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Ezekiel's calling and first vision

Ezekiel's vision and calling to speak to the Jews in Babylon.
Contributed by Sweet Publishing
Story also available on our translated websites: Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Romanian, Simplified Chinese
In 597BC, following a rebellion against Babylon, a large group of the most educated and capable Jews from Judah was taken into captivity by the Babylonians. Among them was a 25-year-old priest called Ezekiel. – Slide 1
The captives were taken to Babylon where they lived as slaves by the River Chebar (Kebar). (Some think this was Chebar, north of Babylon. Others think it was the Grand Canal in Babylon, which branched off from the Euphrates River). – Slide 2
Ekekiel had been living in Babylon for 5 years when, on the July 31, 593 BC, God spoke to him in a vision. – Slide 3
He saw a great and very bright cloud full of raging fire. Radiating from the cloud was a bright amber light. – Slide 4
Within the cloud he saw four creatures looking like men, but each had four faces and four wings. At the front they had the face of a man. To the right they had the face of a lion – Slide 5
As Ekekiel looked, he noticed wheels the colour of beryl beside each one. There was a wheel within each wheel so they could move in any direction and the wheel rims were full of eyes. Wherever the creatures went, the wheels went with them because the spirit of the creatures was in the wheels. The noise of their wings was like the sound of thundering waters or a mighty army. – Slide 6
Above the four creatures was a space of awesome crystal and a throne of sapphire. On the throne was Someone with the appearance of a man. His lower half was like fire and His top half was the colour of amber and fire with bright colour all around like a rainbow. – Slide 7
Ekekiel knew that he was seeing the glory of God and immediately fell on his face. – Slide 8
God said, ‘Son of man, stand up, and I will speak to you.’ The Spirit of God entered Ezekiel and raised him to his feet. – Slide 9
God addressed Ezekiel. ‘Son of man, I am sending you to be my messenger to the Jews who have disobeyed and rebelled against me. They are like rude and stubborn children. – Slide 10
‘Whether they chose to listen or not they will know you are my prophet. Don’t be afraid of them or what they say. – Slide 11
‘They are so rebellious it will be like living among thorns and scorpions. – Slide 12
‘Whether they want to listen or not, speak My words to them. Obey Me and eat what I give you.’ – Slide 13
Ezekiel looked and saw a hand stretched out with a scroll. Written on both sides of the scroll were words of lament and woe. – Slide 14
The Voice said, ‘Eat the scroll and speak the words to the rebellious Jews. Ezekiel opened his mouth and God fed him the scroll. It tasted sweet like honey. God reassured Ezekiel that he wasn’t sending him to strangers or those who spoke a different language but to his own people. However, he warned Ezekiel that they would not listen to him and he was not to become dismayed by their reactions. He would make Ezekiel strong with a forehead stronger than flint. – Slide 15
The Spirit of God lifted Ezekiel up and he heard a thunderous voice behind him: ‘Blessed is the glory of the Lord!’The noise increased as the living creatures moved their wings and the wheels beside them. – Slide 16
The Spirit of God took Ezekiel to the captives living at Tel Abib, by the River Chebar. He sat there for seven days feeling overwhelmed and astonished but knowing that God had made him strong. – Slide 17
After 7 days God spoke to Ezekiel again. ‘You must speak the words of warning I give you. If I tell you to warn the wicked that they will die and you don’t warn them, then you will be held responsible. But if you warn them and they do not listen, it is not your fault. – Slide 18
Ezekiel got up and went out into the plain. – Slide 19
Suddenly, he saw the glory of the Lord once more and he fell to the ground. – Slide 20
The Spirit of God entered Ezekiel and raised him to his feet. He was told to go and shut himself in his house. God said, ‘Your tongue will stick to the roof of your mouth and you will be mute. But when I speak to you, I will open you mouth and you will declare, ‘This is what God says, “He who hears let him hear. He who refuses let him refuse.”’ – Slide 21
For the rest of his life Ezekiel became a prophet telling the rebellious Jews what God had told him to say. He had further visions and warned the Jews of God’s judgment on them for their disobedience. – Slide 22
Ezekiel also told the rebellious Jews about God’s promise to bring them back to their own land when they had repented and turned back to Him. – Slide 23
Slide 24