Ezekiel Chapter 2 [KJVwc]

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1 And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.
2 And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me. The spirit entered into me – The Holy Spirit of adoption. This is very similar to what took place on the day of Pentecost.

When he spake unto me – The Lord speaks to us primarily by His Word of Truth. This passage makes so much sense when applied to Pastor Russell (who was immersed in 1874.) He had been studying the Word of God and now the Lord opened up His Divine Plan to him under the direction of the Holy Spirit. "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, they are life." John 6:63; 17:17; James 1:18

Set me upon my feet – Now that he had been given this vision (Hab. 2:2) and could see how wonderful it is, that it represents the Lord in a truly awesome manner, he was given the strength to rise up from his humbled position and stand upon his feet before all the forces that the Adversary was about to bring against him. Dan. 8:17-18.

I heard him that spake – "Let him that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the churches." Rev. 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22.

"The words which I speak, they are spirit." (John 6:63.) When the full import of the Word was discerned, Pastor Russell took a firm stand. The spirit, power, influence of God entered into him, never to leave. He stood firmly, before God, before his friends, and before all the hostile hosts of Mystic Babylon the Great. FM377
3 And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day. I – Jehovah God.

Send thee – 7th Messenger.

The children of Israel – To those of nominal spiritual Israel, the nominal church.

To a rebellious nation – To Christendom.

They and their fathers – The rebellion of Christendom (falsely so-called) is not just during Pastor Russell's time but is historic, going back for over a millennium.

Even unto this day – Even to this Day of the Lord (beginning in 1874.)
4 For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD. Impudent chilren – Impudent means to be insulting, presumptuous, disrespectful. Thus these are identified as being those whose claim is that they are the children of God, but the reality is that their claim is indeed insulting, presumptuous and disrespectful.

Stiffhearted – They have become entrenched in their false beliefs and their hearts are no longer pliable in the Lord's hand.

I do send thee unto them – Br. Russell's mission was not really his own, he was sent by God.

Thus saith the Lord GOD – The message delivered by Pastor Russell was not one of his own imagination. It was the Truth of God's Holy Word.
5 And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them. Hear, or...forbear – Heed or refuse to heed. R3280:1

And they – Those of Christendom (especially its leaders.)

Whether they will hear – To hear indicates not simply the ability to hear a sound, but to understand and favorably respond. (Rev. 2:7; Rev. 2:11; Rev. 2:17; Rev. 2:29; Rev. 3:6; Rev. 3:13; Rev. 3:22.)

Or whether they will forbear – They have the ability to choose whether or not they will take heed to the message of Present Truth.

They are a rebellious house – They, at this time, are still "the [nominal spiritual] House of God," but that is about to change. Please see Additional Comments for Eze. 3:5.

There hath been a prophet among them – In his day Pastor Russell was recognized the world over. His enemies not only attacked him on a regular basis ("A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house" Matt. 13:57,) but they well aware that there was a prophet among them.
In the face of the united opposition of Protestant and Romanist clergy, the steward of Almighty God accomplished the most gigantic preaching work ever done by one man. "I cannot open the morning paper without Pastor Russell staring me in the face," said a prominent minister. In the newspapers, in the theatres, on the bill-boards, in billions of tract pages distributed gratis, in millions of home libraries, in the questions of inquiring church members, it was evident everywhere that a great preacher was faithfully sounding forth a trumpet message. With a voice of many waters, reverberating like thunder throughout the world, spoke Pastor Russell; and ere long "they shall know that there hath been a Prophet [preacher] among them." FM378
6 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. Son of man – Please see Son of Man

Be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words –
Fearlessness characterized Ezekiel and Pastor Russell, both outcasts among the "best" people.

Briars and throns be with thee – Our comments are shown [within brackets].
Pastor Russell was thrust by the [nominal] church people into a wilderness condition, amid the briers of opposition and reproach. Though the thorns of persecution crowned his head, he was never afraid of word nor of angry looks. (Jer. 1:8-10.) "I would rather see him stoned to death," said a Wilkes-Barre, Pa., FM379 preacher, in answer to a kindly invitation to come and hear Pastor Russell preach. "He ought to be skinned alive, and his hide stretched on a door," remarked a Chicago "divine" to another "divine," coming out from one of Pastor Russell's addresses.

Thou dwellest among scorpions –
A scorpion has a great swelling, formidable looking head, but it stings with its tail. (Rev. 9:5, 10.) Ecclesiasticism is made up of organizations whose heads utter boastful, swelling words, but which do injury through their followers. The sting of a scorpion� of the followers of synods and popes� is through poisoned words. FM379

While our own thought is that this has primary reference to those of the nominal church of his day, still the following explanation by Br. Fisher seems appropriate.
Every great reformer has had some turn on him who were very close to him. Not from outside did Pastor Russell suffer most. A few from among .. [those living in his] own household, whom he had befriended, helped, pushed, advanced, struck at him to ruin him and destroy his influence and his work. It is characteristic of the scorpion to sting and poison in the dark corners of a man's own home. FM379

They be a rebellious house – The nominal church had indeed rebelled against the principles of Truth and righteousness. They had, in their teachings, completely reversed the character of God from one who loves His human creation to one who tortures them. This rebellious house had taken on the character of their "father, the devil." John 8:44
7 And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious. Please see Additional Comments for vs. 5.

8 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. Son of man – Referring to Pastor Russell as the Lord's representative during His Second Advent.

Hear what I say unto thee – Do not listen to what the imposing nominal church says. Hear (with your hearing ear) to my message of Present Truth.

Do not be thou rebellious – Here is proof positive that this does not refer to our Lord Jesus. When would the Father ever have to remind Him not to be rebellious. Remember that Jesus himself witnessed the rebellion of Satan (Luke 10:18) and He himself came to earth to clean up the mess that rebellious Satan had created.

Eat that [which] I give thee – The instructions here given to Pastor Russell remind us of the Tabernacle arrangement. The priests were to eat of the table of shewbread (the Word of God, the Bible). The act of eating indicates that the priest (the new creature) receives nourishment from what he eats.
9 And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein; A roll of a book – The plan and purpose of God, as written in the Law and the prophets. (Rev. 10:2) R530:3*[R530:11*]

From here through chapter 3 vs 3 is clearly the same picture as in Rev. 10:8-11.

I looked – Pastor Russell saw (and understood).

An hand – The hand is symbolic of power, strength. This is the strength of Christ at His return (the right hand of Jehovah's power.)

Was sent unto me – Was sent to the Seventh Messenger. The message of Present Truth was not sent to the nominal church, nor to the various ecclesias of the Lord's people directly, nor to various individual members of the body of Christ. It was sent to one man and he in turn delivered it to both the true and the false church. Rev. 3:14.

A roll of a book – The Plan of God now (at the 2nd Advent) opening. Rev. 5:1,5,7; Rev. 10:1-2,8-10.
10 And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe. He spread it – It was sealed until Christ began to open it. (Rev. 5:5) R530:3*

Lamentations – We are sent to preach a message that is offensive to "a rebellious house," the nominal "Israel of God." (Verse 5) R530:4*

He spread it before me – Jesus opened up the understanding to Pastor Russell. R5909.

Here once again we may need reminding that the Heavenly Father and the Heavenly Son are in such perfect harmony ("I was daily his delight") that while Jesus may be the one giving the message to Br. Russell, the originator is God. Remember that it was the lamb (Jesus) who took the book out of the right hand of the one who was sitting on the throne (God) as described in Rev. 5.

Written within and without – Compare Rev. 5:1.

Lamentations, and mourning, and woe – A significant part of the message Pastor Russell delivered was indeed a message of lamentation, morning and woe for Christendom and for the tare class contained therein. Yet there was also the wonderful message of the true Kingdom of God which is sweet as honey, as we shall see in the upcoming verses.
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