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Crucified Before the Foundation of the World

"Crucified before the foundation of the world." What does that mean? How could that even happen? Historians and archaeologists ta...

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Vision and Reality of the Glory of God

 Ezekiel records some astounding visions, notably the Wheel in a Wheel and the Valley of Dry Bones, but to me the most remarkable visions of Ezekiel are his recounting of the appearance and glory of God. In Chapter 1 the focus initially is on the four living creatures with four faces and 2 sets of wings. They are accompanied by the magnificent wheel which represents the Spirit and goes wherever the living creatures go. The wheel rises when the living creatures rise and goes wherever they go.                                                   
The wheel had another wheel inside it, and there were eyes in the wheels. The creatures' wings were lifted and touched each other and Ezekiel heard the sound of them. The sound of the wings was like the sound of the ocean or great waterfalls. Above the heads of the living creatures was a throne which shone like sapphire and great light came from it.

Ezekiel fell on his face when he heard the sound of God's voice. God commanded him to get up on his feet. Throughout scripture this is a common response to the majesty of God's presence. Daniel fell before the Messenger who spoke to him; John "fell as dead" in Revelations; Abram also fell before the presence of God. Gen. 17:3  Many other instances are cited and Ezekiel repeated it twice.  
  I don't think this is something you can practice and prepare for: It is rather something you can't avoid. Standing in the presence of God, witnessing his power and authority takes the breath from the body, reduces humans to utter humility, without even strength to stand. Then like Daniel and John, we will be revived by the orders of God to stand on our feet and face him. I'm guessing that's not something you can plan or prepare for either.

Read Ezekiel 1to begin to understand this great mystery and what awaits us in the future.

Saturday, November 1, 2014


It seems to me the Book of Ezekiel has been neglected even though he is one of the Major Prophets, and I am struggling to understand why and correct my view of him. Ezekiel was taken to Babylon in the first group of exiles from Judah in 598 b.c.e. Some call him a pessimist, but he also prophesies wonderful and glorious future events for Israel. 

In Chapter 1 he describes the first vision in great detail. He cites the day and the place giving details of the men he saw.  The men were not men as we know them, but creatures with four faces. They stood at attention and moved as God directed. Each of the creatures had a human face with a lion's face on the right side and the face of an ox on the left and each also had the face of an eagle. I wondered if the eagle was on the back of the head.

Each of the living creatures had a wheel that went with him and the wheels were "full of eyes." The creatures were obedient to the Spirit and he looked like fire with burning coals and lightning. The wheels looked like a wheel intersecting a wheel. The description sounds like a gear, a wheel in a wheel. The purpose of the wheel is not explained, but it represented the Spirit of God; it contributed to the glory with the sound, the light, and the eyes.

I never thought of God's Glory in terms of sound, but the description of Glory in Ezekiel is profoundly related to sound. In the beginning of the vision, Ezekiel sees a windstorm with lightning and the center of the storm looks like glowing metal. Even though the text does not describe sound, the windstorm would be accompanied by sound and the lightning would be accompanied by thunder. The creatures had wings and they made sound. Yes, this vision is as important in the sounds as in the sights it records.