Ezekiel, Cherubim and the God of Israel

Ezekiel Cherubim

Wednesday 02/08/23 

Series: Thru the Bible

Message: Ezekiel, Cherubim and the God of Israel

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Ezekiel, Cherubim and the God of Israel

We are now circling back again to the Babylonian captivity with the book of Ezekiel the priest.

Ezekiel was a 6th-century BC prophet and priest and author of the book which bears his name. The book of Ezekiel, reveals prophecies regarding the destruction of Jerusalem, and the future restoration to the land of Israel.

Wikipedia states that the last recorded prophecy of Ezekiel dates to April 571B.C., sixteen years after the destruction of Jerusalem in 587B.C.. On the basis of dates given in the book of Ezekiel, his span of prophecies can be calculated to have occurred over the course of about 22 years, starting in 593B.C.. This is about 5 years into the Babylonian captivity, making him a contemporary with both Jeremiah and Daniel

Ironically Ezekiel’s name only appears two times in the whole Bible, both of which are in this book. The name Ezekiel, means in Hebrew May God strengthen.”

I am using the Holman translation for this book.

The Time of Ezekiel

Ezekiel 1:1-28, 

“(1) In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, while I was among the exiles by the Chebar Canal, the heavens opened and I saw visions of God.  (2)  On the fifth day of the month–it was the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s exile–  (3)  the word of the LORD came directly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the Chebar Canal. And the LORD’s hand was on him there.”

Ezekiel’s first vision

“(4)  I looked and there was a whirlwind coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing back and forth and brilliant light all around it. 

In the center of the fire, there was a gleam like amber.  

(5)  The form of four living creatures came from it. And this was their appearance: 

They had human form,  (6)  but each of them had four faces and four wings.  

(7)  Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the hooves of a calf, sparkling like the gleam of polished bronze.  

(8)  They had human hands under their wings on their four sides. 

All four of them had faces and wings.  (9)  Their wings were touching. 

The creatures did not turn as they moved; each one went straight ahead.” 

They each went in the direction of one of his faces – north, south, east & west.

It is interesting that the symbols which the church has historically and extra-biblically assigned as representing the way Jesus is revealed in the four gospels are that of a Man (Luke), a Lion (Matthew), a Ox (Mark) and an Eagle (John).

“(10)  The form of each of their faces was that of a man, and each of the four had the face of a lion on the right, the face of an ox on the left, and the face of an eagle.  (11)  That is what their faces were like. 

Their wings were spread upward; each had two wings touching that of another and two wings covering its body.  

(12)  Each creature went straight ahead. Wherever the Spirit wanted to go, they went without turning as they moved.  

(13)  The form of the living creatures was like the appearance of burning coals of fire and torches. Fire was moving back and forth between the living creatures; it was bright, with lightning coming out of it.  

(14)  The creatures were darting back and forth like flashes of lightning.  (15)  When I looked at the living creatures, there was one wheel on the ground beside each creature that had four faces.  

(16)  The appearance of the wheels and their craftsmanship was like the gleam of beryl, and all four had the same form. Their appearance and craftsmanship was like a wheel within a wheel. (17)  When they moved, they went in any of the four directions, without pivoting as they moved.”  

NET note: Or “like a wheel at right angles to another wheel.” Some envision concentric wheels here, while others propose “a globe-like structure in which two wheels stand at right angles” (L. C. Allen, Ezekiel [WBC], 1:33-34). The description given in v. Ezekiel 1:17 favors the latter idea. In Ezekiel 10:12 these wheels are described as having spokes. 

These wheels with wheels within, are very difficult to pin down the exact appearance of. 

“(18)  Their rims were large and frightening. Each of their four rims were full of eyes all around. (19)  So when the living creatures moved, the wheels moved beside them, and when the creatures rose from the earth, the wheels also rose.  

(20)  Wherever the Spirit wanted to go, the creatures went in the direction the Spirit was moving. The wheels rose alongside them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.  

(21)  When the creatures moved, the wheels moved; when the creatures stood still, the wheels stood still; and when the creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose alongside them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.”  

“(22)  The shape of an expanse, with a gleam like awe-inspiring crystal, was spread out over the heads of the living creatures.  (23)  And under the expanse their wings extended one toward another. Each of them also had two wings covering their bodies.  

(24)  When they moved, I heard the sound of their wings like the roar of mighty waters, like the voice of the Almighty, and a sound of commotion like the noise of an army. When they stood still, they lowered their wings.  

(25)  A voice came from above the expanse over their heads; when they stood still, they lowered their wings.” 

Later in this same book Ezekiel tells us that these creatures are Cherubim. Cherubim is simply the plural form of Cherub

As you will no doubt remember the tabernacle was a representation of things in heaven. God’s presence was in the ark of the covenant within the Holy of Holies. The ark of the covenant was a wooden box overlaid by gold  with a lid of solid gold, referred to as the mercy seat, upon which were two cherubim whose wings met in the middle as they covered the mercy seat. 

(See – Numbers 7:89; 1 Samuel 4:4; 2 Samuel 6:2; 2 Kings 19:15)

These creatures evidently are always near the throne of God, though most of the time they appear beneath it. God’s mobile throne is always described as being on a platform like a crystal – referred to as a firmament, beneath which are these wonderful creatures and the wheels which contain their spirits. 

Psalm 80:1

“O shepherd of Israel, pay attention, you who lead Joseph like a flock of sheep! You who sit enthroned above the cherubim, reveal your splendor!”

Psalm 99:1

“The LORD reigns! The nations tremble. He sits enthroned above the cherubim; the earth shakes.”

Ezekiel will describe for us in chapter 10 a vision of a man standing on the firmament before God’s throne in His temple. The Lord tells him to go beneath the firmament and take some of the coals of fire from the “wheelwork” among the Cherubim and scatter the coals over Israel. Of course one can only imagine the scene, but it “sounds” as if this may be a mobile version of God’s temple in heaven, and the wheels of the Cherubim are referred to as “the wheelwork”. The Cherubim seem to support the firmament in one fashion or another and the wheels appear beneath them.

It would be a mistake to make too much of the description since even though it is inspired, it is in fact written from the limitations of human language and as such a sight would have appeared to a man of that century, though I doubt we could have done any better.  

God is even said to have rode a Cherub as one might ride a horse, though this may be poetic or metaphor since it is clearly a psalm to be sung and some portions are clearly illustrative in nature. 

Psa. 18:10 & 2 Samuel 22:11 both of which are two separate accounts of David crying out to the Lord in distress and God rising in anger to come to his deliverance riding a Cherub. I will read to you the one found in Psalm 18…

“(2) The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my mountain where I seek refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  (3)  I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I was saved from my enemies.  (4)  The ropes of death were wrapped around me; the torrents of destruction terrified me.  (5)  The ropes of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me.  (6)  I called to the LORD in my distress, and I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry to Him reached His ears.  (7)  Then the earth shook and quaked; the foundations of the mountains trembled; they shook because He burned with anger.  (8)  Smoke rose from His nostrils, and consuming fire came from His mouth; coals were set ablaze by it.  (9)  He parted the heavens and came down, a dark cloud beneath His feet.  (10)  He rode on a cherub and flew, soaring on the wings of the wind.  (11)  He made darkness His hiding place, dark storm clouds His canopy around Him. (12) From the radiance of His presence, His clouds swept onward with hail and blazing coals.  (13)  The LORD thundered from heaven; the Most High projected His voice.”~ Psalm 18:2-13

When more than one cherub is referenced they always are described as four in number, though we know for certain that there were originally more. 

Genesis 3 mentions at least two who were placed at the entrance of the garden of Eden with a flaming sword to guard the way back into the tree of life, east of the garden. Also later in this same book of Ezekiel, in chapter 28Lucifer himself is described as being a fallen, covering cherub.

These creatures are NOT to be confused with either angels or Seraphim, but all three appear to be unique creations of God who serve different functions in His kingdom.

Angels are never described as having wings at all and always appear as  male, though in some way distinguishable from a human male – either by splendor, brightness or glory. All of them seem intimately involved with humanity in bringing them messages, guarding and protecting them and there seems to even be angels assigned to those who are young in Christ,  for Jesus said in His parable of the lost sheep,  

“See that you do not disdain one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”~ Matthew 18:10  

The Seraphim or Seraphs are only mentioned twice by name, in all of scripture in the book of Isaiah and are described as possessing 6 wings. These are almost certainly the same creatures mentioned by John in the book of Revelation with one notable difference, Isaiah in describing the Seraphim, did not mention them having eyes throughout their bodies as Revelation does. This seems like an obvious thing to mention, but in all other aspects Isaiah’s Seraphim and Revelation’s living creatures sound identical. [Rev. 4:6-9; 5:6-14; 7:11; 14:3; 15:7; 19:4.]

As opposed to the Cherubs who often appear below God’s throne, these creatures always appear near or above the throne of God. They have two wings with which they cover their eyes, two which cover their feet and two by which they fly. 

They call out to one another,  “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies! His majestic splendor fills the entire earth!”. Though in Revelation they are said to cry, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!”

The Cherubim, as we have already described, have four wings. Two which cover their bodies and two with which they fly. They most often appear underneath the throne of God and have those interesting attributes of four faces and wheels in which are their spirits.

We literally cannot even imagine what other resplendent creatures God has created which are not mentioned in scripture, nor do we know for certain that in the future God will not create even more. After all, we were created long after at least the Angels and Cherubim, so what is to say that many years in our future God will not create many more creatures. Regardless, we know all He creates is awesome and good, resplendent in beauty, position in the kingdom and function and they all in one way or another reflect His person, His attributes or character. Even the earthly animals all tell us of God and His ways. The scriptures point to the ant and its planning and industry and to the behemoth as the first of the ways of God. 

No wonder Paul, when contemplating God’s plans in the full redemption of man said in Romans.

“(33) Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how unfathomable His ways!  (34)  For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor?  (35)  Or who has first given to God, that God needs to repay him?  

(36)  For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever! Amen.” ~ Romans 11:33-36

Of the psalmist in Psalm 104 – 

“(24) How many living things you have made, O LORD! You have exhibited great skill in making all of them; the earth is full of the living things you have made.  (25)  Over here is the deep, wide sea, which teems with innumerable swimming creatures, living things both small and large.  (26)  The ships travel there, and over here swims the whale you made to play in it.  (27)  All of your creatures wait for you to provide them with food on a regular basis.  (28)  You give food to them and they receive it; you open your hand and they are filled with food.  (29)  When you ignore them, they panic. When you take away their life’s breath, they die and return to dust.  (30)  When you send your life-giving breath, they are created, and you replenish the surface of the ground.  (31)  May the splendor of the LORD endure! May the LORD find pleasure in the living things he has made!” ~ Psalm 104:24-31  

Getting back to Ezekiel…

“(26)  The shape of a throne with the appearance of sapphire stone was above the expanse. There was a form with the appearance of a human on the throne high above.  

(27)  From what seemed to be His waist up, I saw a gleam like amber, with what looked like fire enclosing it all around. 

From what seemed to be His waist down, I also saw what looked like fire. There was a brilliant light all around Him.  

(28)  The appearance of the brilliant light all around was like that of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day. 

This was the appearance of the form of the LORD’s glory. When I saw it, I fell facedown and heard a voice speaking.”

Ezekiel’s Call

Ezekiel 2:1-10,

“(1) He said to me, “Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak with you.”  

“(2)  As He spoke to me, the Spirit entered me and set me on my feet, and I listened to the One Who was speaking to me.  

(3)  He said to me: “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites and to the rebellious nations who have rebelled against Me. The Israelites and their ancestors have transgressed against Me to this day.  (4)  The children are obstinate and hardhearted. 

I am sending you to them, and you must say to them: This is what the Lord GOD says.  (5)  Whether they listen or refuse to listen–for they are a rebellious house–they will know that a prophet has been among them.  

6)  “But you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words, though briers and thorns are beside you and you live among scorpions. Don’t be afraid of their words or be discouraged by the look on their faces, for they are a rebellious house.  (7)  But speak My words to them whether they listen or refuse to listen, for they are rebellious.  

(8)  “And you, son of man, listen to what I tell you: Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house. Open your mouth and eat what I am giving you.”  

(9)  So I looked and saw a hand reaching out to me, and there was a written scroll in it.  (10)  When He unrolled it before me, it was written on the front and back; words of lamentation, mourning, and woe were written on it.”

Ezekiel 3:1-27, 

“(1) He said to me: “Son of man, eat what you find here. Eat this scroll, then go and speak to the house of Israel.”

(2)  So I opened my mouth, and He fed me the scroll.  

(3)  “Son of man,” He said to me, “eat and fill your stomach with this scroll I am giving you.” 

So I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth.  

(4)  Then He said to me: “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak My words to them.  (5)  For you are not being sent to a people of unintelligible speech or difficult language but to the house of Israel.  

(6)  You are not being sent to many peoples of unintelligible speech or difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. No doubt, if I sent you to them, they would listen to you.  (7)  But the house of Israel will not want to listen to you because they do not want to listen to Me

For the whole house of Israel is hardheaded and hardhearted.”  

Who else had that problem? Jesus! Well, Jesus and all other prophets as well, but of course it is more notable that their Messiah faced the same indifference!

“(8)  Look, I have made your face as hard as their faces and your forehead as hard as their foreheads.  (9)  I have made your forehead like a diamond, harder than flint. Don’t be afraid of them or discouraged by the look on their faces, even though they are a rebellious house.”  

(10)  Next He said to me: “Son of man, listen carefully to all My words that I speak to you and take them to heart.  (11)  Go to your people, the exiles, and speak to them. Tell them: This is what the Lord GOD says, whether they listen or refuse to listen.”  

(12)  The Spirit then lifted me up, and I heard a great rumbling sound behind me–praise the glory of the LORD in His place!–  (13)  with the sound of the living creatures’ wings brushing against each other and the sound of the wheels beside them, a great rumbling sound.  

(14)  So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away. I left in bitterness and in an angry spirit, and the LORD’s hand was on me powerfully.  

(15)  I came to the exiles at Telabib, who were living by the Chebar Canal, and I sat there stunned for seven days.”

A Watchman for Israel

Watchmen were usually set atop the gate entrances of a city to keep watch for enemies, returning royalty or heroes, for morning light and such things.

Their job was not just to watch, but to announce. So, a watchman who knew trouble was coming or how trouble might be averted and who said nothing was worse than having no watchman at all! They had utterly failed in the primary aspect of their work.

As such Ezekiel was a prophet, a seer for Israel. So if something was coming, such as a spiritual warning from God or a word to avert certain danger then Ezekiel would know of it – he had spiritual eyes to see. But if he failed to warn… failed to announce, then it would be worse than having no prophet in Israel at all!

“(16)  Now at the end of seven days the word of the LORD came to me:  (17)  “Son of man, I have made you a watchman over the house of Israel. When you hear a word from My mouth, give them a warning from Me.  

(18)  If I say to the wicked person: You will surely die, but you do not warn him–you don’t speak out to warn him about his wicked way in order to save his life–that wicked person will die for his iniquity. Yet I will hold you responsible for his blood.  (19)  But if you warn a wicked person and he does not turn from his wickedness or his wicked way, he will die for his iniquity, but you will have saved your life.  

(20)  Now if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and practices iniquity, and I put a stumbling block in front of him, he will die. If you did not warn him, he will die because of his sin and the righteous acts he did will not be remembered. Yet I will hold you responsible for his blood.  (21)  But if you warn the righteous person that he should not sin, and he does not sin, he will indeed live because he listened to your warning, and you will have saved your life.”  

(22)  Then the hand of the LORD was on me there, and He said to me, “Get up, go out to the plain, and I will speak with you there.”  (23)  So I got up and went out to the plain. 

The LORD’s glory was present there, like the glory I had seen by the Chebar Canal, and I fell facedown.  

(24)  The Spirit entered me and set me on my feet. He spoke with me and said: 

“Go, shut yourself inside your house.  (25)  And you, son of man, they will put ropes on you and bind you with them so you cannot go out among them.  (26)  I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth, and you will be mute and unable to rebuke them, for they are a rebellious house.  (27)  But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you will say to them: This is what the Lord GOD says. Let the one who listens, listen, and let the one who refuses, refuse–for they are a rebellious house.”

The Siege of Jerusalem Symbolized

Ezekiel 4:1-17,

“(1) Now you, son of man, take a brick, set it in front of you, and draw the city of Jerusalem on it.  (2)  Then lay siege against it: construct a siege wall, build a ramp, pitch military camps, and place battering rams against it on all sides.  (3)  Take an iron plate and set it up as an iron wall between yourself and the city. Turn your face toward it so that it is under siege, and besiege it. 

This will be a sign for the house of Israel.  

(4)  “Then lie down on your left side and place the iniquity of the house of Israel on it. You will bear their iniquity for the number of days you lie on your side.  (5)  For I have assigned you the years of their iniquity according to the number of days you lie down, 390 days; so you will bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.  

(6)  When you have completed these days, lie down again, but on your right side, and bear the iniquity of the house of Judah. I have assigned you 40 days, a day for each year.  

(7)  You must turn your face toward the siege of Jerusalem with your arm bared, and prophesy against it.  

(8)  Be aware that I will put cords on you so you cannot turn from side to side until you have finished the days of your siege.  

(9)  “Also take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt. Put them in a single container and make them into bread for yourself. You are to eat it during the number of days you lie on your side, 390 days.  

(10)  The food you eat each day will be eight ounces by weight; you will eat it from time to time.  (11)  You are also to drink water by measure, one-sixth of a gallon, which you will drink from time to time.  

(12)  You will eat it as you would a barley cake and bake it over dried human excrement in their sight.”  

(13)  The LORD said, “This is how the Israelites will eat their bread–ceremonially unclean–among the nations where I will banish them.”  

(14)  But I said, “Ah, Lord GOD, I have never been defiled. From my youth until now I have not eaten anything that died naturally or was mauled by wild beasts. And impure meat has never entered my mouth.”  

(15)  He replied to me, “Look, I will let you use cow dung instead of human excrement, and you can make your bread over that.”  

(16)  Then He said to me, “Son of man, I am going to cut off the supply of bread in Jerusalem. They will anxiously eat bread rationed by weight and in dread drink water by measure.  (17)  So they will lack bread and water; everyone will be devastated and waste away because of their iniquity.”

Jerusalem will be Destroyed

Shaving the head was often considered a form of dishonor unless it was in a purification ritual following a vow. Also it was done as a sign or mourning.

Ezekiel 5:1-17,

“(1) Now you, son of man, take a sharp sword, use it as you would a barber’s razor, and shave your head and beard. Then take a pair of scales and divide the hair.  

(2)  You are to burn up one third of it in the city when the days of the siege have ended; you are to take one third and slash it with the sword all around the city; and you are to scatter one third to the wind, for I will draw a sword to chase after them.  (3)  But you are to take a few strands from the hair and secure them in the folds of your robe.  

(4)  Take some more of them, throw them into the fire, and burn them in it. A fire will spread from it to the whole house of Israel.  

(5)  “This is what the Lord GOD says: I have set this Jerusalem in the center of the nations, with countries all around her.  (6)  But she has rebelled against My ordinances with more wickedness than the nations, and against My statutes more than the countries that surround her. For her people have rejected My ordinances and have not walked in My statutes.  

(7)  “Therefore, this is what the Lord GOD says: Because you have been more insubordinate than the nations around you–you have not walked in My statutes or kept My ordinances; you have not even kept the ordinances of the nations around you–  (8)  therefore, this is what the Lord GOD says: See, I am against you, Jerusalem, and I will execute judgments within you in the sight of the nations.  (9)  Because of all your abominations, I will do to you what I have never done before and what I will never do again.  

(10)  As a result, fathers will eat their sons within Jerusalem, and sons will eat their fathers. I will execute judgments against you and scatter all your survivors to every direction of the wind.  

(11)  “Therefore, as I live”–this is the declaration of the Lord GOD–“I am going to cut you off and show you no pity, because you have defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable practices and abominations. 

Yes, I will not spare you.  

(12)  One third of your people will die by plague and be consumed by famine within you; one third will fall by the sword all around you; and I will scatter one third to every direction of the wind, and I will draw a sword to chase after them.  

(13)  When My anger is spent and I have vented My wrath on them, I will be appeased. Then, after I have spent My wrath on them, they will know that I, the LORD, have spoken in My jealousy.  

(14)  “I will make you a ruin and a disgrace among the nations around you, in the sight of everyone who passes by.  

(15)  So you will be a disgrace and a taunt, a warning and a horror, to the nations around you when I execute judgments against you in anger, wrath, and furious rebukes. I, the LORD, have spoken.  

(16)  When I shoot deadly arrows of famine at them, arrows for destruction that I will send to destroy you, inhabitants of Jerusalem, I will intensify the famine against you and cut off your supply of bread.  

(17)  I will send famine and dangerous animals against you. They will leave you childless, Jerusalem. Plague and bloodshed will sweep through you, and I will bring a sword against you. I, the LORD, have spoken.”

Judgment Against Idolatry

Ezekiel 6:1-14,

“(1) The word of the LORD came to me:  

(2)  “Son of man, turn your face toward the mountains of Israel and prophesy against them.  

(3)  You are to say: Mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD! This is what the Lord GOD says to the mountains and the hills, to the ravines and the valleys: I am about to bring a sword against you, and I will destroy your high places.  

(4)  Your altars will be desolated and your incense altars smashed. I will throw down your slain in front of your idols.  (5)  I will lay the corpses of the Israelites in front of their idols and scatter your bones around your altars.  

(6)  Wherever you live the cities will be in ruins and the high places will be desolate, so that your altars will lie in ruins and be desecrated, your idols smashed and obliterated, your incense altars cut down, and your works wiped out.  

(7)  The slain will fall among you, and you will know that I am the LORD.  

(8)  “Yet I will leave a remnant when you are scattered among the nations, for throughout the countries there will be some of you who will escape the sword.  (9)  Then your survivors will remember Me among the nations where they are taken captive, how I was crushed by their promiscuous hearts that turned away from Me and by their eyes that lusted after their idols

They will loathe themselves because of the evil things they did, their abominations of every kind.  (10)  And they will know that I am the LORD; I did not threaten to bring this disaster on them without a reason.  

(11)  “This is what the Lord GOD says: Clap your hands, stamp your feet, and cry out over all the evil abominations of the house of Israel, who will fall by the sword, famine, and plague.  

(12)  The one who is far off will die by plague; the one who is near will fall by the sword; and the one who remains and is spared will die of famine. 

In this way I will exhaust My wrath on them.  

(13)  You will all know that I am the LORD when their slain lie among their idols around their altars, on every high hill, on all the mountaintops, and under every green tree and every leafy oak–the places where they offered pleasing aromas to all their idols.  

(14)  I will stretch out My hand against them, and wherever they live I will make the land a desolate waste, from the wilderness to Diblah. Then they will know that I am Yahweh.”

Note: The name Diblah in the Vulgate reads Riblah and is probably the correct word spelling, for Diblah is unknown, but the town of Riblah was in the land of Hamath (2Kings 23:33) which represented the northern border of Israel (Ezekiel 47:14).

The Day of the Wrath of the Lord

Ezekiel 7:1-27,

“(1) And the word of the LORD came to me:  

(2)  “Son of man, this is what the Lord GOD says to the land of Israel

An end

The end has come on the four corners of the land.  

(3)  The end is now on you; I will send My anger against you and judge you according to your ways. I will punish you for all your abominations.  (4)  I will not look on you with pity or spare you, but I will punish you for your ways and for your abominations within you. 

Then you will know that I am the LORD.”  

(5)  This is what the Lord GOD says: Look, one disaster after another is coming!  (6)  An end has come; the end has come! It has awakened against you. Look, it is coming!  

(7)  Doom has come on you, inhabitants of the land. The time has come; the day is near. There will be panic on the mountains and not celebration.  (8)  I will pour out My wrath on you very soon; I will exhaust My anger against you and judge you according to your ways. I will punish you for all your abominations. 

(9)  I will not look on you with pity or spare you. I will punish you for your ways and for your abominations within you. Then you will know that it is I, the LORD, Who strikes.  

(10)  Look, the day is coming! Doom has gone out. The rod has blossomed; arrogance has bloomed.  (11)  Violence has grown into a rod of wickedness; none of them will remain: none of their multitude, none of their wealth, and none of the eminent among them.  

(12)  The time has come; the day has arrived. Let the buyer not rejoice and the seller not mourn, for wrath is on all her multitude.  (13)  The seller will certainly not return to what was sold as long as he and the buyer remain alive. 

For the vision concerning all its people will not be revoked, and none of them will preserve his life because of his iniquity.  (14)  They have blown the trumpet and prepared everything, but no one goes to war, for My wrath is on all her multitude.  

(15)  The sword is on the outside; plague and famine are on the inside. Whoever is in the field will die by the sword, and famine and plague will devour whoever is in the city.  

(16)  The survivors among them will escape and live on the mountains like doves of the valley, all of them moaning, each over his own iniquity.  

(17)  All their hands will become weak, and all their knees will turn to water.  (18)  They will put on sackcloth, and horror will overwhelm them. Shame will cover all their faces, and all their heads will be bald.”

We can tell that the baldness here refers to mourning since it is used in direct connection with shame.  

“(19)  They will throw their silver into the streets, and their gold will seem like something filthy. Their silver and gold will be unable to save them in the day of the LORD’s wrath. 

They will not satisfy their appetites or fill their stomachs, for these were the stumbling blocks that brought about their iniquity.  

(20)  He appointed His beautiful ornaments for majesty, but they made their abhorrent images from them, their detestable things. Therefore, I have made these into something filthy for them.  

(21)  I will hand these things over to foreigners as plunder and to the wicked of the earth as spoil, and they will profane them.  (22)  I will turn My face from the wicked as they profane My treasured place. Violent men will enter it and profane it.  

(23)  Forge the chain, for the land is filled with crimes of bloodshed, and the city is filled with violence.  (24)  So I will bring the most evil of nations to take possession of their houses. I will put an end to the pride of the strong, and their sacred places will be profaned.  

(25)  Anguish is coming! They will seek peace, but there will be none.  (26)  Disaster after disaster will come, and there will be rumor after rumor. Then they will seek a vision from a prophet, but instruction will perish from the priests and counsel from the elders.  

(27)  The king will mourn; the prince will be clothed in grief; and the hands of the people of the land will tremble. I will deal with them according to their own conduct, and I will judge them by their own standards. Then they will know that I am the LORD.”


Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it right...safety in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keeps authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provide teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!