Ezekiel's Vision (Part One)
Written by: Bishop G.T. Haywood
Published By: The Christian Outlook (Dec, 1924)
And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver on one that is learned, saying, read this. I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot: for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee, and he saith, I am not learned, (Isa. 29:11, 12).
There has been much speculation as to what the first chapter of Ezekiel signified. It is one of the most mysterious of all prophetical writings, and the learned men of the past ages have been unable to come to any agreement as to the interpretation thereof. Some have said that it was the “attitude of the prophet’s mind at that time being much worried over the conditions of his people” then in captivity: others have passed it off as “just a vision” of the prophet; and so they simply pull a sheet over the “mystery” and pounce upon the second chapter and proceed to comment on its context.
But, thanks be to God, the mysteries that have been hidden for ages are being revealed in these last days by the holy Ghost, so freely given unto us. We are told in the word that “prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:21.) That being true, then it is no marvel to see the “mysteries that have been hidden for ages” being “made manifest to his saints,” who are being baptized with the holy Ghost according to Acts 2:4; 10:45; 19:6. And since the Holy Ghost moved the prophets of old to speak the words they wrote, it is evident that He (the Holy Ghost) is capable of making known the things which he “moved” to be written. Hallelujah!
From the first to the third verse is an introduction to the great mysteries about to be revealed, giving the time, and the prophet to and for whom the vision was given.
And the hand of the Lord was there upon him. The hand of the Lord is the Holy Ghost. In comparing Matt. 12:28 with Luke 11:20 you will find the foregoing statement verified. Also at the feast of Belshazzar the Spirit of God in the form of “the fingers of a man’s hand wrote upon the wall.” (Dan. 5:5.) Read also Acts 4:28-30.
And I looked, and behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire.
In this is seen the prophetic picture of the ministry of Jesus Christ from Galilee down to Jerusalem and regions thereabout. Galilee was north of Jerusalem, and it was from there, after choosing his disciples, that his great ministry began. And like a mighty whirlwind he went through the country, casting out devils, pulling down creeds and traditions, uprooting the doctrines of the Pharisees, reproving hypocrites, uncovering hidden things, breaking up funerals, cleansing lepers, healing all manner of diseases, rebuking the waves, and demons crying out as they had never been known to do before. And when He was brought before Pilate they that accused him became more fierce, saying, “He stirreth up the people, teaching through out all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place.” Luke 23:5.
It was God in the ministry of Christ, for often you will find in the scriptures that God is recorded as being in the whirlwind. Elijah was taken to heaven in a whirlwind. 2 kings 2:1. The Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind. Job 38:1. The prophet Isaiah saw the Lord coming “with fire, and with the chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury and his rebuke with flames of fire. Isa. 66:15.
A great cloud signifies the mystery of God’s presence; He appeared in a cloud unto Moses. Ex. 24:16, Num. 11:25; 12:5. The fire infolding itself also in the manifestation of the Almighty, for it is written that “God is a consuming fire.” Deut. 4:24; 9:3; Heb. 12:29. Not only was it a burning fire, but it was also a “shinning light,” for a brightness was about it, and “they that sat in darkness saw a great light” and gentiles came to the brightness of its rising. Isa. 60:3.
Out of the midst of the whirlwind came something like amber, out of the midst of the fire. The substance that came out of the fire was not amber, but was as the color of amber, that is, “yellowish” as the appearance of gold. This bears a very close resemblance of the “faith” that was brought unto mankind through the works of the Lord Jesus. Peter said, “the trial of your faith” is much more precious than gold that perisheth though if be tried by fire. 1 Peter 1:7. Jesus said to the Laodicean church, which is a figure of the present church-age, “I counsel thee to buy of me, gold tried by fire.” Rev. 3:18. And what the church needs today is the faith (gold as the color of amber) which the three Hebrew boys “tried in the fiery furnace.” Dan. 3:16-30.
If you read carefully you will be convinced of the fact that the entire work of the Lord was to re-establish faith in the earth, therefore His constant exhorting was “believe me,” “have faith in God,” “believe me for the work’s sake,” “O, ye of little faith,” and many other similar sayings. Howbeit, when the Son of man comes shall He find faith on earth?
Continued next month.