Lee Y. Martin, Ph.D., © 2007
Israel as a body of believers constituting the people of God under the Old Covenant was slain [Ezekiel 37:9], cut off [37:11], and without hope of a resurrection to life apart from Ezekiel’s prophetic Word from the Lord.
His prophecy was a pledge to them to restore her to life [37:5] and make her latter house more glorious than the former one [Haggai 2:9]. What a magnanimous God we have. In spite of all Israel’s harlotry, God is going to restore her former glory she had under Solomon and bump it up to greater heights. Is that not like the Lord? Is that not what He does for us in the Church Age? Christians even today fall after the same example of unbelief as Israel because they do not labor to enter into rest through Bible study [Hebrews 4:11]; but in spite of our continual failure to believe God will keep His Word to us, God is faithful and keeps us secure in His hands. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness.
In Jeannette’s vision, the words spoken by God: “the church is slain, and there is no breath of life” compares the church with the condition of Israel in the present day. But we have seen that there is more to it than a mere similitude of word imagery. God is giving us the temperature of the times at the moment. When God stopped Jeannette after the second verse of chapter 38 and said: “The hand of Gog is raised and ready to strike”, He was indicating that the time for Israel’s reunion is upon us. Chapter 37 set the stage for chapter 38. Israel’s regathering to her land has precipitated the invasion of Gog, the wicked Antichrist who decimates Israel in the tribulation. He and his cohorts’ attempt to destroy Israel is proclaimed as the next step on the agenda of last things. Therefore, Israel is about to go through her labor pains that will bring forth her spiritual birth. This period is known in Scripture as ‘the time of Jacob’s trouble’.
Jacob’s trouble is that he (Israel, Jacob’s alternate name) is having labor pains as a woman with child. The pains will increase all during the tribulation and finally end with the spiritual rebirth of the nation. She was born a corporeal body of believers during the Exodus generation, and she will be born a spiritual body of believers during the tribulation generation.
The events in the world today and the fact that anti-Semitism is on the rise loudly proclaim that labor is beginning. Jerusalem is truly a cup of trembling to all the nations of the world for she is a powder keg of dynamite ready to explode the world into World War III. True to prophecy, God has …made her a burdensome stone to all the people round about [Zechariah 12:2,3]. All her neighbors are burdened by her presence in their midst. They ever seek her demise. But God has other plans. He will …disappoint the devices of the crafty so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise. He overtakes the wise (by human standards) in their own craftiness, and their counsel is carried headlong to their own destruction [Job 5:12,13].
The battle of chapter 38 and 39 against Israel will be protracted and
climax as the battle of Armageddon. Some Bible scholars believe the events
of Ezekiel 38 and 39 occur at the beginning of the Tribulation or before.
Regardless of whether they happen at the beginning or end or somewhere
in-between, the fact remains that ‘the time of Jacob’s trouble’
is upon us. The Islamic people are armed and ready for Jihad. They want
Israel annihilated. This is the reason God told Jeannette that Gog, the
underworld leader according to the Septuagint, is about to strike.
God told Jeannette to read chapter 37 after that of chapter 38 because it is in chapter 37 that the church’s message lies. Because the particulars of the vision were convoluted, the message eluded me for a while. But while praying, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that the message was laid in types and antitypes with the antitype becoming the type for another later antitype, which I have explained at length in the foregoing pages. Israel is the type for the church, and then the church becomes the type for Israel in her latter days.
Instant crisis is about to come upon the world as a thief [1 Thessalonians 5:2,3], at which time there will be a great shifting as well as sifting of all things. Before this happens, however, God is forewarning the church that she is dead. Lofty idealism has propelled her to participate in praiseworthy humanitarian goals, but they are mere revivals of the social gospel that was heavily promoted around the turn of the twentieth century. The objectives might change things superficially according to the world’s standards, but there is no lasting life on the inside. It was and is a gospel that beclouds the true gospel of life everlasting through Jesus Christ, the source of life. Mixing church doctrine with manmade doctrines that teach all roads lead to heaven and every man can do that which is right in his own eyes is duplicitous deadly deception.
Evangelism according to twelve step programs, user-friendly churches, and catering to the whims of people obscures the vital necessary spiritual rebirth that divorces one from the world. God is graciously warning in this vision that the church needs to arise from her snoozing. What’s it going to take to awaken her? As has been said, total dedication to understanding the signs of the times through Bible study. Jesus castigated the church of Israel in His day for not knowing the time of the Messiah’s visitation and not discerning that He was the Messiah [Luke 19:44]. The works and miracles He performed were His credentials along with Him fulfilling Scripture after Scripture during His 3 ½ year ministry. Matthew lists forty prophetic utterances that Jesus fulfilled. Thus, our Lord wept over their apathy [Luke 19:41-44] towards Him because He loved them so much and wanted to be received as their Messiah Savior.
So the whole house of the Lord is the true ecclesia of Israel and the true ecclesia of Jesus’ church. Both are slain and have no breath of life in them according to Ezekiel’s and Jeannette’s visions. Astoundingly, neither one knows the condition of their situation. They both think all is well, but they are dead. And dead men can’t fight. God is summoning disciples from each house to arise and stop turning a deaf ear to the Word of God. How can believers become an exceeding great army in the service of God if they keep turning away their ears from hearing the law or the Scriptures? The Bible says that even the prayers of those people are an abomination to the Lord [Proverbs 28:9].
Therefore, we must discern the signs of the times by searching the Scriptures because our Lord desires His people to participate in the cleansing of earth through spiritual warfare. This is where one’s spiritual valor is tested. Christians have no excuse not to enter the fray because we have the complete armour of God [Ephesians 6:10-18], but it must be battle tested to prove its worth. The armour of many Christians is untempered (not hardened with fire) and is therefore too fragile to take any ground for the Kingdom of God. There are myriads of casualties in the church today because of compromised stands on truth, which is why she is dead.
Jesus made no compromise when the world rejected His teaching. He kept on telling them who He was and that they were not going to make it to heaven if they refused to accept Him as the sent one from God who was telling them the truth about who He was. When they refused to receive His Words as those given to Him by God, His Father, He stopped teaching them directly and spoke to them in parables. Since their foolish heart was darkened, He began teaching truth in dark speeches. Indeed, the punishment fits the crime.
Since Jesus is our leader and Master, we can do no less. The exclusivity of Christianity to reach God must be preached in spite of political incorrectness. Because how can one call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? [Romans 10:14,15].
Click on next for Continued 7 Interpretation: Breath of the Lord
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Thursday, August 15, 2013 7:40 PM