33. Ezekiel, the Watchman

God calls Ezekiel to be a watchman to demolish delusions,expose apostasy, awaken repentance and stimulate hope – for a restored future for Israel.

Timeline of the Prophets


  • Background
  • The Watchman
    • Through actions
    • Through preaching
  • The Visionary – Israel’s Future
    • A new heart
    • Bones to life
    • Temple restored
    • The Last Great battle
  • The World Beyond
    • Angels
    • Devils


Times of the Gentiles [1]

  • Babylonian captivity – 600 BC ->
  • Silent years – 445 BC ->
  • Church age – AD 30 ->
  • Rapture/Tribulation/Glorious Appearing
  • Millennium (86 B.C.)

Ezekiel [2]

  • Born in 622 B.C., in the bright days of Judah and Josiah
  • His name means “God strengthens” (2:5; 3:7-8)
  • A priest (age 30), then a prophet (1:3)
  • Married (24:15-18)
  • Witnessed the captivity of 605 B.C.
  • Carried captive in 597 B.C. to Babylon (Judah continued downward spiral – Ezek. 2:4; 3:7; 5:11; 6:13; 8:1; 9:9; etc.)
  • Began preaching in 592 B.C., when he was 30 years old (Jerusalem fell in 586 B.C.)

Location - River Chebar/ Kebar

The situation on the River Chebar in Babylon was mixed [2]:

  • Some were pious (Psa. 137)
  • Others were idolatrous (Ezek. 14:4; 20:30)
  • Many rejected Ezekiel (Ezek. 14:1-3; 18:19,25; 20:49; 33:32)
  • Most thought their stay would be short (Ezek. 13:16-19; see Jer. 29:5ff)

The Watchman – His Role

God calls Ezekiel to be a watchman (Ezekiel 3:17). He renews the call later(Ezekiel 33). He was to:

  • Demolish delusions – that Jerusalem could never be destroyed; that the exile would end soon
  • Expose apostasy – thereby showing why God was punishing Judah (and the nations) with judgment
  • Awaken repentance –to inherit future promises
  • Stimulate hope – for a better tomorrow with the promise of restoration

The Watchman – Through Actions

God’s instructions to Ezekiel:

Ezekiel 4:4 “Then lie on your left side, and place the punishment of the house of Israel upon it. For the number of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their punishment. 5 For I assign to you a number of days, 390 days, equal to the number of the years of their punishment. So long shall you bear the punishment of the house of Israel. 6 And when you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side, and bear the punishment of the house of Judah. Forty days I assign you, a day for each year.

The Watchman –Through Preaching

Message of Evangelist’s Accountability

Ezekiel 3:18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood.

The Watchman –Through Preaching

Message of Evangelist’s Accountability

Ezekiel 2:5 As for them, whether they listen or not—for they are a rebellious house—they will know that a prophet has been among them. 6 And you, son of man, neither fear them nor fear their words, though thistles and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions; neither fear their words nor be dismayed at their presence, for they are a rebellious house. 7 But you shall speak My words to them whether they listen or not, for they are rebellious.

The Watchman –Through Preaching

Message of individual responsibiity

Ezekiel 18:1 The word of the Lord came to me: Son of man, 2 what is the meaning of this proverb you recite in the land of Israel:

“Parents eat sour grapes,
but the children’s teeth are set on edge”?

3 As I live—oracle of the Lord God: I swear that none of you will ever repeat this proverb in Israel. 4 For all life is mine: the life of the parent is like the life of the child, both are mine. Only the one who sins shall die!


The Watchman –Through Preaching

Message of individual responsibility

Deuteronomy 24:16 Parents shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their parents; only for one’s own crime shall a person be put to death.

The Visionary – Israel’s Future

Dry Bones to Life

Ezekiel 37:4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’

The Visionary – Israel’s Future

A New Heart

With the new heart, people will voluntarily follow God’s guidelines and desires. No law will need to be enforced. Ezekiel 36:24 “‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh

The Millenial Rule of Christ

Satan Bound 1000 Years

Revelation 20:1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.

The Visionary – Israel’s Future

The Temple Restored

Why would there be sacrifices in the millenium  temple (Ezekiel 40) when Jesus already died?

Good point to ponder. Possibly in remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice. Prior, it was done in anticipation.

The Visionary – Israel’s Future

The Millenial Rule of Christ

The Saints Reign with Christ 1000 Years

Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.


The Visionary – Israel’s Future

King of the North – 3 major attacks

  • Daniel 11 refers to “the king of the north” on two occasions one around Christ’s first coming and the other around his second coming.
  • Ezekiel 38,39 refer to the strong attack from “Gog (person-king of the north) and Magog (place)” in Daniel/ Revelation, on Israel when they are dwelling securely

This corresponds to Chapters 19:11–21:8 of Revelation describing Satan’s imprisonment for a thousand years, and on release, he will rally “the nations in the four corners of the Earth, Gog and Magog,” to a final battle with Christ and his saints

The Visionary – Israel’s Future

The last battle – Gog and Magog

 Revelation 20:7 When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. 9 And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and [f]brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Israel in the world

Israel, in the map above is centrally positioned. In the future, as predicted by Ezekiel and the other prophets, Jesus will setup his headquarters there and rule the world. It will be the central hub of the world.

The World Beyond-Fall of Lucifer

Ezekiel 28:12 “‘You were the seal of perfection,
    full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
13 You were in Eden,
    the garden of God;
every precious stone adorned you:
    carnelian, chrysolite and emerald,
    topaz, onyx and jasper,
    lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl.

17 Your heart became proud
    on account of your beauty,
and you corrupted your wisdom
    because of your splendor.
So I threw you to the earth;
 I made a spectacle of you before Kings

The World Beyond-The Cherubim

Ezekiel 1:5 and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was human, 6 but each of them had four faces and four wings.7 Their legs were straight; their feet were like those of a calf and gleamed like burnished bronze. 8 Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. All four of them had faces and wings.



  • The Watchman
  • Through Preaching
  • Through Actions
  • The Visionary – Israel’s Future
  • A New Heart
  • Bones to Life
  • Temple Restored
  • 3 Major Attacks
  • The World Beyond
  • Angels
  • Devils

Interpretation of Prophetic Passages

A passage is interpreted literally unless:

  • It would result in an absurd conclusion
  • It would result in promoting immoral behavior
  • It would contradict an interpretation given by another Bible writer
  • It would contradict clear teaching in other books of the Bible


  • Who should we “watch over”?
  • Does “their blood be on our heads” apply to us?
  • How can we bear the burden of the sins of others?
  • In what way are we like Ezekiel What lessons do we learn from the book of Ezekiel?
  • Can dry bones live? How?

End Time Prophecies [2]

Regathering of Israel

Is. 11:11-12; Ezek. 37:21

Rom. 9-11

The Great Tribulation

Dan. 9:27; 7:25; 12:7

Matt. 24:21; Rev. 11:2-3; 12:14; 13:5


Dan. 7:8; 9:26-27

2 Th. 2:3-10; Rev. 13:1-10

Abomination of Desolation

Dan. 9:27; 12:11

Matt. 24:15; 2 Th. 2:3-4; Rev. 13:14-15

The Second Coming

Dan. 2:44; 7:13-14

Rev. 19:11; 20:1,4


  1. Dr. Heinz Lycklama
  2. Chris Reeves
  3.  Mounce 1998, p. 372.


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