EZEKIEL 28:1 – 30:26 and REVELATION 3:7–13
Here we will see the Prince of Tyrus being likened to Satan himself. The more one studies the Word of God the more one begins to see how events on earth can mirror that which take place in heaven. This chapter provides a clear example of this truth. This chapter will give insight as to what happened in heaven when Lucifer fell from his position of angelic leadership. It also helps to provide the motive for what he did and how this motive plays out in the hearts of man today. There are many other examples in scripture that helps to provide a window as to what has happened and what will happen in the future. Daniel 11 features a man by the name of Antiochus Epiphanes the IV. His actions give a powerful portrayal of what the antichrist will do in the last days. At the same time, there are indicators from other scriptures (Dan 8) that make clear that he cannot be the antichrist only a type of what he will be like. Here in chapter 28 we see the same thing. The Prince of Tyrus is not Satan but he powerfully projects many of his attributes which helps to give us a more comprehensive view of what he will be like.
In the first two verses we already see the haughtiness of the prince. He sees himself as God; his position and influence has clearly brought an intoxicating effect upon him. This chapter does have obvious references to the Prince of Tyre but the Lord will expand on this man’s evil heart to give a full-blown description of what the man of sin will be like in the last days. In verses 3-5 it says of this man that he is wiser than Daniel. This is not referring to Tyrus but to the antichrist who will be inspired by Satan. Daniel had an excellent spirit and excelled in wisdom, knowledge and understanding and yet the antichrist will employ an even greater wisdom than he.
The Word of the Lord in verses 6-7 now comes back to Tyre. Because he elevated himself to such exalted heights the Lord was going to allow Nebuchadnezzar to come against him and Tyre. In verses 8-10 we see the resulting judgements that come upon the Prince of Tyre and the King of Tyre. Remember, in chapter 27 it was mentioned that Nebuchadnezzar would not destroy all of Tyre. The primary city remained fortified and did function through the reigns of the Greek, Persian and Greek empires. It will be Alexander the Great who will destroy the King of Tyre in his kingdom. So there is the Prince of Tyre who is brought down by Nebuchadnezzar but there is a longer range judgement against the king of Tyre that will take place during the time of the Greek empire.
The Lord is now going to make a clear reference to Lucifer in verses 12-19. The scripture mentions the King of Tyre but there is no way it can be him. His life only provides a type that helps give insight into who he is like. Lucifer was a beautifully created being who was given wisdom and anointing that far excelled that of other angels. When he fell, he retained his wisdom and a corruptive form of the anointing. He knows the power of the anointing and we need to be able to discern his tactics and motives. There were beautiful coverings and anointing’s that were birthed within him as part of his ministry in heaven.
In verse 14 he is called the anointed cherub that covereth. One of the scenes that are consistently seen throughout scriptures is the worshipping of the Lamb in heaven. Whenever John, Ezekiel or others had such a glimpse of this picture they would be overcome and fall as dead men before His presence. Lucifer had the ministry of leading the angelic choirs in worship to the king of kings. Can you imagine the gifting and anointing that would have been resident in him? It says of him that he was perfect in his ways from the day that he was created until iniquity was found in him. There needs to be a distinction made between perfection and holiness. Perfection can be a relative term while holiness is an attribute that defines God. It is who He is. One of the more familiar quotations or expressions that is used to explain this truth is the following: “Knee high by the 4th of July”. This speaks of the growth of an ear of corn. If the corn is knee high by July 4th it is deemed perfect relative to its growth. Though it is perfect it still cannot be eaten. There is a developing process of growth that takes place over the next 6-7 weeks that the corn goes through before it is deemed worthy to eat. It seems that in the midst of the heavenly existence of Lucifer and the angels there was such a growth. The iniquity in Lucifer came about as a result of a choice. The 1/3 of the angels who rebelled and the 2/3 that sought mercy made a choice. Iniquity came about as a result of a choice. There must have been some sort of testing that permeated heaven at that time. Man was put into the position of making a choice at the giving of the 1st law (Gen 2: 16-17). Was there some sort of declaration made in heaven that put Lucifer and the others into a positon of choosing? Holiness has two elements that helps in giving understanding to its meaning. First, there must be a choosing (Gen 2: 16-17) to be holy; secondly holiness must be tested (Gen 3:1-6).
We see that Lucifer became proud to the point where he began to see himself as God. It is helpful to equate this event with Isa 14:13-14. The 5 “I wills” are referenced for us there. We see how he then seeks to instil the same rebellion and sin into man. He had the ideal candidate with Nimrod as he sought to build the tower of Babel. The same “I will” attributes can be seen as they seek to go about the work of building (Gen 11:1-6). These passages concerning Tyre give a powerful look into what happened at the time of the rebellion in heaven as well as to how this later came to effect mankind.
Ezekiel now turns his attention to Zidon as he proclaims judgements that are to come. The judgements seem to be simultaneous with Tyre seeing that they are closely linked geographically and economically. There is another reason why Zidon may rank high in the realm of God’s judgements. Jezebel was the daughter of the King of Zidon. His name was Ethbaal and he was a king and priest of the basest sort. The influence that came from Jezebel and her ability to so poison King Ahab as well as King Jehosophat through her treachery makes judgment upon Zidon more understandable. It was a place of prominent Baal worship so we see a total purge and cleansing coming to Zidon through the future assault of the Babylonians.
The Word of the Lord speaks of a future blessing and restoration that will come to Israel after the pronouncement of judgements upon both Tyre and Zidon. As seen before this future blessing has dual meaning. There will be a restoration in part that will take place after the 70-year captivity to the Babylonians. There will be the ultimate restoration that will take place at the time of the 2nd coming when Israel is again restored unto the Lord. The judgments to come are awesome and complete yet one cannot help to see the hand of a loving, compassionate God who is ever looking to reconcile His people to Himself. The nation of Israel will one day be restored but those who die in their sin will have no such luxury.
This chapter is a proclamation against Egypt. The Pharaoh that is mentioned is Pharaoh Hophra who had a similar sense of invincibility upon himself as did the prince of Tyre. He offered help to Israel against Babylon but was soundly defeated in battle. The account is recorded in 2 Kings 24:7. We see some evidence of his arrogance in verse 3 where he makes claim to the rivers while seeing himself as the one who is over all. He is a man who is clearly being inspired by Satan. The pride of Egypt was embodied in the Nile River. It was a source of commerce and influence as well as a means of irrigation to arid lands. The control of the Nile enabled them to dictate terms to nations who were dependent on its flow. The judgement to come would be by the sword and famine. When considering Egypt we must also remember the gods that they worshipped. God brought tremendous judgement upon Egypt at the time of the Exodus but it seems like the lessons were never learned. Their cup of iniquity has now become ripe.
They would serve the Babylonians for 40 years (vs 12) until they (Babylonians) would fall to the Persians. In verses 13-16 the Word of the Lord makes clear that Egypt would return to its place but it would be among the basest of kingdoms. It would no longer be a place that Israel would turn to and it would be a nation that would no longer exalt itself. They will come to the place of knowing that it is God who rules upon the throne.
There is a report of the battle that the Babylonians will have with the men of Tyre. It will be a fierce battle and the troops of Babylon will pay a heavy price. There is an interesting twist to this storyline. It was God who has called Babylon against the men of Tyre. They paid a very heavy price in this battle. The Bible then says that the Lord gave Egypt to Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar) as wages for their campaign against Tyre. This event is also recorded in Jer 44:30. In conclusion to this chapter we see that the mouth of Ezekiel will be freed at the time that Egypt falls. Up until this time, he could only open his mouth as the Lord would speak. It is here where the people will know that God has spoken to them.
The judgements pronounced against Egypt continue through this chapter. Why is there a considerable amount of attention given to Egypt? Perhaps it is due to the fact they figure prominently in the last days as well. This is clearly brought out in this chapter. The land of Egypt will be affected by the coming invasion of the antichrist. This is confirmed in Daniel 11:42-43 where it speaks of the antichrist’s extension of power over Egypt as well as other nations. The atrocities that will come upon Egypt are again enunciated in verses 4-12. There is a dual application that can be applied whereby Egypt is judged at the time of Nebuchadnezzar and in the last days before the 2nd coming of Christ. In spite of the severe judgements upon Egypt, they are cited along with Assyria as being blessed in the end along with Israel who will become the inheritance of God (Isa 19:25).
One can see a similarity to the time of the Exodus in verses 13-14 when God judged the gods of Egypt. Each one of the plagues was in fact a judgement upon the idols and gods that they worshipped. They were more than just plagues in which the people suffered it was God judging their gods and idols. The idols that people serve today are going to come head to head with the living God. Those who worship them will also suffer under the consequences. The call is to come out of Babylon and to come out of anything that pertains to Babylon. What happened in Egypt in the past will happen again albeit on a much larger scale. We see today much spiritual activity taking place in Egypt and the surrounding area.
In verses 15-19 the Word of the Lord speaks to the heart of Egyptian strongholds. That which they esteem and uphold will be brought down and destroyed. It can be likened to the event at Ashdod when the Philistines brought the Ark of the Covenant, which they had captured in battle, into the tent of their chief god Dagon. Ashdod can be interpreted “stronghold”. It was here where God, represented by the Ark went face to face with Dagon, the stronghold of the Philistines. We know what happened in Ashdod as well as in Gath and Ekron. There is no God like Jehovah!
The destruction that would come to Egypt under Pharaoh Hophra is again brought out in verses 21-26. Remember, Israel sought help from this Pharaoh in rebellion to the Word of the Lord. Pharaoh Hophra went forth to battle against the Egyptians but had to later retreat. A period of about 17 years will go by before Nebuchadnezzar will descend upon the land of Egypt.
Rev 3:7-13 (Philadelphia)
The 6th of the 7 churches is the Church of Philadelphia. This church shares a common bond with the church at Smyrna seeing that it received no rebuke from the Lord. It is a highly touted church with messages that can be applied and appropriated today. The name means brotherly love and it denotes the love and unity that is so essential for the last days. As the Apostle Peter was nearing the end of his life, he wrote and exhorted on several things that were to be added to the foundation of faith in our lives. The ultimate capstone was “agape” love as seen in 2 Pet 1:7. The previous attribute before “agape” was brotherly love. This speaks of a unity that goes beyond the superficial. It reflects the level of unity that David speaks of in Psa 133. The very name of this church is an expression of what this church was like.
Notice how the Lord introduces Himself to this church. He begins by saying that he is Holy. This speaks of the essence of His character and it speaks as to the potential that this church can attain. Though we have not spent time developing the following truth it is worth mentioning here. The 7 churches can be linked to the 7 primary feasts that Israel would celebrate in a year (Lev 23). The 6th feast would link with the Church at Philadelphia. The 6th feast is the feast of Atonement. If a church or a person is ever to attain unto the position of holiness they would have to appropriate the fullness of Atonement. It was the feast where God dealt with the sin of His people. It is a deep work and it is costly. The church of Philadelphia speaks of those who appropriate the Atonement. What helps to constitute the message of Atonement? The message of the Cross and a true definition of grace would be hallmarks of such a church. It would speak of a church and a people who seek to have truth developed in the inward parts of the heart. The Lord introduces Himself as the one who is Holy and presents to the church the opportunity to become Holy (Lev 11:44, 1 Pet 1:15-16).
He also introduces Himself as the one who has the key of David. We can understand its implication by reviewing the events in Isa 22:20-22. A man by the name of Eliakim is given great authority where he can open doors that no man can shut and shut doors that no man can open. He also had governmental authority as well. Would it not be wonderful to see a church of this calibre emerge today? The Lord notes that this church has had battles but he encourages them by presenting them opportunities, open doors that no man can shut.
This church was commended for being faithful to his Word and not denying His name. This was not a big thriving church but it was a church of faithful members who held true to God throughout pressures and trials. This would be typical for anyone who allows the work of the Atonement to be worked out in their lives. It is not a popular message and you will find people and churches seeking out alternatives that do not require such a high cost. (This will be seen with the church of Laodicea.)
The Lord gives them the promise of being kept from the hour of temptation that would come upon the earth. It appears that the Lord will preserve a church that espouses the qualities of Philadelphia from the many judgements that will be poured out in the last days. They reflect those who seek meekness and righteousness in the day of the Lord’s anger (Zeph 2:3). They can be likened to those who are marked by the righteous man in Ezekiel 9 who are spared the judgements that were to come upon Israel. This group was spared because they cried out on behalf of Israel for the sin that was in the land. Do we cry out to God for the sin and iniquity seen in our churches and nations? Do we compromise and tolerate sin so that we can ease through our Christian journey? The church of Philadelphia is a church that moves in the Fear of the Lord. They have an awareness of the sin in their own life and in the land. They allow the work of the Atonement to be accomplished. This is why they can be given the revelation of the Holy God and be given the opportunity to become holy themselves. There is a warning given that can apply to all generational church members. It is to hold fast to thy crown and be sure you do not lose it or let another take it.
There are significant promises given to the church of Philadelphia. They are first given the opportunity to become a pillar in the temple of God. Pillars speak of strength and stability. There are two different types of foundations seen in the gospels. One is built on sand while the other being built upon the rock. The church of Philadelphia represents a church and a people that have strong foundations, a work that is firmly rooted and established. The other foundation is shallow with no depth. The building it sits upon can have the look of a flourishing work but it will not stand against the testing storms. Every work is going to be tested to see what it is made of. The Philadelphia church is the ideal model of an end time church. The 2nd promise is that they as a people will go out no more. It speaks of those who become established in the pathway of righteousness and do not depart from it. One of the problems with many Christians is that they begin the race well only to fade away by backsliding or plateauing in their walk. It is important that we be planted and established in the house of God in the last days. To be like those trees of righteousness planted in the courts of the Lord (Psa 92:12-13). The third promise is that of a triple name. It speaks of the bride of Christ being prepared for her husband. When a bride marries she takes on the name of her husband. All the rights and privileges of her husband now becomes hers as well. Think of what this means as believers in Christ. This church is the model for us today.