6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermons

Summary: It is not about how you come to Jesus, but it is about how you are after you come to Jesus.

Ezekiel 43—the Glory of God returns to the Temple and the East Gate is closed symbolically representing the fact that Spirit of God would never leave the Temple again (Ezekiel 44)

Ezekiel 44:10-16—only certain Levites (descendants of Zadok) who remained faithful were able to come near to God and minister before Him. The rest of the Levites were left to do the menial tasks due to their previous disobedience. SIN HAS ITS CONSEQUENCES. AT THE VERY LEAST, UNACCOUNTED FOR SIN AND THOSE WHO ARE NOT ASHAMED OF WHAT THEY HAVE DONE, WILL HAVE BITTER CONSEQUENCES. FAITHFULNESS HAS ITS BEAUTIFUL REWARDS

Ezekiel 44:28-31—He was the only inheritance the priests would have, and they were not to have no possession of anything. WE ARE NOT TO OWN ANYTHING, BUT RATHER WE ARE TO FIND OUR FULL SATISFACTION IN HIM. We must be content in every state we are in and be UNHINDERED BY WORLDLY ATTACHMENTS.

Ezekiel 45:13-17—God gave a command that a certain percentage of crops was to be given to provide for regular offerings and appointed seasons.

Ezekiel 45:18-20—on the first day of the first month, the sanctuary is to be cleansed. On the seventh day of the first month, the people are to be cleansed of their intentional and unintentional sins. This is done so that the person could draw near to God in worship (Leviticus 4:20).

Ezekiel 46:9-10—The people were to leave out the opposite gate they came in. Strategically, this was done to keep order flowing through the Temple. Symbolically, this is done so that we should know WE ARE NOT TO LEAVE THE SAME WAY WE CAME!

It is not about how you come to Jesus, but it is about how you are after you come to Jesus. God has not commanded a follower to ever turn back. Nor has He forced anyone to change. What He has done, is offered an opportunity for each of us to change and rid ourselves of all that we are holding onto.

Often times, we hold on to things and the further we go into the ‘sanctuary’ or the closer we get to God, the easier it seems to try to turn back and go out the way we came in. The problem with this is, when we do turn back we realize we are powerless and often find ourselves going against the direction that God has told us to go.

1. If you turned back in the temple, you would disrupt the forward progress of others.

2. If you stalled in the temple, you could hinder the movement of others.

3. If you failed to move forward, you would stop your own progress and fall short of your desired destination

Ezekiel 47—Ezekiel’s vision of healing waters

In this vision, God shows Ezekiel a stream that gradually gets deeper and deeper until Ezekiel is unable to stand and the water is over his head.

A fountain shall flow from the house of the Lord (Joel 3:18)

And in that day it shall be – that living waters shall flow from Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:8)

In this vision, we can see a real river in a real Messianic Kingdom to come. But spiritually, it illustrates something in our walk. It is a call to go deeper, and the closer we get and want to get to God, the deeper we must go.

F.B. Meyer said “We need the ankle-depths of walking to be exchanged for the knee-depths of praying; and these for the loin-depths of perfect purity; and these for the length, depth, breadth, and height of the love of Christ.”

Charles Spurgeon saw a spiritual analogy between the life of faith and swimming. We start out “floating in faith,” somewhat passively, just keeping our head up out of the water. We then progress to swimming by faith.

Historically, many have seen this as the increasing depth of the Word of God. We can silently look at the scriptures as not being very deep and not being difficult at all. The further we get into reading and studying the scriptures, the more we realize the depth of the scriptures. We are then able to see a glimpse of who we really are and who Christ really is. The depth of the scriptures, when pursued, will often leave us swimming in faith without being able to touch the ground or trust in anything except the Holy Spirit (symbolized by the flowing water).

John 7:37-38--37 Now on the last and most important day of the feast, Jesus stood and called out [in a loud voice], “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink! 38 He who believes in Me [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Me], as the Scripture has said, ‘From his innermost being will flow continually rivers of living water.’”

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