Friday, April 14, 2023
Jesus Christ said to religious leaders: “For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men…making the word of God of no effect through your traditions which you have handed down. And many such things you do” (Mark 7:8, 13). False traditions of men “handed down” puts many believers on an autopilot of unbelief instead of what the Word actually says.
Dispensational teachings tell us to believe that Ezekiel’s vision of “dry bones” are Jews returning to the land of Israel after Israel became a nation in 1948. That’s patently false. This is just one of many Dispensational lies that leads people away from what God actually said in order to uphold traditions of men that have no basis in Scripture. If we truly love God in Christ, we must allow God’s Word to stand the test of truth all by itself. It doesn’t need the help of elite theologians.
This prophecy begins by the Spirit of the Lord setting the prophet in the valley that was full of dry bones “and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ So I answered, ‘O LORD GOD, You know.’ And again He said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord’” (37:2–4). Here, Ezekiel is shown “the mystery” of the resurrection, not a metaphor or allegoric movement of unbelieving Jews from around the world to the land of Israel, for unbelieving Jews will never inherit the land of Israel! And there is a time yet future when the dead will “hear the word of the LORD”, and believers, true Jews, discern that, for “the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice” (John 5:28). [My emphasis]
This “dry bones” prophecy is of believing Jews who have been dead for a long time, and what the prophet sees is those dead Jews being raised to life at God’s command. Here’s how we know that’s true. God said “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the LORD GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breath on these slain, that they may live” (37:9). Then with greater detail, God reveals what also occurs in the “valley of dry bones” saying, “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. [True Jews, Rom. 2:28–29] Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves” (37:12–13). [My emphasis]
Again, compare that to what Christ taught saying “the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth – those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28–29). In both Ezekiel 37:12–13 and John 5:28–29, “graves” are opened which describes people rising from the dead “at the last day” (John 6:40, 44, 54); “at the last trumpet”, when Paul by the Spirit said, “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, [meaning to die] but we shall all be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Cor. 15:51–52).
God also said to Ezekiel, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel” (37:11). As you read about Israel throughout the Scriptures, it’s important to understand that just because all the Jews were from the land of Israel, God does not count them all as Israel, because it altogether depends on whether or not they believe God, for He said “For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called.’ That is, those who are the children of the flesh, [unbelievers] these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise [true believers, true Jews] are counted as the seed” (Rom. 9:6–8). Not all Jews, therefore, just because they are descended from Abraham, are accounted Jews by God, but only those who actually believe God as did our father Abraham. Likewise, not all who profess to be Christians, are true Christians, true Jews, because to be a true Christian, a true Jew, requires that we, by faith, believe God as did Abraham. [My emphasis]
It’s for a time future when, “Surely I [God] will take the children of Israel [true Jews] from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land” (Ezek. 37:21–22). Here, Christ gathers His “one body” (Eph. 4:4) of all true Jews when “He [Christ] will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect [true Jews] from the four winds, [“the four winds” of Ezek. 37:9] from one end of heaven to the other” (Matt. 24:31).
The process of post-WWII national Jews returning to their homeland began three years to the month after WWII. That’s when David Ben Gurion announced that Israel was once again a sovereign nation. Since that time unbelieving Jews have indeed been returning to Israel because it’s their nation. Mistakenly, Orthodox Jews still believe they’re God’s chosen people, and so too many incorrectly taught and non-discerning Christians agree! In their unbelief of Messiah Jesus Christ, Orthodox Jews also falsely believe the land of Israel is still their covenant possession as descendants of Abraham. But they angrily reject the conditional truth of Israel’s land possession that “if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:29). Orthodox Jews and most non-Orthodox Jews are unbelievers, and as such will not inherit the land of Israel as an eternal possession. But God tells us that “if they [unbelieving Jews] do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again” (Rom. 11:23).
Many tangible signs clearly validate that the times of the end of this age have been set into motion, for Christ said of our unique time “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation [meaning the generation that sees Israel reborn and flourish] will by no means pass away till all these things take place” (Matt. 24:34), meaning all the things relating to the Antichrist, the tribulation, the great tribulation and the resurrection rapture of Christ’s saints, His “one body” of all believers from the Old Testament in millennia past, to post-Calvary true believers until the last day.
Theologians and ministers of the Dispensational pre-trib rapture falsely refer to Ezekiel’s prophecy of dry bone as the movement of Jews to the land of Israel post-WWII as though it were the fulfillment of Ezekiel 37. But that’s entirely false. Ezekiel 37 reveals “the mystery” of the yet future resurrection of the dead. Many Christians think the Ezekiel 37 prophecy has already been fulfilled, because that’s what they’re told to believe by religious academics! And they believe it! And if you don’t toe the line of religious academia’s tradition…well, you’re not only branded as stupid, but you’re warned against as someone to avoid for spreading misinformation. Sound familiar? It should, because the false accusation of spreading misinformation afflicts religious, political, medical, and social circles the same. The deceptive authority of the majority who toe the line of tradition causes grievous consequences for people, see Numbers 13, 14.
Regardless of being unjustly accused of spreading misinformation by the deceptive authority of the majority, this is still an exciting time to be alive, yet a most sobering time. Exciting, in that we can see the nearness of the coming of the Lord! Sobering, in that, we must endure Antichrist and his tribulation and great tribulation to get to the resurrection rapture, “at the last day” (John 6:40, 44, 54); “at the last trumpet” (1 Cor. 15:52); at “the first resurrection” (Rev. 20:4–6).
The 2,500+ year-old end-time prophetic Word of the Lord from Ezekiel 37 to raise to life the dead bones of “the whole house of Israel” is easily cross-referenced with Jesus’ teachings of the New Testament. Our generation, post-May 1948, has seen the nation of Israel reborn from its AD 70 destruction and dispersion of Jews. This should give every believer confidence in faith that God is moving by divine providence to bring to fruition all remaining events of the times of the end which must and will continue unfolding just exactly as God in Christ foretold. The end will culminate with God truly gathering “the whole house of Israel”, of which we post-Calvary true believers are a part, in the resurrection rapture “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31). Let us, by faith, be found faithful and endure to that end as Christ taught at Matt. 24:13.
Marlin J. Yoder