Saturday, February 23, 2019

Notes Concerning the Day of Atonement (Prophetically the Day of the LORD) III

by Michael C. Garrett

Continued from Part II …

“Then I looked, and behold, a whirlwind …” So, he was beholding quite a scene! “A whirlwind of fire!” Remember, there was a time when Moses was attempting to escape the armies of the pharaoh of Egypt, and they got to the water’s edge, and that scene where the Red Sea is parted, the children of Israel go through dry shod, on either side of them giant walls of water!? Above them a mist – almost a type of baptism. And holding off the Egyptian army, was a giant whirlwind. You almost get that same type of scene. Verses 5-9 – “Also from within it came the likeness of four living creatures. …” – Now isn’t it interesting in the Book of Revelation we read about living creatures surrounding the throne of God!? I have to presume that this is the same thing that we’re reading here in Ezekiel about the same creatures that we read about in the Book of Revelation. I must confess, I don’t exactly understand the image that Ezekiel is seeing, but it’s sort of like, which ever direction they went, one of these four faces were facing forward. Verse 10 – “As for the likeness of their faces, each had the face of a man; each of the four had the face of a lion …” we read the same thing in the Book of Revelation. At, or near, the throne of God is a being that also has the face of a cat. Now, again, I don’t quite know if they’ve got one head with four different faces. This verse, sort of, implies maybe they do!? Or, I don’t know if they can change their faces!?

One time appear as a man, another time an ox, another time a lion, or as an eagle. Verses 11-12 – So, they are, sort of, a unit. They don’t go off on their own, they’re a unit. The Book of Revelation calls them, unfortunately, the “four beast’s.” That’s a very unfortunate translation, should be “living creature.” Just like it says here in Ezekiel. Verse 13 – this was quite a show! If you were to come in contact with this group of living creatures, these angelic beings, it would be startling! It would really take you off your feet! Verse 14 – Again, I don’t know exactly what that means, but I guess if they want to they can move very quickly!? Verse 15 – here we’re talking about wheels, and you’ll hear many of these people who are fascinated by UFOs, they talk about a wheel within a wheel. And I think they get that terminology from reading Ezekiel chapter one. They say that Ezekiel saw a UFO. Like from outer space, like “little green men from Mars.” Now, these are living creatures, and they are from outer space, but they’re from the throne of God, and these are angelic beings. Verse 16 – “…The appearance of their workings was, as it were, a wheel in the middle of a wheel.” -  So, it’s sort of, when they’re all together, looks like some kind of machine!? Verse 17 – they move as a “block”!? Verse 18 – Again, I’m not perfectly sure just what this imagery is supposed to be. This is a very tall structure and dreadful – scary – for Ezekiel to see this! “…and their rims were full of eyes, …” – Now are these eyes as in eyeballs or are these lights!? Again, I don’t know for sure. Someday, those of us that are allowed the opportunity to be part of the Kingdom of God, I’m sure we’ll get to see this – this thing, this structure, this embodiment of four living creatures.

Verse 19 – they’re all one unit. Verses 20-21 – Again, the best of which I can make of this, as I’ve said before, all of this structure, this event, they move as a unit. They move together. Verses 22-24 – “When they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of many waters, …” – think of the noise of Niagara Falls. When you see as “the voice of the Almighty” I think that’s giving you a clue that from this device, this amalgamation, at times you can actually hear, maybe, the voice of God. Verses 25-26 – “…the likeness of a throne, …” a little bit more description. Now, there’s a throne in the middle of all of this! Who would be sitting up on a throne!? Well, we see and read about God the Father and Jesus Christ being seated upon thrones. “…in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it.” – now, what does God look like!? We know what God looks like, because He said, ‘I made man in the image of God.’ God looks much like we do! He has a head, shoulders, He has arms, torso, He has legs, He has feet, and hands. And we can read many times where a description of God is given. And so this being that has the appearance of a man, is actually, most likely, most probably – I must presume – is indeed a member of the Family of God. Verses 27-28 – “…This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.” – It was indeed a member of the Family of God. Most likely the individual to whom we now ascribe the name Jesus Christ. “So when I saw it, I fell on my face …”

Revelation 1:12 – “…seven golden lampstands, …” these are also angelic beings. Verse 13-15 – “…His voice as the sound of many waters; …” Verses 16-17 – “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. …” – Verse 18 – “’I am He who lives, and was dead, …’” – and yes, there was a period of three days and three nights when Jesus Christ – a member of the Family of God, the very Creator of Earth and the universe and mankind and all that there is – lay in a tomb dead. “…’And I have the keys of Hades [the grave] and of Death.’” – meaning, He is the One that can lock or unlock the door that Death and the grave can potentially have upon a human being.

I think we’re hearing two different people describe their interpretations of what they’ve seen, and we see there is a lot of overlap, a lot of similarity.

Ezekiel 2: - Verse 1-2 - Now when it says, “the Spirit entered me,” does that mean the Spirit of God, or he just felt a power lifting him up and making him stand!? Probably just a little bit of both I would presume. Verse 3 – “…’Son of man, I am sending you …’” – now this is critical! Critical thing for you to understand! Verse 4 – now again, Ezekiel was not to say, “I’m telling you!” He is to go before these people and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD!’ ‘I’m relaying to you the Words of God right now!’ Verse 5 – “…’yet they will know that a prophet has been among them.’”  - Ezekiel 33:32 – ‘You’re gonna hear My Message, but whether you believe it, whether you actually listen to it and take it to heart, it depends upon you!’ God will do nothing that He does not first tell the people about through His prophet. God indeed has made a promise to mankind. ‘I’m going to tell you ahead of time,’ or ‘I’m going to tell some of you, and you probably won’t listen, but I gave you fair warning!’ “…’whether they hear or whether they refuse, …’” – He repeats that three more times! Verses 6-7 – “…’whether they hear or whether they refuse, …’” – Chapter 3:11 - “…’whether they hear or whether they refuse, …’” –

Chapter 3:27 – “…’He who hears, let him hear; and he who refuses, let him refuse; …’” And something similar in Revelation 22:11 - this is near the time of the return of Jesus Christ, this is an end-time statement – “’He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy [evil], let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.’” Again Verse 6; Ezekiel 2 – “’And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them,’” – Ezekiel’s being told, ‘I send you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation.’ “…’though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions;’ …” – meaning, ‘Your life may not be all that perfect.’ Verses 7-10.

Ezekiel 3:1 - Remember, back in old times, book’s, weren’t created the way we create books now. They were on a scroll. And they stored them by rolling them up. And so this giant scroll was placed before him, and Ezekiel was told, ‘eat this!’ Eat this scroll! And He said written in there ‘were lamentations and mourning and woe.’ Written in there were events, and facts, about the end time, about the Day of the Lord. Verse 2 – “…and He caused me to eat that scroll.” Verse 3 – “…and it was in my mouth like honey in sweetness.” Verse 4 – again, this was what he had eaten in the book. The information that was in that scroll, he’s now to go to the house of Israel and speak the words which God had given to him. Verse 5-6 – Much like when Jonah was sent to Nineveh. And they actually heard Jonah, and repented! Verses 7-11 – “’But the house of Israel will not listen to you, because they will not listen to Me; …’” God speaking to Ezekiel – a type of the end-time work. “…’whether they hear, or whether they refuse.’” – we hear that phrase quite often.

– notation; 1 Samuel 8:7; 1 John 4:5-6; Luke 16:19-31.

You know, anywhere you go in this country people have access to a Bible. Some people have two or three Bible’s in their house or neighbor’s house, or where they work. You go to motel’s here in America and the Gideon Society always has a Bible somewhere in there. “…’whether they hear, or whether they refuse.’” Verse 12-15 – Now, it’s pretty evident to me… it’s obvious that Ezekiel is taken aboard this structure made of angelic beings – wheels and the voice of God and the throne of God – and he is transported. This is, for the lack of a better term, like a celestial, divine, “taxi-service.” He is being transported by this mechanism. And, we read other places where Ezekiel is transported. Now I really want you to get this, because this is part of the story which has never been told and never understood that we are about to get to.

I think it is extremely exciting because it’s new and unheard of before. Ezekiel 8:3 – Once again, Ezekiel is transported, by this heavenly “taxi-service.” For the lack of a better term. Verse 14, 16 – Again, he’s transported. Now, did this just take place in his mind, or is he literally being taken!? A couple of times he says, ‘lifted me up and took me away.’ He is being transported, it’s not just a vision thing. He is physically going to place “A” to place “B.” Ezekiel 11:1 – So, Ezekiel was transported by this heavenly “taxi-service.” This heavenly “taxi-service” is, at times, transporting God, and at times it’s transporting Ezekiel. Now, you say, “Well, has that ever happened before!?” Well, turn to 2 Kings chapter 2. This is prophecy, or rather, it’s linked to prophecy.

Now, this is another story that is fairly well known. It’s talking about Elijah and Elisha, and Elijah, he’s having trouble’s. His nerves are shot, he just can’t keep doing what God was asking him to do. Verse 1 – “…the LORD was about to take up Elijah into heaven …” – into the atmosphere. The word heaven in the Bible, the majority of the time, means the atmosphere, where bird’s fly and clouds form, lightning and rain, wind. A few times the word heaven refers to outer space. And just a few, a very few times, it refers to the residency of God – the third heaven. “…by a whirlwind,’” recall how in Ezekiel this thing was described like a whirlwind, a giant structure spinning around!? Verse 2 – Elijah is the Sr. prophet, and Elisha is the “prophet-in-waiting.” So, Elisha shows a lot of loyalty to his elder.

Verse 3 - “Now the sons of the prophets …” – when you hear that term, ‘sons of the prophets,’ there appeared to be an organization, almost like a college, of young men who were studying the Word of God and were, sort-of, “prophets-in-training.” And you hear this phrase several times. “…said to him [Elisha], ‘Do you know that the LORD will take away your master from over you today?’” – Elijah is going to be removed. Verse 4 – Again, Elisha shows a lot of character in that he – well he doesn’t listen to instruction’s very well, because of his great loyalty to his teacher, his mentor. Verse 5 – “…’Yes, I know; keep silent!’” – ‘Quit telling me that!’ Verses 6-8 – “Now Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up, and struck the water; and it was divided this way and  that, so the two of them crossed over on dry ground.” – very similar, but on a much smaller scale, as to what happened to Moses. God parted the waters, so that they could walk over without getting wet. Verse 9 – “…’Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.’” – this is a very profound request! He could have asked for gold, power, or some other material thing, but Elisha, he wanted the amount of Spirit that Elijah had and then 100% more! ‘Give me a double portion.’ ‘Allow the amount of Spirit just to be overflowing within me!’ Verses 10-14 – So, some people like to teach that Elijah went off to Heaven. “Elijah is goin’ to Heaven!” or “He went to Heaven!” But is that so!? – notation; 2 Chronicles 21:12-15, this happens AFTER this event in 2 Kings 2. Elijah sends a letter to someone. Elijah didn’t go off to Heaven, he simply got removed to a place of peace and quiet where he could live out his natural life before he had a total nervous breakdown, because he was just becoming overwhelmed by all the things that were happening.

I have a feeling that the heavenly “taxi-service” – again, I’m using that phrase so we can, sort-of, understand – which we see here in the Book of 2 Kings with Elijah is the same thing that Ezekiel saw, the same device that transported him from place “A” to “B” to “C.”

Recall Ezekiel 2:8 – “’But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you.’” – Well, that’s very similar to what we read in the Book of Revelation.

Continuing Ezekiel 3:16-17 – “…’I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; …’” – Now, Mr. Ted Armstrong, which had a vital role in the Worldwide Church of God and also the subsequent churches which came from that, he often claimed this was his moniker. He often said, “I am the watchman unto the house of Israel.” And he felt as though this verse and other verses in Chapter 33 were speaking to him – personally. I don’t know, maybe they were, maybe they weren’t, only God knows for sure. But my take on this – is that this is an end-time work. The Day of the Lord is an end-time event! It’s what happens right before the return of Jesus Christ! Mr. Ted has been in his grave now for over a decade. And like some misguided individuals who claim, “God is going to resurrect Herbert Armstrong and Ted Armstrong to be the two witnesses!” – and I actually know of people who have said such Biblical misunderstanding’s, just not understanding the Word of God or the Plan of God. And I will say this – if God the Father and Jesus Christ so decided that They were going to resurrect Herbert Armstrong and Ted Armstrong, and use them in the end-time, nothing stopping Them, because They are GOD, They can do what They want, and They have the power to do it. Do I think They’re going to do it!? No. I think it’s just a hideous misrepresentation and misunderstanding of what the Word of God is saying. But I do believe there’ll be an end-time work! And I do believe the end-time work will be composed of fewer individuals than bigger. The Worldwide Church of God always taught, “Well, we’ve got to grow and grow, get bigger and have more money and more publications so that we can blanket the earth with this warning!” Well, the Worldwide Church of God doesn’t even exist anymore and hasn’t for a long, long time! It’s all fallen apart! And I think one of the reasons God allowed the Worldwide Church of God to disintegrate and blow away, because He was troubled by a lot of the things they did. And there were two things which they did which were particular and heinous in the eyes of God. They became worshipful of the name Armstrong, to the point where Herbert Armstrong and in some quarters, Ted Armstrong, were looked upon with the same admiration as a true practicing Catholic would look upon the pope, or as a true dedicated Mormon would look upon the president of their church. They actually believed, and these other organizations believe, that their leader when he speaks he speaks directly for God, he is in the place of God. Well that is a terrible mistake. It was back then, it still remains a mistake.

And the other thing that the Worldwide Church of God did that I think was abysmal in the eyes of God  - Jesus talks about in Revelation 2, “…’the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.’” And that word literally means Nicoli, to rule with complete power as a dictatorial power. Laitans as in the name laity. The word literally means: to rule over the laity of the Church as though the leaders are dictators. Jesus Christ said, ‘You’re to be the servant, not the master.’ Nothing has changed since Jesus spoke those Words! But in the minds of these human beings who get a title, they just become drunk on power and their own sense of self-importance.

Now, the ‘watchman’ has an end-time job. And we’re not to the end – yet. Those two individuals are no longer alive, they are in their graves. But somebody is going to be the ‘watchman’ unto the house of Israel! Somebody is going to carry an end-time Message to these people! And ultimately, the two witnesses, will carry it to the captives of the house of Israel, and to the house of Judah. But it says here, “…’I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a Word from My mouth, …’” – see the Word hear. He says to Ezekiel, ‘hear what I am saying!’ ‘Don’t go out and make up your own church, don’t go out and make up your own doctrine!’

‘Don’t follow a bunch of human traditions and think they’re divine.’ ‘Hear what I’m saying!’ And the only place you can get that done is through the Bible!

Verse 18 – ‘Because you knew the Truth of God, because you knew the Word of God, Because you knew the Plan of God and you did not teach it, and therefore you did not help these people, I’m going to require their blood and their death on you – O’ watchman, who did not do his job!’ Verse 19 – the word “soul” there should be properly be rendered “life.” Verse 20 – So, let’s say there are some people who are Church member’s, members of the Body of Christ, maybe not particularly aligned with us, maybe very suspicious of what we’re doing here, and Jesus says here through Ezekiel, ‘When a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity,’ He says, ‘if you have not warned him, his blood I will require at your hand!’ Verse 21 – “’Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man …’” – another Church member, another member of the Body of Christ, maybe that Church member doesn’t go by the name Church of Jesus Christ, maybe they go by some form of the name Church of God!? And there are many such organizations and many such people. People who are trying to do the will of God.

And I would dare to predict that when the final tally is made, you’re going to find that those righteous people in the other Churches of God, the Body of Christ, will more likely come from the laity – the Church member’s. As opposed to the Church leaders. Because quite frankly, many of the Church leaders of these other churches, at one point in my life or another, I have been around some of them. And I have seen some of their work in the recent years, and quite frankly, I’m not very impressed with it. It seems to me that their work is a work of their ego, of promulgating their own image. As opposed to teaching about Jesus Christ. “…’that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, …’” – and it might just be the process of teaching them the Words of God doctrinally more pure than what they’ve ever heard before. Verses 2223, 24 – “…’Go shut yourself inside your house.’” – Now, whose house!? The house of Israel. Matthew 10:22; speaking of the very same people that Ezekiel – referred to as the ‘watchman’ is talking about! And here Jesus talks about these people! And He’s talking to His people in that day, but it has a more important meaning in the end-time. The second fulfillment of the prophecy. So many prophecies have an early fulfillment, and then they have a much more powerful latter fulfillment. Matthew 10:5-6, 22 “’And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.’” – this is an end-time prophecy! Even though the story started out in about 30 AD, the story became a prophecy for the end-time. Verse 23 – So, ‘go you to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’ Now, think about that phrase, ‘lost sheep.’ Jesus said, ‘feed My sheep.’ Now in one sense the physical people of Israel are the ‘lost sheep.’ But in an even more spiritual, more heightened, more intense meaning, I think Jesus Christ might very well be saying, ‘Go to the lost Church member’s.’ ‘Go to those people who thought they were in a good organization, they didn’t realize their leaders were corrupt and their doctrines were impure – or highly compromised.’ ‘Go to those lost sheep!’ I think it has a double meaning!

If you go back to the Book of Ezekiel, again chapter 3, verse 25 – remember He said they will persecute you!? Jesus said, talking about the same people. The end-time teachers of the Truth of God, the Truth of Jesus Christ, ‘they’re going to persecute you!’ Well, here, he’s told, ‘they will put ropes on you and bind you with them.’ Verse 26 – what He’s saying is, ‘After a while I’m through talking to them. I’m done. That’s enough! I’ve tried to reach them, I’ve sent them My prophets, they’ve turned them away and many they’ve killed! Hated. Denigrated. I’m just through, they’ve tried. It’s over!’

Again, when the Bible says one thing one time – because it’s the Word of God – it’s something you need to listen to. However, moreover, or above that, when the Bible says something multiple times over and over, God is SCREAMING AT YOU, ‘Listen to what I’m trying to tell you!’ ‘It’s IMPORTANT!’ “…’whether they hear or whether they refuse, …’”

Again, Ezekiel 3:11 – Ezekiel was told, “And go, get to the captives, to the children of your people …” – now I have tried to say throughout here that in the end-time the end-time servants of God, the watchmen of Israel, will indeed – not only will they stand before the ‘beast’ power and the false prophet in Jerusalem, telling them just like Moses and Aaron, ‘Let my people go!’ – but they, also like Ezekiel, will be given access to God’s providential “taxi-service.” Just like Ezekiel here, he was moved around to a lot of different places. And God told him, “go, get to the captives, to the children of your people.”

And in that future event, they will be going, I think, specifically to members of the Church of God who simply never really did get the Message, and who’s hard hearts and misguided teachings leave them in a spiritually unnourished state, where they are not protected in the end-times.

And they, having gone into captivity, God sends His two end-time prophets – the two witnesses – to go to these people and directly speak to them, and to give them, as it were, one last chance to get their head right and to get their mind around the proper directives. And as I say, I imagine the Message might be this: ‘You folks, who have lived bound up, worshiping the Old Covenant and the principles of the Old Covenant – look to Jesus, not Moses!’ ‘Look to the New Covenant, look to the great High Priest, look to the promises of the New Covenant, and you must sever this fatal attraction you have of wanting to be Jewish or Jewish-like. LOOK TO JESUS!’ And He’s going to say, “Go, get to the captives, to the children of your people, and speak to them and tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD,’ whether they hear, or whether they refuse.’”

Jesus Christ said, ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit, what the Spirit of God is saying to the churches!’ And so in the end-time, God will have to do that one more time, through His prophets. The end-time prophets. The two witnesses. Listen to these Words, if you will, if you can. Hear what the Spirit of God is trying to tell you. As a member of the Body of Christ it is required of you to hear what God says, not necessarily what human beings try to tell you. But there are people right now in different organizations who are more enamored with their human leader or human leaders than they are the personage of Jesus Christ. And I’m gonna tell you, the only way you have of making it into eternal life is directly and totally through Jesus Christ. And if you hang on to these human traditions, and if you hang on to these human people, worshiping them, idolizing them, you will be in trouble. I so much wish that you will hear these words.

He says in Verse 12 – “Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a great thunderous voice: ‘Blessed is the glory of the LORD from His place!’ … 14) So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away, …” – this divine “taxi service.” Which is composed of super archangels. Just like other prophets of old, they managed to move them around when it needed to be done. Here Ezekiel experienced that. Verses 15-16, 17 – “’Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; …” – remember the house of Israel can stand for two different things: 1) it can stand for the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph – the house of Israel. 2) but also the Church of Jesus Christ – the Church of God – the chosen people, the Body of Christ. And many times they are also called the house of Israel. “…’therefore hear a Word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me” – so once again, very clear indication that these… remember ‘to the captives, to the children of your people.’ This is not before the captivity, this is AFTER they have gone into captivity! And God says to Ezekiel, ‘Go to the house of Israel and give them one last WARNING!’ And this I believe is VERY PROPHETIC! I think this is what will happen in the end-time. Verse 18 – “’When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, …’” – so here is a prophet or prophets, they’ve been told ‘go to these people and give them one last Message!’ ‘Try to reach them one last time!’ ‘And if you don’t warn them, and you don’t speak to warn them, “’the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall [indeed] die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.” -  Again, a very STERN WARNING! Basically, Jesus Christ is saying, ‘You do what I tell you to do, and if you don’t, their death which they have earned will also be shared by you!’ However He says in Verse 19 – “’Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you [shall] have delivered your [own life].’” – you shall have protected yourself. This is a powerful motivation for the servants of God to do what they are supposed to do in the end-time. And it’s not just about warning the people outside the Church. But here, there’s no doubt in my mind, this means people who are supposed to be INSIDE the Church! But they’ve deluded themselves, they’ve corrupted themselves. They’ve gone off on tangents which have nothing to do with their true purpose. They believe in human myth and human traditions. And they look to human leaders for their salvation when the whole time they should have been looking to JESUS CHRIST! Verse 20 – “’Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand.” – so even a righteous man that got himself confused, NEEDS TO BE TAUGHT!! I know a lot of people who know a lot of the truth of God, but they’ve gotten themselves involved in organizations which are “off-the-mark.” They’re not hitting the mark. They’ve gone into other places. Other thoughts, other ideas. He says, ‘If you don’t go warn them, yes they will die, but again, because you did not warn them, I will require their blood at your hand!’

Verse 21 – “Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; …’” – ‘because you did what I told you to do. You fulfilled your purpose.’ “…’also you will have delivered your [life].’” – and that’s what the word “soul” there means in the King James English, it just means life. It doesn’t mean immortal soul or spirit or something. Verse 22 – “Then the hand of the LORD was upon me there, and He said to me, ‘Arise, go out into the plain, and there I shall talk with you.’ 23) “…the glory which I saw by the River Chebar; and I fell on my face.” – and this River Chebar is in what we now call IRAQ. Funny how you hear that name so often anymore. ISIS, Islamic State. Just seems like we can’t get away from them, no matter how hard we try – and even in the end there will be some of the people of God who have gone astray, who will suffer horribly at the hands of their Israeli captives, their Muslim captives. Verses 24-25, 26 – “…’for they are a rebellious house.” – like some of them, no matter what you say, they’re not going to listen. Some of them are so self-righteous – again what does the word “self-righteous” mean!? Luke 18:9 – “Also He [Jesus Christ] spoke this parable [sort-of a puzzle; you think you understand it, but unless your guided by God’s Spirit you really don’t] to some [to certain religious people; in fact they thought they were very religious people; in fact they were religious leaders of religious people] who trusted in themselves that they were righteous [they had just developed this idea, ‘Well, I know I’m right, because I know I’m right!’ ‘I know I’m right, because I think I’m right!’ ‘I know I’m right, because God just wouldn’t let me do anything else!’ ‘I know I’m right… well… just because I am!’ ‘they trust in themselves that they are righteous’], and [notice this “and”] despised others: …” – and I have to tell you, I know people who claim to be a part of the Body of Christ – the Church of God – who trust in themselves that they are righteous and yet, seemingly all that they do is despise others. One little guy that I think of has simply been described as “full of hate.”

“…’Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee [that’s a religious guy, duly noted, robes and all, titles, everything – got the office, has the building, he is the “top dog,” or a “top dog”] and the other a tax collector [a publican; and you know what you think about the IRS!? And you know how they are always trying to grab into your pocket and grab more nickels and dimes, and it just seems to get worse and worse. Well, I doubt any of you would invite an IRS agent to your house for dinner, so you would probably ignore him or shun him. The people back then did the same, they didn’t think much of the publicans – the tax collectors. And many times they were Jewish people, and not only did the Jewish people think they were taking their money, but also thought they were traitors. They were working for the Romans, they had a very bad reputation]. 11) The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with [or rather within] himself, [he wasn’t praying to God, he was just talking to himself, because God doesn’t hear him]” – but he says, “’God, I thank You that I am not like other men – extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even this [lowly, flea bitten] tax collector.’” – and then this religious man proceeds to tell God how righteous he is – Verse 12 – “’I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’” – and I’m sure if we were to hear the full version, he went on and on about all the things that he did. Verse 13 – “’And the tax collector, [ashamed of who he was; ashamed of what he had done, very repentant and sorrowful] standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to Heaven, but beat his breast [a very common expression of repentance and sorrow back in those days],’” – and all he said to God was, “’God, be merciful to me a sinner!’” – ‘forgive me, please forgive me!’ Well Jesus said in Verse 14 – “’I tell you, this man [this tax collector, who had this attitude of repentance and wanting to change and wanting to rely upon Jesus Christ] went down to his house justified [meaning: made right before the eyes of God; to be made holy] rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, …’” – for the religious people who try and tell you how righteous they are, my suggestion is, “get your shoes on and run as fast as you can the other direction!” Because any encounter with these people will end up staining you and poisoning you.

“…’and he who humbles himself will be exalted.’” – something to think about. ‘Those that trust in themselves that they are righteous.’

Ezekiel – this is the people he’s dealing with in verses 25 & 26, chapter 3. And at the end of verse 26, God says, “they are a rebellious house,” even though you go to them directly from Me. It’s as though you are unable to speak because they are not gonna hear you. Now, the prophet here in this story, the implication is that he’s still supposed to tell them! But in the end, some of them won’t listen. And I can well imagine that happening in the future. I can easily see that! Because of the other people’s ‘self-righteousness.’ Verse 27 – “But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.’ He who hears, let him hear; and he who refuses, let him refuse; for they are a rebellious house.’” – now chapter 3 of Ezekiel is amazingly similar to chapter 33 of Ezekiel.

Again, we’re talking about end-time events. We’re talking about end-time prophecies. And when these prophecies are in effect, people have already gone into captivity. They are already going through their own personal ‘Day of the Lord,’ a day of torment, of pain and suffering. Ezekiel 33:1 – “Again the Word of the LORD came to me, …” – this is not Ezekiel just dreaming up some ideas, ‘Hey I think I’ll start a church and create my own ideas!’ No. This is Ezekiel hearing directly from Jesus Christ. Verse 2 – “’Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory [their borders] and make him their watchman, …’” – so at a time of impending war He’s saying you need to have some people watching out for you. Verse 3 – “’when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet …’” – again, you think about the blowing of the TRUMPET on the SEVEN TRUMPETS in the Book of Revelation, and those seven trumpets are followed by the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES which are the DAY OF THE LORD (different name but the same event). “…and warns the people, …’” – let’s quickly turn to Isaiah 58.

Isaiah 58 – remember, He just said there in Ezekiel, “’Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them’” – speak to them, deliver this Message. It’s not like that particular servant has a choice. He’s commanded by God, ‘This is what I want you to do!’ Well notice what Isaiah 58 says.

Isaiah 58:1 – speaking again to a prophet of God; and whether it was way back when or in the very near future, God doesn’t change, same mentality, same approach – “’Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression, …’” – and again, are these the physical people of Israel!? In part, probably. But I think even more dramatically, these are the so-called spiritual people of Israel. The churches which are supposed to represent the Way of God. ‘Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet.’ Well, in some small manner, to some small degree, that’s what I am trying to do. And we’re trying to blow the TRUMPET! And you might think, ‘Well, he’s sort-of cruel on some of those guys, he’s sort-of rough on them.’ Let me say this: There’s a very good possibility that if they do not wake up and hear that Message and hear that WARNING, that they may very well end up dying. I do not want them dead. I do not want them to suffer. And I also do not want their blood upon my head. And so we speak, we speak the truth, whether people like it or not. We speak what God says, from the Book – the Word of God! The Will of God! The Truth of God, the Plan of God! And to the best of our ability we’re trying to feed the sheep of Jesus Christ!

Verse 4; Ezekiel 33 – “then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head.’” – ‘he was told, he was WARNED, and he was too stupid or too stubborn, too rebellious, to listen to It. Too trusting in himself that he was righteous, too trusting in herself that she was righteous, not knowing just how dirty, and decerped.’ Well, how does He say that in Revelation to the one group!? Revelation 3 – to one group He says, Jesus Christ speaking, to a portion of His so-called Church, “’Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked…’” – a very SERIOUS OBSERVATION! And that’s what’s going on here in Ezekiel. Again Verse 4 – “…’whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, …’” – because they think their rich, they think their increased with goods, they think they have need of nothing, and they do not understand just how miserable and poor and lacking in understanding they are! And one of the reasons they are lacking in understanding is because they’re religious tentacles are in the soil of the Old Covenant! Their roots are feeding off the Old Covenant! And they do not understand that they need to change and become adherents and practicers, believers in the PROMISES OF JESUS CHRIST IN THE NEW COVENANT!

It’s not about becoming Jewish, it’s like becoming more like Christ! And I’ve met a lot of people in the tradition of the Worldwide Church of God who deep down inside want to be Jewish, or Jewish-like. They want to worry about the traditions, the myths, the mythology, and just get all wrapped up in it. And I’m telling you, the more you go that direction, the more you have cut yourself off from Jesus Christ! Who is your ONLY Redeemer, your ONLY hope of salvation! Verse 5, 6 – “But if the watchman [the prophet from God] sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’” – because he didn’t do his job! Verse 7 – “’So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; …’” – again, is that the physical house of Israel or the spiritual house of Israel!? I think it’s a little bit of both. I think it’s some for the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and I also think it’s for those people who at one time was given access to the knowledge of God and to the Spirit of God, and yet, they have become so entangled with human traditions, and human worship, that they no longer hear the voice of God. And they do not hear the voice of a true prophet from God. “… therefore you shall hear a Word from My mouth and warn them for Me. 8) When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you DO NOT speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.’” – think about how many times He’s said this here in these two chapters! I’ve been saying, if God says one thing one time, well, you better listen! But what if God says the same thing over, and over, and over, and over – He’s simply trying to pound it into you – ‘listen to what I’m telling you!’ This is really IMPORTANTE! And this information is very IMPORTANT! Verses 9-10, 11 – “’Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’”

Now if He’s speaking of the physical house of Israel, He’s talking about death – physical death. But those people will have an opportunity to come up in the “Great White Throne Judgment” and live again, to learn the truth of God, and then be a part of the Kingdom of God. However, what if He’s speaking to the spiritual house of Israel!? If you’re a member of the spiritual house of Israel that means at one time you had the knowledge of God enough that you were under… you’d gone too far, you couldn’t go back. You’ve been granted repentance, you’ve been granted baptism and God’s Spirit, your name, at one time, was written in the Book of Life, but if you will now not turn from your evil ways, your human ways, your human organizational ways – if you don’t, your death will not be a temporary death, but your death will be the second death – the death from which there is no resurrection! The final death. The lake of fire. Eternal extinction. So, for those of you who know the truth of God, this is Verses 12, 13 – “’When I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, but he trusts in his own righteousness …’” – remember the parable Luke 18!? ‘Those who trusted in themselves that they were righteous.’ “…’and commits iniquity, none of his righteous works shall be remembered; but because of the iniquity that he has committed, he shall die.’” – of leaving the path down which he should have been going he shall die for it. There’s a whole lot of people that I know – that I’ve met over the years – who sort-of had the idea, ‘Well, you know, I heard the truth of God, and, God granted me repentance and I walked into the baptismal pool and I came out and the minister slapped his hands on me and said a prayer and I know that my name is in the Book of Life… and well… job over!’ ‘I’m done!’ IF you think that, you deceive yourself badly! That’s the start, that’s not the finish. Remember Jesus saying, ‘Whosoever shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved’!? He didn’t say, ‘Well, those of you twenty, thirty years ago you got a good start, but then you sort-of just petered out.’ He doesn’t say that! Remember Paul said, ‘Work out your salvation with fear and trembling’!? He did not mean that you could make yourself righteous, because nobody can, only Jesus Christ, but what he said is: Stay close to Jesus Christ on a regular basis, be consistent in the proper frame of mind, so that God can pour out His righteousness upon you and therefore you will be eternally blessed and saved. Verses 14, 15 – “’if the wicked restores the pledge [the contract, the covenant, that he’s supposed to have with Jesus Christ], gives back what he has stolen, and walks in the statutes of life [what are the statutes of life!? – The Ten Commandments - now the Old Covenant, the law of Moses is DONE AWAY, but now we walk in newness of life and the New Covenant; the Bible commands compliance with the TEN COMMANDMENTS! The eternal relevancy  of the Ten Commandments] without committing iniquity [iniquity is sin. What is sin!? Sin is the breaking of the Law. What is the Law!? Is it the Old Covenant!? No. Is it the law of Moses!? No. IT’S the Ten Commandments under the Priesthood of Jesus Christ, under the context of the New Covenant and the promises thereof], he shall surely live; he shall not die.’” – because they will be washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ! Gone, just totally gone! Like He once said, ‘I will turn your crimson like snow.’ Your sin which was glaring like blood, will just be cleaned like the white fresh driven snow! Verses 16, 17 – “’Yet the children of your people say, ‘The Way of the Lord is not fair! But it is their way which is not fair!’” – their way is not right. Verses 18, 19 – “…’and does what is lawful and right, …’” – lawful and right is using the standard of the TEN COMMANDMENTS. Now, if you judge your life by the Old Covenant, you may say, ‘Well, I’m adhering to the Old Covenant, in fact, everyday I’m getting a little more Jewish.’ And you’re so very proud of yourself, you are drifting away from Jesus Christ! And so you will totally be out of touch with Him, you won’t even know who He is. He could tap you on the shoulder and you wouldn’t know Him. Verse 20 – “’Yet you say, ‘The Way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, …’” – again, is He speaking about physical Israel!? I think He’s talking more about spiritual Israel. I think He’s talking about people who supposedly at one time were bonafide Church members. And yet they have drifted far, far from the truth that they were supposed to know. “…’I will judge every one of you according to his ways.’” – that’s that principle I have been talking about consistently through the Bible – Old Testament, New Testament. ‘I will judge you according to your ways.’

Verse 27 – “’Say thus to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘As I live, surely those who are in the ruins shall fall by the sword, and the one who is in the open field I will give to the beasts to be devoured, …’” – people who will NOT be protected. And death will come upon them. “…’and those who are in the strongholds and caves shall die of the pestilence [probably starvation]. 28) For I will make the land most desolate, [this is talking about the Day of the Lord], her arrogant strength shall cease, and the mountains of Israel [the nations of Israel] shall be desolate that no one will pass through.’” Verses 29, 30 – “’As for you, son of man [speaking to the end-time prophets; the watchman, the two witnesses], the children of your people are talking about you beside the walls …’” – did you hear the phraseology!? ‘Son of man, you who are trying to tell them the truth, the children of your people – the members of the churches of God – are still talking against you,’ “…beside the walls and in the doors of the houses; [on the telephone, on the Internet, church services, and any other way they can communicate, e-mails] and they speak to one another, everyone saying to his brother, ‘Please come and hear what the word is that comes from the LORD.’” – let’s hear what he’s saying. I wonder what he’s up to!? Verse 31 – “’So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people do, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain.’” - their GREED, their greed for power, greed for prestige, maybe greed for money. Verses 32, 33 – “…’then they will know that a prophet has been among them.’” -  But a Message which many of them will reject. Because they’re too tied in to their old religious ways. ‘Well, I was born into that family!’ ‘And I’ll die being a part of that family!’ But as for me, I was born in iniquity, but hopefully, through the grace of God, I will die with the blessing of Jesus Christ. I wish that for all of you. All of us were born apart from God, and yet, because of a miracle, God has opened up to you the possibility of hearing the truth of God.

Continued … Part IV


Be sure to watch Disingenuous Propaganda concerning the exposing of the Worldwide Church of God, and "Bubble Boy" and his sycophant's. Mr. Michael C. Garrett, in this inspired Message from God, WARNS the 'lost sheep' of spiritual Israel along with this world, of the 'disingenuous propaganda' which "Bubble Boy" and so-called leaders like him are blathering!

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