kjv@Ezekiel:1:1@ Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.
kjv@Ezekiel:1:2@ In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity,
kjv@Ezekiel:1:3@ The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him.
kjv@Ezekiel:1:4@ And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire.
kjv@Ezekiel:1:5@ Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man.
kjv@Ezekiel:1:6@ And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.
kjv@Ezekiel:1:7@ And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass.
kjv@Ezekiel:1:8@ And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings.
kjv@Ezekiel:1:9@ Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward.
kjv@Ezekiel:1:10@ As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.
kjv@Ezekiel:1:11@ Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies.
kjv@Ezekiel:1:12@ And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went.
kjv@Ezekiel:1:13@ As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.
kjv@Ezekiel:1:14@ And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.
kjv@Ezekiel:1:15@ Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces.
kjv@Ezekiel:1:16@ The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.
kjv@Ezekiel:1:17@ When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went.
kjv@Ezekiel:1:18@ As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four.
kjv@Ezekiel:1:19@ And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.
kjv@Ezekiel:1:20@ Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
kjv@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.
kjv@Ezekiel:1:22@ And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.
kjv@Ezekiel:1:23@ And under the firmament were their wings straight, the one toward the other: every one had two, which covered on this side, and every one had two, which covered on that side, their bodies.
kjv@Ezekiel:1:24@ And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of an host: when they stood, they let down their wings.
kjv@Ezekiel:1:25@ And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings.
kjv@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.
kjv@Ezekiel:1:27@ And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about.
kjv@Ezekiel:1:28@ 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.
I am sure that the author went to painstaking detail to accurately describe the details so that we would understand and picture the sight. I can not. What I do get is that as odd and foreign as this all seems to be, the actual glory of the Lord still stands out and is supremely discernible. On it's own it would have been terrifying to see this four faced creature and hear the thundering rush of it's wings. In the presence of the glorious light of the Lord curiosity replaces fear along with wonder and praise to it's creator.
Some of Israel (not all) was regathered at the end of the seventy years. The Temple was rebuilt and put back into service but, the hearts of Israel barely changed. They awaited an even more horrific judgment that Jesus himself would prophecy. In Jesus Christ a new spirit is given and hearts were changed but, Israel not regathered awaiting a final gathering yet to come in the end of the age of Gentiles. We see that every word of this prophecy is accurate, the time-line however not as direct as we might read.
Again, a visual message given to the rebellious house. They may not listen but, it will not be said that they were not shown. They will ask questions but, will not consider. The words will not be prolonged any longer, the time has come.
There is the common thought that the Lord is always for peace; if you speak toward or prophecy of peace you may be speaking for the Lord. There are seasons to each and everything and this time in particular was not a time for peace. They were falsely speaking from their own spirit giving the people hope and desires therefore confirmed this hope; all of it false. The few righteous were cast down for speaking truth, the wicked up lifted in the void. The measures of security (gaps/hedges/wall) were cheated and poorly repaired. Questionable methods were adopted by prophets and prophetesses to support their work being not supported by God. All of this was to be exposed to the people in the judgment. We too will see the prophets of our day in correct light upon ours.
Does this mean that God lies? That He deceives? Think of it this way, if He created the mental faculties to believe the truth when they heard it couldn't it also be said that these faculties could also be used to believe their own vain imaginations rather than the truth? If God made certain things to be more enticing than others to guide man along the straight and narrow, cannot that gravity toward be corrupted and converted to something else? If that which is meant for good can be used for harm, if that which locks men's hearts into good instead can lock them into falsehood, cannot it not be said then that God in this sense has made it so?
Three righteous men of the ages are given as repeated examples. The righteousness of these men can only save themselves; not even their immediate sons and daughters can be saved unless by their own individual righteousness. So too, only you yourself is saved if so be, your family and friends will have to be saved themselves by their own righteousness. Any righteousness any of us would have is found solely in the righteousness of Christ Jesus and on the personal confession of that alone will any individual be delivered.
From one fire into another, from time to time as individuals we may feel this so, this though is speaking of an entire nation. How would it not be known that the Lord has set His face against them? Few of us have ever felt this type of judgment upon us. In our own lives we may think it or even make it be so. Often we perceive His instruction/correction falsely as so but, rather that is His love. Some moments we may feel as if persecution suffered in His name is so but, rather that is simply sharing in His sufferings. When the Lord however sets His face against an entire people it no doubt will be known by those people. These are not moments where the possibility will be debated or interpreted.
They then remember not the days of Israel's youth, an abandoned un-suckled bloody fetus mercifully adopted and raised by the Lord into world wide prominence and splendor. They today forget His covenant will be fulfilled and established forever when His anger is pacified. In between is a time of incredible whorish lewdness beyond what any other sister nation can claim. His anger, as with all things, is pacified in Christ Jesus; they have yet to see how this need be so.
By the Lords account, this whoredom is not just a certain era of Israel, it goes deep into it's very youth and forward into a time yet to come when His anger is pacified and the covenant is forever established. The sisters of Israel have been shown and continue to see the Lord's anger against Israel. How is it then that neither Israel nor her sisters see the way to the Lord through the witnessing of His anger?
When the Lord says that the other trees of the field should know, we then should fully know that the Lord expects that by this action against the nation of Israel that the other nations involved will know what is occurring by His hand. They would know of the covenant between the king of Judah and Babylon that God was for, the breaking of the covenant by the making of a covenant with Egypt which God was firmly against, and the confirmation of God's wrath by the resultant slaughter of the kings and princes of the house of Judah captive in Babylon. When the Lord speaks/acts it is not for Judah's ears/eyes alone.
He hath no pleasure in the death.. Several times here it is illustrated what the righteous man would be doing and what the wicked do as well. These are not new things, they have been known all along. Yet so many choose the wrong path. There appears to be a decision, one can make themselves a knew person by choosing to do right. So why then do people not choose? Elsewhere we learn that this answer has to do with the sinful nature of man, a nature only curable by the sacrifice and resurrection of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ; imposing moral law upon this nature only illustrates its depravity all the more. Did great numbers turn to the living God by in the time of this prophecy? Certainly not.