About Jesus Steve Sweetman
the mention of the Holy Spirit in verse 1.
When anyone is used by the Lord in the gift of prophecy, whether in
Old Testament times or New Testament times, the Spirit of God would come
on the person. You will
know when the Holy Spirit comes on you. He will envelope you and He will
use you to speak the Word of the Lord.
I do believe that the gift of prophecy, whether predictive or not
predictive, is a gift for New Testament times.
I think 1 Corinthians 12 through 14 makes this clear.
That being said, whatever the prophetic word is, it must be in line
with what the Bible says. If
not, if is not the Word of the Lord.
1 also states that the Spirit brought Ezekiel into a valley.
Whether the Spirit literally brought Ezekiel into a real valley is
debatable. The text does not
say this was a vision, but it could well be one.
verse 3 the Lord asked Ezekiel if the bones he saw
throughout the valley could live.
The text states that these bones were very dry, as in very dead.
I would suggest that the first thing that would come into anyone's
mind upon hearing this question is, "how can dead and dry old bones
answered in a very safe way. He
said, "O Sovereign Lord, you alone know".
Clearly Ezekiel did not know how to answer this question.
not sure how Ezekiel felt at this point, but God asked him to prophesy to
the dry bones. God wanted Ezekiel to talk to a bunch of dead dry bones, as
weird as that may sound to you and I.
God always has reasons for what He does, and His ways of doing
things aren't always the way we would do things.
Ezekiel might have felt a bit strange.
words that Ezekiel is to speak to the bones is found in verses 4 through
6. We see the words "I
will" over and over again in the Bible when it comes to Israel
at the end of this age, and again, we see these words here.
God will, all by Himself, cause life to come to these bones.
He will join them together, put skin on them
and make these bones into a living body.
This is the Word of the Lord. The point here is that God alone will
going further I would like to point out something.
Back in the charismatic movement of the 1960's and 1970's, I often
heard this passage of Scripture used to support that present day
outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This
text was often used to say these dry bones were dry Christians, now being
brought to life, but that's not really what this text is speaking of.
This text is speaking of
In verse 7 and 8, Ezekiel spoke the Word of thee Lord, The bones came together. Note the text states that the bones came together but as yet there was no life in them. We know that this prophecy predicts the future of Israel.
will become a nation, as they are now, but they will still be
dead spiritually. They
will not have the life of God in them.
This is the case with
second round of prophecy comes in verses 9 and 10. God tells Ezekiel to
prophesy to the breath, so breath can come into the body that has come
together. Once the breath of
life comes into the body, the body of bones comes alive.
The breath is the Holy Spirit.
Ezekiel was to prophesy to the Holy Spirit, encouraging Him to
enter the dry bones of
makes me wonder. Right now as
I type these words, the bones have come together, but there is no life.
is a nation, but they are dead spiritually.
If you read the book of Revelation, the two witnesses and the one
hundred and forty four thousand Israelis preach the gospel to the Jews,
and at that time they begin to come alive.
This prophecy might well be speaking of that day yet to come.
11 makes it clear what this prophecy is all about.
God says that these bones, this prophecy,
is about the "whole house of Israel". I think the word
"whole" is important here. You will remember that
had been divided into two, north and south.
The time in which this prophecy is speaking to is a time when there
will be no north and south. There
will be just one Israel. All twelve tribes will
be one nation as we see in the book of Revelation with the one hundred and
forty four thousand preachers, twelve thousand from each of the twelve
also see Israel's response in verse 11. Israel
comes to its senses. She says
that they are a bunch of dry bones, their hope is gone, and they are cut
off from the Lord. To me, this
suggests true repentance on the part of
repents, you see the Lord's response in verses 12 to 14.
God will bring Israel
back to the land and then He will put life back into them once in their
land. I see a two fold
fulfillment of prophecy here. First
the Jews go back to the land, and then spiritual life is brought back to
them. They are now coming back
to the land. We await the day
when spiritual life will return to
also should note here and understand that the land cannot be separated
from the new life they will receive. The
land that was promised to Abraham is always important throughout the
Bible. You cannot separate
land issues from Israel's spiritual restoration. They
will get their land, and they will be restored spiritually.
First comes the land, then comes the Spirit, or as the apostle Paul
put it, first comes the natural, then the spiritual.
(1 Corinthians 15:46)
In verse 16 and 17 God told Ezekiel to take two sticks that he was to write on. One stick was Judah and the Israelis who were associated with him. That was the southern Kingdom Israel, known as Judah
The other stick was for
Ephraim "belonging to Joseph".
The reason for the way this is worded is because Ephraim was
Joseph's son. Ephraim was also
known as Israel, that northern kingdom.
verse 17 God asked Ezekiel to join the two sticks together in his hand.
This action is prophetic of the day when the northern and the
southern kingdoms of
this point in time, when Ezekiel was prophesying these things the northern
kingdom was not really in existence. It
had been taken over by
21 is important for us who are living today.
God said that He would gather Israelis from "the nations"
in which they had been scattered to and bring them back into their own
land. The word
"nations" is plural, and for that reason is very important in
the understanding of this verse.
Ezekiel's day, Israelis weren't really scattered across the nations of the
world. They were just held
captive for the most part, in one nation, and that was
more to this prophecy in the following verses that confirms that God was
not speaking of
24 says that God's servant David will be king of the Jews.
All Bible scholars say this servant is Jesus.
One of the major trains
of Messianic thought in the Bible is that Jesus is a king like king David.
He is in the lineage of David, and He will inherit the throne of
David. That throne was in
see the word "forever" in verse 25.
Forever means forever. This
prophecy could not have been fulfilled when
last three verses speak of a new covenant that God will make with
this New Covenant, at the moment I see this as an extension of sorts with
the covenant Jesus made on the cross, but this is directed specifically to
Israel, and not to Gentile believers. When
Jesus returns to