Ezekiel’s Vision: An unforgettable tour
Ezekiel's name means “The Lord (El) strengthens” or, “the Lord is strong.” Ezekiel was one of the few prophets who also happened to be a levitical priest. He prophesied at the beginning of the southern kingdom of Judah’s capture at the hands of the Babylonians and continued prophesying for a time. He also had some of the most vivid and oddest visions recorded in scripture. As his name suggests, for him to retain his sanity, he must indeed have been “strengthened by the Lord.” Shortly before the fall of Jerusalem to Babylon in the “sixth year, sixth month, in the fifth day of the month”
Ezek 8:1, this prophet had a vision concerning the most consecrated place at that time in all the world...the temple in Jerusalem.
Did you notice?…6th yr. 6th month, 5th day…one day shy of the number 666. This is no coincidence. While Jeusalem's temple would be desecrated afterwards and finally destroyed in 70 a.d. the ultimate connection to the latter days was not to have its completion in Ezekiel's day. 666 is not a Greek invention nor is it a New Testament phenomenon. Just setting the stage for this vision now under discussion, because the symbolism of 6 and its multiples was well understood from the beginning as intrinsically tied to all systems of human works.
Ezekiel was taken in the spirit to see the Temple in Jerusalem, specifically to the North gate, because of its importance relative to God’s throne in Jerusalem. In this vision, the Lord points out that He has been driven from His own house, and that in His place, appalling practices of varying kinds (different religions) reside. First on the tour was “the seat of the image of jealousy, that provokes jealousy.” Jealousy i.e. in the context of inciting one to hunger for it, to possess it. You should be very interested in knowing that the root word for the Hebrew “jealousy”, qanah has affinity with the name of Cain, meaning: (to acquire, to possess, hint: to buy and sell). Students recognize this in connection with those having the mark as to their ability to buy and sell, (Rev 13:16-18).
This is commonly thought of as an idol, i.e. the image of the beast, occupying the hearts and spirits of those under its sway. Regardless of what form this idol will ultimately take, the message is clear: “it” is not representative of the God of Heaven, yet astonishingly, these worshipers don't see it that way. The nondescript nature of this image indicates that the faithful living in the latter time will recognize it when they see it.
Next on the tour, the Lord takes Ezekiel to the court wall, then through a hole in that wall and beyond that a door to peek inside. Ezekiel is able to view what’s happening as though he were invisible. He observes priests committing all sorts of idolatry, including nature worship taking several forms. The Lord tells Ezekiel that these priests think that the Lord doesn’t exist, so they’ve devised their own idols, (v.12) “…every man in the chambers of his imagery…” (their own imaginations). To top it off, these aren’t foreign priests or heathen who don’t know any better. No. These are the Lord’s priests and supposedly His consecrated people committing these acts!
On their way out toward the north gate’s door, the Lord points out a group of “women weeping for Tammuz” (v.14). The Lord’s outrage and hurt are apparent as He sighs to Ezekiel: “Have you seen this, O son of man?” (v.15). This particular idol, Tammuz personified animal and vegetable life with its origins in Phoenician and Babylonian culture. The women in Ezekiel’s vision symbolize religious entities, with this use of “woman” as a common metaphor in both Old and New testaments referring to cities, synagogues and later…churches. They were “weeping” out of religious zeal having obtained a spiritual “high” (probably the sexual release associated with false spirituality) from their idol worship. Were this not enough, the tour continues to the inner court where Ezekiel stands at a door with a view of the porch and the altar. This is the place within where the priests stand before the Lord. There, Ezekiel sees twenty-five men, (probably 24 elders and 1 priest) but they’re not facing the Temple, rather, they’re facing the East gate, where Ezekiel finds them worshiping a star - the sun (vv. 16-17).
One needn’t look too carefully at some current Christian practices to understand Ezekiel’s vision and the various blasphemous acts. Christians and non-Christians alike should easily pick them out of that chapter. However, the
all religions lead to the same god mindset is stepping up in prominence. Many religions are directly or indirectly into nature adoration, be they primitive or sophisticated. These can range from Wicca to scifi to subbing in science as the answer to all while negating the spiritual realm. Many faiths have a hedonist component specifically; aberrant sexuality fueling their beliefs. It should surprise no one that once Christians start communing with believers of the god of this world, aka Satan; that temple pollution, pertaining both to our individual spirits and the institutions where people gather is the logical outcome.
For us this means that inviting heathen factions into our Communion, i.e. our Covenant, is to invite them along with us to partake of Christ’s Body (He is the Temple). We, individual Christians are the Body of Christ - not the church or churches as is commonly taught. It follows that we then become polluted and by acting in direct disobedience to the Lord, stomp on His temple just as those acts described in the vision trample on Him and drive His Spirit out. Ezekiel’s vision then is very much a part of where we’re at right now, as that fifth day moves into the sixth day.
Daniel picks up where Ezekiel leaves off. In the polluted Temple, the daily sacrifice (oblation) is taken away - actually perverted by its replacement with the Abomination that causes desolation.