Now we need to consider the person who saw the vision. What kind of person was Ezekiel? First, he was a priest. A priest is one who lives in the presence of God, serving God and mingling himself with God. Ezekiel was such a priest. Second, Ezekiel was the son of Buzi. Buzi means contempt or despised. Ezekiel was a prophet despised by the people. In his ministry, he received no glory. If today in the Lord’s recovery you are one of the Ezekiels, you will be despised. Do not think that you will have any glory. All the people will despise you. But though we may be despised by others, we should never be disappointed. We all must be Ezekiels. Do you know the meaning of the word Ezekiel? It means "God will strengthen" or the "Almighty One, your strength." No matter how much people despise you, you must be strengthened. Furthermore, the Lord told Ezekiel that He would make his face stronger than their faces and his forehead stronger than theirs. His forehead would be like adamant, like a diamond, like a flint, so hard. He was despised by people, but he was strengthened by God (3:8-9). The name Ezekiel ends with the suffix el. What does el mean? It means the "Almighty One." On one hand, he was the son of Buzi, despised by others, but on the other hand, he was Ezekiel, strengthened by God.
The Heavens Being Opened
Now we need to see the conditions for seeing the visions. First, the heavens were opened. Whenever people on this earth are one with God, the heavens will be opened to them. The first time that the Bible mentions the heavens being opened was when Jacob was wandering in his attempt to escape from his brother, Esau. That night he had a dream, and in the dream the heavens were opened to him (Gen. 28:11-17). What did this signify? It signified that God was going to gain that naughty Jacob as His beachhead on earth. Then the heavens could be opened to the earth. When the Lord Jesus was baptized, the heavens were opened to declare that there was a man on the earth who was one with God in the heavens (Matt. 3:16-17). In the land of captivity, there was also a man, Ezekiel, who was mature and one with God so that the heavens were opened to him (Ezek. 1:1). Today the principle is the same. We need the heavens opened to us. If we are today’s Ezekiels, the heavens will be opened to us.
A Vision Received
Not only were the heavens opened, but also a vision was revealed or unveiled. This message is not a kind of sermon that I have composed by collecting materials from different books. It is shameful to collect materials from others’ books and then pass them on to the children of God. What we pass on to the children of God must be something we have seen. It must be something as a vision we have received from the open heavens. What I am ministering to you is not a theory, a concept, a teaching, a doctrine, or a kind of systematic theology from a seminary. Rather, it is a vision from the open heavens.
An Express Word
Furthermore, the word of God came to Ezekiel expressly. We need an express word, not an ordinary word. For such an express word, do not go to the expositions of the Bible. Do not even go to the books of Watchman Nee or Witness Lee. You must have an express word from the Lord. With Ezekiel, the heavens were opened, the visions came, and the express word also came.
The Hand of God
What followed the express word of God? The hand of God followed. If what we minister is truly God’s word God’s hand will follow. God’s hand always follows His speaking. Whatever He says, He does. If you minister a lot, and nothing happens, this means you have a babbling mouth, but God’s hand is not working. You may have a speaking mouth, but you need God’s almighty hand to work out what you speak. Oh, today we need the heavens opened; we need the vision coming to us; we need the word to come expressly; and we need God’s hand to follow! If I were speaking and the divine hand did not follow, that would be a vain babbling and you should forget it. But if what I am ministering here is God’s express word, be careful. Don’t touch the word. I may be a small man, but God’s hand is not a small thing. He will work according to His speaking.
(The Visions of Ezekiel, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)