EZEKIEL AND ISRAEL’S FUTURE
Ezekiel wrote from Babylon during and after the last sieges of Jerusalem which ended in 586 B. C. He was aware of remnants of northern Israel which had been taken captive in 722 B. C. and addressed his prophecies to the whole house of Israel (2:3; 3:1; 4:3-6; 9:9; 37:16; 39:25). Ezekiel pleaded with the whole house of Israel to return in faith.
SIN TO BE PUNISHED:
Like all the other prophets who wrote to Israel or Judah, God promised to punish sin and desolate the land (5:14; 6:14; 9:9; 15:8).
THE REMNANT WILL RETURN TO BEGIN THE KINGDOM REIGN OF MESSIAH ON EARTH:
Also like all the other prophets, God promised to leave a remnant and not fully destroy His people (6:8-9+).
Restoration goes far beyond that seen in 538 B.C. because it includes both houses of Israel and all the land of Israel (11:17).
This is important. Restoration of Israel as a unified nation will clearly be in the context of the New Covenant, the everlasting covenant and a new spirit within believers. Fulfillment of the following nine (9) texts can only be explained in the context of a permanently indwelling Holy Spirit which was not true during the Old Covenant. Compare Jeremiah 31:31-37 and Hebrews 8:8-13.
1. Ezek 11:19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:
2. Ezek 16:60 “Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.
3. Ezek 16:62 And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.
4. Ezek 16:63 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore (37:26).
5. Ezek 20:37 And I will cause you to pass under the rod and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant.
6. Ezek 36:26 A new heart also will I give you and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and I will give you an heart of flesh.
7. Ezek 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
Note: Since the final total restoration of Israel will occur after it is under the New Covenant, the statutes and judgments must also be those of the New Covenant (compare 11:20 with 11:17).
8. Ezek 37:26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.
9. Ezek 39:29 “Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.”
Note: This is the final word, the last verse, of promise to Israel in Ezekiel.
FOR MY NAME’S SAKE:
God MUST restore Israel, not because it has repented, but because He had sworn to do so by His own name, His own character. This is an extremely important principle for understanding Israel’s role in future prophecy. Nine (9) times God’s repeats His reason for eventually totally restoring Israel. The conditional time element will eventually be replaced by an unconditional aspect because of God’s name and vow.
1. Ezek 19:44 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have wrought with you for my name's sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.
Ezek 20:9 But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen …
2. Ezek 20:10 Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness.
Note: Israel did not deserve to be delivered out of Egypt either. God did so because He had promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
3. Ezek 20:14 But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out.
4. Ezek 20:22 Nevertheless I withdrew mine hand [OF PUNISHMENT], and wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth.
5. Ezek 20:44 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have wrought with you for my name's sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.
6. Ezek 36:21 But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went.
7. Ezek 36:22 … I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.
8. Ezek 36:23 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
9. Ezek 36:32 Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.
PROR TO THE GOG-MAGOG INVASION, THE LAND IS PROMINENT IN THE KINGDOM REIGN ON EARTH.
Major portions of Ezekiel 19, 36 and 37 relate to the land itself. By fulfilling the unconditional promises of the land made to Abraham through David, Israel will eventually be restored to its land even before the invasion of Gog and Magog. This will involve both houses of Israel and it will involve the New Covenant.
1. Ezek 19:38 And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
Note: God promised that the “rebels” of Israel shall not enter the land. Since this has not yet occurred, it must be future.
2. Ezek 19:40 For in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things.
Note: Since these things will occur under the New Covenant context, the “offerings, firstfruits, oblations and holy things” must be interpreted in the context of New Covenant things.
3. Ezek 19:42 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to your fathers.
4. Ezek 36:24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
5. Ezek 36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
Note: This is not a description of what happened in 538 B. C. and must be future.
6. Ezek 36:28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people and I will be your God.
7. Ezek 36:29 I will also save you from all your uncleannesses ….
Note: This is the New Covenant context of Israel’s restoration.
8. Ezek 36:30 And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field …
9. Ezek 36:33 In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded.
Note: Complete and full restoration in the land is coupled with New Covenant cleanliness.
10. Ezek 36:34 And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by.
11. Ezek 36:35 And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.
12. Ezek 36:36 Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.
Note: The curse of desolation will be reversed.
13. Ezek 36:38 As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
14. Ezek 37:12 I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
15. Ezek 37:14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.
Note: Again the indwelling spirit of the New Covenant is a vital part of the restoration of Israel to its land.
16. Ezek 37:25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.
Note: Sixteen (16) texts prior to the Gog-Magog invasion confirm God’s unconditional promise to restore Israel to its land during the Millennial Kingdom Reign on Earth.
GOG, MAGOG, MESHECH AND TUBAL
After all Israel has been restored to its land and lives at peace in un-walled cities, there will be one final crisis which is very similar to that seen in Revelation 20:7-9. If these events occur at the end of the thousand year reign of Messiah on earth, the absence of modern weapons would be understandable.
1. All Israel will have been restored and will be dwelling safely in its land (Ezek 38:8, 14).
2. Gog and Magog will invade to take spoil (38:11-12). The countries listed appear to include all known nations of Ezekiel’s time. The latter day invasion of Israel at the end of the Millennium would include all nations per Revelation 20:8.
3. Gog and Magog cover the land of Israel (38:16).
4. A great earthquake will occur in Israel (38:19). All mountains and walls will fall (38:20).
5. God will cause Gog and Magog to fight each other (38:21). Insects and hailstones will fall on them (38:22). Only a sixth of them will survive (39:2). The scavengers will eat their dead bodies (39:4. 17, 18, 20).
6. None of God’s people will be harmed during this invasion.
7. It will take seven months to bury the dead (39:12) and seven years to burn the weapons (39:9).
8. The major problem with placing the invasion of Gog and Magog at the end of the millennium is the seven year period of 39:9. It should be noted that the “new heavens and new earth” of Isaiah 65:17 and 66:21 are not totally new. Placing Gog and Magog either before or at the beginning of the tribulation period does not satisfy the “un-walled cities” and “weapons” of wood context.
AFTER DESCRIBING DELLIVERANCE FROM THE GOG-MAGOG INVASION, GOD AGAIN REMINDS ISRAEL OF THE IMPORTANCE OF THE LAND IN THE KINGDOM REIGN ON EARTH.
1. Ezek 39:26 After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid.
2. Ezek 39:27 When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations;
3. Ezek 39:28 Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which cause them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.
4. Ezek 39:29 Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.
5. Permanent complete and full restoration is coupled with the New Covenant and the indwelling Holy Spirit.
EZEKIEL’S TEMPLE WAS CONDITIONAL FOR 538 B. C.
1. Ezek 40:8 “And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever.”
The whole house of Israel is being enticed by God’s desire to dwell among them for ever.
2. Ezek 40:9 “Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever.”
God wants Israel to repent and be revived before He dwell with them. This is the Old Covenant conditions of 538 B. C.
3. Ezek 40:10 “Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern.”
God tells Ezekiel to describe the general pattern of the new Temple in order to entice them to full faith and repentance.
4. Ezek 40:11 “And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.”
God tells Ezekiel not to give Israel the details of the new Temple unless they express sincere repentance. Northern Israel did not return in 538 B. C. Neither northern Israel nor southern Judah has ever returned in full faith. This conditional prophecy failed and does not apply to the future.
God is still able to fulfill His unconditional prophecy. Through Ezekiel He said that Egypt will never again be a leader among the nations (Ezek 29:15) and that Edom will no longer be a nation (35:9). The Ammonites will cease to be a nation (Ezek 25:10).