1-28-2023 Ezekiel 37:1-14 - Revisited
In Jan. 2016 and again in Jan 2019 I
spoke about today’s Application of Ezekiel’s dry bones. Father says “Let’s do it again. The condition of Ezekiel’s valley of dry bones
is so relevant to today’s church, a revisit doesn't hurt. (or will it?)
1 The hand of the Lord was upon me and carried me out, in His Spirit, and set me down in the middle of a valley which was full of bones
2 He caused me to pass by them and all around (them) and there were many bones in this open valley and they were very dry.
Imagine being in a valley full of dead men’s bones? Sun, bleached white bones. Envision stepping over leg bones, arm bones, skulls, with only a small open spots to place your foot. Bones extending from one end of the valley to the other, as far as the eye could see.
3 And He said to me “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered “Oh, Lord God, You know.”
Ezekiel knows God can do anything. Bones can’t live by their own power but God created by speaking things into existence from nothing. So Ezekiel knows God can give life to anything He desires.
4 Again He said to me “prophecy unto these bones and say “O dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord.
5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones I will cause breath to enter you and you shall live.
6 I will lay sinews upon you and flesh upon you and I will cover you with skin and put breath in you and you shall live and you will know that I am the Lord.”
Father evaluates a situation, determines what He wants done, then speaks it into existence. But here, He tells Ezekiel to do it. God is giving man authority and the power to change the substance of that which is before him (Romans 4:17 - call things which aren’t as though they are). Ezekiel was hoping for something he was not yet seeing (Heb. 11:1 - faith is substance of things hoped for but not seen). God knows how to build a man (or church) and He was showing Ezekiel what needed to be done.
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded and as I prophesied there was a noise
and there was a shaking and the bones came together, bone upon bone.
Ezekiel was no dummy. He did as God commanded. He was demonstrating faith through works (James 2:18 - faith by my works) by showing his love for the Father by being obedient (Psalm 1:1-2- love is walking in His commandments).
8 Then I watched as sinews and flesh came upon the bones and they were covered with skin, but there was no breath in them.
Ezekiel saw the results of his prayer before his very own eyes. The bones coming together, no longer strewn all over the place. The foot bone connected to the ankle bone, the ankle bone connected to the shin bone, the shin bone connected to the knee bone, etc’. So as he asked, he believed and he saw (Matt.21:22 - ask believing and receive) as bodies took form before his very eyes.
Unfortunately, today’s church has become like Ezekiel’s dry bones. but God was connecting those Bones with sinews, no longer strewn throughout the valley. Covering them with muscle so they could do what God has called them to do. Applying a beautiful covering of skin so they could be the image of their creator, a reflection of God’s love. But there was no real life in them.
9 Then He said to me Prophecy to the wind, prophecy, son of man and tell the wind “Thus says the Lord God, come from the four winds, O breath, upon these slain that they might live.”
10 So I prophesied as He commanded me and breath came into them and they lived
and stood up on their feet, an exceedingly great army.
Our Lord is the giver of life. God gives to all life, breath and the things they need (Acts 17:25). As He breathed into Adam’s (man’s) nostrils giving him life (Gen.2:7), He gives life to the dead. Again He is giving man authority to bring life into that which is dead (spiritually AND naturally). We can bring the life-saving gospel of life to the spiritually dead or even perform CPR to those who, otherwise, have no life in their bodies. Yet, the Spirit of God must be revived within those hearts for them to truly live.
11 Then He said to me “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel and behold they say “Our bones are dried and our hope is lost. We are cut off from our parts.
These bones are all of historical Israel and Israel is hopeless. Israel has no real life because they are cut off from God. No connection, no real fellowship. This is also a reference (for today) as the body of Christ is divided between all the denominations and independent churches. Divided and separating – even from God. Understanding and acceptance of the scripture has too many variations. As much as the Protestant Reformation did to wake the church up, it also created many denominations – dividing it.
12 Therefore prophecy and say to them ‘Thus says the Lord God behold, O my people, I will open up your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves and bring you into the land of Israel.
By using His own hand God can bring Israel back from the dead. He will cause them to rise and live giving them their own domain. He brings Israel back from death into life. In other words, Father will unite His church – not into one mega church, but each segment realizing that we ARE the body of Christ and we each have a task to perform. All fellowships who truly walk under the banner of Jesus Christ must realize the each has a unique calling in the body. Just each one of us, as individuals, have a unique gift to which Father has called us. Though many of us may have the ‘same’ gift, Father has given each one of us a unique way of administering that gift. Coming into our own land is recognizing that all who have received Jesus into our heart are all brothers and sisters in the body of Christ and the Holy Ghost should unify us in one mind (the mind of Christ), one heart (true love for our Savior) and one Spirit (as we are guided by the Holy Ghost).
Me, being in a ‘full gospel’ church, ran into a Baptist brother in a store one day. We talked and he realized that even though we weren’t in agreement on some things, we were indeed brothers in Christ. we were unified in our love for God.
13 And you will know that I am the Lord when I have opened your graves, O my people and brought you up out of your graves.
14 And I will put My Spirit in you and you shall live. I will place you in your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it, says the Lord.
For Israel, this is the promise of re-patriation in the ‘promised land of Israel. For today church it realizing we are ALL under Jesus Christ – and acting like it. No, not just acting like but living like it!
Father has shown me that for 7 seasons, 700 years, He has been rebuilding His church for this time – today.
The church will recognize God as God because He has brought us back from the dead
We will understand that He is the One who has done this miraculous thing and breathed life back into that (us) which was dead.
Yet, Father has given His children authority to bring life back into His church! Expressing our love for Jesus by absorbing scripture (not just learning the words). Then prophecy helps us to see and return to Godly basics. As we grow, we start applying God’s will into our own lives, giving us substance. That is we can do that which He has called us to do – demonstrate His love and to be a true we witness by expressing His goodness in our own lives. The Holy Ghost helps us to grow in God’s love through prophetic encouragement and teaching God’s ways to those whom we encounter. We grow in His kingdom and others will follow our example because, through the Holy Ghost, we now have His authority (Matt. 10:1) and power (Acts 1:8), His love in our lives.
As Christians, we know God is the only and true living God (Jer. 10:10, Isa. 45:5-12). Jesus is our doorway into eternity (John 14:6). Because we love Jesus, we keep His commandments (John 14:15) and show our faith by living it (James 2:17-18). Like what the first admiral of the navy, David Farragut, said “Damn the torpedoes (the enemy), full speed ahead!”, We don’t let Satan’s attempts divert us. We have (or are) developing our relationship with our heavenly Father, we have the courage to press forward. Father gives us the knowledge and strength to pursue our eternal goals! We can get it done through our Lord Jesus Christ (Phil. 4:13).
Father designated Israel as His spokesman to the world, the responsibilities of the first covenant (10 Commandments) transferred over to today’s Christian church as the new covenant (banner) carriers. Israel was saved by ‘keeping’ (doing) the Law where the New Covenant is sealed by our living in the law from our heart (Ezek. 36:26). So, Father has spent seven seasons (700 yrs., 15th C – 21st C) rebuilding His church.
God has been rebuilding His church through the centuries
Today’s church are largely these dry bones.
Basics have been there (Father is God & Jesus is Savior)
Needs a little more substance
(knowing Word, holiness, Spiritual obedience, works from heart)
Protestant Reformation added sinew to those old bones
All parts starting to connect (connect parts via understanding Word)
Though creating division through doctrinal interpretation.
Realization of that God is personal
Holiness movements added a little muscle
Back to basics (life to live, abstain from evil)
Living according to God’s will
Pentecostal movement added covering (skin) of the Holy Ghost
Pulling things together into one package
So we could truly start functioning under God’s will
We looked like what we were supposed to
We acted (somewhat) how we were supposed to act
Holy Ghost completes visual package
Apostolic/prophetic brings breath from the ‘four winds’ (life)
Full power from our heavenly Father
That is even a deeper understanding of authority
Talking ‘with’ God and not ‘to’ and listening (shut your mouth)
There is ‘true’ life
So we can magnify His Holy Name
Draw souls into His kingdom (though evangelism has always been a part of
Establish a true relationship with our Father
Through Protestant Reformation (1500’s), Holiness movements (17 & 1800’s), Pentecostalism (18 & 1900’s) and the Apostolic/Prophetic movements (1900’s & 2000’s)
Father has been bringing His body from a bunch of ‘dead bones’ to a vibrant church which praises Him. Glorifies Him. Which acknowledges Him for who He is and what He has done.
Now, it is time to truly live for Him
He is building His true church for Himself
are WE a part of that churcH