RETURN TO SYLLABUS
EZEKIEL 37
LESSON #31
ILLUSTRATIONS OF RESURRECTION AND REVIVAL

v      MEMORY VERSE:   JOHN 11:25

v      EZEKIEL 37 IS ONE OF THE MOST WELL-KNOWN CHAPTERS IN THE BOOK OF EZEKIEL BECAUSE OF THE NEGRO SPIRITUAL SONG, “DEM BONES”. HOWEVER, IT IS OFTEN MIS-INTERPRETED AND MIS-USED. IN THE CONTEXT OF THE BOOK OF EZEKIEL, GOD HAS ALREADY PROMISED THAT HE WOULD RESTORE ISRAEL BOTH PHYSICALLY AND SPIRITUALLY. CHAPTER 37 GIVES US FURTHER CONFIRMATION OF THIS RESURRECTION AND REVIVAL.

v      READ EZE 37:1-10   THE SIGN OF THE VALLEY OF DRY BONES

      GOD TRANSPORTS EZEKIEL TO JERUSALEM. (1)

         REMEMBER THAT JERUSALEM HAD BEEN DESTROYED IN 586 BC BY NEBUCHADNEZZAR OF BABYLON. THE BABYLONIANS TOOK THE JEWS CAPTIVE TO BABYLON FOR 70 YEARS.

         EZEKIEL IS IN BABYLON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT PHYSICALLY LIFTS HIM UP AND TAKES HIM BACK TO JERUSALEM. (1)

        EZEKIEL HAD THIS SAME EXPERIENCE IN EZE 8.

      EZEKIEL SEES A VALLEY FILLED WITH BONES.

         REMEMBER THAT EZEKIEL WAS A PRIEST WHO WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO DEFILE HIMSELF WITH ANYTHING DEAD.

         THESE ARE THE HUMAN BONES OF THE DEAD PEOPLE KILLED IN THE FINAL ATTACK ON JERUSALEM. THESE ARE THE BONES OF THE PEOPLE FLEEING FROM THE BABYLONIAN SOLDIERS.

        THESE JEWISH BODIES DID NOT HAVE A BURIAL. CULTURALLY, THAT WAS A HUMILIATING CONDITION FOR A JEW NOT TO HAVE A BURIAL.

         EZEKIEL’S OBSERVATION:

        THESE BONES ARE VERY DRY.

      IN OTHER WORDS, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO LIFE IN THEM.

        THESE BONES ARE VERY SCATTERED.

      IN OTHER WORDS, THERE IS NO UNIFYING ORDER TO THEM.

      GOD’S QUESTION AND EZEKIEL’S RESPONSE: 

         “CAN THESE BONES LIVE?” (3)

         THE IDEA IS BEYOND EZEKIEL’S CAPACITY TO BELIEVE. ONLY GOD KNOWS BECAUSE ONLY GOD COULD BRING LIFE TO THESE BONES.

      EZEKIEL’S MESSAGE TO THE DRY BONES: (5-6)

         GOD WILL GIVE THE BONES BREATH.

         GOD WILL GIVE THE BONES LIFE.

         GOD WILL GIVE THE BONES FLESH, MUSCLE, AND SKIN.

         GOD WILL CAUSE THE BONES TO KNOW THAT HE IS GOD.

      THE EARTH QUAKES AND THE BONES COME TOGETHER (7)

         YOU CAN IMAGINE EZEKIEL’S SHOCK WHEN THE DRY BONES START MOVING. HE MUST HAVE BEEN VERY FRIGHTENED.

         THEN THE SKELETONS TURN INTO DEAD BODIES. (8)

         THE MOVEMENT OF THE WIND GIVES LIFE TO THE DEAD BODIES (9-10)

         “THE WIND” IN SCRIPTURE IS ANOTHER SYMBOL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. (GEN 2:7   ACT 2:1-4)

      THE HEBREW WORD, ruah, IS THE SAME WORD FOR WIND, BREATH, AND SPIRIT.

         THE LIVING BODIES ARE A MIGHTY ARMY OF PEOPLE.

      THE THREE-STAGE PROCESS:

         1.  DRY BONES

         2.  DEAD BODIES

         3.  A LIVING ARMY

v      READ EZE 37:11-14   THE INTERPRETATION OF THE VALLEY OF DRY BONES

      WE DO NOT HAVE TO WONDER OR SPECULATE WHAT THIS VALLEY OF DRY BONES REPRESENTS BECAUSE THE BIBLE TELLS US IN VERSE 11.

         THE DRY BONES REPRESENT “THE WHOLE HOUSE OF ISRAEL” (11).

        THEY DO NOT REPRESENT THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH.

        REMEMBER THAT BEFORE THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY, THE NATION OF ISRAEL WAS DIVIDED INTO TWO NATIONS, A NORTHERN KINGDOM AND A SOUTHERN KINGDOM.

      THEREFORE, THE PROPHECY IS NOT ONLY FOR THE SOUTHERN KINGDOM, BUT ALSO FOR THE ENTIRE NATION.

      THE OPEN GRAVES (13-14)

         GOD SAYS THERE WILL BE A PHYSICAL RESURRECTION AND A SPIRITUAL REVIVAL OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL.

        THIS PASSAGE DOES NOT MEAN THAT GOD WILL RESURRECT THE DEAD BODIES OF THE PEOPLE WHO DIED IN 586 BC. THE REFERENCE IS TO THE NATION.

      THE FULFILLMENT OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE DRY BONES:

         THE VISION INDICATES THAT THE FULFILLMENT WILL OCCUR IN A GRADUAL PROCESS IN THREE STAGES AND IN TWO AREAS.

        THE TWO AREAS:

      1.  A PHYSICAL RESURRECTION OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL.

      THE SCATTERED JEWISH PEOPLE WILL BECOME A WHOLE NATION AGAIN.

         THIS WAS FIRST FULFILLED AFTER THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY. HOWEVER, THE NATION WAS NOT INDEPENDENTLY SOVEREIGN.

         THEREFORE, THE SECOND FULFILLMENT OCCURRED IN 1948 WHEN ISRAEL BECAME A SOVEREIGN NATION.

        THE NATION OF ISRAEL WAS PUT TOGETHER “BONE TO ITS BONE” (7).

      THE ZIONIST MOVEMENT STARTED IN 1881. BUT IT WAS NOT UNTIL WORLD WAR I THAT A JEWISH MAN NAMED CHAIM WEIZMANN INVENTED A CHEMICAL FORMULA FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF TNT EXPLOSIVES AND A SMOKELESS GUNPOWDER. ENGLAND WAS LOSING THE WAR AT THAT TIME. THEREFORE, HE GAVE THE INVENTION TO ENGLAND IN EXCHANGE FOR DIPLOMATIC HELP FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL. THE RESULT WAS “THE BALFOUR DECLARATION” OF 1917 THAT ESTABLISHED ISRAEL AS A PROTECTORATE NATION BELONGING TO ENGLAND. IN 1948 ISRAEL WAS DECLARED A SOVEREIGN NATION.

      2.  A SPIRITUAL RESURRECTION OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL.

      WHEN ISRAEL BECAME A SOVEREIGN NATION IN 1948, THERE WAS NO SPIRITUAL REVIVAL. THIS IS WHY WE MUST LOOK FOR A SECOND FULFILLMENT OF THIS PROPHECY.

         ISRAEL WILL BE SPIRITUALLY REBORN WHEN JESUS COMES BACK AT THE SECOND COMING. THAT WILL BE THE SPIRITUAL FULFILLMENT OF THE PROPHECY. (ZEC 12:9-13:1  ISA 66:7-9)

        THE THREE STAGES:

      1.  THE DRY-BONE STAGE:

      FOR 50 YEARS (586 BC TO 536 BC) THE ISRAELITES WAITED IN BABYLON TO RETURN TO THE LAND OF ISRAEL. HOWEVER, WHEN THEY WERE FREE TO RETURN, NOT ALL JEWS RETURNED. THE MAJORITY REMAINED IN BABYLON.

         THE WHOLE HOUSE OF ISRAEL WAS NOT BROUGHT TOGETHER.

      IN 70 AD, THE ROMANS DESTROYED ISRAEL AGAIN AND THE PEOPLE WERE SCATTERED.

      2.  THE DEAD-BODY STAGE:

      IN 1948 WHEN ISRAEL BECAME A SOVEREIGN NATION, IT WAS SMALL AND WEAK. (IN 1945 THERE WERE ABOUT 500,000 PEOPLE IN ISRAEL.) GRADUALLY, OVER THE YEARS SINCE THAT TIME, JEWS HAVE MIGRATED TO ISRAEL. NOW THERE ARE JEWS THERE FROM ALL THE 12 TRIBES. (IN THE YEAR 2000 THERE WERE MORE THAN 5 MILLION.) THIS BODY OF ISRAEL WILL CONTINUE TO BE PUT TOGETHER UNTIL CHRIST COMES AGAIN.

      3.  THE LIVING-ARMY STAGE:

      WHEN JESUS CHRIST RETURNS TO THIS EARTH, THE WIND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL BLOW THROUGH THE NATION OF ISRAEL.THEN JEWS WILL TURN TO JESUS CHRIST AS THEIR MESSIAH. THE NATION OF ISRAEL WILL BE UNITED BOTH PHYSICALLY AND SPIRITUALLY. THEY WILL BE A MIGHTY ARMY FOR THE LORD.

v      READ EZE 37:15-28    THE SIGN OF THE TWO STICKS

      EZEKIEL TELLS US WHAT THESE TWO STICKS REPRESENT. (16)

         ONE STICK REPRESENTS JUDAH, THE SOUTHERN KINGDOM.

         THE OTHER STICK REPRESENTS EPHRAIM, THE NORTHERN KINGDOM.

      THE JOINING OF THE TWO STICKS: (17)

         EZEKIEL MUST JOIN THE TWO STICKS TOGETHER INTO ONE STICK.

        IN OTHER WORDS, THE SOUTHERN KINGDOM AND THE NORTHERN KINGDOM WILL NEVER AGAIN BE TWO NATIONS. THEY WILL BE ONE PEOPLE AND ONE NATION GATHERED BY GOD OUT OF EVERY NATION. (21-22)

      THIS PART OF THE PROPHECY HAS BEEN FULFILLED. ISRAEL NEVER HAS BEEN TWO NATIONS SINCE THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY.

         THE UNFULFILLED PART OF THE PROPHECY:

        “ONE KING SHALL BE A KING TO THEM ALL” (22)

      THE NATION OF ISRAEL HAS NOT HAD A KING SINCE THE FALL OF JERUSALEM IN 586 BC.

      JESUS CHRIST WILL BE THEIR KING IN THE MILLENNIUM WHEN HE ESTABLISHES HIS KINGDOM ON THIS EARTH. THAT WILL BE THE FULFILLMENT OF THIS PART OF THE PROPHECY.

      IN THE MILLENIAL KINGDOM, THE JEWS WILL BE GOD’S SPECIAL PEOPLE AND OUR GOD WILL BE THEIR GOD. (23)

      “DAVID, THY SERVANT, SHALL BE KING OVER THEM” (24)

      JESUS CHRIST WILL BE THE KING OF KINGS IN THE MILLENNIUM. JESUS CHRIST CAME THROUGH THE LINEAGE OF DAVID. PERHAPS THIS IS WHAT VERSE 24 MEANS.

      HOWEVER, THE PERSON OF DAVID WILL ALSO HAVE AN EXALTED ROLE OF LEADERSHIP IN THE MILLENNIAL KINGDOM. PERHAPS THIS IS WHAT VERSE 24 MEANS. (SEE VS. 25)

         DAVID’S ROLE OF LEADERSHIP WILL NOT BE LIMITED TO THE MILLENNIAL KINGDOM OF 1,000 YEARS ON THIS EARTH. HE WILL HAVE AN ETERNAL ROLE OF LEADERSHIP. (25)

        THE COVENANT OF PEACE (26)

      AT THE BEGINNING OF THE TRIBULATION PERIOD, THE NATION OF ISRAEL WILL BE SO DESPERATE FOR PEACE THAT THEY WILL BELIEVE THE ANTI-CHRIST IS THEIR MESSIAH. THE ANTI-CHRIST WILL CONFIRM A PEACE TREATY TO GUARANTEE THE PROTECTION OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL.

      IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TRIBULATION PERIOD, WHEN THE ANTI-CHRIST BREAKS HIS PEACE TREATY AND ATTACKS THE JEWS, THEY WILL REALIZE THEIR MISTAKE.

      AT THE END OF THE TRIBULATION PERIOD, WHEN JESUS CHRIST RETURNS DURING THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON, THE JEWS WILL BE READY FOR THE TRUE PEACE OF JESUS CHRIST AND HIS MILLENNIAL KINGDOM.

        GOD’S SANCTUARY IN THE MIDST OF THEM FOREVER (26-27)

      GOD PROMISES TO BUILD A NEW TEMPLE IN THE MILLENNIAL KINGDOM ON EARTH TO REPLACE SOLOMON’S TEMPLE DESTROYED BY THE BABYLONIANS IN 586 BC.

      THE FINAL CHAPTERS IN THE BOOK OF EZEKIEL GIVE US MANY DETAILS ABOUT THIS TEMPLE.

      AFTER THE MILLENNIAL KINGDOM ON EARTH, ETERNITY WILL BEGIN. THERE WILL BE NO TEMPLE ACCORDING TO REV 21:3, 22 BECAUSE JESUS CHRIST WILL BE THE TEMPLE, THE TABERNACLE, AND THE ETERNAL SANCTUARY.

      EZEKIEL CLOSES THE CHAPTER WITH THE COMMENT THAT EVEN THE NON-BELIEVERS WILL KNOW THAT JESUS IS LORD WHEN HE RETURNS TO THIS EARTH AND COMPLETES THE PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL RESURRECTION OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL.

v      APPLICATION:

      FREQUENTLY CHRISTIANS APPLY EZE 37 TO THE RESURRECTION OF THE CHURCH AT THE RAPTURE. THIS INTERPRETATION AND APPLICATION OF THIS CHAPTER PUSHES THE PASSAGE BEYOND THE SUBJECT INTENDED BY GOD AND EZEKIEL.

         TOO MANY TIMES NEW TESTAMENT BELIEVERS ARE GUILTY OF THIS FAULTY KIND OF INTERPRETATION.

        IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER:

      WHEN THE BIBLE TALKS ABOUT ISRAEL, IT IS NOT TALKING ABOUT THE CHURCH.

      WHEN THE BIBLE TALKS ABOUT THE PEOPLE OF GOD IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, IT IS TALKING ABOUT THE JEWS.

      YES, GENTILES ARE “GRAFTED IN” BUT NOT UNTIL THE NEW TESTAMENT AGE. (ROM 11:11-24)

      HOW CAN WE APPLY EZE 37 TO OUR LIVES TODAY?

         WHEN WE SEE THE FULFILLMENT OF PROPHECY COME TO PASS IN THE STAGES REFERRED TO IN EZE 37, WE KNOW THAT THE FINAL STAGE OF FULFILLMENT IS NEAR.

        BY THE EXCITING FULFILLMENT OF PROPHECY, WE ARE ENCOURAGED TO HOPE.

         WE CAN KNOW THE HOUR ON GOD’S CLOCK BY WATCHING WHAT GOD IS DOING WITH THE JEWS.

        THE JEWISH PEOPLE ARE GOD’S EXAMPLE TO US. THE WISE CHRISTIAN WILL LEARN FROM THE HISTORY OF THE JEWS.

         THE JEWISH NATION OF ISRAEL IS IN THE SECOND STAGE OF FULFILLMENT. THEY ARE LIKE DEAD PEOPLE WALKING AROUND.

        THE BIBLE SAYS THAT IF WE ARE NOT BORN AGAIN IN JESUS CHRIST, WE ARE DEAD IN OUR TRESPASSES AND SINS. (EPH 2:1  COL 2:13)

      THERE ARE ONLY TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE WALKING ON THIS EARTH TODAY: 

      THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE ALIVE IN JESUS CHRIST WITH THEIR SINS FORGIVEN AND CHOSEN FOR ETERNAL LIFE.

      THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE THE UNFORGIVEN, WALKING DEAD HEADED FOR ETERNAL DEATH.

HOMEWORK

EZEKIEL 38:1-13
THIS IS A SELF-STUDY. PLEASE DO NOT SEND HOMEWORK ANSWERS TO THE TEACHER FOR CORRECTION.

v     APPLICATION OF EZE 37

      PRAY THIS WEEK FOR THE WALKING DEAD PEOPLE WHO DO NOT KNOW JESUS CHRIST AS THEIR SAVIOR.

      PRAY THIS WEEK FOR THE PEACE OF ISRAEL AND JERUSALEM.

v     PREPARATION FOR EZE 38:1-13

      READ EZE 38:1-23

         “MAGOG” REFERS TO THE NATION OF RUSSIA.

        WHY WILL RUSSIA INVADE ISRAEL? (12)

        WHEN WILL RUSSIA INVADE ISRAEL? (14, 16)

v      MEMORY VERSE:   EZE 38:23