Rebirth of a Nation, Part 2

“The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, 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.’” Ezekiel 37:1-3.

This prophecy contained in the first fourteen verses of Ezekiel 37 concern the resurrection of the nation of Israel.

“Again He said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, “O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God to these bones: ‘Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.’”’ So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.” Ezekiel 37:4-8.

It was Jesus Christ who prophesied that the end times would begin with a world war. The following passage was spoken by the Lord after His disciples questioned Him saying as follows.

“Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” Matthew 24:3b.

“Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.” Matthew 24:4b-9.

It is agreed upon by most conservative Christian scholars, and by Jewish rabbis that the words, “…nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom”, is a reference to a world war. World War I fits that description; it is also felt by many historians that World War II was merely a continuation of WW I.

Notice that the Lord says, “…you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled”, so that is not the sign of the end.

Jesus then speaks of the world war and then says, “All these things are the beginning of sorrows.”

The New American Standard Version renders this verse, “But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.” This seems much more descriptive, even though the same thing is meant by sorrows and birth pangs.

It is easier to visualize a woman in labor where the pains are so far apart, and then come in more frequent intervals, until the birth happens. World War I, World War II, the shuffling of boundaries on the world map, the end of colonialism, rise of communism, the fall of the Russian Empire overnight, and now its resurgence in another form.

In the last ten years or so we have seen how drastically, how quickly things can change, America losing its prestige on the world stage, the Muslim Brotherhood taking over the Middle East.

Whole world economies coming apart, nuclear weapons in the hands of despots, and Israel in more peril than ever before, with almost no friends. It is time to get out your calendar and time the birth pangs.

“…but there was no breath in them”, from November 2, 1917, to May 14, 1948, Israel was little more than a location on a map; there was no breath, no political clout, and very few in population. In 1918, the Jewish population of Palestine was 60,000; by 1949 the population had grown to 1,013,900.

“Then He said to me, ‘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 breathe on these slain, that they may live.’”’ So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army. Then He said to me, ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, “Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!” Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “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.”’” Ezekiel 37:9-12.

God confirms here that the dry bones are the whole house of Israel, reinforcing the interpretation that this prophecy is about Israel. What we have seen so far is bones covering the ground in this valley, so Israel has returned, but is still dead politically and as a nation.

However, when the prophet calls for the breath, and notice this, from the four winds, they become alive and stand on their feet.

This is not the breath of God because they are still dead spiritually; rather this breath, or wind, is from the four corners of the earth, meaning that Jews come from everywhere to Israel.

They have come out of the graves of ignominy and shame in other nations and returned to life in the land.

For me at least, it is hard to conceive the hatred for the Jewish people, yes, like all of mankind there are good and bad Jews, some the most brilliant in doing good, and others have formulated the most horrendous of evil doctrines which plague mankind.

The mind, really, cannot take in the needless murders of innocent Jews that have taken place over the centuries. Josef Stalin was right when he said:

“The death of one man is a tragedy; the death of a million is a statistic.”

And the world has racked up statistics with Stalin’s own pogroms against the Jews and against others within his regime.

A pogrom is an organized massacre, especially of the Jews according to the dictionary.

Even more significant is the meaning of the word pogrom in Russian; it is a word meaning an attack, accompanied by destruction, looting of property, murder, and rape; perpetrated by one part of a population against another.

But it is not just Russia. During the dark ages godless men within the church murdered, tortured and massacred Jews and true Christians by the millions through the Inquisition, which was extended into the late 1800s by the Spanish Inquisition.

It is not just Germany during World War 2, but the Eastern European countries and Muslim countries that have continuously shed innocent blood, especially Jewish blood and often (as in Muslim countries today) Christian blood.

Though statistics on the total number of Jewish deaths over the last two thousand years is hard to come by, millions would not be inaccurate, with millions more persecuted and stripped of their worldly belongings.

Again, we are dealing with statistics and not the horrors encountered by one man or woman, which is what each statistical number represents.

Considering these persecutions, it is not difficult to see why so many Jews, God’s chosen race, are atheists or agnostics. And the few Orthodox Jews that make up the population of Israel are under the false impression that it is the real followers of Christ who have instigated all or most of the persecutions over these two thousand years.

Despite all of this, it is God who is dealing with His rebellious people, a rebellion that has gone back well beyond the crucifixion of their Messiah.

God has brought those in rebellion against Him back into the land to purge and purify the nation for Himself. It is up to Christians to, in love, preach Christ to the Jew, it is up to God to deal with their hard hearts, not men.

“As I live,” says the Lord God, “surely with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out, I will rule over you. I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will plead My case with you face to face. Just as I pleaded My case with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will plead My case with you,” says the Lord God. “I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; I will purge the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the country where they sojourn, but they shall not enter the land of Israel [meaning, not enter the future millennial kingdom of Israel]. Then you will know that I am the Lord.” Ezekiel 20:33-38.

By the end of the seven years of the coming tribulation, especially the last three and one half years when Antichrist is about to kill all of the Jews, all the remnant of Israel will be saved to enter the millennial kingdom of their Messiah.

“It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they have pierced; they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.” Zechariah 12:9-10.

The pogroms, the murders, the persecutions will not end until the battle of Armageddon is won by Jesus Christ.

“Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.” Ezekiel 37:13-14.

We have gone from the four winds breathing life into the dead bodies in the valley, to God putting, “…My Spirit in you, and you shall live.” Only those who have accepted Christ as their Savior can have God’s Holy Spirit in them.

“And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.’” Romans 11:26-27.

So the remnant of Israel will be saved, but it will be a long and bloody time before that happens, as we shall see when we study the Russian army’s invasion of Israel next.

Rebirth of a Nation, Part 2 taken from updated on 10-3-15, reposted on 2-1-22.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.

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