The question is only answered after accepting the reality of what we have been through. As we have seen in Hebrews 12, heavenly Jerusalem is the city of the living God’s and His people. It is also there called mount Zion, which is from where the LORD reigns and rules. The passage also describes the one speaking what we know is first the correction of the elect remnant who are purified and have by this entered the city. The same one is then seen speaking and shaking heaven and earth, to from them shake the wicked.
The LORD began our conversation today in Ezekiel 4, which tells of the city besieged by the enemies of God, and of His laying siege by the voice of the Ezekiel to retake His city. In pattern it is the same siege by the same means spoken of in Hebrews 12, and earlier by Paul in Ephesians. In Ezekiel, men have defiled the bread and water by what comes from them after they have eaten, symbolized as burning dung. In Hebrews, it is minds that are defiled, against which the LORD comes, laying siege with longsuffering correction. The bread and the waters, as we know, are teaching and ideas that flow into the society, either producing life or death.
The living and vibrant city is where God’s teaching and ideas once flowed, and when besieged it was with the ways and creations of the wicked, which drained the life from the living. As we read in Hebrews 12:27 the LORD is shaking and removing the ways of the wicked; as we now consistently see before our open eyes and understand by our awakened minds. Ephesians 6 tells of this as our war against the principalities and power, the spiritually wicked who have besieged us and took control. Now is the time we stand, and as we have seen, all we need do is be strong and courageous, and the enemy can’t defeat us.
7 Therefore you [Ezekiel] shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem, and your arm shall be uncovered, and you shall prophesy against it.
8 And, behold, I will lay bands upon you, and you shall not turn you from one side to another, till you have ended the days of your siege.
25 See that you refuse not him that speaks. For if they escaped not who refused him that spoke on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaks from heaven:
26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he has promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
27 And this word, Yet once more, signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
29 For our God is a consuming fire.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the LORD, and in the power of His might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness [equity and right judgment];
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace [teaching and preaching the ways of peace];
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith [knowing the LORD is present, for our Salvation], wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked [their lies and false accusations].
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds [see Ezekiel 4:7 & 8 above]: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
The word “siege” is from the Hebrew word matsowr, meaning to hem in, as in to confine. It is speaking of putting the wicked in a place to which they are restricted. This is what the wickedness of the wicked has inflicted on themselves – as if hanged on the gallows they built. It should be our objective to keep them there, trapped in their own extremism, with their only defense their irrationality, their obvious lies, and their denial of self-evident truth. These are things they choose: darkness that must surrender to or flee from the light. We must call people out of their darkness into the light.
When Hebrews 12 tells of this time when the Father corrects His children, it also describes it as healing the lame so they can walk straight paths, and by this enter Zion. “And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.” It is a direct reference to Micah 4:6 & 7 telling of the halted (lame) who become the elect remnant, then described as the daughter of Zion, which it goes on to call Bethlehem Ephratah: meaning the house of bread and heap of ruin. We know Ephratah is an intentional mispronunciation of the Ephraim, which tells of the eventual second blessing coming out of Bethlehem. This second blessing is telling of the birth spoken of in Micah 4 & 5, when the one born, and the remnant of his brethren, return to God’s people at large. Micah 5:4 says then He shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD.
34 Then said they unto him, LORD, evermore give us this bread.
35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst.
36 But I said unto you, That you also have seen me, and believe not.
37 All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out.
38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39 And this is the Father’s will which has sent me, that of all which he has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believes on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.
42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?
43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.
44 No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that has heard, and has learned of the Father, comes unto me.
46 Not that any man has seen the Father, save he which is of God, he has seen the Father.
47 Truly, truly, I say unto you, He that believes on me has everlasting life.
48 I am that bread of life.
49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
Therefore, here is the plan:
1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
4 But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken it.
5 For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.
6 In that day, says the LORD, will I assemble her that halt [is lame], and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted;
7 And I will make her that halted [was lame] a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever.
8 And you, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto you shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.
9 Now why do you cry out aloud? is there no king in you? is your counsellor perished? for pangs have taken you as a woman in travail.
10 Be in pain, and labor to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shall you go forth out of the city, and you shall dwell in the field, and you shall go even to Babylon; there shall you be delivered; there the LORD shall redeem you from the hand of your enemies.
11 Now also many nations are gathered against you, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion.
12 But they know not the thoughts of the LORD, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor.
13 Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make your horn iron, and I will make your hoofs brass: and you shall beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the LORD, and their substance unto the LORD of the whole earth.
1 Now gather yourself in troops, O daughter of troops: he has laid siege [matsowr] against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek.
2 But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
3 Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travails has brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.
4 And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.
5 And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.
6 And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian, when he comes into our land, and when he treads within our borders.
7 And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the LORD, as the showers upon the grass, that tarries not for man, nor waits for the sons of men.
8 And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treads down, and tears in pieces, and none can deliver.
9 Your hand shall be lifted up upon your adversaries, and all your enemies shall be cut off.
10 And it shall come to pass in that day, says the LORD, that I will cut off your horses out of the midst of you, and I will destroy your chariots:
11 And I will cut off the cities of your land, and throw down all your strong holds:
12 And I will cut off witchcrafts out of your hand; and you shall have no more soothsayers:
13 Your graven images also will I cut off, and your standing images out of the midst of you; and you shall no more worship the work of your hands.
14 And I will pluck up your groves out of the midst of you: so will I destroy your cities.
15 And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.
1 Hear you now what the LORD says; Arise, contend you before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice.
2 Hear you, O mountains, the LORD’s controversy, and you strong foundations of the earth: for the LORD has a controversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel.
3 O my people, what have I done unto you? and wherein have I wearied you? testify against me.
4 For I brought you up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of servants; and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.
5 O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal; that you may know the righteousness of the LORD. [The “answer” is found in Numbers 22:18 and 23:12 and 26, and is Balaam saying he must speak the words the LORD gives him and do as He tells him.]
6 Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?
7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
9 The LORD’s voice cries unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see your name: hear you the rod, and who has appointed it.
10 Are there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is abominable?
11 Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights?
12 For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.
13 Therefore also will I make you sick in smiting you, in making you desolate because of your sins.
14 You shall eat, but not be satisfied; and your casting down shall be in the midst of you; and you shall take hold, but shall not deliver; and that which you delivers will I give up to the sword.
15 You shall sow, but you shall not reap; you shall tread the olives, but you shall not anoint you with oil; and sweet wine, but shall not drink wine.
16 For the statutes of Omri [continued with the idols set in God’s place] are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab [who brought in Baal worship], and you walk in their counsels; that I should make you a desolation, and the inhabitants thereof an hissing: therefore you shall bear the reproach of my people.
1 Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grape-gleanings of the vintage: there is no cluster to eat: my soul desired the first-ripe fruit.
2 The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.
3 That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asks, and the judge asks for a reward; and the great man, he utters his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up.
4 The best of them is as a brier: the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: the day of your watchmen and your visitation comes; now shall be their perplexity.
5 Trust you not in a friend, put you not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of your mouth from her that lies in your bosom.
6 For the son dishonors the father, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.
7 Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.
8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.
9 I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.
10 Then she that is mine enemy shall see it, and shame shall cover her which said unto me, Where is the LORD your God? mine eyes shall behold her: now shall she be trodden down as the mire of the streets.
11 In the day that your walls are to be built, in that day shall the decree be far removed.
12 In that day also he shall come even to you from Assyria, and from the fortified cities, and from the fortress even to the river, and from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain.
13 Notwithstanding the land shall be desolate because of them that dwell therein, for the fruit of their doings.
14 Feed your people with your rod, the flock of your heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood, in the midst of Carmel [as in the garden]: let them feed in Bashan [the fruitful place] and Gilead [the heap of testimony], as in the days of old.
15 According to the days of your coming out of the land of Egypt will I shew unto him marvelous things.
16 The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might: they shall lay their hand upon their mouth, their ears shall be deaf.
17 They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of the LORD our God, and shall fear because of you.
18 Who is a God like unto you, that pardons iniquity, and passes by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retains not his anger for ever, because he delights in mercy.
19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and you will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
20 You will perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which you have sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.
Among many other places, Psalms 27:11 and Isaiah 42:16 speak of the LORD leading us. Isaiah 42 tells of our not seeing or understanding the ways the LORD is guiding us, and in Psalms 27 is a prayer asking Him to lead us in a plain path. Either way we must always remember He is in control and leading us in the best way, for the best outcome. This is our faith, as Psalms 27:14 ends saying, we wait on the LORD’s timing.
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.
7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
8 When you said, Seek you my face; my heart said unto you, Your face, LORD, will I seek.
9 Hide not your face far from me; put not your servant away in anger: you have been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.
11 Teach me your way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.
13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living [our faith].
14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart [understanding]: wait, I say, on the LORD.
1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
5 Thus says God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which comes out of it; he that gives breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:
6 I the LORD have called you in righteousness, and will hold your hand, and will keep you, and give you for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.
10 Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, you that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.
11 Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar [darkness] does inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains.
12 Let them give glory unto the LORD, and declare his praise in the islands.
13 The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies.
14 I have long time held my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.
15 I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools.
16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.
17 They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, You are our gods.
18 Hear, you deaf; and look, you blind, that you may see.
19 Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the LORD’s servant?
20 Seeing many things, but you observes not; opening the ears, but he hears not.
21 The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honorable.
22 But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivers; for a spoil, and none says, Restore.
23 Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for the time to come?
24 Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the LORD, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law.
25 Therefore he has poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle: and it has set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart.
1 But now thus says the LORD that created you, O Jacob, and he that formed you, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon you.
3 For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior: I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for you.
4 Since you were precious in my sight, you have been honorable, and I have loved you: therefore will I give men for you, and people for your life.
5 Fear not: for I am with you: I will bring your seed from the east, and gather you from the west;
6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;
7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.
8 Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.
9 Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth.
10 You are my witnesses, says the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that you may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior.