The 17th chapter of Ezekiel that we are about to study contains both a riddle and a parable and is therefore written to those with spiritually opened eyes.
Here's Christ's own words stating the purpose of His parables:
Is that fair? Is God a respecter of persons favoring one above another? God forbid! It is written many times that God is not a respecter of persons (1 Pet. 1:17, Col. 3:25). Our Father knows each and every one of His children, even from the very beginning of time when He created their souls, and because He loves them and wishes for all to come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9) and receive eternal life, He protects those who are unable to "see", lest they should "see" and be held accountable and perish.Therefore as it is written, God has allowed blindness, a spirit of slumber, to fall upon His children. Romans 11:8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.Matthew 13:10
And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
There you have it in Christ's own words. Actually the disciples should have known He would speak in parables and why, for it was written concerning Him in Ps. 78:2. However, Jesus didn't chastise them or call them "dummies" but in a very positive manner He quoted the reason He spoke in parables, which was also written in the Old Testament in Isa. 6:9-10. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
Here's the quote:
Again, it is for their own protection that people are blinded, especially in this final generation. However, it is only temporary, for there is a time coming soon, at the sound of the 7th Trump, when the blindness will be lifted and every eye shall "see" Him. But, by that time, when Christ returns, if they haven't repented and invited Him to come dwell in their heart, they will have missed out on the "First Resurrection to Eternal Life", which is based on "The Grace of God". At that point a person will have to wait more than 1000 years until the White Throne Judgment to possibly receive eternal life, based on their works during "The Millennium" (no longer by faith because Christ will be here and visible to all for the whole of the Millennium.Matthew 13:14
And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
But if you do have "eyes to see" and "ears to hear" now, you are blessed indeed! Why? You will have part in the First Resurrection and receive eternal life at His coming and reign in the kingdom of God during the Millennium: Rev. 20:6 "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."
And so Jesus said to His disciples:
But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
Let's read the first two verses and then we will examine some background leading up to this chapter and the events being discussed.
Notice that this riddle and parable is specific to the House of Israel. You should know who comprises that House today, including where the so-called 10 Lost Tribes, the 10 northern tribes of the House of Israel went following their Assyrian captivity.Ezekiel 17:1
And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
 Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel;
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So Ezekiel is to put forth a "riddle" and speak a "parable". A "riddle" is actually quite different than a "parable" in the sense that a riddle is like a puzzle, a problem or "hard saying" which is to be "solved" or understood with clues derived from the content and context of what is being said, whereas a parable is often something that is actually "stated" only it is put forth as a comparison and said either allegorically or metaphorically or as a simile.
An allegory is where symbols are representatively used to express something else. Rev. 1:20 "and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches."What are we to then understand concerning this 17th chapter of Ezekiel? Simply that we are to solve for that understanding which our Father wants us to "see". The parable part is really pretty easy if you have "eyes to see" and hopefully you will discover that the "riddle" is really not a very difficult riddle at all.
A metaphor is where one object or idea is used in place of another, like "He hardened Pharaoh's heart", meaning He caused his mind to become stubborn.
A simile is a somewhat like a metaphor only it is where two unlike things are said to resemble one another usually using the words "like" or "as", for example: "she had cheeks like roses".
Jeremiah prophesied that there would be a 70 year captivity concerning Jerusalem and everybody knew it, i.e. Jeremiah made it well known among the people and their leaders, including the king! Now the first thing that one must understand in order to solve the riddle is that if God says a thing is going to happen then it IS GOING TO HAPPEN!
The second thing one must understand is that the "riddle" is for US TODAY! There is a plan that is written, i.e. prophesied, concerning Jerusalem and the king of Babylon (Satan) in these end times as well. And guess what? IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN just as He said it will. Remember also that in chapter 16 God made an eternal covenant with Jerusalem that cannot be broken.
Now even though Jeremiah made it quite clear what was going to happen, the local preachers and religious leaders were "pooh poohing" Jeremiah's prophecy and telling everyone that it wasn't going to happen, i.e. that they were safe and secure. Of course most followed their blind leaders because they trusted them and don't you know they were really nice, clean-cut, honest fellows, just like your preacher, today! Oh well, there is nothing new under the sun, is there? People today would still rather listen to their preachers than to the Word of God.
Let's begin the riddle and the parable to the House of Israel.
This great eagle with great overshadowing wings, full of feathers of divers colors is none other than Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon. How do we know for sure? Simply because it is explained in verses 11-15. (It doesn't really take a great amount of "brain power" to understand our Father's Word.)Ezekiel 17:3
And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar:
Now since we peeked ahead and saw that verse 12 says that the king of Babylon came and took the king and princes, we know that the "highest branch" was obviously a person. History and other scriptures reveal to us that it was the young boy Jehoiachin. This same account is also given in Jeremiah 23:23-25 and shows that not only was Jehoiachin taken, but his mother the queen was taken captive with him.
The princes of Judah were all taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar (the "He" who cropped off) and his army and carried off to the land of traffick, which is Babylon, that great city of commerce. He cropped off the top of his young twigs, and carried it into a land of traffick; he set it in a city of merchants.
Nebuchadnezzar then took and replaced Jehoiachin with Zedekiah, who as verse 13 explains made a covenant with Nebuchadnezzar and took an oath that he would be loyal to him. He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful field; he placed it by great waters, and set it as a willow tree.
This is extremely important because as we will learn Zedekiah, who will be the last king of Judah, will not only turn AGAINST the plan of God, but will break this oath and covenant which he made. This will play a key part in our understanding of the riddle we are to "see".
Ezekiel, whose name means "El is Strong" or "Whom God Strengthens", was directly commanded by our Father in this 17th chapter to put forth a "riddle" and a "parable" to the House of Israel. Why? Just to give a us "brain-teaser"? Well, perhaps that is not too far from the actual reason because He certainly wants those who are capable, to use their brains for something other than just listening to and blindly following preachers and ministers, especially those who do not adhere to the Word of God!
As a case in point, we learned earlier that Jeremiah prophesied that there would be a siege and a 70 year captivity, but the people rather believed their leaders (not the prophet from God) who foolishly told them God would surely protect His Temple. SURPRISE! (Now there's a really good example of not using one's brains. If God destroyed the entire surface of the planet in the first earth age because His children didn't listen to Him, what are the chances He'd spare a mere building for the same disobedience? Go figure!)
Anyway, the fact is, there is something extremely important in this 17th chapter that our Father wants us to SEE and UNDERSTAND and by using our minds to figure it out, perhaps we will continue to let the "wheels turn" in our heads for a while longer and THINK ABOUT IT (the Biblical term is "meditate")!
Now, He could not have made it any simpler for us to see and understand what is being discussed in this chapter. In fact it is as easy as ABC.
A.) In verses 1-10 we are given the actual parable along with the question "Shall it prosper?" or "Shall it be successful?"Let us now continue with the parable. Nebuchadnezzar had taken the highest branch, Jehoiachin, captive and set up a "seed" in his stead, who was Zedekiah, to be king over Judah. Verse six continues concerning this seed:
B.) Then in verses 11-23 the parable itself (meaning verses 1-10) is explained, again along with the question "Shall it prosper?" or "Shall it be successful?" And if that isn't enough simplicity, all of the details concerning this parable, including people's names, are well recorded in 2 Kings 24-25.
C.) Then in verses 22-24 we are given the final information necessary to put everything in context and perspective and completely solve the riddle.
Nebuchadnezzar did not want Judah to regain stature as a formidable power and so he carried away about 8,000 of the chief men of Judah. Zedekiah also became fruitful and had many sons (10 in all) and also two daughters.Ezekiel 17:6
And it grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him, and the roots thereof were under him: so it became a vine, and brought forth branches, and shot forth sprigs.
To understand this next verse we need to know that king Zedekiah, the "seed" in verse 5, made an oath and a covenant (which is what "whose branches turned toward him" means in vs. 6) with the king of Babylon to be loyal and submissive to him. But Zedekiah will look toward Pharaoh of Egypt to align himself against Nebuchadnezzar. Therefore Zedekiah's word was no good, was it? God doesn't respect people like that.
This great eagle was Pharaoh Hophra of Egypt, from along the great river Nile. Zedekiah broke his oath of loyalty to Nebuchadnezzar and "turned towards" Pharaoh of Egypt as verse 15 explains. There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and, behold, this vine did bend her roots toward him, and shot forth her branches toward him, that he might water it by the furrows of her plantation.
King Zedekiah was looking to Pharaoh for help and protection from king Nebuchadnezzar. Now remember that God, through Jeremiah, said that the captivity WOULD BE for 70 years. Do you think that the power and strength of Egypt can change God's plan? Zedekiah, who should have had eyes to see and ears to hear the Word of God spoken by Jeremiah, will eventually have those eyes "put out" by the king of Babylon after witnessing all of his sons killed because of his actions. It was planted in a good soil by great waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine.
Here is the "Thus saith Lord GOD" question that applies to the riddle.
Can a person or even a nation circumvent God's plan? Can a person or a nation prosper on his own apart from God? No! When God says a thing is going to happen, it is going to happen. Anything or anyone who gets in the way will be summarily crushed and removed. In this case, it didn't take much power from Nebuchadnezzar (acting as the servant of God) to crush the rebellion.Ezekiel 17:9
Say thou, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Shall it prosper? shall he not pull up the roots thereof, and cut off the fruit thereof, that it wither? it shall wither in all the leaves of her spring, even without great power or many people to pluck it up by the roots thereof.
Go ahead, try things your own way (especially during the siege of the king of Babylon) and see how fast the scorching east wind dries it up and it withers away without ever "getting off the ground". The ONLY way to produce fruit is to do things God's way, according to His plan! Yea, behold, being planted, shall it prosper? shall it not utterly wither, when the east wind toucheth it? it shall wither in the furrows where it grew.
Ezekiel is instructed to explain to the "rebellious house", that would be the rebellious House of Israel, what "these things mean" that he just told them in a parable.Ezekiel 17:11
Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
It is important to notice that only the "princes" were taken and not the daughters! Say now to the rebellious house, Know ye not what these things mean? tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon is come to Jerusalem, and hath taken the king thereof, and the princes thereof, and led them with him to Babylon;
Nebuchadnezzar took Zedekiah who had made a covenant and swore his loyalty to him. He also took many "mighty" men, so that the kingdom would not become a powerhouse (next verse) yet would remain a nation. And hath taken of the king's seed, and made a covenant with him, and hath taken an oath of him: he hath also taken the mighty of the land:
However, Zedekiah could not let well enough alone and sought the alliance of Egypt.Ezekiel 17:14
That the kingdom might be base, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping of his covenant it might stand.
What do you think? How could he possibly succeed if he is going against God's plan? But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and much people. Shall he prosper? shall he escape that doeth such things? or shall he break the covenant, and be delivered?
Zedekiah will try to escape but he will be captured by the king of Babylon.
And so as it is written, king Zedekiah did die in the midst of Babylon, which is to say in the midst of confusion, which is what "Babel" means. As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely in the place where the king dwelleth that made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he brake, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die.
 Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company make for him in the war, by casting up mounts, and building forts, to cut off many persons:
Try to circumvent the Word of God, after you were warned about the captivity, Zedekiah? Break your solemn oaths which you made as king of God's people and that you gave with your word of honor by your handshake? And then try to escape with your life? I don't think so, Zedekiah! Seeing he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when, lo, he had given his hand, and hath done all these things, he shall not escape.
"You're in BIG trouble, Zedekiah!" Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; As I live, surely mine oath that he hath despised, and my covenant that he hath broken, even it will I recompense upon his own head.
 And I will spread my net upon him, and he shall be taken in my snare, and I will bring him to Babylon, and will plead with him there for his trespass that he hath trespassed against me.
We have now seen the "parable" and the "explanation" thereof. And all his fugitives with all his bands shall fall by the sword, and they that remain shall be scattered toward all winds: and ye shall know that I the LORD have spoken it.
Next we will read the exciting conclusion to this chapter and the simple "riddle" we are to see will become obvious, if it hasn't already.
However, as a fitting addition to our study so far we point out the following narrative excerpt from the "Dictionary of the Bible", edited by James Hastings and published by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1963.
Note: The underlines are not contained in the text but have been added by yours truly who believes this excerpt will help put what we've learned into perspective in preparation for the remainder of our study. Enjoy!
ZEDEKIAH, the last king of Judah before its fall at the hands of the Babylonians, is known to us not only from the historical books, but also from references in the Book of Jeremiah. He was the third son of Josiah to assume the royal title. Jehoahaz was deposed by the Pharaoh; Jehoiakim had a troubled reign of 11 years, and escaped the vengeance of Nebuchadnezzar by dying just before the Babylonian reached Jerusalem. The young Jehoiachin suffered for the sin of his father, being carried into captivity after three months of barren kingship. With him were carried away the chief men of Judah to the number of eight thousand - Nebuchaddnezzar thinking thus to break the temper of the people. Over the remnant left behind Zedekiah was made king. His earlier name, Mattaniah, was changed to Zedekiah (meaning 'righteousness of Yahweh'), to indicate that the Babylonian monarch, in punishing the treachery of Jehoiakim, had the God of Judah on his side (2 K 24:17). We are told by Ezekiel (17:13, 19) that Zedekiah took an oath of allegiance to his suzerain.
Nebuchadnezzar's confidence that the people would be submissive after the severe lesson they had received was disappointed. The new men who came to the front were as headstrong as, and even more foolish than, their predecessors. They were blind to the ludicrous insufficiency of their resources, and determined to play the game of politics against the great nations of the world. The court of Zedekiah was the centre of intrigues against the Babylonian power, and the plotters were fed with promises from Egypt. Zedekiah showed himself a weak man, unable to cope with the situation. In his fourth year ambassadors appeared at Jerusalem from the surrounding nations, to concert common measures against the oppressor. The majority of the prophets encouraged the movement; only Jeremiah saw the madness of the undertaking, and declared against it. His bold declaration of the truth brought upon him the enmity of the courtiers. Zedekiah seems to have been called to account by the great king, to whom he made some explanation which satisfied him, or at least lulled suspicion for a time. The movement itself came to nothing at this time. But in Zedekiah's ninth year renewed promises from Egypt induced the Jerusalemites to revolt, and Zedekiah was too weak to restrain them. Nebuchadnezzar replied promptly by marching in person against the rebels. Jerusalem was a stronghold in which the people had confidence, and they seem also to have believed fanatically that Yahweh would intervene to protect His Temple. This faith was raised to a high pitch by the approach of an Egyptian army under Pharaoh Hophra; for Nebuchadnezzar was compelled to raise the siege to meet the new enemy. The expression of the people's confidence that they had got from Yahweh all that they desired is seen in the indecent haste with which they reduced again to slavery the servants whom they had set free in order to obtain His favour (Jer. 34:8ff).The joy was short lived. The Egyptians were hardly a serious problem to Nebuchadnezzar, and soon left him free to resume the siege, which he did with energy. The strongly fortified city was defended by its inhabitants with the courage of despair, and held out a year and a half. During this time they suffered all the horrors of siege, famine, and pestilence. Jeremiah, who still predicted the disaster, was arrested, and would have perished in his dungeon had it not been for the compassion of one of the king's slaves (Jer. 38). Zedekiah, who believed in him, consulted with him by stealth, but could not nerve himself to follow the advice he received. When at last the wall was breached, the king attempted to escape to the Jordan valley, hoping thus to gain the eastern desert. But he was overtaken and carried to Nebuchadnezzar. The victor, considering that forbearance had ceased to be a virtue, slew the captive king's children before his eyes, then blinded the king himself and carried him away in chains to Babylon. The kingdom of Judah had come to an end (2 Kings 25ff). H. P. Smith
God told Ezekiel, His watchman, to put forth a "riddle" and speak a "parable" unto the House of Israel. He did not make the parable difficult at all to understand and even had Ezekiel explain its "meaning" in very simple terms, just to be sure we all got it!
And what was the parable about? Verses 9-10 and 15-21 clearly show that it was about the "prosperity" of one's "actions" during the reign and captivity of the king of Babylon. The obvious point is that God, through His Word spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, warned the people and their leaders exactly what was GOING TO HAPPEN. The futile attempts by Zedekiah to circumvent the plan that our Father already laid out were brought to naught and caused him great pain and suffering.
We are now left with three verses, 22-24, in parable format, written as an allegory, without any further explanation of the symbology, BUT with the CONCLUSION of the matter PLAINLY stated by our Father, the simple "riddle" being thus solved!
Let us examine the last three verses."I will also take" is in CONTRAST to the first parable because here the Lord GOD Himself is taking of the "highest branch", whereas in vs. 3 it was man, the great eagle who took of the highest branch.Ezekiel 17:22
Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant it upon an high mountain and eminent:
The "tender one" to be planted upon an high mountain, which the next verse will show to be Mount Zion, is the same one spoken of by Isaiah in chapter 53. "Eminent" means to elevate and we will see this "tender one" exalted in verse 24.
Here is that tender plant spoken of by Isaiah:Read the entire 53rd chapter of Isaiah which describes the "lowliness" of Messiah. And since the subject of the parable is "prosperity", notice particularly verse 10. God's way always prospers.Isaiah 53:2
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.So where will this "tender one" be planted? At the VERY TOP of the government of Almighty God, symbolized by the "mountain" of the height of Israel, which is Mount Zion. ... and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand."ALL fowl of EVERY wing" means ALL people shall dwell under His branches. You see, only through this tender one can a person have eternal life.Ezekiel 17:23
In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it: and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell.
Well how come these verses aren't referring to the "daughter" of Zedekiah who was not killed by king Nebuchadnezzar and was taken with her sister, along with the Stone of Scone known as Jacob's Pillar, to the shores of Ireland by Jeremiah, thus replanting the kingship line in the Isles of the West? (Write to Artisan Publishers - www.artisanpublishers.com or Phone 1-918-682-8341for a copy of the booklet "Jacob's Pillar", by E. Raymond Capt, for the details of this fascinating and easy to document history.)
Note: Take time to read The Birthright and the Sceptre You'll find it in the Table of Contents to the left of your screen. Under Special Studies for all Christians
The reason is, because the next verse explains that we are talking about two trees, a haughty arrogant one, and a lowly humble one. These are those same two trees from the beginning, even in the garden of God: the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the Tree of Life.The high [haughty] tree, Satan as the false-christ, will be brought down at the return of the low [humble] tree, Jesus Christ, who will be exalted as the King of kings and Lord of lords and under whose authority all people shall dwell forever more. Here are the definitions of "high" and "low" from Strong's Concordance:Ezekiel 17:24 And all the trees of the field shall know that I the LORD have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the LORD have spoken and have done it.And ALL the "trees" of the field, i.e. every single individual, shall KNOW it was the LORD's doing! We will soon be studying the 31st chapter of Ezekiel which explains so well what "trees" are symbolic of in the Bible. Of course no one is going to write to us and contest that the trees and branches and twigs in chapter 17 of Ezekiel are anything other than people, and the same will be true of the 31st chapter of this book. And no one disputes that the Tree of Life in Revelation is anyone other than Jesus Christ. But they will argue until they are "blue in the face" that the tree that was in the midst of garden of Eden, whose "fruit" produces nothing but pain and heartache and death, had apples on it!high = gaboahh, gaw-bo'-ah, Hebrew 1364; or (fully) gabowahh, gaw-bo'-ah; from Hebrew 1361 (gabahh); elevated (or elated), powerful, arrogant :- haughty, height, high (-er), lofty, proud, × exceeding proudly.
low = shaphal, shaw-fawl', Hebrew 8217; from Hebrew 8213 (shaphel); depressed, literal or figurative :- base (-st), humble, low (-er, -ly).
Here is what and who that tree in Eden was:There is a note in the Companion Bible regarding this word "Assyrian" which actually means "box cedar". It is symbolic, as you will see, of Satan who wanted to be a "great fir tree" like our Father calls Himself in Hosea 14:8: "Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found." You GET YOUR FRUIT from Him, not from the Tree in the midst of the garden, NOT from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil!Ezekiel 31:3
Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs.All these same "trees of the field", who we just read of in Ezk. 17:24, are going to see this tree BROUGHT DOWN! And they are going to KNOW it was the LORD who did it! The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants, and sent out her little rivers unto all the trees of the field.He exalted himself and became world ruler, the king of Babylon [confusion], even in the "world that then was" before God overthrew him the first time. He is coming again as world ruler and high priest, the spurious messiah, and God will overthrow him and bring him down again. Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long because of the multitude of waters, when he shot forth.
 All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations.Any question about who "trees" are? They are persons. Thus was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches: for his root was by great waters.
 The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chesnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty.
 I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him.
Let's repeat the last verse of Ezekiel 17:What is this "green tree" and "dry tree"? A green tree is a living tree and a dry one is dead. This refers to Jesus Christ who used this VERY SAME analogy concerning Himself as He walked to His crucifixion:Ezekiel 17:24
And all the trees of the field shall know that I the LORD have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the LORD have spoken and have done it.He was teaching even as He marched to His death!Luke 23:28
But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.His bride is supposed to be a virgin when He comes to marry her, but unfortunately many will be seduced, impregnated in their minds, by someone else who they think is their husband. In other words, they will think that Satan, soon coming as the spurious messiah, is in fact the real Jesus. They are supposed to WAIT and remain virgins. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.They will be so ashamed when the real bridegroom shows up and they are nursing someone else's baby [this is a spiritual allegory]. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.If they crucified Christ while He was yet alive in the flesh, what will they do when He gone away? He already answered that. For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?
So what then is the "riddle" of Ezekiel chapter 17? Actually it was summed up in the words of our Father at the conclusion of the lesson:You see, the Word of God declares that the king of Babylon is coming to take the House of Israel captive once again in this final generation. Many preachers and ministers are running around telling people not to worry and they are safe and secure because God is going take them up in the Rapturemobile and they won't be taken captive! Sorry! It ain't so! We are going into captivity. The religious leaders lied to the people back then and they continue in their ignorance to lie to the people today.Ezekiel 17:24
... I the LORD have spoken and have done it.
That which is written SHALL HAPPEN exactly as it is written. That is what the Lord meant: I have spoken it and I have done it! Whatever He does PROSPERS. If we go against his plan, "SHALL IT PROSPER?" Having your "eyes" put out is not my definition of prosperity!
We are to SEE and UNDERSTAND that the sequence of events in chapter 17 goes directly from the captivity, which was a TYPE for us today, to the restoration of the kingdom of God. The parable therefore concerning the actions of God's people is written for us in this final generation, for we who are going into captivity and face the king of Babylon.
The example has already been SET FORTH. We can either understand and do things God's way, or we can try to circumvent the PLAN OF GOD. The king of Babylon WILL COME and he WILL PROSPER because it is God's will. You can either be part of the plan or you will quickly become part of the problem.
Remember that the apostle Paul wrote in 2 Thes. chapter 2 that the son of perdition is coming BEFORE we gather back to Jesus Christ and he will deceive the whole world, causing the great apostasy by sitting in the temple of God claiming that he is God, that he is Jesus Christ?
It is going to happen exactly that way, because it has been God's Plan from the beginning. The coming king of Babylon SHALL PROSPER during his reign.
Daniel records it for us too:Daniel 11:32
And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
Go against the plan of God and you will suffer the consequences.
Zedekiah learned the hard way. We don't have to.
Those who know their God and His Word will prosper. And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
"That that is determined shall be done!"
No "ifs", "ands" or "buts".
It SHALL BE DONE!To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.
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