Sermon #6 ` Zechariah Series
Title: Zechariah’s Third Vision
And Its Message
Text: Zechariah 2:1-7
Reading: Revelation 12:1-17
Subject: The Blessed Safety of God’s Church
Date: Sunday Morning — July 10, 2005
Tape # Zechariah #6
My heart is so taken up with the present state of affairs in the Church and kingdom of our God that I think it will be helpful for us to take another look at Zechariah’s third vision, the vision he had of “a man with a measuring line in his hand.”
(Zechariah 2:1-7) "I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand. (2) Then said I, Whither goest thou? And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof. (3) And, behold, the angel that talked with me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him, (4) And said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein: (5) For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her. (6) Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the LORD: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the LORD. (7) Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon."
God’s church and kingdom is ever the object of hellish opposition. God’s people are, ever have been and ever shall be, as long as the earth shall stand, the objects of Satan’s hellish assaults. The fiend of hell is furious, “having great wrath because he knoweth that he hath but a short time” (Rev. 12:12). The dragon ever stands before the woman to devour her. The seed of the serpent always opposes and persecutes the seed of the woman. That is the way it has been and ever shall be as long as time stands. And that is the way it is today.
Satan’s most subtle assaults come from within the walls of Zion. His messengers creep into the church, pretending to be ministers of righteousness and devoted servants of God. Their aim is to divide and conquer. But we must never forget that even Satan and those who serve him are under the absolute rule of our God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Though heresies must come, they shall only separate the wheat from the chaff. They shall only separate the precious from the vile. They will do no harm to God’s church. They will destroy none of God’s elect (1 Cor. 11:19).
(1 Corinthians 11:19) "For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you."
It seems that men rise up almost daily, casting the slime of the serpent against those things we hold most dear. We are told that our Lord’s substitutionary sufferings were not real, that he did not really bear our sins in his own body on the tree. We are told that faith in Christ is not really saving faith. We are told that God’s saints are not really saints after all, that we are not truly made partakers of Christ, that Christ does not really dwell within us, and that our experience of grace is nothing but a delusion. I am here today to tell you, as plainly as I can, that in spite of all hell’s assaults, all is still well in Zion, that it is still “well with the righteous!”
· The purpose of God is neither thwarted nor hindered.
· God’s elect shall be saved, in spite of Satan’s snares.
· Sinner’s redeemed by Christ’s precious blood, called by his grace, and sealed shall not be hurt, but only helped by all that hell throws our way.
Both the prophet Ezekiel and the apostle John had visions similar to this (Ezek. 40-43; Rev. 11:1-2). Before we look at the Zechariah’s third vision, let’s look at those given to Ezekiel and John. Turn with me to Ezekiel chapter 40. Ezekiel’s description of his vision begins here and continues to the end of chapter 48. Remember, this vision God gave to Ezekiel was in the midst of the Babylonian Captivity. Zechariah’s vision was at the end of it, about 56 years later. In chapter 43, the Lord began to give him the meaning of his vision. The Lord God showed his prophet a man who measured Jerusalem and the temple, measuring every intricate detail of it.
(Ezekiel 40:1-3) "In the five and twentieth year of our captivity, in the beginning of the year, in the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after that the city was smitten, in the selfsame day the hand of the LORD was upon me, and brought me thither. (2) In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, by which was as the frame of a city on the south. (3) And he brought me thither, and, behold, there was a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed; and he stood in the gate."
Here is the meaning of what Ezekiel saw…
(Ezekiel 43:1-9) "Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: (2) And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory. (3) And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. (4) And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. (5) So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house. (6) And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me. (7) And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places. (8) In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger. (9) Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever."
Then, in the very last verse of Ezekiel 48, we are told that the name of the city he had seen measured is Jehovah-shammah, “The Lord is There” (v. 35).
We read of another vision, very much like the vision the Lord gave to Ezekiel and to Zechariah, in Revelation 11. This vision is about the very same thing, the measuring of God’s temple. But this vision was given to John just as this present Gospel Age began.
(Revelation 11:1-2) "And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. (2) But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months."
All three of these visions are, of course, symbolical, spiritual pictures. To seek, as many do, a literal interpretation of them is to miss their message altogether. In John’s vision, it was not another, but John himself who was commanded to measure the temple of God (v. 1). Specifically, he was commanded to measure the sanctuary, containing the holy place and the holy of holies, “the altar, and them that worship therein.”
As in Ezekiel’s and Zechariah’s visions, this temple represents the church and people of God, all those in whom Christ dwells by his Spirit. All true believers, worshipping God in spirit and truth are measured, protected, and sealed. The Lord did not command John to measure the size of the temple, as though he needed information, but simply to measure, or mark out for protection, the people of God. That is what this measuring means. Though God will inflict his judgments of wrath upon the wicked, persecuting world, his church is safe. Though God's saints suffer with the world, they shall not perish with the world. God’s elect are protected against eternal doom. That is the meaning of all three of these visions.
In all three of these visions we are repeatedly assured of three facts:
1. Our blessed Redeemer, our God and Savior, is in total control of the universe.
2. The church and kingdom of God is safe.
3. And the people of God will be triumphant in the end.
There is a reason for these often repeated assurances. It often appears that we are losing ground, and that our defeat is inevitable.
Proposition: These visions have been given to assure us of the safety and ultimate triumph of Christ's church, though at times it appears that her defeat is certain. And they are given to assure us both of God’s abiding presence with us and the certain revelation of his glory in us.
How do we know that this is the meaning of these visions? How can we be sure that is their significance?
1. First, the temple of God in the Old Testament was a type of the church, which is frequently called the temple of God in the New Testament (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 2 Cor. 6:16-17; Eph. 3:21).
2. Second, the temple of God is here defined as the holy place and holy of holies, the inner sanctuary, where only the priests of God were allowed, “the altar, and them that worship therein.” We who believe are God's “royal priesthood,” worshippers in the holy place, offering up sacrifices of prayer and praise to him through Christ Jesus (1 Peter 2:5, 9).
3. Third, the measuring of the temple in all three visions was for the same purpose. — The protection of God's sanctuary, to separate the precious from the vile (Ezek. 40:3-5; 22:25-26).
Look at Revelation 11:2 again.
(Revelation 11:2) "But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months."
The outer court of the temple was not to be measured (v. 2). God's special care and protection does not extend to those who are believers in name only. This “court which is without the temple” represents all false religion and all false professors of religion. This outer court is to be trampled under the feet of the heathen precisely because God is determined to destroy all false religion.
The world invades the false church and possesses it. Worldly religionists welcome the ideas and principles of the world. They feel perfectly at home in the world. They are of the world; and the world loves its own. Even in the New Testament era, the true people of God were plagued with men and women in their midst who were governed and motivated by the principles and religion of the world. This condition of worldliness in the church will continue throughout the gospel age, represented by the time of 42 months.
Divisions: Those things seen by Ezekiel and John are precisely the things Zechariah saw in his third vision. — As we look at this vision together, I want to call your attention to three things revealed to us in it, by God the Holy Spirit.
1. The Man Zechariah Saw (vv. 1-2)
2. The Promise He Heard (vv. 3-5)
3. The Message Proclaimed (vv. 6-7)
May God the Holy Spirit, by whose grace we have this Word of grace, teach us its message and inscribe its lessons upon our hearts.
First, in verses 1-2, I want us to look at the Man Zechariah saw “with a measuring line in his hand.” He simply saw a man, a master architect and engineer, going forth with a measuring line to measure the city of Jerusalem. Without any stretch of imagination we can all picture the man with his line.
You can be sure of this. — The city he was sent to measure has measurements. It has a settled length and breadth. The measurements can be taken. And we have divine authority for asserting that they have been taken. The measure of God’s Jerusalem, the measure of his church and kingdom was fixed from eternity by God’s electing love and sovereign predestination. With God’s own line of grace and purpose of wisdom his holy city is built. God’s Jerusalem is not to be built haphazardly, but purposefully.
Spurgeon said, “The line marks out and measures how long the wall shall be, and where the corner shall be placed; and how far the other wall shall be carried, and where it shall come to an end. The towers are counted, the bulwarks are considered. Every single item and particular of the sacred architecture of the Church of God is written down in the decree of the Most High.”
Every wise man builds by a plan and with a purpose. So, too, the most High God builds his church according to his purpose. He is not a fool who begins to erect a building with no sort of idea how it will look when it is finished, but the all-wise God. God does everything according to his own purpose. When he laid the Foundation Stone in old eternity, he formed the building, and now builds it according to the pattern (Eph. 1:11-12).
(Ephesians 1:11-12) "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (12) That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ."
Read the Book of God (Ex. 25:9; Num. 8:4; 1 Chron. 28:11-12, 18; Heb. 8:1-5), and you will see that everything regarding the building of the typical tabernacle and temple of the Old Testament was done according to the pattern in heaven, the pattern which was drawn by the pen of divine predestination before the world began.
(Exodus 25:9) "According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it."
(Hebrews 8:1-5) "Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; (2) A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. (3) For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. (4) For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: (5) Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount."
He beholds in their ordained position each of the chosen stones taken out of the quarry of nature, and polished by his grace; he sees the Temple of Grace, from corner to cornice, from base to roof; from foundation to pinnacle, complete and perfect. He has in his mind a clear knowledge of every stone which shall be laid in its prepared place, how vast the building will be, and when the top-stone shall be brought forth with shoutings of “Grace! Grace! unto it.” Even the hairs on the heads of every priest in the “royal priesthood” and “holy nation” of grace were numbered by our God before the worlds were made!
In a word, our God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy; he will have compassion on whom he will have compassion; and at last it shall be seen that in every chosen vessel of mercy, Jehovah did exactly as he willed from eternity with his own. Yes, I see “a man with a measuring line in his hand.” That Man is God my Savior; and I rejoice to see him. I rejoice to know that — “The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his!”
In His Hand
How thankful I am to see the measuring line in my Savior’s hand and not in the hands of any other!
I have met a good many men who think they have the measuring line of God’s church in their hand. Thank God, they do not! Let me tell you about them.
I know many to whom I give the name “Dr. Despair.” Dr. Despair is sad, crotchety man. He sees darkness everywhere. He wrings his hands with delicious misery, and says, “the people of God are few, a mere handful, just a small remnant.” He likes to sing…
“Dear Shepherd, of thy chosen few,
Thy former mercies here renew.”
He loves to cite those texts of Scripture that reinforce his gloom. — “Fear not, little flock.” — “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Dr. Despair appears to be very humble, but he is really very proud, because he is really convinced that the kingdom of God is limited to, perhaps, just one person – Himself! He is almost convinced that all wisdom, grace, and truth will die with him. Everyday he lives, he makes the measuring line shorter. I am thankful that God has not sent Dr. Despair to measure Zion. Aren’t you?
Another I often meet with, who carries a measuring line in his hand, I will call “Dr. Experience.” He does not believe any are saved, who have not experienced precisely the same emotions, doubts, fears, tremblings, horrors, terrors, ecstasies, delights or raptures, he has felt and experienced.
Illustration: Mud-in-the-Eye Baptists (John 9:1-7) and Non-Mud-in-the-Eye Baptists (Luke 18:42-43)
Dr. Experience will ask you, “Have you ever experienced the dreadful work of the law in your soul? Were you ever led to curse God, and to feel the awful corruptions of your nature, tempting you to blaspheme the Holy Ghost?” If you appear to be ignorant of what he is talking about, he will shake his head and tell you that you only have a mere natural, notional faith.
He might ask, “Have you been carried up to the third heaven, like Paul? Can you say, ‘Whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell; God knoweth?’” If you say, “No, I do not know anything about that,” he will frown and look upon you as one who is yet dead in trespasses and sins.
Dr. Experience loves to lay traps for people. He might ask, “Do you yet find pleasure when you are with your family and friends? When you walk in the fields, do you still enjoy the singing of birds and the beauties of nature?” And if you answer “Yes, thank God, I can,” He looks as if you have made him sick, and determines that you are not spiritually-minded. He has attained such a superfine degree of spirituality, that is completely purified of all the common sense .
I thank God that the measuring line is not in the hands of Dr. Experience, and bless him for his Word of grace. — “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.”
Dr. Experience has a proud cousin, I will call “Dr. No-Experience.” Because he has never been broken, he presumes that the broken-hearted are mere emotionalists. Because he has never known the heavy load of guilt and the torments of a screaming, condemning conscience, he presumes that all who have must be slightly deranged.
Then, there is another sour-puss doctor who vainly presumes that he alone has the measuring line in his hand. I will call him “Dr. Diotrephes.” He is the man John spoke of in 2nd John. Dr. Diotrephes loves to have preeminence and praise. He seeks to have men follow him. So he is ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. His doctrine changes constantly, because he is constantly receiving “new light” by which he refines it. Yet, he asserts with dogmatism that any who do not walk by his new light are outside the kingdom.
· You must define God’s purpose the way he defines it, or you are lost.
· You must use the phrase, “justification conditioned on the righteousness of Christ alone,” at least 40 times in a forty-five minute message, or you are a false profit.
· You must explain that when the Bible speaks about “your faith,” it is not your faith but God’s gift, or you are teaching works salvation.
According to the measuring line of Dr. Diotrephes, all are lost who do not bow to him and call him, “Master, Rabbi, and Father.” The list could go on and on. Several years ago, I was in the home of one of those proud men who thinks God has put the measuring line in his hand. Sadly, his wife had been brainwashed by him and thought she held one end of it. She said to me, “I can look at a person and tell whether or not he’s saved.” I said, “That is remarkable. Can you tell me how saved people look?” She and her husband quickly stretched out their measuring line and determined that I did not measure up. And they still imagine that their opinion of me is significant to me!
I love what Bro. Paul Mahan stated in a letter I received from him this week. He wrote, “God's people know and believe what God has done in them as well as for them, though they cannot fully comprehend either.” The fact is, there are many who cannot precisely articulate the blessed doctrines of the gospel of God’s free-grace in Christ who trust him as their Savior and Lord. They may not be able to say any more than old “Happy Jack,” — “I am a poor sinner and nothing at all, but Jesus Christ is my all in all,” but with that possess the One Thing Needful, for they possess the Lord Jesus Christ.
· Experience is no evidence of grace.
· And the lack of experience is no evidence of grace.
· Precise doctrine is no evidence of grace.
· Faith in Christ, and that alone, is the evidence of grace in the soul (John 3:36; Heb. 11:1; 1 John 5:9-13).
(John 3:36) "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."
(Hebrews 11:1) "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
(1 John 5:9-13) "If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. (10) He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. (11) And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. (12) He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. (13) These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."
By faith in Christ I read my name in the Book of Life. Faith did not write it there. God wrote it there before the world began. But faith in Christ verifies that my name is there. Faith is the verification of things not seen.
Illustration: The Retired Soldier
Yes, we have great reason to give thanks to our God that the “Man with a measuring line in his hand” is the Man Christ Jesus and no other! “The Lord knoweth them that are his.” He “who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven as with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance” (Isa. 40:12), he and he alone numbers his people and measures the city of his redeemed. His church is his house and his city (Heb. 3:3-4).
· He chose it!
· He bought it!
· He builds it!
· He keeps it!
· He will complete it!
· He gets the glory for it!
(Hebrews 3:3-4) "For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. (4) For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God."
Now, let’s look at verses 3, 4 and 5 and open our ears to the voice of our Savior, that covenant Angel, who, interrupting the man, began to tell to Zechariah good things concerning times to come. This is the promise Zechariah heard.
(Zechariah 2:3-5) "And, behold, the angel that talked with me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him, (4) And said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein: (5) For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her."
Jerusalem shall he inhabited “as towns without walls.” I take that to mean that we are to expect continual increase in Christ’s church and kingdom. We may, or may not see it in our own place, but the increase of God’s church is constant. Our Lord began his church with just twelve apostles. The number of his disciples was soon 120. Then, it was increased by three thousand more on the day of Pentecost. We read in Acts 2, “The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” And he still does. In the first 30 years of church history, after the Lord’s ascension, the gospel was preached throughout all the regions of Judea. God’s elect were found in Athens and Corinth, in Derbe and Lystra, and gathered out of all nations. Soon the kingdom of God spread by the preaching of the gospel to Ethiopia, Italy, and Spain. Shortly, the Word of grace was proclaimed in Asia and Europe, conquering the hearts of entrenched rebels. In time, God sent his messengers to Great Britain, and from Britain to Australia and North America, and from North America to South America. Everywhere building Jerusalem “as towns without walls!” Today, our God is still building Jerusalem “as towns without walls” in all these places, in Mexico, in Brazil, in New Guinea, in the former Soviet States, in Korea, in China, in India, among the heathen Arabic nations, and yes, even in that land of darkness, Israel. Everywhere the kingdom grows. So it shall be until the fulness of the Gentiles is brought in and all Israel has been saved.
Notice that this city, Jerusalem, the church and kingdom of God, is described “towns without walls.”
· Perhaps that speaks of the vastness of its populace. It is a city so large that no walls can be put around it.
· Perhaps that refers to “the glorious liberty of the sons of God” who inhabit this city. They are all free-born children. They go in and out and find pasture.
· Perhaps the absence of walls in this blessed habitation of grace, this “habitation of God through the Spirit,” refers to the unity and oneness of God’s people. In Christ all social, economic, political, national, and racial barriers that divide men are non-existent. In the church and kingdom of our God, “there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all and in all” (Col. 3:11).
The Church and kingdom of God, according to this promise is, and always shall be, well-supplied. — “Jerusalem shalt be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein.” The cattle may, as I suggested last week, refer to the Lord’s sheep. But, upon further reflection, I think they may be representative of God’s boundless provision for his people. Cattle are provisions for people.
How are so many people to be fed? Where can they find the food they need? He gathers the multitudes into his kingdom also provides their souls with food. In this kingdom, all things are provided by the King. — “As thy day, so shall thy strength be.” Whatever provision the Church shall want, God will give it. Jehovah-jireh is his name!
· All the boundless blessings of grace.
· All the riches of his goodness.
· All the fulness of his house.
· And pastors and teachers to spread the table in his house.
God always raises up in the midst his church the proper men to look after it and gives it pastors according to his own heart who feed his people with knowledge and understanding.
How can such a great kingdom be protected from their countless enemies? Who will defend us from the assaults of hell? Who will keep us in time of temptation? Who can keep us safe and secure in these perilous days and times of great trouble, while heresies abound, with enemies both within and without? Read on — Our God has promised, “I, saith the Lord, will be a wall of fire round about,” both to keep out her enemies and to protect her from the incoming of false friends.
Throughout history men have tried to protect the church by writing creeds, rewriting creeds, enacting laws, and setting up rules of discipline. But none of these things have ever secured any. Our best and only defense is God our Savior! Our God makes a ring of fire round his Church, and the enemy is kept at a distance. China is protected by a wall of stone. In ancient times, England was shielded by her wooden walls. But the Church of God is constantly protected his presence. The Angel of the Lord “encampeth round about” Jerusalem as a wall of fire to protect her.
Look at the promise again. The church and kingdom of God, that includes this assembly, is provided for and protected by Christ, and she does not lack for glory. Her glory does not lie in her numbers, nor in the provision made for them, but in the presence of God. — “I will be the glory in the midst of her.” He dwells in our midst the Shekinah in the temple. Let us never cease to pray for this. Let us ever distinctly and consciously recognize that the Christ’s presence is our glory.
“Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove,
With all Thy quickening powers,
Come, shed abroad our Savior’s love,
And that shall quicken ours!”
Our prayer ought to be, “Thou that dwellest between the cherubim, shine forth! Stir up thy strength and come and save us.”
The glory of a Church does not lie in the architecture of her meeting house, nor in the eloquence of her preacher, nor in the greatness of her number, nor the abundance of her wealth, nor the profound soundness of her creed. Our Glory is our God. “Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered.” — “O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness: the earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.”
In verses 6 and 7 Zechariah tells us the message he heard the Lord Jesus, the Angel of the Lord who spoke with him, “the Man with a measuring line in his hand,” proclaim.
(Zechariah 2:6-7) "Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the LORD: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the LORD. (7) Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon."
This is the call of God we are to proclaim. Let it be reverberated through all the earth. God’s elect are scattered over all the earth. Wherever they are God knows them, watches over them, and protects them, though they know him not; and at the appointed time of love he will send a preacher to them with his Word and heal them. It is our business to carry this blessed gospel of God’s free, saving grace in Christ to the four corners of the earth, saying to the lost captives of Babylon, “Deliver thyself, O Zion!”
“But, Bro. Don,” you might ask, “How are we to deliver ourselves?” Let me tell you as plainly as I can. Let me answer your question directly from the Word of God. Are you listening? — “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved!”
The preaching of the gospel is God’s message to you who hear it to come forth. “Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation.” If you now trust him, your many sins shall be forgiven you; you are a child of God and an heir of heaven; you have eternal life. Like the prodigal, you have wasted all your substance. Hunger has seized you. You have tried in vain to fill your belly with husks of self-righteous works; but the husks of swine gave you nothing. The Spirit of God, by the gospel, says to you, “Arise, and go to your Father.” Obey his voice. Though you are a great way off, yet your Father sees you. Indeed, he runs to meet you, just as you are. I can almost see him, as he falls upon your neck and kisses you! He cries to his servants, “Bring forth the best robe and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.” I can almost see him as he rejoices over you with singing and rests in his love!
(Luke 15:24) "For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry."
Illustration: — Barnard at Old Faithful
 John Gill, in commenting on Ezekiel’s vision, wrote, “That no material building can be designed is clear from this one observation; that not only the whole land of Israel would not be capable of having such a city as is here described built upon it, but even all Europe would not be sufficient; nor the whole world, according to the account of the dimensions.”