Gene Cunningham - September 25, 2003

Ezekiel #21

Ezekiel #21

Coming of the Lord is different for believers verses unbelievers — some are refined; some are judged (2Th 1:4-9, 1Pe 4:17). Ezekiel prophecies of 586 BC Nebuchadnezzar destroying Jerusalem. The fire consumes His own people (Eze 19:12); fire has destroyed His people's fruit (Eze 19:14). He shall be called a Nazarene - "branch" (Mat 2:23) . "Our God is a consuming fire" — believers are warned (Heb 12:29, Heb 6:8, Heb 10:27). Fire is a figure for the Holiness of God consuming everything that is opposed to it, and refining things consistent with it (Heb 12:25-29). The first action God takes with an unproductive believer is to lift them up and prune or cleanse (Joh 15:2). God's second action with an unproductive branch is temporal judgment (Joh 15:6, 1Jo 5:16). Jesus takes Ezekiel's words (Eze 15:6, Eze 16:40, Eze 17:9). We have an inheritance (1Pe 1:3-8) that can be increased but not decreased (Rom 8:17). God deals with His own people here and now. The holiness of God demands refining of us (1Co 11:32). A believer can have all his work completely consumed -- ministry in the energy of the flesh (1Co 3:9-17). Moses learned of the fire of God, representing God's Holiness (Exo 3:1-4). The bush didn't burn because God's fire needs no fuel; we are a branch or vessel. God gave Moses a mission to accomplish. "Holy ground" represents sanctification in Moses' life. God's work is His work, not ours; we're not indispensable. Only God could accomplish the deliverance of His people (Exo 3:7-8). Moses had learned the lesson (Exo 3:10, Num 12:3). Paul recorded similar accomplishment (1Co 15:10). is the fire of God a cause of fear or encouragement?

Scripture References: John 15:2, Romans 8:17, Ezekiel 19:12, Hebrews 12:25-29, Ezekiel 17:9, Hebrews 10:27, Ezekiel 16:40, Numbers 12:3, Hebrews 6:8, Ezekiel 15:6, Exodus 3:10, Hebrews 12:29, John 5:16, Exodus 3:7-8, Matthew 2:23, John 15:6, Exodus 3:1-4, Ezekiel 19:14

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