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Learning by Examining Ourselves

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For Our Admonition Part 21

“Learning by Examining Ourselves”

Key Verses:  Jdg 8:18 – 8:28

This series of studies in the life of Gideon is reminding us that entering into the Kingdom of God is a process of many wars and fiery experiences which are teaching us the right ways of God.  We pick up the story with Gideon holding the captured Midianite kings that were found in a spiritual location where SELF was being exalted and promoted (Nobah and Jogbehah) and where our man of sin was dwelling securely (Jdg 8:11).  A discussion between Gideon and the kings takes place ending with their death.

Jdg 8:18  Then said he unto Zebah and Zalmunna, What manner of men were they whom ye slew at Tabor? And they answered, As thou art, so were they; each one resembled the children of a king. 

Jdg 8:19  And he said, They were my brethren, even the sons of my mother: as the LORD liveth, if ye had saved them alive, I would not slay you. 

Jdg 8:20  And he said unto Jether his firstborn, Up, and slay them. But the youth drew not his sword: for he feared, because he was yet a youth. 

Jdg 8:21  Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Rise thou, and fall upon us: for as the man is, so is his strength. And Gideon arose, and slew Zebah and Zalmunna, and took away the ornaments that were on their camels’ necks. 

 This outward event happened for our sake (1Pe 1:12) to show us the benefits of examining ourselves.  The Lord has purposefully ordained our erring and rebellion, represented by these two kings to bring the grace and chastening that is saving us in our day of the Lord (Pro 16:4, Rom 8:20).  We fall down our “seven” times as we are learning righteousness and are shown our error and are chastened of the Lord (Heb 12:8).

Pro 24:16  For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

Our old man is manifest in the mindset of these two kings and is an enemy of God.  In our day of the Lord, we are meeting the enemy and he is us (Mat 10:36)!  We will confront our these kings in our day of judgment and Lord willing will learn of the damage they are causing and adapt our walk and ways or spiritual warfare.  After a victory or conquest, it is natural to relax and let one’s guard down but that is exactly the opportunity the adversary is looking for to hit a soft unprepared target.  We must never forget that our carnal mind is always at enmity with the ways of the Lord.

Rom 8:6  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Rom 8:7  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

We are admonished constantly in Scripture to be vigilant in keeping watch and examining ourselves to keep us spiritually healthy.

2Co 13:5  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

We will see in the end, Gideon falling down and not being wise just after the Midianites are finished.  All of those “take heed” admonishments are given to warn us about issues within ourselves and not just about those outside ourselves.  If we see these things within, we just might have a Midianite king to be hiding out in our heavens.

Mat 16:6  Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

Mar 4:24  And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.

Luk 11:35  Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.

1Ti 4:16  Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

Learning from our enemies is examining ourselves and our motives and past actions.  That is the lesson from Gideon’s questioning of the Midianite kings.  Gideon asks the kings what kind of men (where they were spiritually) were the men these kings slew when they killed the men of Israel at a placed called Tabor.  We are not given the details of the event being referenced but we can learn more by digging in the Scriptures (Pro 25:2).

Tabor [H8396] comes from a root “tebor” H8406 that means broken or fragile.  Tabor spiritually speaking is where we are made to see our true broken nature and how we have done horrible things in the Name of the Lord.  Christ comes to the brokenhearted (Luk 4:18) and breaks open the fountains of life deep inside of our flesh (Gen 7:11).  When we are drained of self then we can be lifted up and given the land with power.

Mat 5:5  Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

These carnal kings within us slay Christ and His Christ as we mix carnal strife and contention with the Truth.  We come to see that we are the Pharisee that has slain Christ and killed His prophets.

1Th 2:14  For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:

1Th 2:15  Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:

Tabor is symbolically between the temple and the altar.  It is where babes, the immature dwell, still engaging in two trains of thought – the carnal mind and the ways of the Spirit. It is here in Tabor that we kill Christ and His prophets with our hatred for the commands and ways of the Lord.

Mat 23:34  Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:

Mat 23:35  That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

An OT witness to us doing spiritual violence and turning back to carnal wisdom are these.

Eze 8:16  And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD’S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.

Eze 8:17  Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.

Facing eastward away from the direction the sun (temple) is a symbol of immaturity and our being yet carnal.  Yet that is where we all are at when we first come into the Truth while we await the day of the Lord that is going to suddenly come and burn of the Midianites with fire.  As babes in Christ, we are broken and very fragile and are easily seduced by the carnal darkness that masquerades as light and its ministers as angels of light.

2Co 11:3  But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

2Co 11:4  For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him

Looking behind ourselves in our day of judgment, we are being humbled in seeing how we have opposed the Lord and His work within ourselves and the work of others.  This good work is bringing us to repentance and turning our hearts back to God.  Thus, we are given a zeal like our Lord to cleanse the Temple (Joh 2:19, 1Co 3:16) and put to death these Midianite kings.  These OT shadows speak of this NT spiritual reality (Joh 6:63).

Exo 21:12  He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.

Hos 5:1  Hear ye this, O priests; and hearken, ye house of Israel; and give ye ear, O house of the king; for judgment is toward you, because ye have been a snare on Mizpah, and a net spread upon Tabor.

There is something for each of us to focus on as there is always work to be done in the Kingdom of God while we walk in clay.  When we see false doctrines and carnal unbelief in our heavens we are to spare not and show no mercy to these inward enemies but to put them to death.  This extends to our thought life as well as our deeds.  We are not to suffer the woman Jezebel (another shadow of carnality) who is causing us to commit fornication against the Lord and His Christ.

Deu 20:16  But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth:

Deu 20:18  That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the LORD your God.

1Co 11:29  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

1Co 11:30  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

We are given further detail that our firstborn mindset, representing the flesh and our yet carnal nature is unable to rise up and slay these kings.

Jdg 8:20  And he said unto Jether his firstborn, Up, and slay them. But the youth drew not his sword: for he feared, because he was yet a youth.

Gideon’s firstborn son Jether, comes from a word by the same name [H3499] that means remnant or residue, speaking of the part of us that is cut off and unable to enter into the Kingdom of God (Gal 4:30).  Being a youth (also Hebrew word for child), he was spiritually immature and not yet given to overcome the Midianites.  Such is the definition of a babe in Christ.

1Co 3:1  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

1Co 3:2  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 

Being the firstborn of Gideon is also a symbol for our flesh and the old man who is the rejected anointed and was not designed to inherit the Kingdom of God.

1Co 15:46  Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

1Co 15:47  The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

Gideon and all of us are to work out our own salvation. We have to bear our own burden (Gal 6:5) and provide for ourselves (1Ti 5:8) if we are to eat the spiritual nourishment and grow.  While we have a body of Christ to strengthen and encourage and teach us, we still have to tend and keep the garden of Eden in the Kingdom of God within us (Gen 2:15).

Jdg 8:21  Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Rise thou, and fall upon us: for as the man is, so is his strength. And Gideon arose, and slew Zebah and Zalmunna, and took away the ornaments that were on their camels’ necks. 

Our carnal mind does not want to die but there comes a time when the trumpet judgments are blowing, the fiery trials are tormenting us when we do seek the death of our old man and the Midianite spirits.

Rev 9:6  And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

The old man will die along with these carnal kings but only when the Lord has ordained us to overcome.  These kings are the root of a mixed multitude, emotionally driven mindset that is hindering and oppressing Israel in the promised land.  We learn later in verse 8:26 that the kings wore purple raiment symbolizing the mixture of flesh (red, “adam”) with the things of the Spirit (blue).  Yet there is only one master and we either hate Christ or the Midianite kings.  Like Gideon, we are all made willing to lay down the flesh and kill the false prophets we have followed only by looking behind ourselves and seeing the miracles in our own life.  Elijah brought this outward miracle to Israel and thus the liars and false prophets were then taken and killed.

1Ki 18:39  And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.

1Ki 18:40  And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.

Removing the round ornaments on the camel necks symbolizes removing the yoke and bondage to our beastly (camel like) natural state.  Cutting off these ornaments is ridding ourselves of carnal thoughts that have us going up and down reasoning and justifying what seems right to our beastly nature.  This is the epitome of the law for the lawless and self-righteousness that those in Christ are overcoming by judgment.

Rom 2:14  For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

Rom 2:15  Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;

The word for ornament is H7720 “saharon” comes from a root meaning round and is also translated as round tire in its one other use in Scripture.  These round tires or round ornaments symbolize (Hos 12:10) the lies and distractions of the great harlot, all 200 million of them (Rev 9:16) that keep us focused on fleshly things and not the commandments of the Lord.  There is spiritual freedom in Christ and the Law of faith, yet the Midianite spirits will keep us bound in unbelief.

Gal 5:1  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage

The Lord is always testing and trying our faith.  Immediately after the slaying of the kings, Gideon becomes the object of angel worship.

Jdg 8:22  Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son also: for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian. 

Jdg 8:23  And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the LORD shall rule over you. 

Flesh loves to give credit and glory to flesh. We see several examples of this in the new testament involving Paul (Act 14:12), Peter with Cornelius (Act 10:25) and most memorably with the angel in the Book of Revelation who showed John Truth.  The carnal mind wants to bow down to the Lord’s angels (messengers) that bring us into the Truth and who are more mature than us and have been given much overcoming and dominion over their flesh.   The rest of Israel who had witnessed Gideon’s conquest in slaying the two kings were quick to hand dominion and rulership over to a mere man.  God’s people are to not to do this nor receive such adulation that is solely the purview of the Lord.

Rev 22:8  And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.

Rev 22:9  Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

Our answer Lord willing will be the same as the messenger who helped John in his overcoming.  Gideon gives the mature answer in turning them back to the Lord and His rulership over all things in heaven and on the earth.

Isa 42:8  I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images

The Lord and His Christ hate the spirit of the Nicolaitans that has one lording over another having any dominion over their faith (Rev 2:14-15).  I personally came into this fellowship and it was demanded that I bow down to the man who had shown me such truths.  If any of us ever find us in that situation, know it is not the way of the Lord and such brother or sister is in grievous error and needs strong rebuke and correction.

2Co 1:24  Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.

But Gideon had not arrived yet and would soon fall down again in pursuing idolatry.

Jdg 8:24  And Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you, that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.) 

Jdg 8:25  And they answered, We will willingly give them. And they spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings of his prey. 

Jdg 8:26  And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold; beside ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that was on the kings of Midian, and beside the chains that were about their camels’ necks. 

Jdg 8:27  And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house. 

Jdg 8:28  Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon. 

The story of Gideon is our story (1Co 3:21).  It is a story of abiding in the fire as it begins to work its work within the Kingdom of God within us.  Gideon is a story about failures and unbelief as much as it is of conquests and victories.  The “mighty man of valor” which Gideon was called upon his initial visitation was no such thing at that time.  Yet this is the way the Lord operates declaring the end from the very beginning (Isa 46:10) and speaking of things that are not as though they already are (Rom 4:17).  Knowledge and successful conquests will puff us up and the Lord will cause us to err from His ways (Isa 63:17) to bring more grace.

Deu 5:8  Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:

Deu 17:17  Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.

Gideon asks and receives the spoils of war from the men of Israel collecting all these valuables in order to make an ephod.  An ephod was a specially made garment or robe for the priests of Israel as is described in detail in Exodus 28.

Exo 28:4  And these are the garments which they shall make: a breastplate, an ephod, a robe, a skillfully woven tunic, a turban, and a sash. So they shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother and his sons, that he may minister to Me as priest.

Of course, the true ephod is the armor of God (faith) and the garments of salvation (fiery trials) that are given to us by Christ and intricately woven as we endure in the age-abiding fire of judgment (Isa 33:14-15, Rev 3:18).

Golden earrings in the positive symbolize our God-given gift of ears to hear the Word of God (Eze 16:12) which is how we are able to love (obey) God.  In the negative they represent us taking God’s gifts and using them for our own purposes and in establishing our own outward righteousness.  Which is exactly what we do in Spiritual Babylon as we merchandise in the things of God and go after the way of Balaam, Korah and Cain using our outward works to justify ourselves.  There is another famous story of Israel misusing golden earrings in making themselves idols in their impatience in waiting on the Lord and in this case Moses to return from the mount.

Exo 32:3  And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron.

Exo 32:4  And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

Gideon’s ephod was a phony covering of self-righteousness that is the carnal mind’s way of exalting itself and running ahead of the Lord in His process of maturing us.  This man-made ephod is very alluring because it looks so beautiful and righteous.

Rev 18:16  And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!

Rev 18:17  For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,

Gideon’s ephod is a molten image of our own beast made with the best our flesh has to offer.  The weight (judgment) of the gold was one thousand and seven hundred shekels representing the perfection of flesh, the process of judgment (10 x 10 x 10) and the completion of that judgment (seven).  Gideon’s nor anyone’s flesh can inherit the Kingdom of God (1Co 15:50) and instead must be destroyed for us to enter.  Thus, more experiences and more judges bringing judgment on the land are needed.

The story of Gideon has taught us the virtue of patience and believing the promises of the Lord despite what we see in the physical and what our own failures will have us believe.  Our growing into the mature man includes us living through the experiences of Gideon.  We will go from fearful to bold and each step the Lord uses for good in teaching us anew and giving Him plenty of opportunities to apply the grace that is, was and will be saving us.

Heb 12:5  And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

Heb 12:6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

The story of Gideon is not done.  Judges continues with Gideon’s concubine son Abimelech, being put into judgeship and there is a quick backsliding to Baal.  Such is our story and our walk as it seems 3 steps forward and 2 backwards at times, yet we are getting there little by little.

Php 3:12  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

Php 3:13  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

Php 3:14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Questions and comments are always welcome.  You can also email me directly at peterjwilson56@gmail.com

1 thought on “Learning by Examining Ourselves”

  1. Question from W_____________:

    In the above mentioned sermon you quote Ez 8 vs 16 “ and he brought me to the inner court of the Lord’s house , and behold, between the porch and the altar , were about five and twenty men with there backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun TOWARD the east ;

    In your commentary directly following this verse you state – Facing eastward AWAY from the sun ( temple ) is a symbol of immaturity and our being yet carnal. I would like you to expand a little on this statement as I whichever way I approach this verse or meditate about it or pray for wisdom , I cannot see the connection that you make ! It seems quite clear to me that the prophet saw people turning their back on God and worshipping the sun and this happening in the temple of the Lord. We , believers , our bodies being the temple of the Lord if you take this spiritually or symbolically, would mean we are being admonished to guard our bodies to stay holy and not allow idol worship to take root in our hearts. I suspect you are trying to say something about the place – between the porch and the altar , but even then I am not in understanding.

    Answer from Mike Vinson:

    Dear W______

    Concerning this verse:

    Eze 8:16 And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD’S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.

    You say:

    “In your commentary directly following this verse you state – Facing eastward AWAY from the sun ( temple ) is a symbol of immaturity and our being yet carnal. I would like you to expand a little on this statement as I whichever way I approach this verse or meditate about it or pray for wisdom , I cannot see the connection that you make ! It seems quite clear to me that the prophet saw people turning their back on God and worshipping the sun and this happening in the temple of the Lord. We , believers , our bodies being the temple of the Lord if you take this spiritually or symbolically, would mean we are being admonished to guard our bodies to stay holy and not allow idol worship to take root in our hearts. I suspect you are trying to say something about the place – between the porch and the altar , but even then I am not in understanding.” End Quote

    I can see that it should have been made clearer that by “the sun” we are referring to Christ who is called “the Sun of Righteousness” in:

    Mal 4:2

    But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

    So while these “five and twenty men, [turned] their backs toward the temple of the LORD” they were turning their backs on “the Sun of Righteousness”, and observing the customs of the nations around them rather than being obedient to “the Sun of righteousness”, and His commandments.

    It is true that we are the temple of God:

    1Co 3:16

    Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
    1Co 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

    2Co 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

    But according to Christ, it is also true that we are Christ Himself:

    Mat 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    He makes this very same point even more emphatically when he confronts Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus:

    Act 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
    Act 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
    Act 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

    The only reason we are called ‘the temple of God’ is that “God hath said, I will dwell in them”. So when we see anyone facing the east and watching the sun rise on Easter Sunday, we are witnessing the exact same thing Ezekiel witnessed, and the very same thing Paul warned us against:

    Gal 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements [Greek, stoicheion] of the world:

    Gal 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements [Greek, stoicheion], whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
    Gal 4:10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
    Gal 4:11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

    The very hardest part of coming out of Babylon for any of us is to separate ourselves from all of her pagan practices, which she claims she has ‘Christianized’. That was exactly what Ezekiel was witnessing when the Lord shows us through Ezekiel how we turn our backs on Christ to remain faithful to the “traditions of men”, and we do so at the very temple of God. But when we do so we are “BETWEEN the porch and the altar” with our “babylonian” and yet carnal idols.

    Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments [Greek, stoicheion] of the world, and not after Christ.

    Here we have clear statements from the Lord, that the observance of “days, months, times and years… the traditions of men… [are] “weak and beggarly elements… of the world”. In the gospels we have Christ breaking the sabbath, not appearing in Jerusalem on the first day of the feast, as commanded, and He even tells us that He and His Father work on the Sabbath:

    Joh 5:16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.

    Were the Jews falsely accusing Christ of working on the sabbath day, contrary to the law of Moses? Let’s let Christ answer that question:

    Joh 5:17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
    Joh 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

    Those are the same two things which will guarantee that:

    Mat 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth [being hated of all men] to the end shall be saved.

    Christ does not hold back in telling us what our calling entails. “For My name’s sake” means that we must “walk in His steps”:

    1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

    The “example… Christ” has left us is the example of not observing days, months, times, or years. It is my prayer that you hear His voice in these words, and that He gives you to be willing to be hated of all people for the very same reason He was so hated:

    Joh 5:18 Therefore the Jews [read, Christians] sought the more to kill him [read, us], because he not only had broken the sabbath [Christmas, Easter, Halloween, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. etc. etc. “bondage under the stoicheion of the world], but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

    I hope this helps you to understand more clearly what Eze 8:16 is all about, and why I said those 25 men had turned their backs on The Sun of Righteousness”.

    Your brother in Christ, Mike

Sincere comments and questions are encouraged!