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Shall we turn in our Bibles now to Ezekiel 36 as we continue our study in this very fascinating prophecy.
In chapter 36 Ezekiel is commanded to prophesy to the mountains of Israel. Now this is the second time he prophesied to the mountains of Israel. The first time was back in chapter 6, and he was prophesying the desolations that would come to the mountains of Israel and to the cities because they had built the high places on the mountains and worshipped the false images, idols, and gods. And thus he spoke about the mountains being made desolate. That prophecy was fulfilled and the mountains of Israel remained desolate for nineteen centuries. Now again he prophesies to the mountains of Israel, but this prophecy has to do with a work of God in making now the desolate mountains inhabited. And so there is quite a contrast between this prophecy in chapter 36 and the prophecy in chapter 6 where the desolation of the mountains was described and now the restoration from the desolation.
Say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because the enemy hath said against you, Aha, even the ancient high places are ours in possession: Therefore prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because they have made you desolate, and they have swallowed you up on every side, that you might be a possession unto the residue of the heathen, and are taken up in the lips of talkers, and are the infamy of the people: Therefore, ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD to the mountains and to the hills, and to the rivers and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes and to the cities that are forsaken, which became a prey and derision to the residue of the heathen that are round about; Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen, against all of Idumea, which have appointed my land into their possession with the joy of all their heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey. Prophesy therefore concerning the land of Israel, say to the mountains and to the hills, to the rivers and to the valleys, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I have spoken in my jealousy and in my fury, because you have borne the shame of the heathen: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I have lifted up my hand, Surely the heathen that are round about you, shall bear their shame. But ye, O mountains (Eze 36:2-8)
It took him quite a while to get to the message to the mountains, but he finally made it.
But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come. For behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown: And I will multiply men upon you, all of the house of Israel, even all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded: And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginning: and ye shall know that I am the LORD (Eze 36:8-11).
And so the restoration of the nation Israel is here being prophesied. And if you go over to Israel today, surely you can see the fulfillment of these prophecies as the waste places are now inhabited. As they have built so many cities, as they have planted so many beautiful orchards and cultivated the fields, and this land that laid wasted and desolate for many centuries has now been reclaimed. The marshy valleys have been drained and have become very fertile, fruitful fields. And so, it's exciting to take this thirty-sixth chapter of Ezekiel in your lap and go over to Israel and see how God has fulfilled this particular prophecy concerning the mountains of Israel.
Yea, I will cause men to walk upon you, even my people Israel; they shall possess thee, thou shalt be their inheritance, and thou shalt no more henceforth bereave them of men. For thus saith the Lord GOD; Because they say unto you, Thou land devourest up men, and hast bereaved thy nations; therefore thou shalt devour men no more, neither bereave the nations any more, saith the Lord GOD. Neither will I cause men to hear in thee the shame of the heathen any more, neither shalt thou bear the reproach of the people any more, neither shalt thou cause thy nations to fall any more, saith the Lord GOD. Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land (Eze 36:12-17),
And now God is telling the reason why the land became desolate for so long.
they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman. Wherefore I poured out my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it: And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of the land. But I had pity for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for my holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went (Eze 36:17-22).
Now the Lord is telling the reason why the dispersion took place and they were scattered is because of the blood that they had shed in the land, because of their worship of idols, and God had scattered them into the many different countries. But God said when they were scattered they profaned God's name. That is, because of their actions and attitudes they caused people to hate and curse God. They said, "Oh, these are the people of God and look at what they are doing."
And so, you remember when David sinned with Bathsheba, when the prophet rebuked David for this sin, one of the indictments that the prophet made against him is he said, "You have caused the enemies of God to blaspheme." You see, these people were to be God's representatives. God intended that they represent Him. But they misrepresented Him. And thus, people were cursing God because of their actions. You say, "Oh, that's terrible." But wait a minute. You are now God's representatives. You see, you go by the name of a Christian and as a Christian you represent God. But if you're out there ripping off people or cheating people or you're out there lying or deceiving or getting involved in these kind of things, then you are misrepresenting God and people are cursing God and blaspheming God because of what you are. You see, God has been so misrepresented by those people who were called by His name. All the way through people have a false concept of God because people supposedly representing God have so misrepresented God that people say, "Well, if they're a Christian then I don't want anything to do with it. I don't need it." It is an awesome thing to realize that we are God's representatives and people are drawing their opinions of God from what they see in us.
Now as a representative of God, God holds me responsible for how I represent Him. God doesn't appreciate being misrepresented. As Moses found out. For when Moses went out before the people angry and struck the rock with his rod and said, "Must I strike this rock again and give you water?" Though the water came, God said, "Moses, I want to talk to you. Moses, I can't let you go into the Promise Land." "Why, Lord? That's been the ambition of my life." "Moses, you failed to represent Me before the people. You misrepresented Me out there. You went out there all angry in a huff, smiting the rock in anger. I'm not angry with them, Moses. They think I am because of what you did. They think I'm upset with them and angry. I'm not upset and angry with them, Moses. I know they need water. I want to give them water. But they think I'm angry and upset because you're My representative and you went out there in a huff and did your little thing. And so, Moses, I just can't let you take the people into the land." And Moses was robbed of his lifelong ambition because he failed to represent God there at the water of Meribah.
Now you are God's representative and that's a heavy responsibility to be God's representative, but that's what we are. And the people are drawing their conclusion of Christianity, of Jesus Christ, from what they see you do. That's heavy. God help us that we will be proper representatives of our Lord. That people will come to know that He is so loving, that He is so kind, that He wants to help, that He will go out of His way to help. And let us, O God, be a true representation of what You are to the world around us who so desperately need to know the truth about God.
Paul writing to the Corinthians said, "You are my living epistle, and you are known and read of all men" (II Corinthians 3:2). People may never pick up a Bible to crack its pages, they may never read the Bible, but they're reading your life. And they're drawing their opinions of Jesus Christ by what they see in you.
Now, God said when Israel was scattered into the nations, they profaned the name of the Lord. They caused people to hate God. They didn't represent God in those nations where they were scattered, and so people were cursing God and cursing the name of God. And so God now declares, "Look, not for your sake I'm going to bring you back. Not because you're so good or you're deserving, but for My name's sake I'm going to do it. My name that has been profaned among the heathen."
"And thus saith the Lord God," verse 22, "I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for My holy name's sake which you have profaned."
And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes (Eze 36:23).
So He refers to this time when He will be sanctified in them before the eyes of the world. We'll get to that when we get to chapter 38.
Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all of your filthiness, from all of your idols, I will cleanse you. Also I'll give you a new heart, a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh (Eze 36:25-26).
Jeremiah prophesied the day was going to come when God would no longer write His law upon tables of stone but upon the fleshly tablets of our heart. God is saying, "I'm going to take out the stony heart. I'm going to put in a heart of flesh." That is, God will make His will known to us by planting in our heart His desires and His purposes. Now you know the glorious thing about serving the Lord and following the Lord that you find that this particular psalm is true. The Bible said, "Delight thyself also in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4). Well, what that psalm doesn't say, but what is also true, that as you begin to delight yourself in the Lord, the Lord begins to redirect the desires of your heart. According to that which He wants and according to that which He has purposed. So that doing the will of God becomes really the most glorious thing of your entire existence. It becomes the fulfillment of your dreams and of your desires. And it's marvelous.
Jesus said, "My yoke is easy, My burden is light" (Matthew 11:30). We see people going around talking about, "Oh, God laid this heavy burden on me. I don't know if I'm going to be able to stand up under it." Wait a minute. If you've got a heavy burden that's pushing you down into the ground, you better take a close look at that burden. It didn't come from Him. He said, "My burden is light." We take upon ourselves, many times, things that the Lord didn't really put on us. Or we let men put things on us and pressure us into things that aren't really of God. I think of all of the poor people who have been pressured by their churches in pledges. Especially if they say, "Let's make a faith pledge." That's even worse, because there are many people who are straining under a sense of obligation to God because I made a pledge and they're straining and being pressed by it, and it's become a heavy yoke on them. A heavy burden. It's not of the Lord. His yoke is easy. His burden is light. Peter said, "Let's not put a heavy yoke on the people, which neither we nor our fathers were able to bear." And yet the heavy yokes that men will put on you. But when the yoke gets hard and the burden is heavy, know that it's not the Lord's. It's something that you have taken on yourself, or you have allowed people to put on you, but not really from God.
God puts His desires now in our heart so that we can honestly say with Jesus, "I delight to do thy will, O Lord." I don't know how many times during the week I just kick back and just start praising the Lord and thanking the Lord for all that He's done for me. For the joy and blessedness of the life that I have. It's just overwhelming to me. The goodness and the blessing of God. And every once in a while I'll just go, "Oh no!" And if anybody's around, they say, "What's happening?" "Oh, I'm just thinking about how good God is. Unreal, beautiful, you know." My son said, "Dad, why don't you retire? You don't have to keep going sixteen hours a day. Why don't you retire? Kick back, Dad. Why don't you move to Hawaii and retire? You can do it." I said, "But what would I do?" I love so much doing what I'm doing. My wife gets after me because I want to come out here on my day off. She says, "You always figure out a way to go out there on your day off." But it's just such a joy, such a blessing. For God has written His law in my heart. It's just the delight and the joy of life to be doing that which God has in mind for you to do. No heavy burden, no big strain. It's a delight; it's a joy.
And so God says, "I will write. I will give them a new heart, a heart of flesh. Take away that heart of stone."
And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them (Eze 36:27).
Why? Because God's Spirit is in me. That power of His Spirit to do His statutes, to keep His judgments.
And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. I also will save you from all of your uncleanness: I will call for the corn, I will increase it, I won't lay any famine upon you. I will multiply the fruit of the tree, increase the field, and ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD (Eze 36:28-32),
Not because you're so deserving or you're so good, but it's just God's grace.
be it known unto you: be ashamed and be confounded for what you have done, O house of Israel. Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I also will cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden (Eze 36:32-35);
Oh, the Sharon valley, the Sharon plain, the valley of Megiddo, waste desolate marshland, they're like the Garden of Eden, so lush and so beautiful. This prophecy is fulfilled. You can go over and just travel around Israel and see how verdant and productive that little land is.
the ruined cities have become fenced, and inhabited. Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that which was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it (Eze 36:35-36).
Well, you can't get much stronger than that. And He did, He's done it.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them as men like a flock. As the holy flock, and as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the LORD (Eze 36:37-38).
Now in chapter 37, again, a prophecy of the restoration of the nation of Israel, the rebirth of the nation.
The hand of the LORD was upon me, carried me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of a valley which was full of bones (Eze 37:1),
So Ezekiel taken now by the Spirit in this vision to this valley that was filled with these bones.
And he caused me to pass by them all around: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, you know (Eze 37:2-3).
In other words, "I don't know. I can't see it. But You know, God."
Again he said unto me, Prophesy unto these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye 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 shaking, and the bones came together, bone to bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me, Prophesy to the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army (Eze 37:4-10).
Now the Lord explained the vision.
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 (Eze 37:11).
They've been cut off and separated from each other. Little bands of Jews in Germany and Europe, in France, in England, in the United States, in China, in Yemen, and all, in Russia, all over the world, little scatterings of Jews, but they've been scattered throughout the entire earth.
Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, 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 (Eze 37:12-14).
So the promise that God would give them national life again, that which had been dead for nineteen centuries would come alive and they would be a nation once more. "I'll bring you back into the land." The marvelous prophecy of the rebirth of the nation Israel.
Then the LORD came again and said unto me, 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 on 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; that they shall become one in thy hand (Eze 37:15-17).
So he took the two sticks and then joined them together so they became just one stick. One was to be marked Joseph, the other was to be marked Judah.
And when the children of the people shall speak unto you, saying, What are you trying to show us? What do you mean by this? Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in my hand. And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. 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 unto them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all (Eze 37:18-22):
Now, very obvious what God is saying. Extremely obvious. In fact, it's about as obvious as any scriptures can be. What the Lord is seeking to say to the people, when the nation is reborn, re-gathered, rather than being a divided nation as it was when they went into captivity, the Northern Kingdom with the capital Samaria, and the Southern Kingdom with the capital Jerusalem, rather than being two nations, Judah and Israel, when they come back in the last days and are brought back into the land and made a nation again, rather than two nations there will only be one nation. Judah and Joseph, or Ephraim, the tribes of Israel will be gathered together as one nation, no longer as a double nation. Very obvious.
It is almost laughable it is so ridiculous and idiotic for Joseph Smith to claim that his name is in the Bible and he was prophesied in the book of Ezekiel for the stick of Joseph was to be the Book of Mormon that God would give to him and joined together with the Bible would be the continuation of the Bible and God's Word for man in these last days. That is so completely farfetched that a person would have to lay his brains on the shelf to accept any kind of an interpretation of the scripture that way. I mean, God told us what He was talking about. God said, "These two sticks are the two nations and when they come, join them together because there will only be one nation when they come back into the land." Now I would have to say that anybody that can interpret that into the scripture I would not want to be following their Biblical expositions or trust myself to their teaching. When you can gather that kind of stuff out of this scripture, you can make red read green. I mean, that's as farfetched as anything could ever be. And if you're a Mormon here tonight, it's just straight from the shoulder. Look at it and question in your mind the things that you're being taught. For you know that they have taught you that this stick with Joseph on it was actually a prophecy concerning Joseph Smith. But if you can find that in this verse or in this passage or in its context, then you can find snow in hell. I mean, it's just not there.
So God plainly declares, "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 their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. And David my servant (Eze 37:23-24)
This, of course, goes into the future when Jesus Christ comes to establish the kingdom and He will sit upon the throne of David to order and to establish it in righteousness and in judgment from henceforth even forever.
shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd [the Good Shepherd]: and 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 ye 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. Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people (Eze 37:24-27).
So God is going to dwell amongst His people. "I will tabernacle among them. My dwellingplace will be there." So Christ living here upon the earth in the Kingdom Age.
And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore (Eze 37:28).
Now when we get to chapter 40, he begins to describe for us the sanctuary that is to be built.
Now in chapter 38:
The word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set your face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief (Eze 38:1-2)
And the word translated chief is the word Rosh. And most Bible scholars say that the Rosh translated chief should be translated in modern English, Russia, for Rosh is a reference to the modern Russia, the word chief there. So,
the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal (Eze 38:2),
Meshech is the ancient name for Moscow, Tubal of Tobolsk, the Russian cities.
And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all of your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armor, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: [along with] Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; and all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all of his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all of his bands: and many people with thee (Eze 38:3-6).
So now the prophecy turns and is directed towards Magog, which is the ancient name for those people who lived in the area of the Caucasus and the mountains north of the Caucasus, which is the present day area of Russia, along with Meshech and Tubal, which people were the ancient Scythians that inhabited the area known as Russia today.
Along with Persia, which, of course, Russia, part of Russia is a part of the ancient Persia along with Iraq and Iran. Ethiopia and Libya, along with Gomer, which is Germany, but mainly eastern Germany and Poland. Along with Togarmah, which are your Balkan States: Turkey, and Yugoslavia, Romania.
Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all of your company that are assembled unto thee, and be a guard unto them. For after many days (Eze 38:7-8)
Now here's the time of the prophecy.
After many days thou shalt be visited: in the [last] latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have always been waste: but is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them (Eze 38:8).
Now, God is predicting that when Israel is gathered back into the land, that there will come an invasion by these nations. Combining themselves together in a massive invasion of the land of Israel. Russia, eastern Europe, the Balkan States, Iraq, Iran, Libya, and Ethiopia.
Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shall be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shall think an evil thought: And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages (Eze 38:9-11);
Or into a land that really is not able to defend itself against my great power.
I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land. [Now at the time of the invasion] Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all of the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, and to take away the cattle and the goods, and a great spoil? (Eze 38:11-13)
Sheba and Dedan are Saudi Arabia. Tarshish is England. The young lions could conceivably be the United States, Canada, Australia. Are going to object to this invasion. Now the interesting thing to me is that Saudi Arabia is one of those that objects to the invasion of Russia. Big flack recently over the sale of these AWACS to Saudi Arabia. Israel sought hard to lobby against the sale of these radar-geared planes to Saudi Arabia. I really didn't get troubled or involved in the issue because knowing the scriptures I know that when the real showdown comes, Saudi Arabia will be an ally of sorts to Israel. So Israel really doesn't need to be worried or concerned about the AWAC sale to Saudi Arabia. And if they'd only read their own Bible they'd discover that. So that there will be an objection to this invasion by, first of all, Saudi Arabia, England, and the young lions thereof, which again could conceivably be the United States.
Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog (Eze 38:14),
That is the chief prince of Magog.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people Israel dwells safely, shalt thou not know it? And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts (Eze 38:14-15),
Now take the map, look at Israel and go straight north from Jerusalem. And you find you come right on in to Russia and Moscow lies almost due north of Jerusalem. "Thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts,"
thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days [it's going to take place in the latter days], and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes (Eze 38:15-16).
Now let me say that there has nothing been taken place in history that can be related to these particular prophecies, so let no man tell you that these prophecies have already been fulfilled in some historic experience of the past. For there is nothing in history that can be fitted into these predictions. But the very fact that it says it's in the latter days when Israel has become a nation again and is dwelling in the land puts it in the days in which we presently live.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years, that I would bring thee against them? And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face. For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; So that the fish of the sea, the fowls of the heaven, the beasts of the field, and all of the creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, every wall shall fall to the ground. And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man's sword shall be against his brother (Eze 38:17-21).
Very interesting prophecy. There will come an internal revolution in the Russian forces. Now we know that there's a lot of problems presently in some of the satellite countries of Russia. Poland, real problem; Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and the prediction here is that part of the destruction will come from a civil war as men begin to turn their swords against their brothers. But then God said,
And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone (Eze 38:22)
God has wiped out enemies of Israel in the past with these same types of weapon, raining upon the enemies of Israel the fire and brimstone from heaven. You remember Joshua at the battle at Ajalon where God rained down these rocks and fire from heaven upon their enemy.
Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD (Eze 38:23).
So a tremendous earthquake, a great shaking, civil war, or internal discord along with this heavy rain, hailstones, fire and brimstone, God will destroy this invading army. Will it involve atomic warfare? Will the United States be involved? This could only be speculation. We don't know. Could the fire and brimstone, the rain of fire and brimstone be atomic warfare? Possibly. Could it be that there will be an atomic exchange between Russia and the United States? Quite possibly. It could be that he is describing the effects of a nuclear holocaust. And it is quite possible that there will be a massive exchange of nuclear weapons between Russia and the United States. The Bible doesn't say that. That's only speculation as far as, yes, it is possible that that would take place.
I do believe that the rapture of the church is going to be taking place simultaneously with these events, as we will point out as we get into chapter 39. It would be very interesting indeed if there was a nuclear holocaust and the church was translated out of the earth during the time of the nuclear holocaust. They would surely be able to explain the disappearance of many people in a very natural way without causing, really, too much great alarm. Something to think about. The Bible doesn't say. It is only speculation and something to consider, something to think about. However it happens, by whatever means it takes place, these will be the events: a great shaking, even the mountains and the steep places being shaken, so tremendous avalanches, this heavy rain, great hailstones, the fire and the brimstone, plus the civil war. And thus, God will deal with this great invading army of Russia.
Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the [Rosh prince or the Russian] prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and leave but a sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and I will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel (Eze 39:1-2):
They are to be destroyed and they will be left only a sixth part. Five- sixths of them will be wiped out.
I will smite the bow out of your left hand, and will cause your arrows to fall in your right hand. You will fall on the mountains of Israel, you, and all of your bands, and all of the people that are with you: and I will give you unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and the beasts of the field, to be devoured. You will fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD. And I will send a fire upon Magog (Eze 39:3-6),
So this is where we spoke about the possibility of a nuclear exchange, where God said, "I will send a fire upon Magog,"
and among them that dwell carelessly in the coast (Eze 39:6):
And the isles or the coasts are usually just a reference of distant nations.
and they shall know that I am the LORD (Eze 39:6).
So in verse 6 you have there the possibility as God sends fire upon Russia and nations that are dwelling carelessly. You have that possibility of nuclear exchange.
So I will make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel. Behold, it is come, it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken (Eze 39:7-8).
Some of the heaviest prophecies in the Bible. God says, "All right, that's it. It's done. This is the day that I have spoken about."
And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, bows and arrows, and the handstaves, and spears, and they shall burn them with fire for seven years (Eze 39:9):
Translated into modern warfare, they will be burning the oil supplies, no doubt, that have been brought in in this massive invasion. And they will have their energy needs taken care of for a period of seven years.
So that they will not have to cut wood out of the field, neither cut down any of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord GOD. It shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog (Eze 39:10-11)
That is the leader, the Russian prince of Meshach and Tubal.
a place there of graves in Israel, and the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea (Eze 39:11);
So they will be buried over in the area of Jordan on the east of the Dead Sea, the valley of passengers.
and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all of his multitude: and they will call it, The valley of Hamongog (Eze 39:11).
Or the valley of the multitude. Hamon is multitude, the multitude of Gog.
And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land (Eze 39:12).
It'll take them seven months to bury the dead.
Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them, and they shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord GOD. And they shall sever out men of continual employment (Eze 39:13-14),
In other words, they will hire professional buriers.
with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they begin a search. And the passengers that pass through the land, when anyone sees a man's bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamongog. And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land (Eze 39:14-16).
Now it is interesting to me that they do not touch the bones. They have professional buriers to bury these bones. When they find bones, they just set signs by them. There could be a fear of radioactivity. Especially in that they do not begin the search until seven months are over. So it could be that there is a real fear of radioactivity, and thus the burying is left to professional buriers. The people that discover the bones only set a sign by it so the professional buriers can come along and bury them.
And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, to every beast of the field, To assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I'd sacrifice for you, even the great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that you may eat the flesh, and drink the blood. Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, of goats, of bullocks, of all of them the fatlings of Bashan. Ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink the blood till you are drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with the mighty men, and with all of the men of war, saith the Lord GOD. And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all of the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them. So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward (Eze 39:17-22).
This will be the day of restoration for Israel when God once again takes them as His people and they acknowledge Him as their God.
And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespass against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them to the hand of their enemies; so fell they all by the sword (Eze 39:23).
God here speaks of hiding His face from them. Again, He will repeat that in verse 29 as He says, "Neither will I hide My face any more from them."
Paul the apostle in Romans the eleventh chapter, in talking about the grace of God that has come to us Gentiles, declares that God has taken up like a wild olive branch and grafted us into the roots of the Old Testament promises that we might be the partakers of the blessings that God promised to Abraham and all. That God cut off the natural branch, Israel, that we might be grafted in. However, Paul said, "Don't boast against the natural branch" (Romans 11:18). As Christians we should not be boasting against Israel saying, "Well, nya nya nya, God cut you off and He's adopted us. And we have your blessings and we have your, the promises that God made to you." For Paul said, "If God cut off the natural branch to graft in a wild branch, He's also able to graft in again the natural branch." And he said, "Did God cut it off that He might cast it away forever? God forbid. For blindness has happened in Israel in part (or for a time) until the fullness of the Gentiles is come in and then all of Israel shall be saved. For God shall send forth a deliverer out of Zion to turn the hearts of the children unto their fathers," as he quotes the passage from Joel, second chapter. So, even in the New Testament, Paul does not seek to make this prophecy concerning Israel apply to the church. The church has a separate place as a wild olive branch grafted in to partake of the fatness of the roots. But even as we have been grafted in and the natural branch cut off that we might be grafted in, so God will again restore His work on Israel.
Those people today who seek to interpret prophecy by saying, "God is through with Israel. The Jews are over. The Jews that you see today aren't real Jews," and all of this kind of hogwash are doing a great disservice to the Word of God and to the understanding of prophecy. For all the way through God has affirmed His perpetual, eternal love for His people Israel. And that he would never cast them off forever, but He is definitely going to work with them once again for they are His people and though He has blinded their eyes for a time, yet the day will come when they will be grafted back in and they again will enjoy the blessings of God's special people during the Kingdom Age.
Now here in the prophecy God speaks of having hid His face from them for a time. But,
According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and I will be jealous for my holy name; And after that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they shall dwell safely in their land, and none made them afraid. When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations (Eze 39:24-27);
So this prophecy will take place after God has brought them back and made them a nation. He's already done that. But after also, He has destroyed this Russian army that will be invading. For the latter part of verse 27, "and I am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations." That takes place at the destruction of the Russian army, verse 23 of chapter 38, as God speaks of His destroying of the army, He said, "Thus will I magnify Myself and sanctify Myself and will be known in the eyes of many nations." So this is a reference back, verse 27 is referenced back to verse 23 of chapter 38. So when God has destroyed the Russian army, what then?
Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them into their own land, and I have left none of them any more (Eze 39:28).
So they will not really recognize God until the Russian invading army is destroyed. Israel as a nation does not recognize God today. Only about ten percent of the people in Israel are religious at all. Most of the people that I've talked to in Israel are very irreligious or atheistic. That religious group that is there is able to exert a lot of political clout, only because the Likud party does not have a clear majority. And they have to make compromises with the religious party which only is seven percent in the Knesset, which pretty much represents the total picture of the Jews who are really religious. And thus, in order to make a government, he has to have a coalition and he has to have the support of these religious members of the Knesset. If he doesn't have their support, Begin can't get a government formed.
But the Jews demand a heavy price. I mean, the religious Jews demand a heavy price to support Begin. And thus, they demand that certain religious laws be established, which neither the government or the majority of the people are in favor of at all. In fact, it's creating quite a backlash against these orthodox religious people. Some of the laws that they are forcing through the parliament because they are demanding that if they are going to continue to support Begin and the Likud party you've got to enforce, or you have to bring into legislation these laws that favor the religious aspects of the people.
But make no mistake about it, Israel is not a religious nation, nor are they spiritual people. There are some very fanatic zealots, religious zealots there. And there are a group of orthodox Jews. There are some that are so orthodox that they're opposed to the government, and they do not believe that the government of Israel should really exist. They said that we don't have a right to be a nation until the Messiah comes. And one of the rabbis has actually written to King Hussein and asked him to annex Measharim into Jordan because they don't want to be a part of Israel. Because they feel that the Israeli government really shouldn't exist until Messiah comes.
But when God has destroyed the Russian army, the Jews at that point will recognize God and they will then have their eyes open. God said, "I will no longer hide My face from them," and there will be a fantastic spiritual revival in Israel.
Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD (Eze 39:29).
So at this point when the Russian army is destroyed, God will pour out His Spirit upon the nation Israel. Now that brings in some very strong and powerful implications. Because right now God has poured out His Spirit upon the Gentile world as He is drawing out a body, a bride for Jesus Christ. And we have been studying on Monday night the work of the Holy Spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit in our own lives. We are now in the phase of the work of the Holy Spirit in the world, and God's Spirit is working in the world today. And as God's Spirit is working in the world, the purpose is to draw out a people that will compose the bride of Jesus Christ. And as God's Spirit is working in and through the church today, by that power of God's Spirit within the church that whole force of evil is being held in check.
There are people today who hate the church violently. Most of them are newscasters and political cartoonists. There is a definite concerted effort to destroy the church by ridicule, by lies, by distortions. Those forces of evil hate the fact that the church would dare to speak up for morality and hold back this flood of filth that they want to pour out upon the world. And you can see their consternation as they express it in their political cartoons, especially in the LA Times. But the world can be thankful for the church, for if it were not for the restraining power of the Spirit within the church, the world would already be turned over to the evil one. And the antichrist would already be reigning. But that which hinders the coming forth of the antichrist in his taking over of the world, the Spirit of God within the church will continue to hinder until it is removed out of the way, and then the man of sin will be revealed. The son of perdition who will come forth with all kinds of lies and deceit deceiving the whole world and bringing it under his influence and control. And the floodgates of evil will be opened up. But that cannot happen as long as the church is here that restraining force of the Spirit within the church is holding back the floodgates of evil. But, when the Lord removes the church, then His Spirit will be poured out upon the nation Israel, and God will be dealing with the nation Israel by His Spirit during this final seven-year cycle.
In Daniel chapter 9, "There are seventy sevens determined upon the nation Israel." Sixty-nine of those sevens have already been fulfilled. "For from the going forth of the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to the coming of the Messiah the Prince will be seven sevens (forty-nine years) and sixty-two sevens (a total of 483 years), the walls will be built again in troublous times. And after the sixty-two years, or the total of sixty-nine years, I mean, sixty-nine sevens, 483 years, shall the Messiah come, but the Messiah will be cut off, (not be crowned as king, not take over the rule of the world, not establish the kingdom of God). The Messiah will be cut off and receive nothing. And the prince of the people that shall come, (Titus under the order of Nero), will destroy the holy city" (Daniel 9:25-26), and the Jews will be dispersed. That part of Daniel's prophecy was literally fulfilled to the very day. For March 14, 445 B.C. Artaxerxes gave the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. And according to the Babylonian calendar of 360 days to a year, exactly 483 years later on April 6, 32 A.D. Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem. But He was cut off; He was crucified that very week and did not receive the kingdom. And Titus came with the Roman troops, destroyed Jerusalem, and the Jews were dispersed and remained dispersed for 1,900 years through the whole world.
Seventy sevens are determined upon Israel. Sixty-nine have been fulfilled, but the seventieth is yet to be fulfilled. And it will begin when God pours His Spirit out upon the nation Israel. Now, at this point, this world leader who comes, first of all, as a deceiver will make a covenant with the nation Israel. Continuing on in Daniel chapter 9. And in the covenant will no doubt grant them the right and the privilege to rebuild their temple. And we get into that as we move into chapter 40, as he describes the new sanctuary that is to be built in Jerusalem. And in the next three chapters he'll be describing the new sanctuary that will be built in Jerusalem. But in the middle of the last seven-year cycle, this leader who made the covenant to help them to build their temple will come to that temple, will stand in the Holy of Holies and declare that he is God and demand that he be worshipped as God. This is what is known as the abomination of desolation.
Paul said concerning it, "that this man of sin will come and stand in the temple of God declaring that he is God and demand to be worshipped as God." Jesus said, "When you see the abomination of desolation that Daniel spoke about standing in the holy place, then flee to the wilderness for there is going to come then a time of great tribulation such as the world has never seen before or will ever see again." Daniel tells us that 1,290 days after this man creates this abomination of desolation stands in the temple and causes the daily sacrifices and prayers to cease that 1,290 days later Jesus will come. Or the Lord will come and establish His kingdom upon the earth.
So, the sequence of events: Russia invading Israel, the church being taken out, Russia being destroyed, the eyes of Israel being opened, God pouring out His Spirit upon them, but simultaneously the arising of this man of sin out of the federation of ten European nations. And his arising into power as God is dealing with His Holy Spirit upon the nation of Israel for this final seven-year cycle.
Now as we turn to the book of Joel, chapter 2, we find that Joel speaks and predicts the very same things in parallel prophecies. In verse 20 of Joel chapter 2, God speaks of the day after the people have been gathered back into the land and there is a mighty invasion of this land by this great army. In chapter 2 he speaks of the great invasion, how that the Lord, verse 11, "shall utter His voice before His army, for His camp is very great. For He is strong that executes His word. For the day of the Lord is great and very awesome and who can abide it?"
Now the Lord declares in verse 20, "But I will remove far off from you the northern army." Remember Ezekiel tells us that they're coming out of their north quarters to invade Israel. But God said, "I will remove far from you the northern army. I will drive him into a land that is barren, desolate, his face toward the east sea and his hinder part towards the utmost sea. Fear not O land, be glad rejoice, for the Lord will do great things. Don't be afraid" (Joel 2:20-22). And then the Lord said, "I will restore unto you then the years that the cankerworm, the locust, and so forth have eaten" (Joel 2:25). "And ye shall know," again remember when God destroys Russia that there will come that acknowledgement and all of God, verse 27, "Ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel and I am the Lord your God and none else, and My people shall never be ashamed."
And what then? God said, "Ye shall know that I am God, and I have poured out My Spirit upon you." And thus Joel said, "For it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions, and upon My servants and handmaidens in those days will I pour out of My Spirit, saith the Lord" (Joel 2:28-29).
Now, the problem with this particular passage is that Peter quoted this passage to explain to the people what was happening at Pentecost. But if you will read in the context God tells us there is going to be a former rain and a latter rain. "And I will cause the former rains to come and then also the latter rains" (Joel 2:23). Now, the prediction of Joel of the pouring out of God's Spirit is really a prediction of God pouring out His Spirit upon Israel that was also declared there in Ezekiel 39. God did pour out His Spirit upon His church when the people were gathered together on the day of Pentecost saying, "What meaneth this?" Peter said, "This is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel." What? God is pouring out His Spirit. But, though he points to that as what is happening, the pouring out of God's Spirit, this prophecy of Joel is really for the last days when Israel recognizes that He is their God again, because immediately Joel goes right into the events of the Tribulation. "And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and awesome day of the Lord come" (Joel 2:30). That great and awesome day when Jesus returns with power and great glory to establish God's kingdom.
So, before that happens, there is going to be great cataclysmic judgments upon the earth. And this moon into blood and sun into darkness is predicted by Jesus in Matthew 24 as a part of the things that will happen during the Great Tribulation. Revelation chapter 6, under the sixth seal, when the sixth seal is broken, then these cataclysmic things take place upon the earth, the including of the sun darkened and the moon not shining or giving her light, the stars of heaven falling like a fig tree shaking her figs. So, this whole scenario is confirmed and corroborated by each of the prophets.
Israel is now in the land. The next event, and there will be probably many of them taking place simultaneously, will be Russia's invasion which will be quickly squelched by the power of God, the church being caught out to meet the Lord in the air, the Spirit of God then being poured out upon the nation Israel as they recognize that the Lord is God, the rise of the antichrist, the final seven-year cycle that the earth is to go through. The first three and a half years being a time of relative prosperity, and then plunging in to that great horrible bloodbath, the Great Tribulation, when God begins to judge the earth for her unrighteousness and sin. And Revelation chapters 6 through 18 give you vivid details of this three-and-a-half-year period. In fact, there is no period in the history of the earth that is more documented than this three and a half years, as far as the Bible is concerned. God has written more about this three-and-a-half-year period than any other period in the history of man. And Revelation 6 through 18 tells you the things that are going to transpire in that three-and-a-half-year period. Giving you vivid details.
At the end of that final seven-year cycle shall the Lord Himself come in clouds with great glory with His saints and He will set His foot in that day on the Mount of Olives, and it will split in the middle. And He will enter into Jerusalem through the east gate, which we'll get to next week in our study in chapter 43, which will be open for Him. And He will establish His reign and His kingdom over the earth and we shall live and reign with Him upon the earth for a thousand years.
So that is the sequence of events, and we are right now at the border and only God knows how close to the next major event of the church being caught up as Russia begins her invasion of the Middle East. God said, "I have said it, and I will do it." Now He's been a hundred percent accurate up till now. He's got Israel back in the land. He's got the land all plowed and planted and again bringing forth abundantly. The waste places have been rebuilt. Now it doesn't seem practical that God would bring it up this far and then just dump the whole thing and say, "Well, let's forget it." Having brought it this far, you can bet He's going to take it all the way.
And we're in... well, we're ready to begin the final countdown. The countdown began when the commandment went forth to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. The countdown began. And they counted down the sixty-nine seven-year cycles, the 483 years, and right on target the Messiah came. But then there was a foul up. The Messiah was cut off. The people of Israel were dispersed. The countdown ceased, it stopped. It was on hold. Now it is necessary to start rearranging things. Let the people go through a long period of desolation. "For two years, or two thousand years, Hosea, you will be scattered and dispersed. But in the third year I will raise you up and you will live in my sight." Or, "for two days, the third day I'll raise you up" (Hosea 6:2). Two days, "a day is as a thousand years to the Lord, a thousand years as a day" (II Peter 3:8). Israel was dormant for almost two thousand years. But God started bringing them into the land and He's almost ready to start the countdown, once... you know, the countdown will start once more as soon as Russia makes her invasion and is destroyed and God puts His Spirit upon Israel, all systems go. The countdown starts ticking off again. You're in the last seven years. And there are a lot of fascinating events. We'll be getting into some of those next week as we move into the rebuilding of the temple. And I've got some fascinating things to share with you concerning the rebuilding of the temple in Israel. As we get into this prophecy in Ezekiel and as we compare it with the prophecies of Revelation. But we're getting ready to start the countdown.
Now, this is God's plan; this is God's program. People say, "Well, what about the poor Palestinians?" And my heart goes out for these people. However, let me say this. That things are coming to a close all the way around. Before they'll ever be able to solve any of these problems it will all be over.
The thing that we need to be concerned about is our own personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That's the primary issue. Because Jesus said, "They that were ready went in. Therefore, be ye ready" (Matthew 24:44). Talking about the days when He was going to come for His church. There were ten virgins. Five wise, five foolish. They all slumbered and slept. And the cry went forth, "Behold the bridegroom cometh." And they awoke. The cry is going out today, "Behold the bridegroom cometh." The church is beginning to stir, beginning to wake up. The foolish virgin said, "Oh, come on, let's have some of your oil, our lamps are going out." "Sorry. If we give you some of ours we may not have enough to make it in ourselves. You better go to town and see what you can do." And while they were gone, the bridegroom came and they that were ready went in. There are some who are still not ready. Still in that slumbering state. Still working, trying to get it together. The time is now to walk in the Spirit, not to walk after the flesh. Not to seek after the flesh, but to walk after the Spirit. The time is now. They that were ready went in. Therefore, be ye ready.
We are not going to go into chapter 40 tonight, because chapter 40 comes into a whole new division of the book as we move in now to that seven... the beginning of the seven-year cycle, the building of this sanctuary and all. And I want to get an overhead projector, because as you read chapter 40, you read all of these little cubicles, thirty little cubicles along the wall and all, and it's awfully hard to get it into your mind. And it's just, measure this, a reed here and a reed there and it's awfully hard. The east gate, the west gate, the north gate, and so I want to get an overhead next week so that I can draw for you the design of the sanctuary so that as you read it and read these little cubicles you can visualize it because we'll draw a diagram for you of this sanctuary that is to be built. And thus, when you then read it and all, you look at the diagram, then you can fit it together and piece it together. Or we might even, I don't know, print some up for you so that you'll have the diagram so that you can follow, put it in your Bible and then whenever you read that area you can look at the diagram and you can see how it fits together. But we'll wait for chapter 40 until next week and put it together. And we'll take five chapters next week and then four chapters the following week and thus finish the book of Ezekiel. So, your assignment for next week is chapters 40 through 44 for next week.
Now I urge you to be ready for the coming of the Lord and maybe you're thinking, "Oh man! I want to be ready. Don't just send me home." The pastors will be back in the prayer room. It's on the far right over here. And I would encourage you to go back there and just open your heart to God and to the Spirit of God, because God wants to pour out His Spirit upon you tonight. God wants you to be a part of His family, a part of the bride of Christ, a part of the kingdom of God. You the wild olive branch, there's still time to graft you in. And you can be a part of God's Spirit working in the world today to bring together a bride for Jesus Christ. Not much longer.
We're living on borrowed time as far as the whole prophetic picture is concerned. We've been living on borrowed time. We Gentiles have been living on borrowed time actually since 1967. For Jesus said, "Jerusalem will be trodden under the foot of the Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled" (Luke 21:24). And when in 1967 the Jews regained control of Jerusalem, the time of the Gentiles was fulfilled. So you're on borrowed time. But God's not going to let it run much longer. If you're going to make any move, you'd better make it now. Or else you better study Revelation 6 through 18 carefully so you'll have a good grasp on what's going to be happening to you in the coming months and seven years ahead.
May the Lord be with you, fill your heart with love, fill your heart with praise, fill your heart with God's Spirit. That He might work in you bringing you into the image of Christ, helping you to be what God wants you to bea true representation of Him before this poor, sad, sin-cursed world. In Jesus' name.