LORD. And behold, at the entrance of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men, with their backs to the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east, worshiping the sun toward the east.

17 Then he said to me, "Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it too light a thing for the house of Judah to commit the abominations that they commit here, that they should fill the land with violence and provoke me still further to anger? Behold, they put the branch to their nose.

18 Therefore I will act in wrath. My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity. And though they cry in my ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them."

Ezekiel 9:Idolaters Killed

1 Then he cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying, "Bring near the executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand."

2 And behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his weapon for slaughter in his hand, and with them was a man clothed in linen, with a writing case at his waist. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar.

3 Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub on which it rested to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writing case at his waist.

4 And the LORD said to him, "Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it."

5 And to the others he said in my hearing, "Pass through the city after him, and strike. Your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity.

6 Kill old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one on whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary." So they began with the elders who were before the house.

7 Then he said to them, "Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out." So they went out and struck in the city.

8 And while they were striking, and I was left alone, I fell upon my face, and cried, "Ah, Lord GOD! Will you destroy all the remnant of Israel in the outpouring of your wrath on Jerusalem?"

9 Then he said to me, "The guilt of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great. The land is full of blood, and the city full of injustice. For they say, 'The LORD has forsaken the land, and the LORD does not see.'

10 As for me, my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity; I will bring their deeds upon their heads."

11 And behold, the man clothed in linen, with the writing case at his waist, brought back word, saying, "I have done as you commanded me."

Things to think about…

  1. Again we have a date/time stamp on when Ezekiel received this next vision, which was fourteen months after his initial vision. The date being 17 September 592BC., 8:1. This is very important to understand because the temple is still standing. The vision that Ezekiel gets is of Jerusalem. The temple was destroyed in 587/6BC. Ezekiel is being shown this vision by One who we would say is the pre-incarnate Christ, 8:2. We know it is God and not an angel because in verse 6 it says 'they drive me from my sanctuary". This is why it is important to understand the historical setting of scripture. If we don't have it, the scripture loses its sense and therefore any edifying power we might receive from it.
  2. In the rest of Ez 8, the Lord gives Ezekiel a view of the abominations that the Priests and religious hierarchy are up to that make them worthy of judgement that would come only 5 years later. It is similar to how we as Christians can be. Outwardly we can be orthodox and honouring Christ with our words and actions, but inwardly in the heart we are not entertaining holy thoughts and not holding every thought captive. Christ wants us to honour Him in the deepest recesses of our souls.
  3. It is interesting that Ezekiel is writing about the abominable things that are happening in the temple back in Jerusalem in Ez 8. Remember Daniel is also in captivity with Ezekiel and he prophesied about the abomination of desolation that would be part of the temple, Dan 11:31. Jesus also spoke about this when the Antichrist sets himself up in the temple and proclaims himself as God, Mt 24:15, 16.
  4. Part of the judgment in the inner rooms is described by what the elders are doing "each in his room of pictures", Ez 8:12. This refers to images on the walls that were against the law of God. Today pornography "moving pictures" are seen behind closed doors. Judgement certainly comes upon pastors and teachers of God's word who lead a double life. God sees, be sure your sin will find you out, Num 22:33.
  5. Look at Ezek 8:18. We often think God is unfair when He judges. But eventually time is up, after repeated warnings, because He is a holy and just God, He must act. I believe there is something of this unfolding for the USA as they turn away from a godly heritage. We are descending down the same path here in Australia.
  6. The inhabitants of Jerusalem are about to experience what the initial inhabitants of the land had experienced – annihilation. This is due to the fact that they had been shown the true light and yet rejected it. Ezekiel acts like Moses and asks "would you destroy all the remnant", Ez 9:8? The Lord's response is that His eye will have no pity. This seems harsh. But alas, what are we to do? Even God's patience has boundaries.
  7. Christ the judge will always act justly, Ez 9:11. He does the will of the father. Remember His words to the Father in the garden. "Not my will, but Your will be done" Luke 22:42. This must be our response to our Lord's will regardless of whether it is one of mercy or judgement.

Vision Point

CBC's Vision :- To be a growing biblical church community, significantly influencing our city and beyond, through intentional outreach, fulfilling our mission.

Sunday morning's message on "That's not the God I serve" from John 6:52-71.

1.Jesus tells people that they need to eat His body and drink His blood. People grumble about it. Why were they grumbling?

2.Jesus tells them not to grumble as only those who are called by the Father will understand. How do you interpret what Jesus means here?

3.It says many didn't follow Jesus from that point on. Jesus lost His thousands of followers. How should this passage by applied to today's churches.

4.The Apostle Paul talks about those who would fall away in the latter days 1Tim 4:1 and 2Tim 4:3,4. Pray for the church and the Pastor to teach and preach the truth privately and from the pulpit. Pray for each other to have ears to hear.

Prayer Points

1.More Sunday school teachers

2.Those who are not well – Flu and other conditions. 3 needing heart health prayer – Murray, Andre, Darrel.

3.CBC's ministries for this term

4.Our outreach initiatives as well as the Axiom podcast.

5.Next Sunday's messages. Ezek 10"God has left the building" in the morning, "A call to prayer"– Axiom 6pm.

6.Finish "Bean Redeemed" coffee shop.

7.Recharge – Pray for someone to take over Recharge.

8.Church finances – Pray all expenses are met and that we can again support Digital Harvest and One for Israel.

9.Our City and Country – Pray for revival over our city and the leadership of our country.


Praise Points.

1.New folk at church on Sunday

2.Our Lord's tangible presence at Sunday night's prayer service

3.New ministries being considered – Outreach opportunities and Church services

4.Unity, love and peace


Announcements

1.Willey group - Hosting morning tea on Sunday morning.

2.Members Meeting – 18th August after the morning service.

3.Playpatch – Back this week. Carly Backwell leads this ministry.

4.Recharge– back this week. Pete Alback leads high schoolers from 7-9pm Friday nights at church.

5.Kids at Church – Primary school aged children.

6.Mapleton Women's retreat – Fri August 23rd- Sun Aug 25th. Cost $175. More details here https://www.anewconference.org.au/conferences/mapleton


This month's catechism question...

Q. 3. What has Christ given us to teach us how to pray?
A. The Lord's Prayer.

Bible Reference – Matt.6:5-15; Luke11:1-13.


"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known" Jer 33:3

Pastor Jay

Jerusalem and Israel will be restored
Eat my body, drink my blood