PARTNERS WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT: PART CLIV
The Spirit of the Lord showed and told Ezekiel that Israel had become a field of dead bones, and these bones would be resurrected at God’s will. Also, they would not be as they were when they died, but the reborn bones will return to Yahweh and His reformed “Conditions.”
The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me round among them and behold, there were very many upon the valley, and lo, they were dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord GOD, thou knowest.” Again he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the Lord. Thus says the LORD GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you 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 rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And as I looked, there were sinews on them, and the flesh had come upon them; but there was no breath in them. 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 upon the slain, that they may live.” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great host.
Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves, O my people; and I will bring you home into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken, and I have done it, says the LORD” (Ezekiel 37:1-14).
WHAT BROUGHT DEATH TO ISRAEL?
Moses predicted that Israel would be scattered and closed down when they disobey Yahweh’s Law and Yahweh’s Conditions (Deuteronomy 28). The Israelites stopped believing and worshipping Yahweh; and they went after the pagan deities, idols, morals, and practices. God used these Gentiles to discipline and punish Israel. During the days of Elijah, there weren only left seven thousand loyal Yahwehists (I Kings 19:18). Assyria carried out Yahweh’s orders and closed down the ten tribes called, “Israel” (II Kings 17). At the time of king Hezekiah, Judah and Jerusalem were spared, and they had some brief revivals, but they too ended up in Babylonian captivity (II Kings 24-25). This was the time of the prophet Jeremiah. Prophet Jeremiah was a new breed of a man, with strange ideas to Orthodox Judaism that had forsaken Yahwehism. Like Ezekiel, Jeremiah believed in a rebirth of Israel, which would begin in Babylon and not in Palestine. Jeremiah sounded like Jesus, “Love your enemies, pray for them, obey them, make them trust you, and expose them to true Yawehism.” Race was not as important as believing in and obeying Yahweh (God). It did not matter where you lived; it only mattered whether one was true to Yahweh (Jeremiah 29). Yahweh would be with his people and not held captive in a temple (Jeremiah 7:4). Jeremiah’s advice was first followed, and the Babylonians did leave Judah as a vessel with a new Jewish king, who rebelled and the Babylonians returned and destroyed Jerusalem. At the end of seventy years, as Jeremiah predicted, King Cyrus of Persia encouraged Ezra and Nehemiah with their people to return to Judea and Jerusalem and rebuild the city and the temple (Jeremiah 30-33; Ezra-Nehemiah). The majority of Jews stayed in Baylon and Persia and made a name for themselves. Some became like the Gentiles and some retained their isolationist attitude ever after. Those who did return to their homeland were strick isolationists, who would, at the end, divide Judea and cause sufficient disruptions for the Romans to end the existence of Judea as a nation. It was during the Roman time while Jesus was on earth, and so was Paul and John our main sources for understanding, why a new “Kingdom of God” was necessary. Judaism, of any kind, was not and is not Yahwehism.
JESUS AND PAUL HELP US UNDERSTAND THE HUGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SPIRIT AND THE FLESH
Yahwehism began with Abraham and fully enacted by Moses. Judaism began with Jocob’s son Judah and fully implemented by king David. It was the Davidic kind of era that the Jews wanted when God sent His Son Jesus to reintroduce true Yahwehism. Jesus did not accept the view that He was a descendant of David (Matthew 22:41-46; Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44). Jesus did not accept the prevalent Jewish belief that they were the children of Abraham and the children of God. Being a descendant of Abraham does not make anyone a son or daughter of God. However Abraham’s faith does; if one is willing to be reborn in the Spirit of God (John 3:3-7). Abraham’s faith was not based on his natural birth, or race, or work — but on the obedience to God, to the point of being willing to offer up his own son Isaac (Genesis 22:1-19).
And the angel of the Lord called to Araham a second time from heaven, and said, “By myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will indeed bless you, and I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore. And your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies, and by your descendants shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves, because you have obeyed my voice” (Genesis 22:15-18).
The Jews answered Jesus, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do what Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God; this is not what Abraham did. You do what your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one father, even God.” Jesus said to them (Jews), “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but He sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He Was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? He who is of God hears the words of God; the reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God” (John 8:39-47).
That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his (Abraham’s) descendants — not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham, for he is the father of us all, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations” — in the presence of God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations; as he had been told, “So shall your descendants be” (Romans 4:16-18).
ABRAHAM IS A HOST AND A COMFORTER IN HEAVEN
In the new life in heaven, Jesus said that man will be like angels (Matthew 22:30). Angels are kept busy and so was Abraham. He was preparing to host a delegation from many nations, but not anyone from Israel because of the lack of faith in the ministry of Jesus the Christ. One of Abraham’s guests was to be a Roman officer, who displayed an unusual faith in Jesus. Both, Matthew (8:11-13), and Luke (7:1-10) does not mention Abraham, but links him in Luke (13:22-30) and (16:19-31) mentioned in Part CVII and CVIII, where Abraham treats Lazarus and reminds the rich man of his failures. There was a Greek mother with a very sick daughter, an outcast Zacchaeus, and a widow who gave her last two copper coins, who may sit at Abraham’s table.
As Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, beseeching him and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyed at home in terrible distress.” And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion answered him, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard him, he marveled, and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jaob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.” And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; be it done for you as you believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment (Matthew 8:5-13).
And from there Jesus arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house, (Mark 7:24-30).
And Jesus went away from there (Gennesaret), and He withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from the region came out and cried, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely possessed by a demon.” But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” And he answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table. Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly (Matthew 15:21-28).
He (Jesus) entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector, and rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was small of stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” So he made haste and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it they all murmured, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded any one of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:1-10).
And Jesus sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the multitude putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came, and put in two copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him, and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For they all contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, her whole living” (Mark 12:41-44).