Study the Bible in Two Years

Monday – Ezekiel 47-48

1.  Ezekiel sees a river flowing east out of the temple and going down to the Jordan Valley (Arabah) and into the Dead Sea.  The Dead Sea on this earth is so salty that there is no life in it at all – no plants or fish.  What happens to the Dead Sea in Ezekiel’s vision?  What is along the river’s banks?    John sees almost exactly the same thing in Revelation 22:1-5.  What does this represent?  Check out John 4:14,15.

2.  The promised land is to be divided up equally between the 12 tribes (47:14).  Yet the 12 tribes were never equal in number of people.  In the book of Revelation, they are!!  John sees 12,000 from each tribe (Rev. 7:4).  In addition, Israel is to include what group into God’s people?  See 47:22,23.  God’s land and God’s people are pictured in a perfect, idealized way.  This happens, not on this earth, but where?  What is our promised land?

3.  The awesome conclusion:  What is the name of this new city?   For its fulfillment, see Revelation 21:22-23.    Also what did Jesus promise in Matthew 18:20?

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Published in: on March 11, 2013 at 2:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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Study the Bible in Two Years

Saturday – Ezekiel 45-46

1.  Starting with chapter 45 and the division of the land, we start to realize that the Lord is not instructing Ezekiel and the people to do something literally.  What are the dimensions of the sacred district, for the temple, priests and Levites?  See 45:1 and check the footnotes to note the distance in miles.  The regular city itself is a narrow strip along the south, 45:6. So all three segments would form a perfect square of how many miles on each side?  This could not depict the land around Jerusalem, as there are hills, mountains and steep valleys, which cannot be marked off so conveniently.  What is this all about?  Hint: What “perfect” city is Ezekiel describing in Old Testament language?

2. If time is short, you may skip reading the review of the sacrifices and feasts that they are supposed to make, from 45:17 to the end of chapter 46.  However, note the actions of the prince (there will be no more a king, but he would be called a governor in the future).  He alone can use what gate? (46:1)  But he uses it only when he does what?  (46:4).  Otherwise, he is commanded to do what?  See 46:10.   In the same way, those who are called to be pastors need to be different in what ways?  See 1 Timothy 3:1-7.  In what ways are pastors like every other Christian?

Published in: on March 9, 2013 at 2:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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Study the Bible in Two Years

Friday – Ezekiel 44

1.  What is supposed to happen to the East Gate?  Why will this happen?  See 44:2.  It is interesting to know that the East Gate still exists in Jerusalem, but it has been bricked shut by the Muslims.  Why?  They don’t want Jesus to enter that way again, because they believe he will return to the Mount of Olives, which lies straight east of the East Gate.

 

2.  The rest of this chapter talks about those from the tribe of Levi that would serve as priests. Because many of them had defiled the first temple, they would not be allowed to do what?  See 44:13.   Which ones could serve this way and why?  See 44:15.  But we have one priest above all who was never impure in any way.  How did he serve us?  See Hebrews 7:26 – 8:2.

3.  Who are priests now?  See Revelation 1:6.  What kind of sacrifices do they offer?  See Romans 12:1.

Published in: on March 8, 2013 at 2:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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Study the Bible in Two Years

Thursday – Ezekiel 43

1.  The glory of the Lord, God’s visible presence on earth, returns to the temple just the way it had left in Ez. 10:19.  From what gate and direction is that?   What assurance would that give the exiled Israelites?

2.  The Lord tells Ezekiel that Israel will never do what again?  See 43:7.  Yet at Jesus time, they were defiling the temple in other ways.  See John 2:12-20.  How might God’s house be defiled in a similar way today?

3.  God had told Israel to do what in 43:10,11?  This was never done, as even the majestic temple of Jesus’ time did not have these exact dimensions.  That is why some speculate that Ezekiel’s temple will still be rebuilt.  However, why is the time for that long gone?  The centerpiece of this temple is the altar of sacrifice.  Why is that now obsolete?

Published in: on March 7, 2013 at 2:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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Study the Bible in Two Years

Wednesday – Ezekiel 40-42

1.  Chapters 40-48 are the last section of Ezekiel’s book, which has to do with returning to Jerusalem and rebuilding the city and the temple.   The date of the vision:  572 B.C., 14 years after the city had been destroyed.  In 40:2, where does the Lord take Ezekiel?   It is important to know that there is no such high mountain in Israel with the city of Jerusalem on the south side.  In Revelation 21, John is also given a similar vision of the Holy City.  He too is taken to a high mountain to view the city (21:10).  What are we to learn from all of this?  See Rev. 21:3,4.

2.  There is no need to try to figure out all of these dimensions of the temple.   A cubit is about 1½ feet. It is enough to know that all of these dimensions present a perfect temple with perfect symmetry.  God’s dwelling place is holy and perfect!  If time is short, you may skip the details and check out the following items:

  • 41:2 What is the size of the outer sanctuary, or Holy Place, of the temple?
  • 41:4  What is the size of the inner sanctuary, or Most Holy Place?  Note: these two areas have not changed – this was the size of the actual temple that Solomon built.
  • 42:20  What is the size of the whole temple area?   This comes out to about 12½ acres. Note:  The temple area in Jerusalem to this day is about 17 acres, a rectangular trapezoid.  The width is almost exactly what Ezekiel describes.

3.   The key detail is in the last phrase of 42:20.  The holy and the common are set apart.  What is the temple today?  See Ephesians 2:19-22.  We are holy and set apart from the common world.  How is that evident in your life?

Published in: on March 6, 2013 at 2:42 am  Leave a Comment  
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Study the Bible in Two Years

Tuesday –  Ezekiel 37-39

1.  Chapter 37, Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones, is the most famous chapter in his book.  The bones come to life when the Lord causes “breath” to enter them.  “Breath” is the same word for “Spirit.”  Israel may seem to be as dead as those bones, but the Lord is going to bring them back to life and bring them back to their own land.  We can also apply that to ourselves.  What has happened to bring us back from death to life – right now?

2.  In 37:15-28, Judah is the southern kingdom, and Ephraim is the northern kingdom. With the object lesson of the two sticks of wood, what is going to happen to them?  Note “my servant David” in verse 24.  The original King David has been in heaven for 400 years at the time of Ezekiel.  Who do you think this is?  Note in 37:24-28 what he is going to do for them…and us!

3.  Chapters 38-39 are a prophecy of a future enemy of God’s people, named “Gog” from the land of Magog.  It is important to know that this name cannot be directly identified with any particular country or enemy.  When will this happen according to 38:8?  In Revelation 20:8, the Lord mentions this name in connection with the final attack of the antichristian governments led by Satan.  So the Lord is giving us the proper interpretation of these two chapters in Ezekiel, by showing that their fulfillment is near the very end of this world.  Who would you identify as “Gog” today?

Published in: on March 5, 2013 at 2:42 am  Leave a Comment  
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Study the Bible in Two Years

Monday – Ezekiel 35-36

1.  Chapter 35 is a condemnation against Edom, which is also called Mount Seir.  The people of Edom descended from Jacob’s brother Esau.  At the time of Christ, their famous city located at mount Seir was called Petra.  The problem:  Edom rejoiced at Judah’s downfall. What does the Lord think about that?  Have you ever rejoiced when someone you didn’t like has suffered a tragedy?  Think of what Jesus says about that in Matthew 7:1-5.

2.  Despite Judah’s sins, what does the Lord promise? See 36:8.  What was their sin, according to 36:20,21?  To profane his name means to defile it or make his name appear unholy to others.  How might we fall into that sin? That’s why we pray “Hallowed be Thy name – Our Father, help us keep your name holy in all that we say or do.”

3.  What would the Lord do for Israel according to 36:26,27?   What does the Lord mean by a heart of stone?  What is a warm heart of flesh?   Compare Psalm 51:10.  How has the Holy Spirit given us a new heart?  Look again at 36:25.  This is a foreshadow of what in the New Testament?

Published in: on March 4, 2013 at 2:41 am  Leave a Comment  
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Study the Bible in Two Years

Saturday – Ezekiel 33-34
1.  How is Ezekiel like a watchman on the walls of a city?  Read 33:1-6 for the earthly picture and see how it applies to being a spiritual watchman.

2.  Note 33:12.  Do the wicked ever have a chance with God?   Of what do the believing righteous have to be careful?  What past good things do some believers rely on, thinking they can do what they want now?

3.  In chapter 33, Jerusalem has been destroyed.  Now in chapter 34, the Lord shows that the people’s spiritual leaders, the shepherds, had let them down and destroyed the flock, What will the Lord, the great Shepherd, do for the flock?  See 34:11-16.  What can the “shepherds” in our congregation do help bring this about?

Published in: on March 2, 2013 at 2:36 am  Leave a Comment  
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Study the Bible in Two Years

Friday  – Ezekiel 29-32

1.   There are four chapters in today’s reading, to finish off God’s warnings to other nations.  These chapters contain 7 different prophecies about Egypt.  After Nebuchadnezzar conquered Egypt, in fulfillment of 29:19-20, Egypt was never again a major world power.  What about Israel?  See 29:21.  They will grow stronger (make a horn grow) and share the message! Notice the same word in Zechariah’s song about Jesus:  Luke 1:69.

 

2.  If your time is short, you may skip Chapters 30-32, except for these questions.  Read 30:20-23.  Pharaoh had one arm broken when Babylon defeated him in the famous battle of Carchemish, 607 BC. This happened far from Egypt.  Now, 20 years later, Babylon is coming to Egypt itself to finish the job.  What will happen to Pharaoh’s arms?

3.  Read 32:1-8.  What kind of “monster” will they fish out of the Nile River, that represents Egypt?  Also darkness will fall – a picture of what Jesus said for the whole world: “The night is coming when no one can work.”  John 9:4.    There is a perfect symmetry in these chapters: 7 oracles against Egypt.  In the seventh prophecy, 32:17-32, there are seven nations that will fall into hell, with Egypt as the seventh.

Published in: on March 1, 2013 at 2:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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Study the Bible in Two Years

Thursday, Ezekiel 28

1.  How important did the king of Tyre think himself to be?  See 28:2.  Why is pride so dangerous to Christians too?

2.  Who else wanted to be like the true God?  As Ezekiel writes about the king of Tyre, he is talking even more about someone else.  Other hints:  He was in the garden of Eden, 28:13.  He was a guardian angel or cherub, 28:14.  He walked on the heavenly Mountain of God.  28:14.  He was expelled from heaven, 28:16.  What was his sin?  28:17.  The rest of the verses apply more to the earthly king of Tyre.

3.  Do you ever “play god” in your words, actions or attitudes?  Then recall Jesus’ words in Matthew 23:12.

Published in: on February 28, 2013 at 2:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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