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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
(412)822-7255
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Pastor's Pen - August 31, 2007
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August 31, 2007

Ezekiel 5-8
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Ezekiel
Chapter 5
  1. And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber's razor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair.
  2. Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled: and thou shalt take a third part, and smite about it with a knife: and a third part thou shalt scatter in the wind; and I will draw out a sword after them.
  3. Thou shalt also take thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts.
  4. Then take of them again, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire; for thereof shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel.
  5. Thus saith the Lord GOD; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her.
  6. And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them.
  7. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye multiplied more than the nations that are round about you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my judgments, neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you;
  8. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, am against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations.
  9. And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all thine abominations.
  10. Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments in thee, and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter into all the winds.
  11. Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity.
  12. A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them.
  13. Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my fury to rest upon them, and I will be comforted: and they shall know that I the LORD have spoken it in my zeal, when I have accomplished my fury in them.
  14. Moreover I will make thee waste, and a reproach among the nations that are round about thee, in the sight of all that pass by.
  15. So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment unto the nations that are round about thee, when I shall execute judgments in thee in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I the LORD have spoken it.
  16. When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread:
  17. So will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the LORD have spoken it.


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Ezekiel
Chapter 6
  1. And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
  2. Son of man, set thy face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them,
  3. And say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys; Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places.
  4. And your altars shall be desolate, and your images shall be broken: and I will cast down your slain men before your idols.
  5. And I will lay the dead carcases of the children of Israel before their idols; and I will scatter your bones round about your altars.
  6. In all your dwellingplaces the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished.
  7. And the slain shall fall in the midst of you, and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
  8. Yet will I leave a remnant, that ye may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations, when ye shall be scattered through the countries.
  9. And they that escape of you shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their whorish heart, which hath departed from me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols: and they shall lothe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations.
  10. And they shall know that I am the LORD, and that I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them.
  11. Thus saith the Lord GOD; Smite with thine hand, and stamp with thy foot, and say, Alas for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel! for they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence.
  12. He that is far off shall die of the pestilence; and he that is near shall fall by the sword; and he that remaineth and is besieged shall die by the famine: thus will I accomplish my fury upon them.
  13. Then shall ye know that I am the LORD, when their slain men shall be among their idols round about their altars, upon every high hill, in all the tops of the mountains, and under every green tree, and under every thick oak, the place where they did offer sweet savour to all their idols.
  14. So will I stretch out my hand upon them, and make the land desolate, yea, more desolate than the wilderness toward Diblath, in all their habitations: and they shall know that I am the LORD.


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Ezekiel
Chapter 7
  1. Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
  2. Also, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD unto the land of Israel; An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land.
  3. Now is the end come upon thee, and I will send mine anger upon thee, and will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense upon thee all thine abominations.
  4. And mine eye shall not spare thee, neither will I have pity: but I will recompense thy ways upon thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
  5. Thus saith the Lord GOD; An evil, an only evil, behold, is come.
  6. An end is come, the end is come: it watcheth for thee; behold, it is come.
  7. The morning is come unto thee, O thou that dwellest in the land: the time is come, the day of trouble is near, and not the sounding again of the mountains.
  8. Now will I shortly pour out my fury upon thee, and accomplish mine anger upon thee: and I will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense thee for all thine abominations.
  9. And mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will recompense thee according to thy ways and thine abominations that are in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I am the LORD that smiteth.
  10. Behold the day, behold, it is come: the morning is gone forth; the rod hath blossomed, pride hath budded.
  11. Violence is risen up into a rod of wickedness: none of them shall remain, nor of their multitude, nor of any of theirs: neither shall there be wailing for them.
  12. The time is come, the day draweth near: let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn: for wrath is upon all the multitude thereof.
  13. For the seller shall not return to that which is sold, although they were yet alive: for the vision is touching the whole multitude thereof, which shall not return; neither shall any strengthen himself in the iniquity of his life.
  14. They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the battle: for my wrath is upon all the multitude thereof.
  15. The sword is without, and the pestilence and the famine within: he that is in the field shall die with the sword; and he that is in the city, famine and pestilence shall devour him.
  16. But they that escape of them shall escape, and shall be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning, every one for his iniquity.
  17. All hands shall be feeble, and all knees shall be weak as water.
  18. They shall also gird themselves with sackcloth, and horror shall cover them; and shame shall be upon all faces, and baldness upon all their heads.
  19. They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.
  20. As for the beauty of his ornament, he set it in majesty: but they made the images of their abominations and of their detestable things therein: therefore have I set it far from them.
  21. And I will give it into the hands of the strangers for a prey, and to the wicked of the earth for a spoil; and they shall pollute it.
  22. My face will I turn also from them, and they shall pollute my secret place: for the robbers shall enter into it, and defile it.
  23. Make a chain: for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence.
  24. Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall possess their houses: I will also make the pomp of the strong to cease; and their holy places shall be defiled.
  25. Destruction cometh; and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none.
  26. Mischief shall come upon mischief, and rumour shall be upon rumour; then shall they seek a vision of the prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients.
  27. The king shall mourn, and the prince shall be clothed with desolation, and the hands of the people of the land shall be troubled: I will do unto them after their way, and according to their deserts will I judge them; and they shall know that I am the LORD.


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Ezekiel
Chapter 8
  1. And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in mine house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the Lord GOD fell there upon me.
  2. Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the colour of amber.
  3. And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy.
  4. And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain.
  5. Then said he unto me, Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the north. So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the north, and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry.
  6. He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations.
  7. And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall.
  8. Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door.
  9. And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here.
  10. So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about.
  11. And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up.
  12. Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth.
  13. He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do.
  14. Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD'S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.
  15. Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these.
  16. And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD'S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.
  17. Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.
  18. Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.


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Thought for the day:
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 There are several verses that stand out to me in today's reading. in Ezekiel 5:6-8 we read,

"And she (Jerusalem) hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them... Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, am against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations."
The Lord charges the Jews with committing greater wickedness than the heathen nations which surrounded them. How can this be? The heathen had absolutely no interest in Jehovah at all. They had no relationship to the Mosaic law, and the idolatry that the Jews practiced was learned from the pagans that surrounded them. Yet God says that he is "against them" because of their greater sin. I believe this is because the Jews had truth and ignored it. According to Romans 3:1-2 the Jews had the great advantage of having directly received the Word of God. Romans 9:4-5 says that the Jews had the covenants and the glory and the law and the service of God and the patriarchs and the promises. Yet with all these benefits, none of which were possessed by the Gentiles, Israel still rebelled. God held them to a higher standard because so much had been given to them. In Luke 12:48, Jesus said that
"unto whom much is given, of him shall be much required".
We as believers need to remember this principle. We have been saved by the grace of God. We have the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit, and we have the ability to read and understand the Scriptures. We have Christians around us who can help us in our daily walk, and we have churches where we can grow in knowledge, fellowship and service. I believe that God expects us to do something with these blessings, and I believe that He will hold us even more accountable for our actions than He does those who do not know the Truth.

 A second phrase that I noticed is one that is repeated several times in this passage. One instance is found in Ezekiel 6:10:

"And they shall know that I am the LORD, and that I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them."
Jehovah repeatedly indicates that His judgment will prove to His people, as well as the heathen, that He is the supreme Lord of the universe. In verse 10 He spells out that He will prove to the Jews that He means business, and that when He speaks they will know that they must listen and respond. I see here a warning for believers. Sometimes we start thinking that, because we are the children of God, we don't have to listen to everything God tells us to do. After all, He loves us, and He won't let anything happen to us, even if we disobey. This kind of thinking got the Jews in trouble. God judged them, and will judge us so that we realize we are obligated to follow God's Word. He is the Lord, and we are responsible to submit to Him in every area of life.

 Chapter 8 also contains something interesting. The Lord told Ezekiel to dig in the walls of the Temple. There he found all manner of abominations which were being committed by the Jewish leadership. The Lord makes an poignant statement in verse 12:

"Hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth."
God points out that men do things because they convince themselves that the Lord will not see them . However, God does see everything that we do, and we will be held accountable for it. One of the things that was going on in chapter 8 was the worship of Tammuz (14). Tammuz was supposedly the son of Nimrod's wife Semiramis. Nimrod was the leader of the great rebellion against God after the Genesis flood (Genesis 10:9-10) that ultimately led to the confusion of languages at the Tower of Babel. Semiramis claimed that Tammuz was conceived without a father, and after his death it was claimed that he rose from the dead. The pagans worshipped Tammuz in the spring because this is a time of "rebirth" for crops. What is interesting is that the mother/son worship of Semiramis and Tammuz has carried down through the centuries under various names, and reveals itself today in the Madonna and Child statues and pictures that are featured so prominently in the Roman Catholic religion. They may call them Mary and Jesus, but the concept is rooted in Semiramis and Tammuz.

 God has given us much. May we stay away from false teaching and unholy living, for God sees what we do, and will hold us accountable for that which He has given to us.

Pastor Mark J Montgomery

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1926 Babcock Blvd
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(412)822-7255
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