Ezekiel 33: God Says… Turn from Your Wicked Ways Now!

Today’s chapter marks a turn in Ezekiel’s prophecies. The fall of Judah and Jerusalem is history. God now gives Ezekiel a new assignment as a watchman on the wall. From now on, he’s prophesying on Israel’s restoration — not just in 70 years, but in the far distant future for Ezekiel. However, as you will see in the next chapters, it’s the not-so-distant future for us. Let’s dig in…

Ezekiel 33 – Israel’s Watchman

Once again a message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, give your people this message: ‘When I bring an army against a country, the people of that land choose one of their own to be a watchman. When the watchman sees the enemy coming, he sounds the alarm to warn the people. Then if those who hear the alarm refuse to take action, it is their own fault if they die. They heard the alarm but ignored it, so the responsibility is theirs. If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives. But if the watchman sees the enemy coming and doesn’t sound the alarm to warn the people, he is responsible for their captivity. They will die in their sins, but I will hold the watchman responsible for their deaths.’

“Now, son of man, I am making you a watchman for the people of Israel. Therefore, listen to what I say and warn them for me. If I announce that some wicked people are sure to die and you fail to tell them to change their ways, then they will die in their sins, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. But if you warn them to repent and they don’t repent, they will die in their sins, but you will have saved yourself.

Pay Attention and Listen to the Watchmen on the Wall!

El Morrow Fortress in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
El Morrow Fortress in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

The city of Old San Juan in Puerto Rico is heavily fortified. Its “El Morro” Fortress dates back to 1650 when the Spanish government ordered the city to be surrounded by walls. The picture above is of one of its “garritas” or sentry towers where guards were posted 24/7. Their job was to warn the fortress officers if they saw any enemy ships approaching. I imagine they would then rally the troops and be ready for the attack.

Now, imagine if the sentry warned an officer, but the officer did nothing and the fortress was attacked and men were killed. Whose at fault? The officer, right? The sentry did his job. Such was the job of the Watchmen on the Wall.

Back in the Old Testament days, most cities were walled cities — not unlike Old San Juan. Watchmen were stationed on the wall and their job was to watch out for approaching enemies and to warn the leaders and the people that an attack would be imminent. That’s what God told Ezekiel to do.

Today, there are many “Watchmen (and women) on the Wall”. Some of them are listed on this page. Or do a search on YouTube for “Watchmen on the Wall” and see who comes up. Look for the latest videos. There are some that are posting several times a week because they, too, realize that we are living in the Last Days.

They are warning us that we need to repent of our sins and turn to Jesus Christ. If people hear the message and repent and follow Jesus, then they’ll be OK. They won’t be left behind in the Rapture. If they hear the message and ignore it, it’s not the watchman’s fault if the people end up in hell.

Going on…

The Watchman’s Message

10 “Son of man, give the people of Israel this message: You are saying, ‘Our sins are heavy upon us; we are wasting away! How can we survive?’ 11 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die?

12 “Son of man, give your people this message: The righteous behavior of righteous people will not save them if they turn to sin, nor will the wicked behavior of wicked people destroy them if they repent and turn from their sins. 13 When I tell righteous people that they will live, but then they sin, expecting their past righteousness to save them, then none of their righteous acts will be remembered. I will destroy them for their sins. 14 And suppose I tell some wicked people that they will surely die, but then they turn from their sins and do what is just and right. 15 For instance, they might give back a debtor’s security, return what they have stolen, and obey my life-giving laws, no longer doing what is evil. If they do this, then they will surely live and not die. 16 None of their past sins will be brought up again, for they have done what is just and right, and they will surely live.

17 “Your people are saying, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right,’ but it is they who are not doing what’s right. 18 For again I say, when righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and turn to evil, they will die. 19 But if wicked people turn from their wickedness and do what is just and right, they will live. 20 O people of Israel, you are saying, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right.’ But I judge each of you according to your deeds.”

It’s Not Fair!

Verse 13 sounds like the Catholic “sacrament” of confessing to a priest. You confess, say your appointed penance, and you’re “absolved”! Problem is, you’re only good until your next sin! If you die before your next confession and have no time to ask Jesus for forgiveness (and a Hail Mary won’t help you, BTW!), then you’re doomed! Confessing to a priest is not true repentance!

Jesus explains in a parable…

“For the Kingdom of Heaven is like the landowner who went out early one morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay the normal daily wage and sent them out to work.

“At nine o’clock in the morning he was passing through the marketplace and saw some people standing around doing nothing. So he hired them, telling them he would pay them whatever was right at the end of the day. So they went to work in the vineyard. At noon and again at three o’clock he did the same thing.

“At five o’clock that afternoon he was in town again and saw some more people standing around. He asked them, ‘Why haven’t you been working today?’

“They replied, ‘Because no one hired us.’

“The landowner told them, ‘Then go out and join the others in my vineyard.’

“That evening he told the foreman to call the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first. When those hired at five o’clock were paid, each received a full day’s wage. 10 When those hired first came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more. But they, too, were paid a day’s wage. 11 When they received their pay, they protested to the owner, 12 ‘Those people worked only one hour, and yet you’ve paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.’

13 “He answered one of them, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? 14 Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. 15 Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?’

16 “So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”

Matthew 20:1-16 NLT

In other words, if a murderer repents in prison and becomes born again, he will get into Heaven when he dies. Same as the person who in their youth repents, then follows Jesus and lives a long life. They are both equally saved and equally welcomed into Heaven.

Back to Ezekiel…

Explanation of Jerusalem’s Fall

21 On January 8, 585 BC, during the twelfth year of our captivity, a survivor from Jerusalem came to me and said, “The city has fallen!” 22 The previous evening the Lord had taken hold of me and given me back my voice. So I was able to speak when this man arrived the next morning.

23 Then this message came to me from the Lord: 24 “Son of man, the scattered remnants of Israel living among the ruined cities keep saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he gained possession of the entire land. We are many; surely the land has been given to us as a possession.’ 25 So tell these people, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: You eat meat with blood in it, you worship idols, and you murder the innocent. Do you really think the land should be yours? 26 Murderers! Idolaters! Adulterers! Should the land belong to you?’

27 “Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live, those living in the ruins will die by the sword. And I will send wild animals to eat those living in the open fields. Those hiding in the forts and caves will die of disease. 28 I will completely destroy the land and demolish her pride. Her arrogant power will come to an end. The mountains of Israel will be so desolate that no one will even travel through them. 29 When I have completely destroyed the land because of their detestable sins, then they will know that I am the Lord.’

30 “Son of man, your people talk about you in their houses and whisper about you at the doors. They say to each other, ‘Come on, let’s go hear the prophet tell us what the Lord is saying!’ 31 So my people come pretending to be sincere and sit before you. They listen to your words, but they have no intention of doing what you say. Their mouths are full of lustful words, and their hearts seek only after money. 32 You are very entertaining to them, like someone who sings love songs with a beautiful voice or plays fine music on an instrument. They hear what you say, but they don’t act on it! 33 But when all these terrible things happen to them—as they certainly will—then they will know a prophet has been among them.”

Ezekiel 33 NLT

A Silent Prophet

Back in chapter 24, when Ezekiel prophesied about the fall of the Jerusalem and his wife died, God muted him. He was silent for 23 months until someone who escaped from Jerusalem’s siege made the 600-mile trip with the news. Then God gave Ezekiel his voice back.

When God Judges the World

It’s not if, but WHEN God will judge the world. God only wants people to turn from their wicked, evil ways — REPENT! In other words, STOP SINNING! Why should you perish and spend eternity in hell? And, by the way, there is no such thing as purgatory!

Peter told us…

Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.”

They deliberately forget that God made the heavens long ago by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.

But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.

11 Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, 12 looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. 13 But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.

14 And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.

15 And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved.

2 Peter 3:3-15 NLT

If you’re still not convinced that we’re living in the end times, check out this page with some of the latest global news…

The point is, that we don’t know EXACTLY when Jesus is going to come back for His true, born-again believers. We DO know that He told us to BE READY. That means to be following HIM and Him only! That also means to be studying the Bible — the Word of God — daily! And, like James, Jesus’ half-brother, told us…

22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.

James 1:22 NLT (bold emphasis mine)

Where You Spend Eternity is YOUR Choice!

If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, feel His Shalom — a peace that surpasses all understanding, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…

Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.

  • Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
  • Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180-degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him. When you ask Jesus to forgive you He will. ALL your sins will be wiped clean — past, present, and future! And All means ALL!
  • Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
  • Receive the gift of Holy Spirit in your heart.

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift of Grace, Joy, Peace, and the Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

Exile



Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!

4 thoughts on “Ezekiel 33: God Says… Turn from Your Wicked Ways Now!”

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