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           In-Depth Bible Teaching - Acts 17:11                    

Class 1

Ezekiel 1:5-9 – The Cherubim

Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar,

that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.

Visions of God

For Ezekiel, the Lord opened a view into heaven and offered Ezekiel a vision of God.

Certainly each of us wonder what does God look like?

In Ezekiel chapter 1 we are offered a limited picture of God the Father and His throne.

We will begin our understanding of what Ezekiel saw, by starting with what we already know.

We know that God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, is both God and man, and in His glorified and risen body we can easily picture Him.

26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.                                                                            John 20:26-28

12 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. 13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. 14 This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.  

                                                                                                         John 21:12-14

41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? 42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. 43 And he took it, and did eat before them.                                                                                                                               Luke 24:41-43

41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.

                                                                                                                                       Acts 10:41

But when we next consider the Holy Spirit, it becomes harder to picture Him because He is a spirit and at best can be perceived through His working and the effects He causes – like the wind.

1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

  4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.                                    Acts 2:1-4

Like the Spirit, God the Father is a spirit, who no one can see – 1 Timothy 6:15, 16:

15Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.

But here in Ezekiel we see the heavens opened and we are given a look into heaven to see God and His throne.

What is a Throne?

God’s throne represents His authority, sovereignty, power, etc. From it, He sends forth orders, appointments, or edicts.

Thus, in verse 3, God began His orders to Ezekiel, who is God’s agent or representative in a special way because the hand of the LORD was upon him.

     The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi [Boo-zie], in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and

     the hand of the LORD was there upon him.

Ezekiel 1:3

“‘The hand of the Lord was upon him’ connotes the idea of God’s strength on behalf of the person involved (Ezekiel 3:14; cf. Isaiah 25:10; 41:10, 20), a concept inherent in the name ‘Ezekiel’ (yehezqel), which means ‘God strengthens.’” (Alexander)

This was needed for the things Ezekiel saw from the throne would require God’s strength, for it was overwhelming.

The first mention of this throne is by the prophet Micaiah when speaking to rebellious Ahab, 1 Kings 22;19

And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.

As I think in graphic images, I thought I would share a chart I made many years ago to help picture the relationships and function of each Person within the Trinity.

We begin our understanding of the Triunity of God in the Scriptures where we learn:

1) There is only one God – Deut. 4:35, 39; 1 Kings 8:60; Isa. 45:5f.  Exod. 15:11; Zech 14:9.

Unto thee it was showed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him...Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.           Deuteronomy 4:35, 39

2) Their divine nature is undivided and indivisible – Deut. 6:4 also cf. Mark 12:29; James 2:19.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:                Deuteronomy 6:4

And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:      John 17:22

The Triune God does not consist of parts and cannot be divided into parts – such as man who is both material and immaterial.

3) The unity of God allows for the existence of personal distinction of 3 persons in the single divine nature – God the Father Matthew 6:9, God the Son John 1:1, and God the Holy Spirit E.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.            2 Corinthians 13:14.

Now lets see how this unity functions.

Key is to understand that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have definite relationships to each other in terms of functions and duties to be performed. There is a distinct order between them, all are equal (Gal. 3:28), but not all have the same functions to perform, for there is a “chain of command.”

Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.      John 14:28

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.      John 15:1

From the Father to the Son: The Father issues the directions or commands– Matthew 6:9:

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

The Father is the one who directs the work of the Triunity and issues the commands and purposes for the universe.

As thou [Father] hast given him [Son] power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.                  John 17:2

10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he [the Father] purposed [planned] in Christ Jesus our Lord:                                   Ephesians 3:10,11

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.                              John 3:16, 17

I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.                                  John 17:4

Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.                               Hebrews 10:7

Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.                                          John 4:34

19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:                                                   Acts 3:19, 20

From Son to Father: The Son is to glorify the Father and proclaims God’s orders. - John 1:1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that [so that] the Father may be glorified in the Son.                    John 14:13

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:                                                                                                                John 17:1

From God the Son to God the Holy Spirit – Son directs the Spirit’s proclamations – John 14:26

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

His proclamations

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.                                                                      John 16:13

But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.                                                                                                                                  1 Corinthians 2:10

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.                                                                                           John 16:7

From God the Holy Spirit to God the Son: The Spirit is to glorify the Son

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:                                                                                                John 15:26

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.  15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.                                   John 16:13- 15

Thus, each member of the Triunity has position, purpose, tasks, and responsibilities with respect to each other. Each one does these in prefect equality and harmony.

And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:                    John 17:22

Each are to accomplish their united goals and purposes.

Unlike pagan gods that fight each other.

Now let us return to the Four Living Creatures of Ezekiel 1.

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Visions of God

Ezekiel 1