The Grains of Ezekiel 4

WELCOME TO The Bible Instructor Study # 10

This is the tenth study in a series of presentations designed to reveal how God will purify the SDA church and empower it for the finishing of the Gospel work in all the world.

Introduction: This study will reveal a special 430 years probationary time prophecy, its meaning and significance to the SDA church in history. It will also draw attention to an indisputable spiritual diet to attain to Righteousness by Faith today, give an understanding of God’s command to those with this diet (their mission) and show what befalls those who fail to receive and eat this heaven-sent diet.

Prayer Thought

Great Controversy p. 148

“The Reformation did not, as many suppose, end with Luther. It is to be continued to the close of this world’s history. Luther had a great work to do in reflecting to others the light which God had permitted to shine upon him; yet he did not receive all the light which was to be given to the world. From that time to this, new light has been continually shining upon the Scriptures, and new truths have been constantly unfolding.” {GC 148.4}

Is the Subject Historic or Prophetic?

  • See Ezek. 4: 5, 6
    The message was directed to all 12 tribes but 10 of the tribes were already scattered since 721 B.C (2Kg. 17: 23) and Judah the 2 tribes, spent 70 years in captivity, not 430 years.
  • See Ezek. 4: 1, 2
    Ezekiel himself, not some gentile king, as was the case with the Babylonian captivity, is told to besiege the city.
  • See Ezek. 4: 13
    The future tense is used, showing that after Ezekiel’s time, God’s people were to be subjected to eating defiled bread (dung baked food) while scattered among the Gentiles.
  • Ezekiel 4: 1-2
    1. Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile, and lay it before thee, and portray upon it the city, [even] Jerusalem:
    2. And lay siege against it, and build a fort against it, and cast a mount against it; set the camp also against it, and set [battering] rams against it round about.

The Church, Jerusalem here portrayed, is shown as having been drawn away from God, and God is endeavoring to rescue her, to effect a reformation in her midst. For such cause, therefore, Ezekiel is commanded to besiege it, to protest against it and take it.
The Christian church was for the first time in history attacked, besieged in this manner by Martin Luther, by the Protestant Reformation. Thus the fulfillment of the prophecy commences with Luther.

What do the symbols in verses 1-3 represent?

“take thee a tile… and portray upon it the city, Jerusalem”
a tile is used because it is not subject to decay. Thus it denotes the eternal qualities of God’s Church. See Isa. 33: 20.
“Lay siege against it”
This denotes that the “enemy” has taken over the church and God will invade it with an army of reformatory workers and compel it to surrender.
“Build a fort against it”
make sure none escape, that all hear the message of the hour.

“Cast a mount against it”
spare no effort, take precautions to secure the city

“Set also the camp against it”
a temporary lodging place for workers.
“Set battering rams against it”
chief leaders battering with clear cutting and convincing Bible truth.
“An iron pan”
a virtual wall of separation, a separation of principles between the
reformatory army and the city.

Testimonies Vol. 5, p. 209

“…The universal scorn thrown upon true piety and holiness leads those who do not connect closely with God to lose their reverence for His law. If they were following the light and obeying the truth from the heart, this holy law would seem even more precious to them when thus despised and set aside. As the disrespect for God’s law becomes more manifest, the line of demarcation between its observers and the world becomes more distinct. Love for the divine precepts increases with one class according as contempt for them increases with another class.” {5T 209.1}

Testimonies Vol. 8, p. 250

“Unless the church, which is now being leavened with her own backsliding, shall repent and be converted, she will eat of the fruit of her own doing, until she shall abhor herself. When she resists the evil and chooses the good, when she seeks God with all humility and reaches her high calling in Christ, standing on the platform of eternal truth and by faith laying hold upon the attainments prepared for her, she will be healed. She will appear in her God-given simplicity and purity, separate from earthly entanglements, showing that the truth has made her free indeed. Then her members will indeed be the chosen of God, His representatives. {8T 250.3}

Iron Pan and “a sign to the house of Israel”
The wall of iron, illustrated by the iron pan, is a perfect symbol of the separation which existed between Luther and the so-called Jerusalem, the Church. This was to be a sign, not to Judah, the antitypical two-tribe kingdom among the Gentiles but to Israel, to the members of the antitypical ten-tribe kingdom while scattered among the nations.

What do the two divisions of
the 430 Prophetic years depict

Ezekiel 4: 4-6
4. Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: [according] to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity.
5. For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.
6. And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.

  • Here is shown a 430 years time prophecy in two sections – 390 years & 40 years respectively for antitypical Israel (the Protestant churches) and Judah (the SDA church).
  • Ezekiel lying down, bearing their iniquity, indicates a special period of grace allotted to the church during which time God bears or tolerates and pardons their iniquity. Thus Ezekiel typifies Christ who bears His children’s iniquity.
  • During this period God expects the church to attain through His grace to righteousness by faith.
  • Ezekiel lying on his left side, the side that retains food, shows that the doctrines (symbolized by the grains in verse 9), will be retained during the 390 years. His lying on his right side, the side that allows food to be emptied, denote a fast or absence of new doctrines during the 40 years.

When Did the prophecy begin?

Ezekiel 4: 9, 12, 13
9. Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof, [according] to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof.
12. And thou shalt eat it [as] barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight.
13. And the LORD said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them.

  • Since Ezekiel’s prophecy represents the church among the Gentiles (the Christian era – Ezek. 4: 13) a similar experience must mark the beginning of this antitypical 430 years.
  • The only such period of darkness in the Christian era was experienced during the Dark Ages, when God called Martin Luther in the year 1500 to become an advocate of His law by having him read Rom. 1: 17 in the Latin Bible and proclaiming the doctrine of “justification by faith.”
  • Accordingly, it must be when the people of God are subjected to eating defiled (dung baked) spiritual food symbolized by wheat, barley, beans, lintels, millet and fitches, while among the Gentiles.
  • It is widely understood that during the period of the canonizing of the New Testament Scriptures to the call of Martin Luther in 1500, the truth was cast to the ground (Dan. 8: 12) and that it began to be lifted first by the Lutherans preaching the doctrine of faith (symbolized by wheat), the beginning of the reformation.

Ezekiel 4: 7, 8

7. Therefore thou shalt set thy face toward the siege of Jerusalem, and thine arm [shall be] uncovered, and thou shalt prophesy against it.
8. And, behold, I will lay bands upon thee, and thou shalt not turn thee from one side to another, till thou hast ended the days of thy siege.

Ezekiel 4: 10, 11, 16, 17

10. And thy meat which thou shalt eat [shall be] by weight, twenty shekels a day: from time to time shalt thou eat it.
11. Thou shalt drink also water by measure, the sixth part of an hin: from time to time shalt thou drink.
16. Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, behold, I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem: and they shall eat bread by weight, and with care; and they shall drink water by measure, and with astonishment:
17. That they may want bread and water, and be astonied one with another, and consume away for their iniquity.

Ezekiel 4: 12-15

12. And thou shalt eat it [as] barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight.
13. And the LORD said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them.
14. Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! behold, my soul hath not been polluted: for from my youth up even till now have I not eaten of that which dieth of itself, or is torn in pieces; neither came there abominable flesh into my mouth.
15. Then he said unto me, Lo, I have given thee cow’s dung for man’s dung, and thou shalt prepare thy bread therewith.

Testimonies Vol. 8, p. 250
Who can truthfully say: “Our gold is tried in the fire; our garments are unspotted by the world”? I saw our Instructor pointing to the garments of so-called righteousness. Stripping them off, He laid bare the defilement beneath. Then He said to me: “Can you not see how they have pretentiously covered up their defilement and rottenness of character? ‘How is the faithful city become an harlot!’ My Father’s house is made a house of merchandise, a place whence the divine presence and glory have departed! For this cause there is weakness, and strength is lacking.” {8T 250.2}

“Eat defiled bread” – Man’s interpretation of the Word being mingled with God’s holy truth, the “bread” has been defiled and it is this that the people of God have been eating.

The Significance of the 40 years Fast and its Consequent Results

  • All of these doctrines were to come within the 390 years. Adding 390 to 1500 we arrive at 1890. In 1890 the 1888 message was rejected, sending antitypical Judah on a spiritual fast.
  • Selected Messages Bk. 1, pp. 234, 235
    An unwillingness to yield up preconceived opinions, and to accept this truth, lay at the foundation of a large share of the opposition manifested at Minneapolis against the Lord’s message through Brethren [E.J.] Waggoner and [A.T.] Jones. By exciting that opposition Satan succeeded in shutting away from our people, in a great measure, the special power of the Holy Spirit that God longed to impart to them. The enemy prevented them from obtaining that efficiency which might have been theirs in carrying the truth to the world, as the apostles proclaimed it after the day of Pentecost. The light that is to lighten the whole earth with its glory was resisted, and by the action of our own brethren has been in a great degree kept away from the world. {1SM 234.6}
  • Testimonies to Ministers p. 76: That men should keep alive the spirit which ran riot at Minneapolis [SEE APPENDIX.] is an offense to God. All heaven is indignant at the spirit that for years has been revealed in our publishing institution at Battle Creek. [SEE APPENDIX.] . {TM 76.3}
  • Testimonies to Ministers pp. 79, 80
    The perils of the last days are upon us. Satan takes the control of every mind that is not decidedly under the control of the Spirit of God. Some have been cultivating hatred against the men whom God has commissioned to bear a special message to the world. They began this satanic work at Minneapolis. Afterward, when they saw and felt the demonstration of the Holy Spirit testifying that the message was of God, they hated it the more, because it was a testimony against them. They would not humble their hearts to repent, to give God the glory, and vindicate the right. They went on in their own spirit, filled with envy, jealousy, and evil surmisings, as did the Jews. They opened their hearts to the enemy of God and man. Yet these men have been holding positions of trust, and have been molding the work after their own similitude, as far as they possibly could. . . . {TM 79.3}
  • Testimonies to Ministers pp. 91, 92
    “The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones. [SEE APPENDIX.] This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel’s message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure.” {TM 91.2}

Testimonies to Ministers pp. 467, 468
“…The true religion, the only religion of the Bible, that teaches forgiveness only through the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour, that advocates righteousness by the faith of the Son of God, has been slighted, spoken against, ridiculed, and rejected. [SEE APPENDIX.] It has been denounced as leading to enthusiasm and fanaticism…” {TM 467.2}
The fast signifies the absence of progressive truth.

Testimonies Vol. 2, p. 606 – “I said further: As the word of God is walled in with these books and pamphlets, so has God walled you in with reproofs, counsel, warnings, and encouragements. Here you are crying before God, in the anguish of your souls, for more light. I am authorized from God to tell you that not another ray of light through the Testimonies will shine upon your pathway until you make a practical use of the light already given…” {2T 606.1}

Notice that there are only six grains, and God’s perfect number is seven. Therefore, there must be a seventh grain, but it will be pure, not defiled. This is why it is not included with the others that were baked on down. When will it arrive? It must arrive after the 40 years fast. Adding 40 to 1890, we arrive at the year 1930. Thus new light was to be given in 1930. It would come unsparingly, not ‘by weight’ nor ‘by measure’. It was during this time that the message of the Judgment of the Living was revealed and published to the SDA church (Judah) ending her fast. Therefore, this message (1Pet. 4: 17) is identified as the seventh, pure and undefiled grain. Any claimant of truth (heaven-sent message) between the years 1890 and 1930 was a false one. 

The Seventh Undefiled Grain (Doctrine)

Why the need to feast on this food today?

To attain to the righteousness of Christ by faith, now that antitypical Ezekiel is no longer lying down, i.e. bearing the iniquity of God’s people. Since the period of grace is over we need now to walk by faith or perish. See Heb. 10: 38, 39. Those who fail to eat of this food will remain in their Laodicean condition without the ‘gold tried in the fire’. Being left without the seal of God they will perish in the judgment of Ezekiel 9. They will bear their own iniquity.

Conclusion: We see that God can no longer wink at our ignorance since we today have so much light. We must therefore walk by faith and reach the standard of righteousness in Christ that God desires for His people. The Judgment of the Living message came to help us walk by faith and become members of God’s kingdom of Glory. The choice of feeding at the bountiful table of this message or at the tables ‘full of vomit and filthiness’ (Isa. 28: 8) is now ours to make.