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You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
Eze. 3:16-19 16 And it came to pass at the end [qatseh] of seven [sheba] days [yowm], that the word [dabar] of the LORD [Yahovah] came unto me, saying [amar], 17 Son [ben] of man [adam], I have made [nathan] thee a watchman [tsaphah] unto the house [bayith] of Israel [Yisra'el]: therefore hear [shama] the word [dabar] at my mouth [peh], and give them warning [zahar] from me. 18 When I say [amar] unto the wicked [rasha], Thou shalt surely [muwth] die [muwth]; and thou givest him not warning [zahar], nor speakest [dabar] to warn [zahar] the wicked [rasha] from his wicked [rasha] way [derek], to save his life [chayah]; the same wicked [rasha] man shall die [muwth] in his iniquity [avon]; but his blood [dam] will I require [baqash] at thine hand [yad]. 19 Yet if thou warn [zahar] the wicked [rasha], and he turn [shuwb] not from his wickedness [resha], nor from his wicked [rasha] way [derek], he shall die [muwth] in his iniquity [avon]; but thou hast delivered [natsal] thy soul [nephesh]. KJV-Interlinear 16 Now it came about at the end of seven days that the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 17 'Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me. 18 'When I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die'; and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 'Yet if you have warned the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered yourself. NASB
Seven days have passed, and Ezekiel has sat there accomplishing not too much of anything. He has been given the scroll. He has eaten its contents. He knows the present historical and spiritual status as well as the future of his people and their prospects. He knows the power and authority and sovereignty of God.
God restored the earth in just six days and then rested. All Ezekiel had to do was teach the people doctrine such that they would know their options. Yet, seven days have passed with virtually nothing happening.
So now God makes it clear that He has given Ezekiel a commission, a responsibility, to warn the people of the danger they face if they continue in their present state of spiritual rejection.
Whenever Ezekiel hears the word of God, then he is to convey that message to everyone. He is now a watchman. This simply means that he has an ongoing obligation to teach the scriptures.
Watchmen were stationed on city walls, hilltops, or watchtowers. A watchman was to be on the alert for approaching enemies and warn the city's people of the impending danger. This gave city dwellers outside the walls an opportunity to seek protection and gave the people time to secure the gates and man the defenses. Ezekiel was responsible for sounding the warning of impending judgment against Israel. He was to warn both the wicked (those who are negative) and the righteous (those who are positive).
Those who were consistently out of fellowship (both believers or unbelievers) were to be warned of their evil ways. For unbelievers that warning would be for salvation to avoid eternal condemnation. For believers who were negative, that warning would be to change their thinking habits and get back to doctrine.
By listening to Ezekiel's warning, then people would avoid serious loss in their spiritual life, both in time and especially in eternity.
The phrase, 'you shall surely die' is the same phrase used in Gen. 2, 'dying thou shalt die.' In other words dying spiritually (not having a functional spiritual life), they will die (physical death). Both result in tremendous loss.
What does this have to do with Ezekiel? God has given him a responsibility. He is a watchman. He has a responsibility to be on the watch and not slumber at his post. He cannot just ignore life around him, knowing the realities that affect others, and not say or do anything.
To this end, Ezekiel has the obligation to be responsible.
Regardless of whether the sinner hears the warning or not, regardless of whether the warning is given or not, the sinner is held accountable for his thoughts, intents and actions in life. No one has any excuse for their spiritual status or lack of it.
Ezekiel, on the other hand, has a responsibility. He is a believer in the promised savior (Jesus Christ). He knows Bible doctrine. He knows right from wrong. He knows responsibility from irresponsibility. He has a responsibility to give aid where aid is required. In his case the aid is scriptural information.
If he does his part, and issues the appropriate warnings to the people, then he has fulfilled his responsibility before God. The results of his teaching are irrelevant. Ezekiel does not have any control over how people will receive his message.
If, however, Ezekiel has this message, and he does not teach it to anyone, then 'their blood being on his hands' simply means that he has failed in his responsibility.
The lesson here is simply that Christians in our current day have a responsibility to teach and help others. This comes in two parts.
First, we all have a responsibility to support the teaching of the Word of God. There are many ways to do this, but the support is and must be an ongoing process in your life. Support is not a one time event or thing. Support is not meant for holidays or special seasons of the year only, but should be something you do daily, weekly, monthly, and so forth throughout the year, throughout your life.
Some people will actually engage in the teaching of the Bible. Others will support through their checkbooks. Whatever your chosen method is, God has given you the responsibility and He has given you the means. It is now for you to either be responsible or not.
Life will go on regardless if you do your part or not. God does not need your help to accomplish His plan for each individual. But, if you do not do your part, if you pretend that you don't have the means or know of your role, if you try to take some shortcut and reduce your role, then you fool only yourself and your refusal or cheating will become a part of your evaluation at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Your failure will result in you spiritual loss.
Those who do fulfill their role will of course be fulfilled in their responsibility before God. That means spiritual gain and the many things that accompany it.
The second aspect of responsibility comes in the form of charity. People in the world need not only doctrine, but they need the many things that we take for granted. Many folks live in underprivileged countries. Many live under oppression. Many suffer from disasters like the recent storms.
Their spiritual status is irrelevant. Their need is a reality and so charitable contributions, again in their many forms, becomes an obligation of those who have the means to give. Again, some many serve in a soup line, while others will serve from their checkbook. Again, don't try to get by cheap or cheat in your responsibility. If you are a billionaire, then don't think that serving in a soup line will fulfill your role.
Charity again needs to be an ongoing part of your daily, weekly, monthly life, and not just a holiday, or disaster related response.
Whether the recipients of the charity respond positively to God or not is irrelevant. If they respond for God then that is to their benefit. If they continue to reject God, then they suffer for their own decisions. Your obligation is not tied to any given response.
For the believer (you), if you fulfill your responsibility before God, then that is all that is expected and you do well in your service before God.
Remember that God does not need your service, but your soul does. And, you cannot demand or expect any certain results from your efforts. You are to fulfill your obligations before God without strings attached.
If you do not do your part, or pretend that you cannot, or try to cheat on your role, or rationalize your way out of it, then you fail in this aspect of your spiritual life and that results in spiritual loss.
So, do you sit around for seven days and do nothing? In which case you lose spiritually. That seven days, by the way, represents your complete spiritual life while here on this earth. Or, do you fulfill your obligation before God and do your part is supporting Bible teaching and charity? In which case you gain tremendous spiritual blessings as a result.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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