Ezekiel Part Two Dive
THE GLORY, THE MAN AND THE SPIRIT - THE TRINITY MOMENTS IN EZEKIEL
As I read the story of Ezekiel, I am overwhelmed at how ‘trinitarian' it is. Now I don't usually like to overlap New Testament theology into the Old Testament as we study it, because I want us to read it as it was originally intended: a text for the Old Testament audience but with a prophetic finger pointing forward to Jesus the Messiah. In saying that, I couldn't get past the incredible ‘three-ness' of our God in this text. Just like as we read the New Testament and find the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit separate and evident, we find the same is this amazing book.
As you go, highlight the appearances of the three natures of God. There’s
Father God present in the glory that ascends. The Shekinah presence of God found in the temple and in his throne room.
The man that turns up continuously through-out the text. God in man form–which I cannot help but see as Jesus Christ portrayed in the Old Testament.
And finally, the Spirit is mentioned over and over again!
Let me give you some examples of each...
The LORD: His Voice and His Glory
Father God is presented throughout the book as the author of the messages to Ezekiel with the continuous phrase "The word of the LORD came to me". His presence is captured in the imagery of ‘the glory' mentioned over twenty times–try and find them all as you go through! Here are a few to get you started:
E 8:4 And there before me was the glory of the God of Israel, as in the vision I had seen in the plain.
E 9:3 Now the glory of the God of Israel went up from above the cherubim.
E 10:19 They stopped at the entrance of the east gate of the LORD'S house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them.
E 11:22 The glory of the LORD was above them.
E 43:2 I saw the glory of God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory.
God the Father is evident, vocal and predominant in this book but not the only member of the Godhead in this text. Let me show you ‘the man' and ‘the Spirit.'
The Man in Ezekiel
Now some say that the ‘man' in Ezekiel is an angel, a messenger sent to guide Ezekiel in these incredible encounters, but the way he is described points more to the Messiah Jesus Christ, God in ‘man-form' than just a created being. Just like in Daniel 3, with the man that comes into the fire with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So, let's have a look:
E 1:26-28 Above the vault over their heads was what looked like a throne of lapis lazuli, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.
E 8:2 I looked, and I saw a figure like that of a man. From what appeared to be his waist down he was like fire, and from there up his appearance was as bright as glowing metal. He stretched out what looked like a hand and took me by the hair of my head. The Spirit lifted me up between the earth.
E 9:2 With them was a man clothed in linen who had a writing kit at his side.
E 40:3 He took me there, and I saw a man whose appearance was like bronze; he was standing in the gateway with a linen cord and a measuring rod in his hand.
He journeys with this man until Chapter 48! Again, highlight it as you go.
In Ezekial, the Spirit is mentioned twenty-two times! This is the Old Testament, people! This is before Pentecost, they are in exile and the Spirit is moving and guiding Ezekiel through the prophecies. I love this book!
E 1:12 Each one went straight ahead. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, without turning as they went.
E 2:2 As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.
The Spirit does this over and over again–check out Chapters 3:14, 3:24, 8:3 (lifts him between heaven and earth!), 11:1 (lifting him to Jerusalem and to the gate), 11:24 (lifts him to the exiles in Babylonia), 37:1 (set him in the middle of the valley) and 43:5 (takes him to the inner court). Now TYB, we don't know if this is like Philip in the New Testament and whether he actually went there. It is probably more likely that he was taken there in the Spirit as in seeing a vision, more like John in the Book of Revelation, who is taken by the Spirit to see different visions that God wanted to show him.
The heart of this book is captured in the work of the Spirit pointing forward to the New Testament heart.
E 11:19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.
E 18:31 Rid yourselves of all the offences you have committed and get a new heart and a new spirit.
E 36:26 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
This prophetic book explains what is happening in a specific time in Israel's history with such incredible accuracy that some doubt that Ezekiel was writing the time that he was. This incredible text also gives us a ‘trinitarian', three-in-one prophetic glimpse of the Godhead about to be revealed in the New Testament. What a book! What an incredible glimpse of the bigness, majesty, complexity, powerfulness, justice, righteousness and glory of our God!
Adventure into Ezekiel with boldness, like a person jumping into the unknown facets of God's heavenly world! Come out changed forever as you encounter the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in this incredible book.