Bones and Sticks
One of the more interesting aspects of the Scriptures is the hidden message behind the writing of the Prophets. When one becomes “enlightened” to the truth of Kingdom Identity Theology, new doors of understanding open up in such a way that the passages, which were once obscured by literal interpretation, are now clearly seen in the light of proper identity of the characters portrayed.
There is a strong desire today on the part of our many of our Israel people to know their “roots” or heritage, as Genealogical Societies and other organizations attempt to trace the lineage of families to their original progenitors. There is within each of us a desire to know our history and origin, especially among the Anglo-Saxon peoples of the world.
The identification of the contemporary Israelitish people with the generally Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, and kindred peoples of the world, and the relationship of this knowledge to the “People of the Book,” opens up to us a whole new world of Biblical interpretation. When one realizes that the peoples under discussion by the Old Testament prophets are, in fact, our ancestors, not only does it become more interesting to us, but we begin to realize that the prophecies put forth concern us directly, it is we who are being addressed in the document.
Once firmly held traditional views re replaced with TRUTH. We no longer see the writings as pertaining to some obscure “ancient culture” but gain a more positive comprehension of the plan of God for His people. As many have said, 85 percent of the Scriptures and the messages and instructions therein are hidden from the understanding of those who do not know their identity as the descendants of the House of Israel.
As we will see in the Book of Ezekiel, long held doctrinal views and positions do much to pervert, corrupt and distort the real meaning and truth found in the Scriptures. The “traditions of men” (Now called The Talmud) and denominational doctrines keep the sincere student of the Bible in darkness and ignorance.
When such a person become “enlightened” as to the truth of just who the prophet is writing about, then a whole new and glorious insight comes to the reader. Preconceived bias and doctrinal mandates from early church teachings are seen for what they are; ERROR. If we approach the study of prophecy with traditional, doctrinal “absolutes,” then we will miss altogether the message of God for His Children.
The TIMING, as well as other clues and nuances in the parables of Ezekiel, is necessary to comprehend, that we may know to whom the document is addressed. As to Bible versions, my choice is the King James (authorized version), as there appear to be fewer mistranslated words or ideas. Let me give you an example. In Paul’s epistle to the Galatians he speaks of faith:
“And the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by THE faith OF the Son of God.” (Galatians 2:20; King James version)
“And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God.” (Galatians 2:20; Revised Standard Version)
“I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, Christ lives in me; the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20; The James Moffatt Translation)
Another example would be: Shortly after Rachel, Jacob’s beloved wife, who was journeying with Jacob to Ephrath from Bethel, she began to travail in hard labor. The midwife said she shall bare thee a son also. But alas, Rachel died at childbirth, she lived long enough to call his name Benoni, but his father called him Benjamin (son of sorrow). Please remember that BENJAMIN WAS THE ONLY ONE OF JACOB’S SONS THAT WAS BORN A TRUE ISRAELITE. HE WAS BORN AFTER JACOB’S NAME AND NATURE WAS CHANGED TO ISRAEL. (Meaning ruling with God)
Since Benjamin was born a True Israelite, it was to him the offspring of Ephraim and Manasseh WHO WERE TO BE ADOPTED LATER BY JACOB/ISRAEL AS ISRAELITES. (Genesis 48:15-22) It was to these to whom the promises were made. Listen to Paul in Romans 8 and 9, “for whom He did foreknow.” (He foreknew Benjamin in the genes of Abraham)
“He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son that He might be the first born among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29)
“Who are ISRAELITES OF WHOM PERTAINETH THE ADOPTION, AND THE GLORY, AND THE COVENANTS, AND THE GIVING OF THE LAW, AND THE SERVICE OF GOD, AND THE PROMISES.” (Romans 9:4)
Then Paul is speaking of Ephraim and Manasseh, and then he speaks of the other 11 sons of Jacob/Israel:
“FOR THEY ARE NOT ALL ISRAEL WHO ARE OF ISRAEL.” (Romans 9:6)
Therefore, we know that Benjamin was to be a special choice seed unto Yahweh and why he was chosen to be the light bearer, because he was born a True Israelite. Whereas the other sons of Jacob/Israel were born as Jacobites.
“And unto his (David) son (Solomon) will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a light alway before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there.” (1 Kings 11:36)
The other eleven sons of Jacob were called the House or Children of Israel because their father’s name was Israel but they were not born Israelites, they were Jacobites. When the Kingdom of Israel was divided into two separate Houses after the reign of Solomon; Yahweh promised David that he, David, would always have Light before his steps so he chose to give to David the Tribe of Benjamin. The House of David continued to rule over the Judah Kingdom comprising Judah, the ½ tribe of Levi and the Tribe of Benjamin. (1 Kings 1:36; 12:21-23)
Big difference! This is only two examples where the entire meaning of the writing is completely changed by the Judeo-Christian church doctrines, as to understanding of just WHO has the faith. The authorized version, therefore, follows more closely to the original manuscripts. We also recommend use of a good concordance, we personally use “Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance,” although it does have some errors in it.
It is easy to check out words in their original languages and get a better handle on their meaning as they were originally intended. Keep in mind that the prophecies written in this chapter (2,500 years ago), have short-range and long-range fulfillment. Understanding the timing involved is most important.
With that, let us proceed to discover the secrets held within this wonderful 37th chapter of Ezekiel.
The Valley of Bones
The plan of God for His people Israel always has and always will be made known by the voice of those whom He has chosen to speak on His behalf to the people. Such was the task of Ezekiel as he received instructions concerning the prophecy for the House of Israel.
“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 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, thou knowest.” (Ezekiel 37:1-3)
Knowing that it takes a long time for bones to completely lose their flesh and become “very dry,” this is a reference to the long period of time in which the children of Israel had been in their dry, lifeless condition. (Much the same as today) The large number of bones tells us that an immense multitude of people were in this state of spiritual death. (Much the same as today)
After asking the question; “Can these bones live?,” Ezekiel, aware that God is omniscient (knows all things), admits that only He can know the answer. Then the commission is given to the prophet to “speak” to the bones or spiritually lifeless people that they may hear His word and live. Even in that day it was only through the Word of God that Spiritual life could manifest itself within and faith imparted. (Romans 10:17)
Continuing we read:
“Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath (the Spirit) to enter 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 (Sprit) in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.” (Ezekiel 37:5)
As the Holy Spirit was given to the Israelites at Sinai, so here is a promise of an outpouring (at some future time) of the Spirit (breath) which will produce a viable, spirit-filled life within the people. Ezekiel does as he is commanded and life, in deed, returns to the bones. He is then instructed to speak to the wind in a rather peculiar manner:
“Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath (Spirit), and breathe upon these ‘slain,’ that they may live.” (Ezekiel 37:9)
This is an interesting use of the word, “slain,” as it tells us that the House of Israel was indeed SPIRITUALLY KILLED BY FALSE DOCTRINE; TRADITIONS OF MEN, IDOLATRY AND DISOBEDIENCE.
“And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:4)
“Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.” (Titus 1:15)
So he prophesied and they “stood up upon their feet, and exceeding great army.” (Ezekiel 37:10) This vast multitude had been at war with God and each other and now they cry unto God for that which would produce spiritual life and salvation. They realize their condition of lifelessness of spirit and believe that their situation is hopeless:
“Then he said unto me, 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 cut off for our parts.” (Ezekiel 37:11)
To a follower of Christ there is nothing more distressing than to be separated from the care, protection and love of God and, until the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2), the people were without hope. The whole House of Israel was dispersed (cut off) and was in desperate need of a Savior and Redeemer.
Christ promised that, after His Ascension, He would send the Holy Spirit, The Comforter, the Paraclete, Who would infill them and teach them all things. Verses 12 and 13 give us a reference to a spiritual resurrection, in which new life would be available to “My People.” This is the new life found only in Christ and given unto us by the power of the Holy Spirit. Next, we see the promise of being led into a land of their own, a sign by which the Israel people would know that they are under Divine guidance and care:
“And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.” (Ezekiel 37:14)
The timing of this prophecy of the “valley of bones”is preconsummation is borne by the fact that there is no mention of a “King” to rule in this new land, nor is there any reference to the presence (parousia) of Christ. It is, therefore, a prophecy only of a plan for spiritual renewal and geographic relocation, that the House of Israel may fulfill the earlier prophecies of salvation and service to God. The call to repentance and life in the spirit has long been the message of Christianity, from Pentecost even to these last days.
Life in the Sticks
Part two of this chapter deals with prophecy using symbolic “sticks” to describe the two separated and distinct Kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Ezekiel is directed to take one stick and write upon it for “Judah” and for the children of Israel, his companions. This is an obvious reference to the Southern Kingdom of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin and a portion of the tribe of Levi.
He is then told to take another stick and write upon it for the House of Joseph, which of course represents the ten and one half tribes of the Northern Kingdom:
“Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, for Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: and join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.” (Ezekiel 37:16-17)
Here, we find one instance in which the House of Joseph is given over to his son Ephraim, one of the Birthright holders. It was the tribe of Ephraim which would become “chief among the tribes” over the Northern Kingdom. The book of 1 Kings, chapters 9 and 10, gives the history of Solomon’s reign over the whole kingdom, and upon his death the kingdom was divided into two separate nations; with Rehoboam (his son) ruling in the South and Jeroboam being appointed King in the North. The tribe of Benjamin was “loaned” to the southern domain.
When the children of Israel ask for an interpretation of the sticks “coming together,” Ezekiel is to tell them that this is a prophecy of the “coming together” of both houses into one people in the hand of God, to be used for His divine purpose at some future time. David gives us a prophecy of this happening when he wrote about the “brethren” in Psalm 133:
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments. As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.” (Psalm 133:3)
Though prophecies had been given to the House of Israel, they were, nevertheless, in a state of apostasy, bitterness and in political turmoil at this time. Moreover, they were separated into two distinct nations, which eventually went into captivity. God then unveils His plan of redemption for the whole of House of Israel, for we read:
“And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them ALL: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.” (Ezekiel 37:21-23)
This situation, as explained to the prophet, obviously has never been in existence. A REMNANT of the House of Judah did return to old Palestine to fulfill their destiny to rebuild the temple, thus keeping the mandate assigned to them until the first Advent of Christ. But the main portion of Israel would be consigned to the seven times of punishment (2520 years), later to be restored in the prepared place as found in 2 Samuel 7:10 and 1 Chronicles 17:9.
That we, in the Israel world of today, have been given this land to “dwell in” is patently clear to those with “eyes to see” and “ears to hear.” PLEASE REALIZE ALSO THAT THE OUTPOURING OF THE SPIRIT AT PENTECOST (Acts 2) HAS IN NO WAY CREATED WITHIN THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE THAT WHICH WOULD MAKE THEM WANT TO KEEP GOD’S NATIONS STATUTES AND JUDGMENTS.
Nor has it brought about the aforementioned unity between the Sceptre (Judah) and the Kingdom (Israel). The Spirit given at Pentecost was but an “earnest” of the Spirit, not the “fulness,” as is promised to us in the coming consummation of the Age:
“And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.” (Ezekiel 37:24-25)
Please notice that in verse 24 David is referred to as “King,” whereas in verse 25 the title for David is “prince.” The name David in these verses refers to Christ and not the person of King David who reigned prior to Solomon. Christ is frequently called “Son of David” to verify His lineage from the House of David, the chosen line from which the Messiah was to come. This reference to Him as “Prince” I believe to be at the time when He shall have delivered up the Kingdom to the Father in perfect submission.
The above prophecies, speaking of Israel as a nation “wanting to keep God’s statutes and judgments” and putting away “their detectable things,” have never seen their fulfillment, and are a picture of life in the millennial Kingdom. Such a scenario is nowhere apparent in the Israel world today, nor will it be a reality until after the First Resurrection and closing of the Church Age. The parallels between the resurrection motif and the Harvest Feats are striking. At the time of the Second Advent all will be well in the Kingdom, for we are told:
“Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them: it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Ezekiel 37:26-27)
During this millennial reign of Christ life will go on but not in the usual manner as before. A covenant of peace will necessitate the end of all wars and petty bickering and skirmishes in the Israel world. Life will continue as before, only in that there will be multiplication of peoples for the Glory of God. That great “Covenant of Peace” and the accompanying promises of a sanctuary in the midst of the people is also spoken of in Revelation 21:3:
“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.”
In 1 Corinthians 6:19 we are told:
“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple (tabernacle) of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own.”
This, the Spirit of God dwelling in men, is the promised fulfillment of “Christ in you, the hope of Glory” (Colosians 1:27); it is the time of the “manifestation of the sons of God.” (Romans 8:19) The final verse in this chapter shows us the purpose of God’s intervening Grace to Israel:
“And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.” (Ezekiel 37:28)
The most misunderstood aspect of this chapter of Ezekiel is the distinction between the two “House” i.e., Israel and Judah, and their coming together into one domain. Most Judeo-Christians in the “church world,” though sincere, mistakenly imagine that “Jewry” is that which composes Judah.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The Jews as we find them today, are essentially a religious sect and are not of the Israel nations, in spite of their claims. They rejected the Messiah at His first Advent and they reject Him yet. Hence, Christ said to them:
“The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits (of the kingdom) thereof.” (Matthew 21:43)
The True House of Judah is found wherever the “Sceptre” resides in fulfillment of the promise given to the sons of Jacob. Though the Judah tribe can be found essentially in the German people of today (including the Royal House of Windsor), Judah, as with Israel, is scattered throughout the nations of the world. Much can be said regarding the migrations of the Tribes of Israel (including Judah), but this is not within the scope of this current work.
The important point to be remembered is the TIMING of the appearing (parousia) of Christ, when the sceptre shall be in the hands of the reigning Monarch. “David my King,” is, therefore, none other than the “Body of Christ,” the “Barley Overcomers,” the “True Church” who will reign with Christ (within) for a thousand years with authority and power, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. With authority comes responsibility, and it will be the mission of those chosen and elect to govern the Israel nations teach TRUTH. This is the time when the WHOLE House of Israel will be awakened to their identity and blindness will be removed.
This will be in preparation for the proclamation of the Word of God to the nations of the world. Geographical location or “nationality” of the tribes is irrelevant, as the covenant with God makes with His people (verse 26) will be a covenant of peace having conditions as with any covenant, in order to put down all rule and authority. The blending of the two sticks into one then represents a unity of people who will be taught to “put on the mind of Christ.” This will be accomplished by the empowerment of the glorified remnant, “the presence of Christ.”
They in turn will be responsible for the teaching of the (Israel) nations and their ultimate conversion. It will be the time when Israel sings the “Song of the Lamb” as recorded in Revelation 15:3 and elsewhere:
“Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? For thou only art holy: for ALL NATIONS shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.”
Now don’t make the mistake in believe that this includes all the non-Israel nations because it is very clear that there will be many living in the world that have their own gods, and etc.
“For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” (Revelation 22:15)
It is the time of the fulfillment of the prophecy given to Paul and recorded in Philippians 2:10 where “every knee shall bow... and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
When this speaks of every tongue that is because God’s Israel people are located in every nation on earth and speak the native tongue of that particular nation.
One of the most heartwarming and glorious covenant promises spoken of by Ezekiel is recorded in the 31st Chapter of Jeremiah:
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I WILL PUT MY LAW IN THEIR INWARD PARTS, AND WRITE IT IN THEIR HEARTS; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
What a blessed HOPE we have in the promises of our God for His Israel people. It is our hope that you will be encouraged to search deeper into the mysteries of His Word. (Taken, in part, Destiny Letter No. 25, P.O. Box 177, Merrimac, Massachusetts 01860–0177, (978) 346-9311, by William H. Curtis M Ed; Ph D)