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Home » (Through The Bible) – Ezekiel: Zac Poonen (Transcript)

(Through The Bible) – Ezekiel: Zac Poonen (Transcript)

Full text of Zac Poonen’s teaching on ‘Ezekiel’ which is part of the popular series called Through The Bible.

Listen to the audio version here:


Zac Poonen – Bible Teacher

Today we turn to Ezekiel.

Ezekiel was a man who was deeply influenced by Jeremiah, at least for twenty-five years. He was in Babylon. You know, God had told His people, you have to be punished, accept this judgment I’m sending upon you, submit to the king of Babylon and go. He tried for more than forty years, as we saw through Jeremiah, to save them from going to Babylon. But they would not listen.

Finally, He said, well, now the best thing for you is to accept the chastening. See, God does not want to chasten us. Jesus never had to be chastened. Paul would never have needed a thorn in the flesh unless he was in danger of spiritual pride. Chastening is when He sees that we are going astray or have gone astray. And when that happens, the best thing to do is to submit to the chastening.

So He told the people, if you go to Babylon, I’ll bless you. Accept the chastening for seventy years, accept the discipline. And a lot of people went. Some were forced to go. But there, God gave them prophets: Ezekiel and Daniel. See, that’s a great encouragement.

The prophets were not only when they were in Judah. That there in that distant land, God loved them, sent them prophets. Even in a time of discipline and backsliding, God still sends His prophets to speak to us. He does not forsake us.

And in verse 1, we read of Ezekiel, we read in verse 3 that he was the son of a priest, and he was training to be a priest. But in the thirtieth year, when he was thirty years old, verse 1, God called him to be a prophet.

We may plan our life to have a certain ministry, and God may call us to something totally different. And then we must be willing, like Ezekiel, to drop whatever God has called us to. Actually the life of a priest was much safer than the life of a prophet. Priests were not usually killed; prophets were.

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And a prophet had a very tough time, because God’s hand was very heavy on a prophet most of the time, and he had to suffer a lot, as Ezekiel did suffer. He would not have suffered like that if he were a priest.

There are certain ministries in God’s kingdom, which involve more suffering than others. You know, the Lord told Peter that you’re going to stretch out your hands and that somebody is going to carry you where you don’t like to go. And when we suffer, the temptation is to look at other people, like Peter looked at John and said, what about him? And the Lord says, that’s none of your business, you just follow Me.

If God calls you to a ministry which involves suffering, my advice to you is don’t look at anybody else, don’t worry about them. Ezekiel responded immediately, and thank God he responded. If he had not responded, we would never have heard of him.

If Hudson Taylor had not responded when God called him to go to China, if C.T. Studd had not responded when God called him to Africa, we’d never have heard of him. If Jim Elliott had not responded when he was called to go to South America, we’d never have heard of him, and we’d never have heard of Ezekiel.

Yeah, they responded as soon as God called them. And the 30th year seems to be very significant. Joseph was 30 when he became ruler in Egypt, David was 30, Ezekiel was 30, Jesus was 30, both in the Old and the New Testaments, and I think most of the apostles were around 30 when they started their ministry.

And that gives me an indication that that’s around the age God wants to pick us up and to fulfill a ministry through us. But prior to that, he spends years in preparing us for a ministry. And if you allow God to prepare you during the years prior to your coming to that age of ministry, then you can be ready by the time you’re 30 or 35, you can be ready for a ministry God has planned for you.

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But a lot of young people are impatient. Now I’m not saying we cannot go out and serve God. You can serve God when you’re 16, sure. But in the early years, God has to keep you under authority. And a lot of young people chafe under that authority, and so they never in their whole life come into a ministry.

I’m sure Ezekiel in his younger days submitted to the prophecy of Jeremiah and listened to it, studied it, and God saw the faithfulness of this young man and said, you’re not going to be a priest, you’re going to be My prophet.

And it says here, the heavens were open over him and he saw visions of God and the Lord gave him a message.

The heavens were open, and it says, the hand of the LORD was upon him. Now that’s an expression that comes seven times in Ezekiel: the hand of the LORD upon him.

It meant that he could not do what he wanted. It’s like God says, you’ve got to go where I want you to go. Now if we can live like this all our life, with the heavens open over us all the time, and that’s very easy if you keep your conscience clear and you humble yourself by humility and the fear of the Lord, the heavens can always be open over you and you allow the hand of the Lord to be upon you even when He takes you where you don’t like to go.

You see certain times in CHAPTER 3, for example, the hand of the LORD was upon him and he went in the heat of His spirit, he didn’t want to go but he went because he was submitted to God.

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