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Friday, July 11, 2014

The Persistent Purpose of God # 17

The Man Upon the Throne Governs Everything

Now we return to the prophecies of Ezekiel. You will remember that yesterday we began to consider the preparation of the prophet for his ministry, and we spoke about the opened heaven: "the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God." Now we come to the second half of the statement, "visions of God," and we take this first great vision that was given to the prophet. This occupies verses four to twenty-eight of chapter one. (Ezekiel). You have carefully read these three chapters so that it is not necessary for us to read this section again.

The first thing that we must note is that this vision is all one thing; it has various parts, but it has just one object in view. The last verse of the chapter tells us that this is so. Verse twenty-eight, the second part of the verse, reads: "This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord." Everything in the chapter is included in that, "the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord."

The inclusive factor of this whole vision was THE THRONE OF THE LORD. All the other things in the vision are just a part of the Throne; they all go to make up the Throne of the Lord. It is very important for you to recognize that. You are not dealing with a number of different things in this vision: you are dealing with only one thing which is made up of many parts. There is fire, there is lightening, there is terrible power, there is irresistible progress, there are the living ones, there are the wheels, there is the likeness of a man. All these things are parts of the Throne. They all go to make up the meaning of the Throne of the Lord. They are all included in this final statement: "This (all this) was the appearance of the glory of the Lord."

Now I do want you to grasp the appearance as we have it in this chapter. We must not think of the Throne as something separate, away up in heaven, and then the cherubims as down here. What we must see is that these are all one. Here is the Throne above, then under the Throne there is a firmament, and then immediately under the firmament there are the cherubims. But they are all one, and they are all moving together. It seems that the Throne and the cherubims move together. You will see that they come from the north. This is all one thing, and that is the point that I want to make just now.

Now, before we consider what is under the firmament, we will consider that which is above. Perhaps we had better read verse twenty-six again:

"And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a Throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of the Throne was a likeness as the appearance of a Man upon it above."

So we begin by noting that the all-governing factor is THE MAN UPON THE THRONE. Until you have grasped the meaning of that, you do not understand the whole of the prophecies of Ezekiel. ALL that is in this book, both of history and the future, must be viewed in the light of the Man on the Throne. There is a Throne above the firmament, and there is the likeness as of a Man upon it. All government is vested in the Man on the Throne. That is not only the key to the Book of Ezekiel, that is the key to everything in history, and particularly to this dispensation. It is government vested in the Man on the Throne. That is the key to everything. From that everything else comes, up to that everything else goes.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 18)

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