Tag Archives: Last Days

The Many Cold – The Few Faithful

“Because iniquity shall be multiplied the love of the many shall wax cold.” Matthew 24:12.

IT IS evident that our Lord is not here speaking of the world, for the world does not have this love. It is the Church of whom Jesus is speaking; it is only the Church with whom God is now dealing. As New Creatures, God’s children have seen a great Light, Christ Jesus. Through this Light we have ourselves become illuminated, and we seek to let our light shine before men. We are not lighted candles to shed light upon others until we have become the Lord’s, until we have received of His light. The Bible declares that all men are by nature sinners, unworthy of God’s notice. But He has made a provision of everlasting life for the perfect. How, then, will any member of our sinner race ever get everlasting life? Surely none of the children of Adam are worthy of everlasting life! The Lord, however, has provided for this emergency through the death of Christ. During the Gospel Age God has been delivering from death a certain class. During the incoming Millennial Age, He will lift up and make perfect the world of mankind. But only at the close of that Age, after they have been finally tested, will God grant them, if worthy, everlasting life. If they fail to attain perfection, He will not give them everlasting life at all, but will destroy them.

UNIQUE ARRANGEMENT FOR THE PRESENT AGE

The Church is an especially called-out class. “Ye are not of the world, even as I am not of the world,” said the Master. “I have chosen you out of the world.” Mankind in general are in a different heart attitude from those who come into the Church. It is only the minority who now hunger and thirst after righteousness. God in mercy keeps back the Truth from those to whom it would not in the present time be a blessing. This class that the Lord is now calling out from the world are “called to be saints.” The word saint stands for one who is holy. The word holy has the significance of the word whole–that which is entire, lacking nothing. God, who is holy, calls His children to be holy, saying, “Be ye holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16.) But we were by nature unholy; hence His arrangement for our justification, our being made right, whole. The world in general will be made right during the Millennium. None is made right now in the actual sense. In what way, then, does God make the Church right now? Ah, there is the beauty of God’s Plan! They are made right reckonedly, by the counting to each of them of the perfect merit of Christ. This is a unique arrangement, peculiar to the present Age alone. God says, “My Call at this time is an invitation to a new nature. I am not inviting any now to Restitution; if so it would not be necessary to issue this special Call. I want a certain class for a specific purpose, to be used later in blessing the whole world. I know of some who will be glad to respond. So I am sending My Message, that those able to hear may hear.”

WIRELESS TELEGRAPHY ILLUSTRATES GREAT TRUTH

We all know something of the wireless system of telegraphy. This is one of the blessings of this “day of the Lord’s preparation” for the incoming New Age. It may serve as an illustration of how God has been sending out His Truth during the Gospel Age. If we would hear the Lord’s Call, we must have co-hearers. If we do not have co-hearers, we cannot hear His Message at all. We need to have responsive hearts, ready to receive with gladness the Message of God’s love and mercy. If your heart is not rightly in tune, you cannot understand; but as you get it in tune with the Lord, the Message enters, and you can hear the wave tones. God speaks to us in tones of a certain character. We recognize those tones and respond, if our heart is in the proper attitude. We had a wrong tone given us by the Adversary– that God had damned the world, had made a place to eternally torture the majority of mankind. With that wrong tone given us, we were not in a position to get the true Message. God’s true Message is a glorious tune, a marvelous melody. Finally we got the right tune from the Word of God. “I can hear better now,” we said. “Yes, yes; God is Love!” “God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son”; “Like as a Father pitieth His children, so the Lord pitieth!” Yes, I now understand something of the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the love of God! It is too wonderful a symphony to fully comprehend, I cannot take it all in, but it is there. I am hearing it more and more clearly! Only those who get their hearts in tune with God can hear it all, and the more fully in tune you get your heart the better you can hear. If your instrument is out of tune, if something happens to get you out of touch with the Heavenly electric wave, then you cannot hear the wonderful melody. If you do not keep in close touch with the Lord, you will fail to catch the harmony. You are out of tune with the Infinite One.

JUSTICE THE BASIC QUALITY OF CHARACTER

What is the character of God that we are learning more about as we study His Word? We find that the very basis of God’s character is Justice, absolute Justice. If God were an unjust God, we could never depend upon Him. He might make some term or condition today and then alter it tomorrow. But He is absolutely just; “Justice and judgment are the foundation of His Throne.” (Psalm 89:14.) He changes not; “I am Jehovah, I change not.” (Malachi 3:6.) He is “the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” He will never fail us, He will never deceive. Whoever desires to be in proper tune with God must practice upon that string of JUSTICE. Justice must come into our heart and into our life. The nearer we come in line with justice, the better we shall understand and enter into the spirit of God’s great Plan. We trust that is what we are striving to do. But there are many ways of being unjust. We may say unjust things about our neighbors; we may make trifling faults appear to be great faults; we may color things unjustly. We may use words with a certain intonation or emphasis, with a shrug of the shoulders, giving a wrong impression which might be detrimental to the reputation of another.

Although we might not really mean to wrong another, yet this course would be wrong, and might do incalculable harm. When you say, “I would not wish to be seen in that man’s company,” you might not mean to do wrong, and yet be guilty of slander. Your co-hearer is out of tune with God. Then in the mind one might be unjust. Many people seem to become prejudiced against certain things or persons without just reason. To that extent they are out of harmony with justice. What we need to do is to think righteously, soberly, kindly, along the lines of the Golden Rule, to let our words and deeds be in harmony with the principles of righteousness. Thus we shall be greatly assisted in the development of the sterling Christian character which is absolutely essential if we would have our Father’s approval. Justice, then, is the basis, the first thing necessary, in building character. From this basis we are to go on to the attainment of sympathy, benevolence, forgiveness, love. God has been very loving and sympathetic with us. He has provided us a Redeemer. He has covered our many blemishes from His sight. Then, as we seek to copy God, we shall wish to be kind and forbearing and helpful toward all. But we must be just first. If we have an unjust twist in our mind, it will interfere with our communion with God, and we shall be in danger of failing to make our calling and election sure. We are continually surrounded by the spirit of the world–hatred, envy, malice, strife. So we must keep very close to the Lord to counteract this spirit. The world and the things of the fallen nature are so close to us that we can with difficulty avoid being contaminated by them. One can hardly pass through a vile neighborhood without carrying away vile odors. But the Lord has furnished us with a most effective disinfectant in His Word. All the cleansing we need is derived from the Message which God has given us, with its explicit instructions. This wireless Message from Him tells of His love for us, speaks peace through Jesus Christ our Lord, makes known to us our privilege of becoming heirs of God and joint-heirs with our Lord Jesus. Having been called with this Heavenly Calling, we can readily understand that God would not have us in this class unless we have the right spirit. The selection is not according to a whim of Divine preference. On the contrary, God chooses according to character, according to natural qualifications of honesty and the desire to be just, to be right, whatever may be the fleshly weaknesses. Justice is the very basis of God’s Throne, the foundation of His Government.

WORLDLINESS AMONG PROFESSED CHRISTIANS

In our text the Lord Jesus declares that at a certain time in the Gospel Age, and apparently pointing down to our day, “because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” The Revised Version given here is stronger than our Common Version rendering. It is not only many who will grow cold, but the many, the majority, of professed followers of Christ. How truly the Master’s words have been fulfilled! Iniquity is inequity, injustice, unrighteousness. Our text might properly read, “Because unrighteousness shall abound, the love of the many shall grow cold.” We are in the time against which the Lord sought to especially guard us. How few comparatively have heeded the warning! The STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES point out that in God’s arrangement the Prophet Elijah was a type of The Christ in the flesh–Jesus being the Head of the antitypical Elijah and the Church being His Body. The three and a half years, 1260 days, of Elijah’s experiences while hiding in the wilderness from Queen Jezebel were symbolic, and corresponded to the 1260 years of the true Church in the wilderness condition, where she had fled from the antitypical Jezebel. (Revelation 12:6,14; Daniel 7:24,25.) Elijah’s coming out of the wilderness prefigured the coming out of the true Church of God from her wilderness hiding after the year 1799 A. D., when Jezebel’s power was broken, and the copious rains following represented the wide circulation of the Bible since that date. The Church of Christ, the watching ones, are now in a particular time of waiting. The Elijah class is soon to be taken beyond the veil. The Elisha class will be left until later, to wash their soiled robes in the blood of the Lamb in the “Great Tribulation” just before the world. It seems that the Lord is now especially testing His people. Among many of the people of God love has waxed cold, because unrighteousness is abounding everywhere. Many today profess to believe things that they do not believe. Empty forms of godliness prevail. Love of pleasure is rampant. As a result many professed Christians are lukewarm or cold. They say, “Look at what the church systems are doing. What is right for our church leaders is right for me.” Thus many are taking a very wavering course. There is much injustice practiced everywhere. We find great neglect of the Golden Rule. Christian parents, too, are leaving the religious training of their children too frequently to the Sunday School, where the teachers are often wholly incompetent to instruct them in the Word of God. Christian parents should be the priests of their own family. They have a great responsibility. Because iniquity prevails, the temptation is strong with many to follow the multitude. But the Lord’s children should not follow a multitude to do evil. We must learn quickly now all God’s will concerning us. The end of the Church’s probation is drawing near. We have not much time left in the School of Christ. The saints are soon to be judges of the world. Shall we be among those judges?

PROPER ATTITUDE OF CHRISTIANS

Let each child of God bestir himself. Let him encourage the brethren to faithfulness. Let us give close attention to God’s Word, that we may become more and more like our Father in Heaven. Let us love the things which are true, right, noble, Godlike. Let us renounce all else for the Heavenly things. We cannot stand for our own rights in the world. We gave up our human rights when we gave ourselves to the Lord. There are times perhaps when we might offer a protest, as Jesus did when He was smitten. But He did not retaliate nor try to render evil for evil. And we are to walk as He walked. Let us not allow the inequity of others to cause our hearts to grow cold. The One whom we are to please, the One with whom we have to do, the One whom we love above every human tie, is our Lord. We desire to do His will. As for the brethren, let us do the best we know how for them. Let Heavenly wisdom be our guide. Let us faithfully follow Jesus in the Narrow way, whatever others about us may do; and soon we shall hear His sweet “Well done!” <R5856>

Difficult Times

tough-times-aheadThere is no doubt that we are living in the last days. Many of the faithful have lived in difficult times, but these times in which we live grow ever more evil. The age is materialistic and centered around self and self seeking. The solid foundations of the Truth are questioned in some quarters and zeal is something considered somewhat archaic. The words of Paul to Timothy come to mind:

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God — having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.” 2Timothy 3:1-5

Now if we stayed with verses 1-4 the description is very apt for the world in general but verse 4 applies it to those nominally disciples of Christ who have a ‘form of godliness’. In other words having the outward appearance of godliness, but not having a true desire in the heart to seek the Truth. Of this ilk are those who will say:

“Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”

Under these circumstances what can those who seek to be righteous do?

The answer to this question applies equally as much to those from any age who sincerely desire to love the Lord their God. We must hold fast to the solid foundation of scripture neither adding to it, nor taking from it, rightly dividing the word of Truth and being very clear in ones mind about what is believed and what is to be rejected. This is exactly what the faithful of old did and it is exactly what we must do in our day and age.

There is a need to be definite and uncompromising in ones stand for the Truth and sound doctrine. Do not follow the crowd, but be willing to stand up for what is right just as did Daniel in his day.

But how should we speak of the true gospel message and the sound teaching of scripture? Well, by speaking the words of scripture, not embellishing scripture overly with personal feelings and experiences, but speaking the Truth in its purity and simplicity. Proverbs says:

“In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.” Prov 10:19

And Ecclesiates:

“The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone?” Eccl 6:11

These thoughts apply to all that we do, be it proclaiming the Truth, giving an exhortation or giving a sermon. The whole objective must be to speak the words of God, not propound our own ‘crotchets and quavers.’

How can we then prepare ourselves for speaking the sound words of scripture? Well only by knowing the word of God! Do not be content with the elementary things of the Truth but rather try to understand some of the deeper things. Bible study is essential, but not all are for example inclined towards wanting to study the meanings of Hebrew and Greek words, understanding the ‘signs of the times’, working out the relationships between scriptural characters, knowing the history of the nations and kings or gaining a deep understanding of the furnishings and ritual of the Tabernacle or Temple. These things undoubtedly have their place, but we each have different interests and abilities. Equally of interest and of great importance is to study the life of Christ, comprehend his teachings, understand and develop the fruits of the spirit that Paul speaks of, learn the proverbs and how to apply them in our lives or study the profound subject of prayer. What ever our level of knowledge, interest, or ability every single one of us will benefit from reading the scriptures daily by following the Bible Companion or other method that ensures we read the totality of the Bible regularly. There is no substitute for regular reading, yet not just merely reading, but also thinking about what we read and then putting it into practice. These two aspects cannot be emphasized enough, think and put into practice.

Who would go to college from work to learn more about their job and not then use what they had learned? Nobody would go to that effort and not make use of knowledge gained. How then can the Truth be any different? No, we should the more so act upon it.

Finally we must always remember that we need a balance in all that we do, think and say. Do not discourage by thinking only upon the hardships of the way but consider also to the joys that lie ahead.

The hardships are there, the need for warning always present because of our human nature, but we also very much need the encouragement to persevere and there is indeed great joy ahead. There are promises from God so wondrous in their scope, that they are beyond our full comprehension and appreciation. Paul writes that we shall be made to be like the Lord Jesus Christ:

“If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.” Rom 6:5

”…who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” Phil 3:21

Finally by way of encouragement we can think of these words penned by John:

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” 1John 3:2

What manner of love indeed Yahweh has shown to us that we who are but dust are called to be His children. Should we be discouraged by the need for separation and hardship along the way? Should we be discouraged when we fail and come short? No, not at all! These things that befall the faithful are cause for perseverance, joy and encouragement. The trials confirm that we are called of God, that He treats us as His children and that He is merciful. This is the response of faith:

“Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. “ 1John 3:3

“Can These Bones Live”?

bones_liveNear Jerusalem, for nearly 4,000 years, deep in ancient tombs lie Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca. For nearly 4000 years, revered alike by Jews and Muslims and Christians. Their bones rest on in the hope of a resurrection.

Jerusalem—Jerusalem the golden; Jerusalem the invaded—by Assyrians, by Babylonians, by Medo-Persians, by Seleucids, by Romans, by Mamelukes, by Crusaders, by Ottoman Turks, and by assorted Arab hordes.

Jerusalem—laid to rest in countless tombs carpeting the western slopes of Olivet. Jerusalem—its bones dried and scattered, bones dead for nearly 2000 years, bones resting on in the hope of a resurrection.

Can These Bones Live?

Many years ago in the city of ancient Babylon the Jewish prophet Ezekiel was asked this very question in a vision.

“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones.

And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many bones in the open valley; and lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me “Son of man, can these bones live?

“And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest.

“Again he said unto me “Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.

Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:

And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.

“So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone,

And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.

Then he said unto me, “Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God, Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.

“So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.”

A dramatic story! Dramatically told! But what does it all mean?

As Ezekiel would say, “Hear the word of the Lord.”

“Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are completely cut off.

Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.

And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves.

And shall put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then ye shall know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.”

Since the twin destructions of Jerusalem under the mighty armies of the Roman generals Titus and Hadrian, the Jewish people entered a long period of dispersion, Diaspora, and their national hopes, like the bones in their ancient graves deep in the valley of the Kidron have been dead.

They have been dry bones. Bones with little hope of ever reviving. They have been scattered bones. A people

dispersed to nearly every country in the world with only their common faith as a bond. They have been bones “completely cut off.”

As the prophet Hosea writes, “without a king, without a prince, without a sacrifice, without an image, without an ephod and without teraphim.”

Can These Bones Live?

It’s a difficult question!

It’s a serious question!

It’s a question worth asking!

History answers, “No!”

Babylon never came back!

Phoenicia has not returned!

Nor has Tyre; nor has Elam; or Philistia.

Can These Bones Live?

Politics answers, “No!”

Not after being totally forbidden to inhabit their ancient homeland! Not after being denied access to their religious shrines! Not after being dispersed so widely throughout the world!

Military strategists answer, “Never will these bones live! Not after their military might was so completely broken! Not after being denied responsibile positions in the countries of their dispersion! Not after being so reviled in the few countries that gave them refuge!

But the Bible answers, “Yes!”

“These bones shall live!”

Current Events resoundingly echo:

“Yes!”

In a twentieth-century miracle, the nation of Israel has been reborn—reborn in its ancient homeland; reborn against tremendous odds; reborn amidst a vastly outnumbered opposition.

Reborn and thriving!

Can These Bones Live?

For over a century the history of the Middle East has been moving in steady steps toward the fulfillment of this prophecy of Ezekiel.

In 1878, after a ban of Seventeen Hundred Forty-three years, Israelis were given permission to own property in the ancient land of their forefathers.

In 1878 , they immediately established their first settlement, Petach Tikvah. Their return had begun.

In 1897, Theodor Herzl issued a worldwide call to organize the Zionist movement.

In 1917, Her Majesty’s government of Great Britain endorsed a Jewish state in the famous Balfour Declaration.

From 1936 to 1945 over six million Jews were killed in the Nazi Holocaust.

In 1948, as a result of a United Nations partition, Israel became a sovereign nation.

Then, immediately challenged by an overpowering Arab force, an Israeli victory legitimized their declaration of statehood.

In 1956, an invasion led by General Nasser of Egypt was soundly repelled.

In 1967, the six-day war of Israel against another Arab coalition enlarged the borders of the new state and Jerusalem was united once again under Jewish control.

In 1973, on the eve of the Jewish high holy day of Yom Kippur, a third Arab attack was again set back.

In 1989 the dismantled countries of the Soviet Union permitted the Jewish refuseniks to return to Israel.

In 1991 and 1992 repeated Scud attacks by Saddam Hassein of Iraq failed to dislodge the Israelis.

Dry bones returning to life. Scattered bones have become regathered bones. Bare bones have assumed sinew and flesh. Covered bones have been topped with skin.

But Can These Bones Live?

What is the meaning of it all?

In the prophesy of Ezekiel the resurrection of the dry bones was a four-step process:

First: a thundrous noise and shaking brought the bones together.

Second: the regathered bones took on sinew and flesh.

Third: skin covered the bones and,

Fourth: after a lapse of time, breath came into the bones and they lived.

Let’s look at these steps, one by one, and see how they have been fulfilled.

“As I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.”

* From Russia.

* From Germany.

* From Syria.

* From the United States.

* From England.

* From South America.

* From Yemen.

* From India.

* From Ethiopia.

* From China and Japan.

* From all over the world.

Israel – the people of history—now, the people of a miracle! Dry bones, shaking off the dust of twenty centuries.

Regathering from every corner of the earth to Israel.

Returning by boat, by plane and even by foot.

Returning to their ancient homeland In an ever-growing stream, like the salmon to its spawning ground. Attracted like metal filings to a magnet, the people of Israel return to their native land! In one immigration after another.

* Lured by the promises of Zionism.

* Attracted by the financial investments of the Hirsches and the Rothschilds.

* Driven by the pogroms of unfriendly nations.

* Hunted by the persecutions of Nazism and the Holocaust.

* There was no place like home.

And home was Israel!

“Next year in Jerusalem” became THIS YEAR IN JERUSALEM!

However, though you may gather bones from the whole world all you really have is a pile of dead bones!

But this was only the first step in the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy. Sinew, flesh, skin and life were yet to follow.

Ezekiel continues: “And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came upon them.”

And so it was, even in those days when nationhood was but a vague hope, an infrastructure began to develop.

Under the encouragement of Chaim Weissman, the Hebrew University was formed. The Haganah, Mossad and Irgun formed the military muscle. Hadassah reached forth to provide medical services.

Ben Yehuda resurrected the dead Hebrew language. A shadow government with such strong ambassadorial figures as David Ben Gurion, Chaim Weissman, Levi Eshkol and Golda Meir began to function in exile.

Bones And Sinews Were Appearing.

But still they were just that; a government in exile. Skin had not yet appeared to give them the semblance of a nation.

And The Skin Covered Them From Above.

As the close of World War II exposed the atrocities of the Holocaust to the public eye, the climate was set for the United Nations motion to partition Palestine and pave the way for a Jewish state.

On May 14, 1948, the ears of the Jewish people were pinned to their radios as the vote in the U.N. was tallied.

In Jerusalem David Ben Gurion capped the results by announcing a new state . . . the state of Israel, reborn from the dust bins of history.

Immediate recognition by world powers, beginning with President Harry Truman of the United States gave legitimacy to their claim.

Like any new birth, there were the pains of travail. Within hours an Arab coalition attacked to drive the new state into the sea.

Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia from the East; Lebanon and Syria from the North; Egypt from the South. Blocked on the West by the Mediterranean Naval armadas on the Western Sea. Outnumbered, surrounded, outgunned, Israel fought back desperately.

They fought back and, despite all odds, they won! The Bones had skin!

Israel Was A Nation!

“But there was no breath in them.”

To be alive in the sight of the nations around them was one thing, to be alive in the sight of God was another!

In Ezekiel’s prophecy there was a time lapse between the bones assembling, growing sinews and flesh, being covered with skin, and then receiving the breath of life.

Notice the last step: “Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God, Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.”

As with Adam in Eden, “the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.”

In this prophecy, the breath, or life, was to come from the wind. Wind, throughout the Bible, even as in common usage, signifies trouble.

“Winds of war;” “winds of turmoil;” “winds of strife;” causing men to be as turbulent as the wind-driven waves of the sea.

Nor was it from wind alone, but specifically from “the four winds” that this breath was to come.

We read of these same “four winds” in a description of the future climactic battle of the ages in Revelation: “I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on any tree.”

These “four winds of earth,” a virtual whirlwind of anarchy, depict a period of trouble which particularly involves the newborn nation of Israel.

This battle is described in great prophetic detail in the 38th and 39th chapters of Ezekiel.

While time does not permit an elaborate discussion of these chapters, they describe an invasion of Israel by a coalition of nations “from the north” during a time when Israel is dwelling “in peace and safety.”

Aparallel account in Zechariah informs us that Jerusalem will be attacked and “the city shall be taken.”

But the defeat will be temporary for: “Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.”

God gives the reasons for this final battle in many places in the Bible: Note what Ezekiel and Zephaniah prophecy: “I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me.”

“Then will I take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride; and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain. I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord. The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies: neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.”

Then “they shall know that I am the Lord. So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.”

After trying heroically to save themselves by their own military might, Israel will learn their final lesson. It is their God alone who can ultimately bring deliverance and salvation.

The prophet Zechariah sums it up well:

“Not by might, Nor by power, But by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.”

It is then: knowing the weakness of their own might, knowing the strength of their God, seeking and finding their Messiah, renewed in their faith in the Word of God, that breath will come upon them.

That Breath Will Be The Spirit Of The Lord:

“I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”

Breathing, they shall live! Living, they shall teach others how to live:

“The remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men.”

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills: and all nations shall flow into it.

“And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”

“In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.”

Thus we have God’s promise that these bones shall live again.!

But This Will Be Only The Beginning!

For we realize that these “bones that live” are an illustration of the resurrection of the dead.

For when these dry bones of Israel have breath and live, then the bones of Abraham and Sarah and Isaac and Rebecca shall also live.

* Then the bones of ancient Jewry shall also live.

* Then the bones of Muslims buried near the golden gate shall also live.

* Then the bones of Christians buried deep in the Kidron valley shall also live.

* Then the bones buried in neat rows in Flanders. poppy fields shall also live.

* Then the bones of all who have ever died shall come to life.

But When Will It Be?

The bones of Israel have been regathered! They already have sinew and flesh! The bones already have skin! Thus we are on the very brink of the fourth step coming to pass: Israel receiving the breath of life. However, not only Israel but all people will receive life.

For this will introduce the greatest event in all human history—the Kingdom of God!

The kingdom of which men have dreamed. The kingdom for which men have waited. The kingdom for which Christian have prayed:

“Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

And what a kingdom that will be:

“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart.And the tongue of the dumb sing: For in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.”

For “the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”

What a Promise!

The bones of Israel and all who have ever lived will become living bones, with flesh and blood—breathing bones, with life anew!

Yes, everyone,

* Jews

* Arabs

* Christians

* Heathen

* and Atheists.

* All men will all come forth from the tomb.

Unbelievable? Too good to be true? No! Our faith is greatly strengthened when we realize Israel’s dispersion among the nations, and their gradual return of favor, is a direct fulfillment of prophecy given thousands of years ago.

And so we CAN be assured that God’s promise of life to all who have ever lived, will also be fulfilled.

Rejoice!

Rejoice in life coming to Israel’s “dry bones!” Because it means that soon life will come to all the dead—regardless of their color, regardless of their creed, regardless of their nationality.

The return of Israel is the harbinger of the kingdom of God as surely as the robin is the harbinger of spring.