I WILL SPEAK UNTO THEE
Ezekiel 1:26 ¶ And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. 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.
Ezekiel 2:1 ¶ And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee. 2 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. 3 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: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day. 5 And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.
The firmament is ‘an expanse.’ The word is derived from the root word translated “spreadeth abroad” in Isaiah 44:24. And we find these words mentioned four times in the first chapter of Ezekiel. In verse twenty-two we read, the likeness of the firmament. In verse twenty-three we read, under the firmament. In verse twenty-five we see, a voice from the firmament. And finally, in verse twenty-six we find, above the firmament. James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Here is the account of another pre-Incarnation appearance of the Eternal Son of God. Exodus 24:9 Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: 10 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. For here again we see it said, not just the appearance of a man, but that the man above the paved work of a sapphire stone was the God of Israel. And we know that the Eternal Son of God is the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Colossians 2:9
Then that last sentence of that last verse of chapter one of Ezekiel should have actually been placed at the beginning of chapter two. It reveals to us the effect of a mortal seeing the glory of God. He states, “I saw,” and, “I fell,” then “I heard.”
For one must first come to the seeing of the glory of God with the inner eye of faith, which alone perceives the invisible things of God. Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. The Lord Jesus stated in
John 6:40, And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. And no individual has ever remained the same after seeing the difference in God’s Jesus from religion’s Jesus!
Job was a very devoutly religious man. But he came to spiritually see that which natural religion could not reveal! Then we read in Job 42:5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. And Ezekiel’s “falling” in repentance is the results for every one seeing the glory. Job 42:6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
Take note of the account of the Apostle John in the revealing of the resurrected Lord to him. He had “seen Jesus,” ate with him, heard his teachings, saw him miracles. He was the disciple whom Jesus loved. But we have no record of his falling before him, until John sees Christ in his resurrected glory! Revelation 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: 18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
My dear Reader, not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of God. Lip service is not nearly enough! Matthew 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. And it is the heart in which man believeth unto righteousness. And it is only as one believes with the heart that he can honestly and truthfully confess with his mouth. Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteous-ness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Even in the natural, revealed by the Queen of Sheba’s seeing Solomon’s glory, do we see this principle. 1 Kings 10:5 And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her.
And here is the account of the Prophet Daniel in the same circumstances. Daniel 8:16 And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. 17 So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision. 18 Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright.
And in another time of revelation Daniel realized that all his natural strengths and physical abilities were but corruptions and weaknesses. Daniel 10:7 And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. 8 Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. 9 Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.
And there was a similar account in the appearing of the Lord Jesus to Saul of Tarsus, who became Paul the Apostle. Acts 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
Dear Ones, no one can bring their flesh, that is their natural man with its strengths and abilities, into the kingdom of the Lord. For the glory from the natural birth cannot be involved with the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
God chooses to use only that which is weak, so that his Spirit may alone make it strong! 2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
And we take notice of the Lord God addressing Ezekiel as “Son of man.” This designation is found ninety-three times in this book. For the Lord would have Ezekiel to remember that he too was a sinner in captivity. That he too was only effective in the Lord’s service by the Holy Spirit which dwelt within him. And so it was with the great Apostle Paul, who was given a sanctified affliction, lest he be exalted by the abundance of the Spirit’s revelations. 2 Corinthians 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
The Lord had his prophet to remind King David of his lowly beginnings, and that his greatness was only attributable to the mercies of the Lord God. 2 Samuel 7:8 Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel: 9 And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth.
For of the seven things which the Lord hates, a proud look is first listed. Proverbs 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, Remember that verse from 1 Corinthians one, as listed in the first column of this page. That no flesh should glory in his presence.
Then, the third thing we find as a result of Ezekiel’s seeing the glory of God is, “I heard.” Only then are we enabled to properly hear the voice of the Lord. He “saw” the glory. Then he “fell” in abject repentance. And now he is ready to hear! Even as Daniel, as listed in the last column on the first page of this article. Only after he saw himself in his corruption did he state, Yet heard I the voice of his words:
For the scripture informs us not just that we hear the word, but also deals with how we hear. Mark 4:24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. Luke 8:18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.
The next thing we read is the Lord instructing his prophet to stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee. But this was a thing that Ezekiel, as well as Daniel could not do of their own ability! Daniel 10:10 And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. 11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. For one will not long live in the Christian profession until they realize that what the Lord Jesus said about us is absolutely true! “…for without me ye can do nothing. John 15:5 The Lord never told anyone to do anything which he could accomplish of his own effort!
It is only “in Christ” that is, in Christ’s enablements, one can properly accomplish the Lord’s will. Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. For the branch cannot produce any fruit whatsoever unless abiding in the vine! John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
When the Lord cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus come forth.” It had to be an enabling command! For Lazarus’ ears had been dead four days. He couldn’t even hear that word unless the Lord gave forth an effectual voice to revive the ear as he instantly resurrected his body! And the sinner is said to be dead in trespasses and sins; Therefore God is from the very outset of one’s salvation, revealing to every believer that his regeneration is but a spiritual resurrection which only God has power to accomplish! Jeremiah 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.
And the Lord had just shown to Ezekiel that the four living creatures, representing the life of God in the soul of man, could stand by the work of the Spirit! Ezekiel 1:21 When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. The only way they could stand was by the spirit within them.
But having seen it in a vision does not mean that he could actually accomplish it. The Apostle Paul admitted this. Romans 7:19 For the good that I would (do) I do not: And even the holy humanity of the Lord Jesus admitted the same. John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
As Elisha was provided the crossing of the Jordan by the power and faith of his master Elijah. But after the Lord took Elijah up in a whirlwind, there Elisha stood on the wrong side of the Jordan. He, like Ezekiel, had seen how one had done what the Lord now required of him. But it was now down to his own faith to accomplish the task. And what did he do? He called on Elisha’s God while repeating the example he saw Elisha do. – Then the waters parted for him.
Ezekiel saw the new creatures stand by the spirit within them. But now he was commanded to stand in order to hear. He was entirely cast upon the Lord. 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. gb