Chapter 2

A Change in Commission

From the book Ezekiel—The End-Time Prophet
By Gerald Flurry

Ezekiel frequently mentions that the “word of the Lord came to me.” In whatever age, it’s important to find the man God is working with. Ezekiel had special visions that God was to reveal to a man in this end time. Then the very elect would declare that revelation to the world.

It is amazing—and significant—that God always does His Work through a man. “And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee” (Ezekiel 2:1). Ezekiel was prostrate before God, and God instructed him to stand. But notice, He called him “son of man.” I’m going to speak to you, God was saying, and I want you to be my mouthpiece—but you’re not God yet; you’re just made of clay.

God repeats that phrase son of man 87 times throughout this book. Some translations render it “you mortal man.” God was emphasizing that His servant was just a mortal human being, a lump of clay. He really hammered Ezekiel with that point! But think about it: If you are going to receive such visions, you’re going to have to be humble. Humanly, it is so easy to become vain. When you have a God like this leading you, you must have humility. We can do nothing apart from Him. We’re just lumps of clay! We ought to listen to God! “You mortal men!” That’s all we are—mortal men!

We must keep God’s perspective of how helpless we are apart from Him! At the same time, we must not forget our potential to become born sons of God and to look like the God of Ezekiel 1! (1 John 3:2; Philippians 3:21; Psalm 17:15).

Ezekiel had been in captivity five years before God began revealing these prophecies to him. Not only was this very humbling to Ezekiel, I believe God was also demonstrating what He will have to do to humble most men. Many will experience war and captivity before turning to God.

God traveled in His spiritual vehicle to the river Chebar in Babylon and began giving visions to a slave. Most people would believe God speaks to the mighty first, but in fact God works with the lowliest of the Earth (1 Corinthians 1:26-29). If you know how God works, you’re going to look for the one man He’s using. In this world, God always works through a man. The whole world ought to be looking to God’s man.

The full understanding of Ezekiel’s prophecy has been revealed to a man in this end time. God said it would be so! This man must deliver that message just before the Great Tribulation.

God Sends a Prophet

What revelation was Ezekiel given? God reveals that He has a problem with His people: “And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation [the Hebrew reads nations, plural—more than one modern nation descended from ancient Israel] that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day. For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God. And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear [refuse—New King James Version], (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them” (Ezekiel 2:3-5).

Note the story flow: Right after the fiery vision of God in Ezekiel 1, it launches into this message. Realize that this is specifically for the people of God today. What is written here will happen to us in a specific way, just as it is described.

The modern Israelites are the peoples of the United States and Britain—a fact that our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy will prove to you. The Bible contains many prophecies of a future punishment of terrifying magnitude to come upon these nations for their rebellion against God. This warning message is primarily directed to Britain and the U.S. But it is also to be delivered to Canada, New Zealand, Australia and most of the English-speaking democracies of the world.

Regrettably, most people won’t recognize God’s prophet before God’s punishment strikes. But before it is all over, all will recognize that the God of Ezekiel 1 sent a prophet in the end time to deliver His warning. The nations of Israel are going to know that God sent this Ezekiel message through His chosen prophet today! (For more information, request our free booklet Who Is ‘That Prophet’?)

Whether they will hear or not, God says we must deliver His message. Logically, if they have a chance to hear, then someone must be speaking to them. God is prophesying to them! When the Tribulation comes, they will know vividly that they have heard God’s true prophecies. After the Tribulation storm begins, then they will know from whom they heard the truth.

God says, “I do send thee [an end-time prophet] unto them.” God is sending the Ezekiel message to the nations of Israel today through the Philadelphia Church of God! This message must be delivered when all these events are being fulfilled. Herbert W. Armstrong could not do much of this work because he died before many of these prophecies were fulfilled.

I don’t believe there is a single instance in the Bible where God sent a prophet to say, Hey, you’re all doing great! The fact that there is a prophet on the scene shows correction is necessary. That’s why God sends one—to warn. If a prophet has a message from God, you know there must be bad news in the short run. But every prophet of God brings wonderful news in the long run.

A Tough Job

Things won’t be easy for that prophet; he is bound to run into all sorts of problems. “And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house” (Ezekiel 2:6).

This verse says not to be afraid three times and not to be dismayed. Events are about to happen that could cause us great fear! We are in the nations of Israel—primarily referring to the birthright nations of America and Britain—and God says we are going to experience intense times, facing briers, thorns and scorpions. This is reality!

It is natural for someone to be afraid, but God says, don’t be afraid! Remember who you have behind you. The wicked people—the briars, thorns and scorpions—are the ones who should fear! The God of Ezekiel 1 is sending a message, and God help the people who fight against Him. They will lose.

Still, scorpions do inflict acutely painful stings. God tells us not to be afraid of their looks or their words. People will respond angrily to our words. We are entering into hard times, with hard looks and hard words!

As life gets harder, our message will become more difficult to accept. Mr. Armstrong wasn’t confronted with the intense anger that we will face, because Israel didn’t face such intense problems when he was alive. He was a watchman in a general way, but his message was not delivered in such terrifying times. (However, without his foundational work, we could not do what is required of us today.) The United States today is terribly different from how it was before he died in 1986. It is ready to collapse, and it will shortly. The radical left is attacking conservatives with all sorts of lies. What do you think they will do about our message? Once they focus on us, it will be much worse, at least for a short time. I don’t know when that will be, but I do know we must pay attention to what God revealed through Ezekiel. It was revealed to the Philadelphia Church of God (pcg) and there is not another book like it on this Earth!

We have to believe Ezekiel’s prophecy: A storm is coming. We must go through this storm and thrive in it! This might seem negative, but Ezekiel is full of good news. God’s people need to balance these prophecies by seeing the whole picture. Ezekiel was a slave and he received revelation about some dire things, but he wasn’t depressed. He was inspired and moved because he saw a vision of God and what He was doing.

We have the God of Ezekiel 1 right here with us! That is why the book of Ezekiel begins in this order: God is first—the top priority! Everything flows from there.

Even the persecution God’s Church members face will have a positive side because it will cause those who witness it or even participate in it to feel ashamed when the world continues to unravel just as God prophesied. This will help them repent, and probably many of them will become part of the great multitude (Revelation 7:9).

“You [one man] shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious” (Ezekiel 2:7; nkjv). God commands us to speak His words to them whether they listen or not!

“But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee” (verse 8). Sometimes God must get pretty blunt with the person to whom He is revealing prophecy. It can be easy to get a Jonah complex and just want to flee. But God specifically warns us not to turn our backs as these rebellious people of God have done.

God gives similar instruction in Ezekiel 3: “But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted. Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads. As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house” (verses 7-9). God promises to make us the toughest Christians on Earth! God will use us to deliver this difficult message, and He tells us in advance that Israel wont hear it!

However, our message and their response is only stage one. It’s not the end result. Stage two is the Great Tribulation, when many of God’s rebellious people and the nations of Israel repent. They will respond belatedly to the pcg’s message.

The Little Book

Let’s notice what God instructed Ezekiel to eat and to then speak. “And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein … and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe. Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. … Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness” (Ezekiel 2:9-3:3).

In a November 19, 1976, co-worker letter, Herbert W. Armstrong made an interesting observation about this passage in Ezekiel. After noting that God instructed Ezekiel to speak to “the house of Israel,” Mr. Armstrong wrote, “Nowhere in the Bible are Jews called ‘the house of Israel.’ This term applies only to the 10-tribed kingdom of Israel taken into Assyrian captivity more than a hundred years before Ezekiel and the Jews of the house of Judah were taken to Babylon.

“Nowhere in the book does Ezekiel record his journey from where he was in Babylon to those of the house of Israel who were then in Britain and Western Europe. [They had already been in and then come out of captivity.] Nowhere does he record his giving of the message to them. He merely received the message. He merely recorded it in writing.” In other words, this prophecy was to be fulfilled in the end time.

Then Mr. Armstrong turned to the book of Revelation, and homed in on Revelation 10: “This chapter 10 has been virtually overlooked. I did not comment on it in the earlier days, or expound it when I wrote the outline of the book of Revelation or the full booklet on the revelation. There was no way it could have been understood then—until after subsequent events—just as we could not have understood how Satan sways the entire world, as explained in Ephesians 2:1-2, until we had radio and television.”

Mr. Armstrong then talked about the little book. He concluded, “The Apostle John in his vision is told to take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel, and eat it up.

“How like Ezekiels prophecy!”

There is a good reason Mr. Armstrong thought Ezekiel 2 and 3 sounded like the little book of Revelation 10—because it is talking about the little book! (Though Mr. Armstrong didn’t know it.)

Here is the passage in Revelation 10: “And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter” (verses 9-10).

Now let’s look again at those verses in Ezekiel. “And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein; And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe” (Ezekiel 2:9-10). The emphasis here is not on preaching the gospel. The message of this book is also bitter—it is a message of lamentations and mourning and woe. Our message is very difficult to deliver. But it’s better to speak about lamentations, mourning and woe than to experience it! And that is exactly what is going to happen to those who fail to heed this message!

“Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel” (Ezekiel 3:1). Ezekiel couldn’t have fulfilled that command—he was in captivity among the Jews. This is a message God wants delivered to the “house of Israel” in the end time.

Ezekiel’s prophecies use the term “the house of Israel” to describe Britain and America in our day—and also to describe His Church. Why? There is something important we must understand here. Spiritually, the house of Israel is God’s Church. We must see what God is doing with His Church and what He wanted to do with the nations of Israel but wasn’t able to the extent He desired.

“Eat this roll,” God said. Before we speak, we must eat and digest God’s spiritual food. Then we will have the faith to deliver the message. As we know, we must take this message to spiritual Israel first.

Revelation 10:10 says this message is sweet in the mouth, but bitter in the belly. Why is it bitter? It reveals that Satan the devil has taken over God’s Church through an Antiochus, a son of perdition, in this end time! He is doing everything he can to destroy the faith of God’s people and destroy them spiritually! That is an extremely serious reality.

“So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness” (Ezekiel 3:2-3). As bitter as the message is, it is also just as the little book in Revelation 10—sweet in the mouth, when you know what God is doing in this end time. These two passages use virtually the same language. They are describing the same message!

You have access to that little book today! If you do not understand our teaching on this subject, request our booklet The Little Book and a copy of Malachi’s Message.

The Sons in Captivity

“And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord God; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear” (Ezekiel 3:11). God instructed Ezekiel to speak to the Jewish captives who were right there with him. He was personally able to go only to the people in captivity—the Jews. He never delivered his message to Israel. Spiritually, there are people today who say they are spiritual Jews and are not (Revelation 3:9). They were at one time but aren’t anymore.

In Ezekiel 33, God sets a watchman who is to warn the people of Israel before they go into captivity. But in Ezekiel 3, he is to speak to some who are already in captivity. This is not a watchman message; it is something altogether different.

Where it says “the children of thy people” (Ezekiel 3:11), the Companion Bible says it should read sons. The Hebrew word is ben, which is the same word used in such verses as Psalm 2:7—“… Thou art my Son [ben]; this day have I begotten thee.” These are sons of God—God’s own Family. He is talking about spiritual captives in this end time, people who have been taken captive by Satan the devil: the Laodiceans. Read Revelation 3:14-22 for Christ’s prophecy of this terrible spiritual tragedy. Spiritual Israel has gone into captivity. Spiritually God is saying that some of His own people in this end time—the Laodiceans—are captive to the devil! Yet the Laodiceans strongly disagree: They don’t believe they are captive. They believe they are religious and are worshiping the true God!

A message of lamentation, mourning and woe needs to be delivered to God’s people. (To understand this, I recommend you first read Malachi’s Message.) God commands us to tell them—whether they will listen or not—that if they don’t get free from their captivity, they will lose their eternal lives! Fifty percent will lose their eternal lives; and even the 50 percent who do not will still experience terrible slavery. That is the greatest crisis in God’s Church in this end time by far.

The problem with the Laodiceans is they have forgotten who they are! They have forgotten that they are the sons of the God of Ezekiel 1! That is why even Mr. Armstrong said to the members and ministers of God’s Church, “Most of you just don’t get it.” They wanted to follow the god of this world and still be in God’s Church. The powerful God of Ezekiel 1 would not tolerate that!

Who was willing to deliver the message of the little book to these captives? Our work did just what God instructed Ezekiel to do. For seven years we went to the Laodiceans with God’s message to them. That was our primary message for that period. Financially we were not yet able to reach out to the world. Only the rebellious Laodiceans have the background to really understand Malachi’s Message. We did a good job of warning those spiritual captives.

“Then the spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the Lord from his place. I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels over against them, and a noise of a great rushing” (Ezekiel 3:12-13). This is all tied in with the little book. That book is elsewhere likened to a lion’s roar and the seven thunders. It creates quite a thunderous, tumultuous spiritual noise—like the noise heard here.

“So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the Lord was strong upon me” (verse 14). Here Ezekiel uses the same word that John did. This message was sweet as honey in his mouth, but bitter in his belly once he had digested it. He is talking about a very distressing calamity.

Seven Years

Ezekiel fulfilled this commission. “Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days” (Ezekiel 3:15). He was exiled among these captives and just astonished, I would presume, by their attitude.

Numbers 14:34 reveals God’s prophetic principle of a day for a year. That chapter shows how Israel sent spies for 40 days into the Promised Land, and when they came back only Caleb and Joshua were excited and full of faith—the rest were negative and fearful. So because the people wouldn’t follow the leaders, God punished them for 40 years—a day for a year in fulfilled prophecy. All of the adults in Israel—except Joshua and Caleb—died in the wilderness. Today 95 percent of God’s people are dying in the wilderness, but this is not just physical death—it is spiritual death—eternal death! That is a message of lamentation, mourning and woe! That is bitter! It is a message of seven thunders and a lion’s roar.

Ezekiel 4:6 also shows that day-for-a-year principle.

The seven days Ezekiel was among those captives represent seven prophetic years. Who was astonished for seven years at what was happening within God’s Church in this end time? Who experienced the worst trauma of their lives because of what was happening to God’s own people? These are people we know—our own Family! Nothing could be more distressful.

Throughout those seven years, we were delivering the little book to those former spiritual Jews.

Then what happened after the seven years? Notice now how the story proceeds.

A Change in Commission

Something changed at this point in the story. “And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the Lord came unto me, saying” (Ezekiel 3:16). God came back and had something to say at the end of those seven days, or the first seven years of the pcgs work. What was it?

“Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me” (verse 17). Now comes the watchman work! He wasn’t a watchman when he went to the captives, because they were already in captivity. The watchman’s warning is an attempt to keep people out of captivity.

Remember, there are two captivities. The Philadelphian remnant warns God’s people after they’re in spiritual captivity, and the nations of Israel before they’re in physical captivity. After seven years, God’s watchman was to begin to give the whole house of Israel warning from God! But the warning given to God’s people is about losing their eternal lives!

This describes a strong message and a lifesaving work, physically and spiritually: “When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand” (verse 18). If this watchman doesn’t deliver the message, the blood of Israel will be on his head. And if God’s own people don’t get behind that message, it will be on theirs as well! God says, Get out there and save lives. Get out and do your job or you’re going to end up being guilty of blood! Their blood will be on our hands. Either we work to save the lives of others or we lose our own lives! If we fail, God will hold us responsible!

This is a deadly serious Work that God has chosen us to do! It is really why a lot of people turn away from God’s commission. They think it is too tough—but it is the greatest of honors to be chosen to do it.

At this point, the primary commission is no longer directed at the Laodiceans—it is to be a watchman to all Israel, and even, to some degree, the whole world!

At the seven-year mark of the pcg, this is what I wrote in the February 1997 Trumpet: “The first seven years of our work were concentrated primarily on warning God’s own Laodicean churches. There was a massive falling away, and Christ directed us to knock on their door with a strong warning message (2 Thessalonians 2:1-11; Revelation 3:20). Malachi’s Message was the centerpiece of our work. That meant the emphasis was on reaching God’s own people.

“Now that emphasis has shifted to the whole world and only secondarily to God’s Laodiceans. We have entered a new phase in God’s Work. We are now printing, and giving away free, Herbert W. Armstrong’s book Mystery of the Ages. It is difficult for any new convert to come out of the world and be led by God through Malachi’s Message only. What they urgently need is to read and study Mystery of the Ages first. Notice this quote from Mr. Armstrong in a letter to God’s Church dated September 23, 1985 (emphasis mine throughout): ‘Since last December I have been working diligently on the largest and most important book in my life. In real fact I feel I myself did not write it. Rather, I believe God used me in writing it. I candidly feel it may be the most important book since the Bible! We want to reach the largest audience possible with this book. I know you will feel the same way when you read it.’ …

“Mr. Armstrong wanted it to reach ‘the largest audience possible.’ If you comprehend the message of that book, this has to be Gods desire also. We must let God use us to get this book to ‘the largest audience possible.’

“I believethe largest audience possibleshould become our battle cry today! … Mr. Armstrong asked the ministers to have each prospective member read Mystery of the Ages before he or she was baptized. This is the most important book a prospective member could read before baptism. These people can then understand the whole Bible. It will no longer be a mystery. …

Malachi’s Message was mainly revealed for Church members and those familiar with what Mr. Armstrong taught. So you can see how, suddenly, we now have a message for billions of people, not a message for a few hundred thousand!”

That article clearly revealed our change in commission after seven years. At that point, the watchman commission started, and we began to warn all Israel, and the rest of the world, to whatever degree we could! That was mainly done through Mystery of the Ages. But God also gave us television stations and other printed publications to reach most of the world.

The Righteous Man

In late 1996, we knew we had to do a watchman work, so we had to print Mystery of the Ages. Nobody else really even wanted it. But Satan didn’t just allow us to have it. And God tested us. After the Worldwide Church of God sued us, we had to battle them in court for years and, at one point, even temporarily cancel our television broadcasting. God was saying, I want to see how much you want to give this message to the world. I’m going to test you and see if you really are a soldier willing to fight! We had to show Him we were—and most of that proving happened in court.

God always wanted His people to deliver that mystery. “Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand” (Ezekiel 3:20). What a warning to those who were abiding in righteousness and then turned away from it! This could only apply to the end-time Laodiceans.

God has some biting criticism for some who were to be keeping charge of His spiritual temple in this end time. Notice briefly a passage in Ezekiel 44: “In that ye have brought into my sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in my sanctuary, to pollute it, even my house, when ye offer my bread, the fat and the blood, and they have broken my covenant because of all your abominations. And ye have not kept the charge of mine holy things: but ye have set keepers of my charge in my sanctuary for yourselves” (verses 7-8).

What covenant is God talking about? The marriage covenant that He has made with His Church. Clearly, He is speaking to the Laodicean leadership. They have not kept His holy things, like Mystery of the Ages and Mr. Armstrong’s other books and booklets. They have scorned the holy revelation God gave His people!

If we fail to warn them about the consequences of these actions, God will hold us responsible for their blood! “Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul” (Ezekiel 3:21). Who is giving God’s warning today? God help me if I don’t do it. These verses are about Mystery of the Ages (we have already mailed more than a quarter million copies!) and Malachi’s Message, which represent our two commissions.

We can see there is a close tie between the work of Herbert Armstrong and the pcg today.

Thanks to all the very elect who have been loyal in the midst of all the disloyalty, who support this warning message and make it possible. It simply wouldn’t happen without those loyal saints.

Because of what God’s true Church has done, and are doing, 50 percent of the Laodiceans will repent in the Great Tribulation. They will remember the warning. And some of the people of Israel will remember the watchman work and also repent in the Tribulation.

Mystery of the Ages

We can see in retrospect what God had prophesied all along: that for seven years the little book, Malachi’s Message, would be going to His Church. At the end of that seven years we still go to the Laodiceans, but that is our second priority; number one is getting God’s warning, through the watchman work, out to the world. And the thrust of that commission has been Mystery of the Ages.

God is personally endorsing the work of the Philadelphia Church of God by giving us this revelation!

A court injunction temporarily stopped our mailing of this book. But God intervened and gave us the victory in that court case.

How can people really understand our message without Mystery of the Ages? It is incredibly difficult to do the watchman work without that book! How could we approach the world without it? We would only be able to do it in a piecemeal way with much less impact. All the time, people write or call us and say, “That book changed my life!”

This passage in Ezekiel 3 supports the whole message of Revelation 10. It begins with the little book. But then when you get to verse 7 it begins talking about the mystery, and by verse 11 it’s talking about prophesying again—getting Mystery of the Ages out there again.

I have been criticized for making the decision to reprint that book. But I don’t believe it was my idea—it was Christ’s! Ezekiel wrote, “And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the Lord came unto me …” (Ezekiel 3:16). That’s just what happened to me. I didn’t understand these scriptures at the time. I just tried to go where Christ led. But now, because we stepped out in faith, God has revealed these prophecies with tremendous clarity! These revelations don’t come from a man, they come from the God of Ezekiel 1! If people want to fight them, let them do so at their own peril!

In the midst of the court battle over Mystery of the Ages, humanly speaking our chances looked extremely bleak. But I believed we could not lose! God has now shown us He wants us to do an even bigger work. I can’t fathom how we could have done that without Mystery of the Ages.

We are about to enter the spiritual Promised Land—the Kingdom of God. We are standing before the Red Sea, and we need a miracle from God to get us across. He will surely test our faith. Remember the Israelites were only two weeks’ walk from the Promised Land on the other side of the Red Sea. But they failed and ended up dying in the wilderness, after wandering around for 40 years, because they wouldn’t trust God. We are going to have to trust God to lead us through the wilderness and continue building our faith!

I believe that reprinting Mystery of the Ages was the greatest single act of the very elect in this end time to show their love for God. Remember what Mr. Armstrong said about that book and you know it must be extremely important to God’s people! Battling for that book was the greatest demonstration to God ever in this Church that we love His truth and are willing to put everything on the line for it!

Remember the Story Flow

Keep your mind on the story flow in Ezekiel 3. Remember, the book of Ezekiel has a story flow. So the context is a key to understanding this book.

God began our work with the little book. It showed God’s Church that we were in the midst of a great rebellion. God’s people were confused, and the little book showed them what was happening and what God was doing.

First we took the message to God’s lukewarm Laodiceans for seven years. The very elect saw that God was using us to do a mighty work.

After that, God had us put the emphasis of our message on the watchman work to the whole world—we had to watch and warn.

When the watchman work is finished, we go to a place of safety (the story flow or context of Ezekiel 5:3 proves that scenario).

God’s Work today is going to “save” lives, physically and spiritually. God is going to save 50 percent of the rebellious Laodiceans when they repent during the Great Tribulation. The other 50 percent will die eternally!

Would the 50 percent who repent have done so without our warning message revolving around the little book? Surely most of them would not have known why and what to repent of without that message!

The great multitude repent in the Great Tribulation, and God saves them physically. Most of them will respond to our message, either directly or indirectly.

How many more will be impacted by our message today, even up to the Second Coming of Christ?

Also, we must not forget we save our own lives physically and spiritually by doing God’s Work today.

God is using us to do His magnificent, lifesaving Work. We haven’t finished that yet, but we are beginning to look more to the imminent and wonderful World Tomorrow. What happens after the watchman work?

“And the hand of the Lord was there upon me; and he said unto me, Arise, go forth into the plain, and I will there talk with thee. Then I arose, and went forth into the plain: and, behold, the glory of the Lord stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river of Chebar: and I fell on my face” (Ezekiel 3:22-23). If you look at the context, the watchman work ends and God’s Church goes to a place of safety. I speculate that’s what these verses are about.

“Then the spirit entered into me, and set me upon my feet, and spake with me, and said unto me, Go, shut thyself within thine house. But thou, O son of man, behold, they shall put bands upon thee, and shall bind thee with them, and thou shalt not go out among them: And I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a reprover: for they are a rebellious house” (verses 24-26). Again, we must look at the context. The timing of the story flow indicates that this is the famine of the word during the Great Tribulation, mentioned in Amos 8:11.

“But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house” (Ezekiel 3:27).

Continue Reading: Chapter 3: The Ezekiel Watchman