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   We posit 3 realities:

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   (1) The existence of an unexplainable supernatural reality that includes Jesus Christ rising from the dead and certain quantum entanglement theories.

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   (2) A world where past Biblical prophets have claimed to have had important visions or dreams about the future.

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   (3) The practical reality that at any historic time serious verbal and symbolic limitations may impede communicating about things that have actually been “experienced,” “seen,” or “heard.”

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   That said, we will examine a prophecy from the Bible book of Ezekiel.

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For that you’ll have to use the DOOR.

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   [MORE]

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   The prophet Ezekiel (who was also a priest) lived in a very confusing time. Jerusalem was being occupied and destroyed for its sinful living, and Jewish captives were being transported to Babylon (circa 590 B.C.). The book written by Ezekiel contains 48 chapters describing complex times. Ezekiel reminds his people of their sins and prophesies judgment and future events. What’s shared below is a tiny piece of what he claims God has revealed to him.

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   Ezekiel is describing the departing glory of the temple. We break into the middle of this confusing description to illustrate a point: The language at his disposal is limited to words he is familiar with (as we encounter them in translation). Note the wheel motif in what follows.

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   The LORD said to the man clothed in linen, “Go in among the wheels beneath the cherubim¹ (angels). Fill your hands with burning coals from above the cherubim and scatter them over the city.” And as I watched, he went in.

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   When the LORD commanded the man in linen, “Take the fire from among the wheels, from among the cherubim,” the man went in and stood beside a wheel. Then one cherubim reached out his hand to the fire that was among them. He took up some of it and put it into the hands of the man in linen, who took it and went out…

   I looked, and I saw beside the cherubim 4 wheels, one beside each of the cherubim; the wheels sparkled like chrysolite. As for their appearance, the 4 of them looked alike; each was a wheel intersecting a wheel. As they moved, they would go in any one of 4 directions the cherubim faced; the wheels did not turn about as the cherubim went. The cherubim went went in whatever direction the head faced, without turning as they went. Their entire bodies, including their backs, their hands and their wings, were completely full of eyes, as were their 4 wheels. I heard the wheels being called “the whirling wheels.” Each of the cherubim had 4 faces: One face was that of a cherub, the second the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.

   Then the cherubim rose upward. These were the living creatures I had seen by the Kebar River. When the cherubim moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the cherubim spread their wings to rise from the ground, the wheels did not leave their side. When the cherubim stood still, they also stood still; and when the cherubim rose, they rose with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in them.

   Then the glory of the LORD departed from over the threshold of the temple and stopped above the cherubim. While I watched, the cherubim spread their wings and rose above the ground, and as they went, the wheels went with them. They stopped at the entrance to the east gate of the LORD’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them….

                             –Ezekiel 10:2-19  

(NIV; color added & written numbers are changed to numerals)

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   If this seems confusing–especially if you know little about the context of what’s going–don’t worry too much. You’re not alone. Ezekiel, in his dream or vision saw something, hardly a realistic event in his–or our–world. And how can a prophet share what he sees? He can do so in one of 3 ways:

   (a) Describe it as realistically as possible. Note the emphasis, or overemphasis, on wheels. There were wagons and chariots to relate to back then.

   (b) Describe it metaphorically, if possible. If no words are available or numbers or symbols for what a person sees, one must depend upon the vocabulary one has².

   (c) A combination of (a) and (b).

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  ¹ Cherubim is the plural of cherub, a type of angel. One should keep in mind that angels can appear in several different forms in the Bible.

  ² An important thing remember about Bible prophecy: A prophet has only his ordinary language, or an “academic” one, available at the time of his vision. He can’t be expected to accurately, or clearly, describe objects or ideas that aren’t current in his experience at the time of his vision. Imagine a friend of Benjamin Franklin who in his lifetime was familiar with old-time libraries and newspapers, reporting his receiving a vision that includes the thumb drive on my key ring that holds 100+ books, including 2 of my 500-page novels, that can be not only be quickly read, but electronically explored on a moment’s notice. Or, perhaps, consider the ingenious inventor Thomas Jefferson in his state of the union address reporting a dream he had taking a jet-plane ride east to west (crossing times zones) that lands before it takes off.