Ezekiel 17-18

Ezekiel 17-18

Chapter 17: Parable of Israel

Ezekiel shows in a parable of Israel, how Israel will be subject to Babylon.  It goes like this…

An eagle (Babylon) on the top branches of a cedar tree, takes it off. It also takes the seed of the land and plants it in a fruitful field. The seed becomes a vine. The vine bent to another eagle (Egypt), and is promptly destroyed by the first eagle. Changing his tone, the Lord says he will take the highest branch of the cedar tree and set it in the mountain of the height of Israel (Zion), where it shall prosper. This will happen in the last days from a goodly tree in the cedars of Lebanon.

Chapter 18: Punished for our own sins

The word of the Lord came unto Ezekiel and tells him that Men shall be punished for their own sins, sinners shall die, and the righteous shall save their souls. Anyone who sins and does not repent will not be saved.

The Lord says; “…all souls are mine… the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:4-5)

One important thing to get out of this chapter is that you are only responsible for YOUR OWN SINS! “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son…” (Ezekiel 18:20)

For this reason I don’t understand some religious beliefs that claim an “original sin” and for this purpose needing a baptism for this original sin to be “cleansed”. First of all we are not responsible for others sins, and therefore the idea of an “original sin” is blaspheme. In the LDS church we believe: “We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.” (Articles of Faith, 2) Therefore if we are not to be punished for other’s sin, then why does a baby who has done nothing wrong in the world… therefore is innocent, need a baptism? Baptism is for people who can sin, and can understand they have sinned and are mentally able to repent of those sins. In the Book of Mormon it speaks of the horrible practice of infant baptism.

“Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the whole need no physician…  children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me… wherefore, my beloved son, I know that it is solemn mockery before God, that ye should baptize little children… this thing shall ye teach—repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin; yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little children, and they shall all be saved with their little children. And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins. But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism! (Moroni 8: 8-12, Book of Mormon)

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Ezekiel 15-16

Ezekiel 15-16

Chapter 15: Jerusalem will be burned

The Jews are compared to a barren, useless vine, fit for nothing but to be cast on the fire.

Chapter 16: Jerusalem is Sin, the Last Days

God is a very caring and loving God. This chapter helps us to understand how God does so much in our lives and then we repay him with ingratitude, polluting ourselves with idolatry, breaking commandments and committing sin. We learn about a whore, who with her nakedness will be discovered by those she has committed whoredoms with. Sodom is her sister.

Ezekiel 13-14

Ezekiel 13-14

Scripture Thought (What I Learned):

People will always be led away by a false preacher. I personally had the opportunity to visit a number of religious organizations last year, I felt that I needed to see and participate in services that were different from my own. I found that a number of congregations had good hearted people that were seeking the Lord. However I was disgusted to find many churches, whose so called “Pastor” would lead his people astray. He spoke nonsense, but the scriptures were true! In the hallway of the church, before the services… the pastor would setup a table of bread, with a sign that read “take what you need”. Innocent enough, to make anyone believe that it was for a good cause. But the people that came, were not only given free bread… but a constant reassurance that they were saved, just on the act of believing. How deceiving! How wrong! People, will always be led astray!

Chapter 13: False Prophets

The word of the Lord comes to Ezekiel and the Lord tells Ezekiel to go unto the people and say; “Thus saith the Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!” (Ezekiel 13:3)

God is not happy with the false prophets that have risen only to entrap the souls of those who listen to them. God mentions that he will break down the walls of their intuitions (false churches) because their walls were built with un-tempered mortar (or in other words poorly built). God speaks to the false prophets “…ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread… by your lying” (Ezekiel 13:19) and “…with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad… and strengthed the hands of the wicked… by promising him life.” (Ezekiel 13:22)

                God is speaking directly to these false prophets, who literally bring people to their church by offering free bread and telling them that they can be saved. Salvation is a FREE gift of God, because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This is absolutely TRUE! However, what many people fail to understand is that it DOES NOT guarantee our return to God. Jesus Christ died for our sins, to give us the OPPORTUNITY to be SAVED! For the Bible makes it clear; “… though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? … Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead…” (James 2:14, 17)

No one can just say, “I accept Jesus in my heart” and be done. To accept Jesus Christ, we accept the challenge of becoming like him, to follow him.  As a disciple, who is disciplined in following the commandments.

Chapter 14: The Lord will not answer to the evil-doers

“…they are all estranged from me through their idols.” (Ezekiel 14:5)

God speaks to Ezekiel and tells him that the people have forsaken him and have pursued after false gods and have listened to false prophets that have led them astray. Ezekiel cries repentance!

Ezekiel 11-12

Ezekiel 11-12

Chapter 11: The Visions: Destruction of Israel

Ezekiel sees a vision of the destruction of Jerusalem and the captivity of the jews. The judgments of God are delivered against those who remained in Jerusalem and to them who mocked the predictions of the prophets. God promises favour to those who went into captivity, and ultimately promises a restoration in the last days. The shechinah leaves the city.

Chapter 12: Scattering among all nations

The Lord speaks to Ezekiel and tells him that the people of Jerusalem “…have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear and hear not: for they are a rebellious house.” (Ezekiel 12:2) God then commands Ezekiel to remove his stuff from one place to another, as a type of displacement that the people of Jerusalem will soon undergo. Disaster will soon fall upon the nations and they will be scattered.

Ezekiel 9-10

Ezekiel 9-10

Chapter 9: The Righteous and the Others

Six men come from the north with weapons of slaughter in their hands. A few people in the city, who are distressed over the abominations committed in the land are marked on their foreheads by a man clothed in linen, so they may be spared: everyone else is to be destroyed. The shechinah (cloud of God’s presence) moves from the inner sanctuary to the threshold of the temple as a sign that God’s presence will soon depart. Ezekiel tries to intercede for his people, but God will not change his mind.

Chapter 10: The Wheels and Cheribums

The vision from chapter one is repeated. We learn that between the wheels are coals of fire, which are scattered on Jerusalem to show that it was to be burnt. The glory of the Lord (shechinah) departs further.

Ezekiel 7-8

Ezekiel 7-8

Chapter 7: Desolation and War over Israel

Judgment by sword, famine and pestilence will plague the land of Israel. Robbers will enter and defile the temple. Ezekiel is directed to make a chain, as a symbol of the impending captivity. All of this occurs because of the evil and wickedness of the people.

Chapter 8: Vision of Wickedness

Ezekiel sees a vision of the wickedness and abominations of the Jews in Jerusalem.

“…he [God] put forth the form of a hand… and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven and brought me in the visions of God…” (Ezekiel 8:3) Ezekiel describes idolatrous images, and idolatrous behavior, such as worshipping the sun. Ezekiel however sees a vision of the ancient seventy men (Ezekiel 8:11), this group of Seventy men are very important. This is part of the structure of the Church of Jesus Christ… Quorums of the Seventy, and Apostles and Prophets at the top of his church. Great punishment is promised as a result of their wickedness.

Ezekiel 5-6

Ezekiel 5-6

Chapter 5: Judgment of Jerusalem

Ezekiel is commanded to shave his head and beard. Once he has the hair, he is commanded to evenly divide the hair into thirds.

  • He must burn a third
  • Smite a third with his knife
  • Scatter a third to the wind

He is commanded to do this to indicate the judgment that will be executed on the inhabitants of Jerusalem. The chapter goes on further to explain more judgments; including famine and wild beasts. The result of this judgment leads fathers to “…eat the sons… and the sons shall eat their fathers…” (Ezekiel 5:10) The pangs of hunger cause these wicked people to resort to cannibalism.

Chapter 6: Israel shall be destroyed

Ezekiel sets his face towards the mountains and prophesies against Israel: He is told to tell its people that the high places will be made desolate, those who are close to the city will die by the sword and those far off shall die from famine. After all this desolation, the people will know that God exists.