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Ezekiel 1-12
Ezekiel 13-16
Ezekiel 17-24
Ezekiel 25-27
Ezekiel 28-29
Ezekiel 30-33
Ezekiel 34
Ezekiel 35-39
Ezekiel 40-48
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Ezekiel 13:1-23

 

False Prophets, Then and Now

 

This chapter should be a strong warning to false prophets, and historically speaking, we know that the ones Ezekiel and Jeremiah were dealing with died horrible deaths, so be forewarned (not that most of you false prophets will be smart enough to heed this warning).  You wouldn’t even be found on this website, except by accident.  Verses 1-7: point number one, these dudes are not sent by God.  God has not sent them. But they have sent themselves, in a sense.  2.  They all claim to have “a special anointing from God.”  3. Paul says someone else has sent them, even though they may not be aware of it. He says Satan the devil, the father of lies (John 8:44) has his own ministers who masquerade “as ministers of righteousness” (1st Corinthians 11:14-15).  4.  God lists the characteristics of his true servants, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament.  These characteristics are found in Exodus 18:21, Titus chapter 1 and 1st Timothy chapter 3.  Jesus mentions false prophets in Matthew 7:15-16.  5. Miracles alone are no test of legitimacy.  See Deuteronomy 13, and Isaiah 8:30.  The whole time that Ezekiel and Jeremiah were preaching God’s true warning prophecies about what was going to befall the cities of Judah and Jerusalem these false prophets were preaching a message of “peace and safety, all is well, don’t worry, be happy.”  Peter in 2nd Peter 2:1-5 predicts the same for our time.  2nd Peter 2:1-5, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.  And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.  By covetousness [gospel of ‘health & wealth’ perhaps?] they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.  For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell [Greek: “tartaros”, a place of restraint, like a jail or prison] and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly…”  When times are bad, people want to hear a “feel good message”, it’s just human nature.  But these false preachers, prophets, take advantage of that very real heart-hunger in all of us for better times, encouraging their congregants to “bury their heads in the sand (verse 6)”, they capitalize on this very real emotional hunger when times are bad.  We read Pastor Chuck Smith’s comment about one way a false evangelist was doing this in the last chapter.  Reread that, if you need to.  Verses 10-16: false prophets fill in gaps in a wall too, but with bad plaster that will not stand up to what God’s bringing against the people.  The end result is that the people fail because they haven’t been prepared for the coming times of disaster with the truth of God about it.  Verses 17-18: false prophets and prophetesses used to take payment of barley loaves, and points to those who practice divination and witchcraft, which primarily was practiced by women.  Ultimately, the final fulfillment of this is seen in Revelation 17:1-6, masquerading today and in the future as Christianity, but ultimately a false Christianity.  In some very distinct ways, that false Christianity has been around since the time of the apostle John near the end of his life.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/history2/earlychurch3.htm.  Verses 20-23: God promises to deliver his people from all of these false prophets and prophetesses.  It happened with the ancient destruction of Judah and Jerusalem both by Nebuchadnezzar and then later by Rome in 70AD and 135AD, and it points to the final destruction of all Israel, both those that make up the House of Judah, the Israelis, and the House of Israel, wherever they are living in the northwestern democracies.

 

Verses 1-9, “And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy, and say to those who prophesy out of their own heart, Hear the word of the LORD!’  Thus says the Lord GOD:  ‘Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!  O Israel, your prophets are like foxes in the deserts.  You have not gone up into the gaps to build a wall for the house of Israel to stand in the battle on the day of the LORD.  [Tell me that doesn’t have 2nd Coming of Christ connotation, it directly mentions the term on the day of the LORD.”]  They have envisioned futility and false divination, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD!’  But the LORD has not sent them; yet they hope that the word may be confirmed.  Have you not seen a futile vision, and have you not spoken false divination?  You say, ‘The LORD says,’ but I have not spoken.’”  To me, it would seem that it is of paramount importance that all believers really check out the churches they attend, and be really sure that the pastors that are preaching to them are genuine, Holy Spirit inspired and indwelt believers.  If you are not sure, move on, find a church fellowship where you are sure.  “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD:  ‘Because you have spoken nonsense and envisioned lies, therefore I am indeed against you,’ says the Lord GOD.  My hand will be against the prophets who envision futility and who divine lies; they shall not be in the assembly of my people, nor be written in the record of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter into the land of Israel.  Then you shall know that I am the Lord GOD.”  That is quite a scary thing, meaning, essentially, that the false teachers and prophets won’t make it into the Millennial Kingdom of God and the land of Israel because they won’t survive the Tribulation, just as the false prophets in Ezekiel’s and Jeremiah’s time didn’t survive the fall of Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, they all died.  That is quite a scary pronouncement, enough to make me not want to even be a part of one of the churches where these false teachers teach and preach.  Just as the apostle Paul told believers to try or test themselves to see whether they be in the faith or not (2nd Corinthians 13:5), so we ought to do for those churches we attend.  This would be the message Elder Brewster would give us as well.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/history/saga.htm and read that short introduction to see what Elder Brewster would say to you.  Also see http://www.unityinchrist.com/history/IntroChurchHistory.htm.   

 

False teachers and prophets do build a wall, but of faulty plaster

 

Verses 10-16, “Because, indeed, because they have seduced my people, saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace---and one builds a wall, and they plaster it with untempered mortar, that will fall.  There will be flooding rain, and you, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall tear it down.  Surely, when the wall has fallen, will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the mortar with which you plastered it?’”  Therefore thus says the Lord GOD:  ‘I will cause a stormy wind to break forth in my fury; and there shall be a flooding rain in my anger, and great hailstones in fury to consume it.  So I will break down the wall you have plastered with untempered mortar, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be uncovered; it will fall, and you shall be consumed in the midst of it.  Then you shall know that I am the LORD.  Thus will I accomplish my wrath on the wall and on those who have plastered it with untempered mortar; and I will say to you, ‘The wall is no more, nor those who plastered it, that is the prophets of Israel who prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and who see visions of peace for her when there is no peace,’ says the Lord GOD.”  The prophets of Israel, and Jerusalem are mentioned here, and in context with verse 5, which says, “You have not gone up into the gaps to build a wall for the house of Israel to stand in the battle on the day of the LORD, these “prophets of Israel” prophecying peace and safety concerning Jerusalem, “who see visions of peace for her when there is no peace” are for our day and age.  They could also be applied to Jerusalem historically, but in context with verse 5, this is a 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ message for our time.  Jerusalem for the past 60 years has been embroiled in warfare with the Arabs, and the western nations have been struggling to bring about a peace process between the Palestinians and the Israeli nation, and Jerusalem is at the very center of this ‘peace process.’  A major false Christian church will soon be at the head of this peace process, along with a powerful world leader, probably arising out of a united Europe.  The mortar of this peace process, peace treaty (probably a 7-year peace treaty between the Israeli nation and the Arabs) will definitely be made from “untempered mortar” as it says here in Ezekiel 13.  You do not want to be a part of the churches that go along with this big false church or this leader who will bring about this peace process.  At the beginning of this ‘peace treaty’, it will be just a little over three short years until the Tribulation starts, and then the wall they’ve built will be torn down as World War III starts.  [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/revelation/revelation3-1-22.html , http://www.unityinchrist.com/revelation/revelation4-10.html and http://www.unityinchrist.com/revelation/Pentecost-Revetion1.htm as well as http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming_4.htm for all the material dealing with this important subject.]

 

False prophets to meet their end, applies to the time of Nebuchadnezzar and our time as well

 

Verses 17-23, “Likewise, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who prophesy out of their own heart; prophesy against them, and say, Thus says the Lord GOD:  ‘Woe to the women who sew magic charms on their sleeves and make veils for the heads of people of every height to hunt souls!  Will you hunt the souls of my people, and keep yourselves alive?  And will you profane me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, killing people who should not die, and keeping people alive who should not live, by your lying to my people who listen to lies?’  Therefore thus says the Lord GOD:  ‘Behold, I am against your magic charms by which you hunt souls there like birds.  I will tear them from your arms, and let the souls go, the souls you hunt like birds.  I will also tear off your veils and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall no longer be as prey in your hand.  Then you shall  know that I am the LORD.  Because with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and you have strengthened the hands of the wicked, so that he does not turn from his wicked way to save his life.  [Sounds like this is describing real believers who are unfortunate enough to be caught up in some of these false churches and religions.  Don’t forget, Satan himself appears, through these religions, as an angel of light, as Paul says in 1st Corinthians 11.]  Therefore you shall no longer envision futility nor practice divination; for I will deliver my people out of your hand, and you shall know that I am the LORD.’”

 

Ezekiel 14:1-11, 12-23

 

Hypocrisy in Worship

 

Verses 1-6: These ‘elders of Israel,’ the Jewish leaders in exile, have come before Ezekiel to ask advice from God through the prophet on a matter which is not told to us here.  Compared to God’s answer to their question and pronouncement, whatever they were asking was not important.  These leaders appear sincere on the surface, but God knows their hearts and the practices of their lives.  God sees through their insincerity and unmasks it quite brutally in his reply given through Ezekiel.  This correction applies to all time, then and now.  God tells them they have “set up idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity.”  This “idolatry” could be what we call “spiritual idolatry” as well as actual worship of idols as well, as the wording implies both.  This is a very powerful correction for spiritual hypocrisy, for hidden sins which is idolatry, putting something else before the true God.  Paul states “covetousness which is idolatry.”  Colossians 3:5, “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth:  fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”  For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”  God clearly says through David in Psalm 66:18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the LORD will not hear.”  The message here is clearly, repent of your sins, and then come ask me what you will.  God in verses 6-8: expands this correction to all Israel for all times, so this becomes a general correction and a powerful reproof for hypocrisy in worship.  This is a reproof against going to a church where God is really present and working with the people, while living a double-life, professing to be a true Christian, yet living a life of sin.  Covetousness is placing other things and people ahead of or in place of God, because Paul stated ‘covetousness is idolatry.’  Verses 7-8, For such practices God says he’ll deal with that individual “personally.”  He says, “I will make him a sign and a proverb, and will cut him off from the midst of my people.”  i.e. he will kill the individual.  Verses 9-11:  If such a person induces or deceives ‘a prophet to go along with such a person,’ God is saying he will judge both the same.  Now pastors can ‘have the wool pulled over their eyes’ by such people, and it could cause harm in a congregation for awhile, but the pastor remains pure in his lifestyle, but is merely deceived by this person’s external appearance of righteous living.  I do not believe God is condemning such a pastor or church leader.  Verses 9-11 strongly imply collusion with the hypocritical person, having knowledge of it and going along with it, thus allowing hypocritical worshippers into the church and into leadership positions with prior knowledge of this.  A term has been coined from the Book of Acts called Simony, and amounts to the same thing we see in politics, and we call that “patronage.”  God is saying in such cases he will “clean house.”  Eli knew what his sons were like, yet he allowed them to remain in high religious office as priests in the Temple of God.  God judged both Eli and his sons, and put righteous Samuel in his place.  God cleaned house, his own house, the Temple, in that instance. Read 1st Samuel 2:22-35 and 1st Samuel 3:1-19 and 1st Samuel 4:1-22 for the full account of how God dealt in an identical situation.

 

Judgment on the land that sins against me persistently

 

Verses 12-21:  God now gives another message through Ezekiel, on the national level, and this again is a general correction for all Israel at all times, and particularly will apply to the Tribulation period.  It also applied to those in Jerusalem leading up to and through its fall.  The four national curses for disobedience are listed, famine, pestilence, attacks of wild beasts and the sword (military invasion).   (sometimes it’s listed differently, as three, famine, sword, captivity, sometimes as four, famine, pestilence, wild animals, and sword, as we see here.)   This is a very powerful pronouncement against Judah and Jerusalem, as well as all Israel prophetically later in our time.  God says if any one of the top three people in his “hall of fame” for true worshippers should try to intercede to save a son or daughter in this land who themselves are not righteous, he would not listen to their prayer for that person.  The three people he lists are Daniel, Noah and Job.  The fact that he lists Daniel here, and Ezekiel is datable to the Babylonian captivity proves that Daniel lived and wrote his prophecies during the time of Nebuchadnezzar, and not by others around 200BC, as some Bible critics like to profess, to the hurt of many, as well as themselves.  Verses 22-23:  God promises a remnant of “sons and daughters” will survive the fall of Jerusalem and be brought to Babylon.  He says they will be comforted in this, meaning those already in exile will be comforted by this.  Why?  They are the ‘good basket of figs’ (cf. Jeremiah 34.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/jeremiah/jer8.html ), and their deportation earlier was by far much less devastating and painful.  They will be able to take comfort in God’s mercy shown toward them, in hindsight, when they talk to those who survived the fall of Jerusalem.

 

Verses 1-6, “Now some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat before me.  And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity.  Should I let myself be inquired of at all by them?’  Therefore speak to them, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD:  Everyone of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the LORD will answer him who comes, according to the multitude of his idols, that I may seize the house of Israel by their heart, because they are all estranged from me by their idols.’  Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD:  Repent, turn away from your idols, and turn your faces away from all your abominations.  For anyone of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell in Israel, who separates himself from me and sets up his idols in his heart and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, then comes to a prophet to inquire of him concerning me, I the LORD will answer him myself.  I will set my face against that man and make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people.  Then you shall know that I am the LORD.”  For an early example of this in the Christian Church, turn to Acts 5, and read verses 1 through 11.  Two people in the early Church, people viewed as upstanding church members, where practicing deceit, and toward the Holy Spirit of God.  God dealt with them personally.  Jesus says he is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, he says he changes not.  You can take that to the bank as a warning.

 

Patronage, Simony, pastors who are knowingly allowing people into the church who are living double-lives

 

Verses 9-11, “And if the prophet is induced to speak anything, I have induced that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand against him and destroy him from among my people Israel.”  Some might say God is tempting the prophet or pastor in this situation, where someone living a double-life in the church comes along and convinces the pastor to go along with it, or put him, knowing this, in a position in the church.  No, God knows the pastor’s heart from the beginning, that it’s not right.  James says in James 1:13-15, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he himself tempt anyone.  But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.  Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”  Let’s continue with Ezekiel in verse 10, “And they shall bear their iniquity; the punishment of the prophet shall be the same as the punishment of the one who inquired, that the house of Israel may no longer stray from me, nor be profaned anymore with all their transgressions, but that they may be my people and I may be their God,’ says the Lord GOD.’”

 

Judgment on that land that sins against me persistently

 

Verses 12-21, “The word of the LORD came again to me, saying, ‘Son of man, when a land sins against me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out my hand against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it.  Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,’ says the Lord GOD.  ‘If I cause wild beasts to pass through the land, and they empty it, and make it desolate that no man may pass through because of the beasts, even though these three men were in it, as I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘they would deliver neither sons nor daughters; only they would be delivered, and the land would be desolate.  Or if I bring the sword on that land, and say, Sword, go through the land,’ and I cut off man and beast from it, even though these three men were in it, as I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘they would deliver neither sons nor daughters, but only they themselves would be delivered.  Or if I send a pestilence into that land and pour out my fury on it in blood, and cut off from it man and beast, even though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.’”  In context with verses 21-23, this is spoken about those dwelling in the cities of Judah and Jerusalem during the reigns of Jehoiakim, Jeconiah and Zedekiah, leading up to the Fall of Jerusalem.  But it also fits right into the context of verse 6, which states, everyone in the house of Israel, so this is a general correction God applies to all 12 tribes of Israel whoever they are, and whenever, then or now.  It is a serious correction which will also be played out during the Tribulation.  So take heed how you serve the LORD.  Apply Paul’s advice in 2nd Corinthians 13:5 to your personal life.  “For thus says the Lord GOD:  ‘How much more it shall be when I send my four severe judgments on Jerusalem---the sword and famine and wild beasts and pestilence---to cut off man and beast from it?” (verse 21).

 

A Remnant to Survive the Fall of Jerusalem

 

Verses 22-23, “Yet behold, there shall be left a remnant who will be brought out, both sons and daughters; surely they will come out of you, and you will see their ways and their doings.  Then you [i.e. those who were taken into exile years earlier] will be comforted concerning the disaster that I have brought upon it.  And they will comfort you, when you see their ways and their doings; and you shall know that I have done nothing without cause that I have done in it,’ says the Lord GOD.”

 

Ezekiel 15:1-8

 

Israel and Judah were a cultivated vine, not a wild one, planted by God to produce good fruit.  Isaiah 15:1-7:  “Now let me sing to my well-beloved a song of my beloved regarding his vineyard:  my well-beloved has a vineyard on a very fruitful hill.  He dug it up and cleared out its stones, and planted it with the choicest vine.  He built a tower in its midst, and also made a winepress in it; so he expected it to bring forth good grapes, but it brought forth wild grapes.  And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and Judah, judge, please, between Me and My vineyard.  What more could have been done to My vineyard that I have not done in it?  Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, did it bring forth wild grapes?  And now, please let me tell you what I will do to My vineyard:  I will take away its hedge, and it shall be burned; and break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down.  I will lay it waste; it shall not be pruned or dug, but there shall come up briers and thorns.  I will also command the clouds that they rain no more on it.  For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his pleasant plant.  He looked for justice, but behold, oppression; for righteousness, but behold, a cry for help.”  First the House of Israel, and then Judah (which this chapter in Ezekiel is being addressed to) went back to being a wild vine “among the trees of the forest.”  As we have plainly seen in our study of Kings & Chronicles, both the House of Israel and then the House of Judah wanted to “fit in” with the surrounding nations, particularly the wealth-producing nations of Tyre and Sidon, the two chief city-states of the Phoenician Empire.  Be sure to read through this six part series if you haven’t done so, starting at: http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/1.html, it provides essential foundational historic material for the proper understanding of the Book of Ezekiel, as well as Jeremiah.  These nations, this empire, as we’ve seen in that study, were heavily into idolatry, particularly Baal worship.  Apart from God no nation can produce spiritual fruit pleasing to God.  They, Israel and then Judah, had reverted back to being a “wild vine.”  My mother’s summer house on the seashore has an old grape arbor next to it.  The wood from it, when we’ve had to trim it, is totally worthless and brittle, as God told Ezekiel here.  And due to the lack of proper cultivation over the years and it’s exposure to sea-salt spray from the ocean, over the years it has grown wild and its grapes are now extremely bitter, basically worthless for eating or canning.  I wouldn’t dare attempt making a wine from it.  John 15:1-6, “I am the vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away; and every branch that bears fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.  You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.  Abide in me, and I in you, as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.”  During the Church Age, starting on the day of Pentecost 30AD, the Church, the Body of Christ has become God’s true vine, bearing spiritual fruit.  After the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ, God will yet again re-cultivate Israel---all 12 tribes---into his true vine bearing spiritual fruit (cf. Zechariah 12:1-14).  But Israel will have missed out on the Wedding Feast, which will have occurred just prior to the 2nd Coming.  How does a Christian or Messianic Jewish believer in Jesus “abide in the vine”?  Read John 14:19-24.  This pruning talked about by Jesus in John 15:1-6 is more like a cleaning the vinedresser does on his plants.  Jesus says we are cleaned by “the washing of the Word.”  But both the House of Israel and the House of Judah became unproductive vineyards because they became divorced from the LORD.  So he first cast off the House of Israel, and now he is about to cast off the House of Judah through Nebuchadnezzar, and eventually again through the Roman Empire in both 70AD and 135AD.

 

Verses 1-8, “Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying:  ‘Son of man, how is the wood of the vine better than any other wood, the vine branch which is among the trees of the forest?  Is wood taken from it to make any object?  Or can men make a peg from it to hang any vessel on?  Instead, it is thrown into the fire for fuel; the fire devours both ends of it, and its middle is burned.  Is it useful for any work?  Indeed, when it was whole, no object could be made from it.  How much less will it be useful for any work when the fire has devoured it, and it is burned?’  Therefore thus says the Lord GOD:  ‘Like the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so I will give up the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will set my face against them.  They will go out from one fire, but another fire shall devour them.  Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I will make the land desolate, because they have persisted in unfaithfulness,’ says the Lord GOD.”

 

Ezekiel 16:1-63 

 

Halley has “this chapter is a very graphic and vivid portrayal of Israel’s idolatry under the imagery of a Bride, beloved of her husband, who made here a queen, and lavished upon her silks and sealskins and every beautiful thing; who made herself a prostitute to every man that passed by, shaming even Sodom and Samaria [Halley’s, Bible Handbook, p. 328].”  There is an evolution that takes place in the Biblical analogy that God uses of Israel being his (Yahweh’s) Bride.  The wedding first took place at Mount Sinai under Moses and included all 12 tribes as the one unified nation of Israel.  Then after Solomon died and the 12-tribed nation divided into two nations, the 10-tribed nation to the north called “the House of Israel” and the 2 or 3 tribed nation called “the House of Judah” (see http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/1.html to see how this happened).  At that point God said allegorically through his prophets that he was married to two sisters, Israel and Judah.  Knowledge of this evolution of this allegorical picture is essential to understanding Ezekiel 16.  But going back in time to where there was only one wife, the 12-tribed nation of Israel, under King David, the city of Jerusalem could be considered the ‘head’ of the whole Bride God had married at Mount Sinai.  In verse 3 God’s mention of Jerusalem’s “heritage” is given more as an insult, as the Hittites, Amorites and Jebusites inhabited the mountainous region where Jerusalem was built, with Jerusalem being their capital city before David conquered it and took it from them.  This insult in verse 3 is intended to show how Jerusalem, now the “head” of the LORD’s Bride (now in Ezekiel’s time composed of only the remaining “House of Judah”) has returned to its Canaanite lineage ‘spiritually.’  In this chapter God through Ezekiel lists the development of his Bride, Israel, in three stages, with a tragic ending.  Stage 1, Verses 1-7:  Israel is a helpless girl baby which has been abandoned out in a field somewhere:  (In those days in the Middle East male babies were far more desirable than female babies, so the practice of abandoning female babies in the open field was common.)  God’s message in this analogy was that Israel as an abandoned baby girl was that she wasn’t something anybody desired to have.  But God desired her and rescued her, and he nurtured and raised her.  This took place in Egypt.  Stage 2 Verses 8-14:  Israel, the grown young maiden, is engaged to and then married to “the man” who saved her, Yahweh, the Great I AM, (the pre-incarnate Christ).  This took place at Mount Sinai.  Stage 3, Verses 15-34:  Yahweh’s wife turns into a prostitute and baby-killer.  In verse 8 the reference to Jerusalem is used in the sense to represent all Israel here, where David had conquered the city of Jerusalem and made it the capital of all 12 tribes.  In this sense the LORD is saying he claimed Jerusalem in marriage.  To spread a garment over a woman was an early Middle Eastern custom for betrothal (cf. Ruth 3:9).  Verses 10-13, As the Bridegroom the LORD showered precious gifts on Jerusalem.  Just look what was put into the Temple as construction material, as well as all the wealth that came into Jerusalem during the reign and lifetime of Solomon.  There is an interesting parallel found here in the New Testament and the Book of Revelation. In the physical death of Jesus Christ on the cross, who was also the pre-incarnate Yahweh, I AM, before his birth, this marriage to Israel (and Judah) was permanently severed by death.  Upon his resurrection he is free to remarry.  Paul alludes to the Church as being his  spiritual Bride (Ephesians 5:22-32), which Jesus in Revelation 19:7-9 squarely identifies as the Bride of Christ.  But in Revelation 21:2, 9-10, the New Jerusalem is identified as the Bride of Christ.  How do we explain this?  How is this reconciled?  The New Jerusalem---which comes down to earth and is deposited in the approximate land area of Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Iraq---will be the future eternal home and dwelling place for the resurrected and immortal Church, all those who have been resurrected at the 1st resurrection at Christ’s 2nd coming (cf. 1st Cor. 15:49-54; Rev. 20:4,6, and especially Hebrews 12:18-29).  Continuing to develop “Stage 3, Verses 15-34”  Israel forgot God, her husband, and becomes a prostitute and baby-killer:  This started under Solomon, who married about 700 pagan wives from the surrounding pagan nations, bringing pagan worship into the united 12-tribed kingdom of Israel.  As a direct result, God broke off 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel and gave them to Jeroboam during the beginning of the reign of Solomon’s son.  Technically speaking, God was now married to two Brides, “the House of Israel” in the north, and “the House of Judah” in the south (as we plainly saw in our commentary on Kings & Chronicles [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/1.html]).  Due to the strong naval and merchant marine alliance the northern “House of Israel” had with the Phoenician Empire city-states of Tyre and Sidon (which they inherited during the split with Judah and Jerusalem), “the House of Israel” was spiritually infected with the Baal-worshipping religious practices of the Phoenicians.  They went into Baal worship fast, and as a result, after about 200 years God divorced this Bride, the 10-tribed House of Israel.  They were driven out and deported from the land between 745 and 721BC.  The chief practice of Baal worship was child-sacrifice (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Carthage.  Carthage, ancient Kirjath Hadeschath, was an Israelite-Phoenician colony).  Our modern counterpart to this baby-killing is abortion, and to date 45 million babies have been killed from the beginning of Roe vs. Wade in the 1960s to the present, averaging one million unborn babies being killed each year.  This Baal worship had a lot of sexual practices and fertility rites tied in with it which resulted in a disproportionate number of babies being born.  Verse 17 in the Tenakh [Hebrew] version is translated: “You took your beautiful things, made of gold and silver that I had given you, and you made yourself phallic images and fornicated with them.”  Celtic versions of this have been found in Europe and America dating to BC times, and it is now a known fact that Celts and Phoenicians were sailing to both the shores of Europe and America between 800BC and 600BC (see “America BC” by Barry Fell for accurate documentation of this amazing archaeological evidence).  Abortion became legal in the United States just as the sexual revolution was taking off in the mid 1960s.  The way God looks at it, there is little difference between our “enlightened” societies of the western democracies and the nations of the ancient House of Israel and House of Judah.  After the ten-tribed northern House of Israel was dealt with by God, divorced, driven out and deported from their lands in Samaria, then Judah became badly infected with this same Baal worship, brought in by Hezekiah’s wicked son Manasseh and his son Amon.  [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/5.html]  Josiah and Jeremiah tried to bring about spiritual reform and revival in Judah, but after Josiah’s death things reverted back to baby-killing Baal worship.  [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/jeremiah/jer2.html]  God’s Bride, the House of Judah, with its head being Jerusalem, had become a baby-killing prostitute, worse than her sister, the House of Israel. Verses 35-43, God’s Judgment:  Is there to be an end-time parallel, with destruction coming to our north-western democracies from Assyria and the Chaldeans?  Interestingly enough, many Assyrians migrated to the area of north-central Europe after being totally defeated by the Scythians and Chaldeans in 611-609BC.  And Rome adopted wholesale the Chaldean’s Babylonian Mystery Religion (see Hislop’s “Two Babylons” [ http://www.biblebelievers.com/babylon/ ]).  Hint:  What two nations in Europe during the 20th Century allied themselves together as the Axis Powers and tried to conquer the western world?  God’s judgment happened to Jerusalem in 586BC when the her walls were breached by Nebuchadnezzar’s army.  Verses 44-52:  God compares Jerusalem to Samaria and the wicked city of Sodom in this section of verses.  From the 800s BC to the 700s BC Samaria had become a center for wicked Baal-worship and child sacrifice, and we all know what Sodom was before God annihilated that city with what could only be compared to a nuclear blast.  God says in these verses that these two cities are Jerusalem’s sisters, spiritual soul-mates.  In an ethnic sense one can see how the city of Samaria, capital of the 10 northern tribes composing “the House of Israel,” could be called Jerusalem’s “sister-city”---but Sodom?  How does that fit?  Obviously, God is talking about these three cities as being spiritual soul-mates in evil.  Sodom was essentially blasted into oblivion with all its citizens dying in fiery destruction.  They all died.  And that fact (Genesis 19) makes the next set of verses very interesting. 

 

Interesting future time of restoration

 

Verses 53-55: These verses point to a future time of restoration with an amazing implication most theologians choose to ignore simply because it doesn’t fit their theology:  These verses could very well refer to the return of Israel and Judah to the Promised Land at the beginning of the Millennium---but something about them just doesn’t quite fit that scenario.  Why?  All of Sodom is dead, gone, died all at once in a fiery blast.  These three short verses are an incredible promise to resurrect back to physical life all those citizens of Sodom, apparently, with all those Israelites who have died in the past.  Why?  How do we know this?  We know this because these three verses directly cross-reference with Ezekiel 37:1-14!  Turn there and read them for yourself.  Jesus made a direct reference to this period of time in Matthew 11:24, “But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.”  This is the very resurrection back to life promised in Revelation 20:5, 11-13, which is called the Great White Throne Judgment.  But Ezekiel 37:1-14 shows it lasts for a good period of time, probably a lifetime.  Jesus said there would only be two major resurrections back to life (cf. John 5:28-29).  And all theologians know Revelation 20:5, 11-13 is one of those two.  So Ezekiel 37:1-14, also being a major resurrection back to physical life, must be directly cross-referenced into Revelation 20:5, 11-13 to get the full meaning and intent of this resurrection.  For a complete description of this resurrection which combines Ezekiel 16:53-55, Ezekiel 37:1-14, and Revelation 20:5, 11-13 in this manner, log onto and read:  http://www.unityinchrist.com/destiny/2ndResurrection5.htm.  God will provide forgiveness and atonement during the timespan of this resurrection period for all those who accept Jesus into their lives, repent and live godly lives.  How do we know they’ll have a lifetime to do  this?  Read Ezekiel 37:1-14 again.

 

Conclusion

 

Verses 56-61:  There are incredible lessons in Ezekiel 16, as well as  a powerful message for believers in Jesus Christ:  Like the abandoned baby girl, when God called us we were in a similar condition, 1st Corinthians 1:26-29, “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called.  But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in his presence.”  As God rescued Israel and made her his Bride, he is also doing so with those who have become the Church, Body of Christ, calling them his Bride (read Revelation 19:7-9).  Paul warns us in 1st Corinthians 10:1-22 to not make the same mistakes God’s first Bride/wife made.  These Israelites committed spiritual adultery, whoredom, by giving up the worship of the true God, Yahweh, for false pagan gods, particularly Baal worship.  Ezekiel 16 is a warning to all believers in Jesus Christ, and should be taken that way.

 

Stage 1:  God finds Israel in the field as an abandoned baby girl

 

Verses 1-7, “Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, and say, Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem:  Your birth and your nativity are from the land of Canaan; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite.  As for your nativity, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed in water to cleanse you; you were not rubbed with salt nor wrapped in swaddling cloths.  No eye pitied you, to do any of these things for you, to have compassion on you; but you were thrown out into the open field, when you yourself were loathed on the day you were born.  And when I passed by you and saw you struggling in your own blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’  Yes, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’  I made you thrive like a plant in the field; and you grew, matured, and became very beautiful.  Your breasts were formed, your hair grew, but you were naked and bare.”

 

Stage 2:  Israel becomes betrothed and married to the “Man” who rescued her

 

Verses 8-14, “When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread my wing over you and covered your nakedness.  Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became mine,’  says the Lord GOD.  Then I washed you in water; yes, I thoroughly washed off your blood, and I anointed you with oil.  I clothed you in embroidered cloth and gave you sandals of badger skin; I clothed you with fine linen and covered you with silk.  I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your wrists, and a chain on your neck.  And I put a jewel in your nose, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head.  Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth.  You ate pastry of fine flour, honey, and oil.  You were exceedingly beautiful, and succeeded to royalty.  Your fame went out among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through my splendor which I had bestowed on you,’ says the Lord GOD.”

 

Stage 3: Jerusalem forgets God and becomes a baby-killing harlot

 

Verses 15-34, “But you trusted in your own beauty, played the harlot because of your fame, and poured out your harlotry on everyone passing by who would have it.  You took some of your garments and adorned multicolored high places for yourself, and played the harlot on them.”  Comment: KJV is better for this verse, “And of thy garments thou didst take, and deckedst thy high places with divers colours, and playedst the harlot thereon…”  Just what is a “high place” (just in case you haven’t read the commentary on Kings & Chronicles yet)?  It was an integral part of Baal worship.  Archaeologists have discovered an ancient high place in America.  The next few pages give you that evidence, so you will know what a “high place” is.  Child sacrifices took place on them.

 

American temple of Baal Discovered

 

Recently I toured an archaeological site named America’s Stonehenge (105 Haverhill Road, Salem, New Hampshire), and based on what I observed as well as an engraved tablet which, translated by the late Dr. Barry Fell, reads “To Baal of the Canaanites (Phoenicians), this in dedication”, written in Iberian Punic, and came to the conclusion that this is the site of an ancient Phoenician-Israelite astronomical temple of Baal.  I took as many pictures as I could, but it really didn’t sink in as to what I was looking at until I read the Tour Guide pamphlet which explained the setup.  I found in the site that there was a sacrificial table, with a chiseled drain channel carved into it around the outside perimeter of this 4.5 ton slab of stone. Beneath this “sacrificial table” was a speaking tube.  Words spoken through this stone-lined tube would exit under the “Sacrificial Table.” This speaking tube leads to a secret chamber, which when someone spoke into it from the secret chamber would give the impression that the table was talking.  My guess, a priest of Baal was hidden in this secret chamber, where he could observe everything being done on the Sacrificial Table through a small opening.  He would then speak through this speaking tube, deceiving the other Baal worshippers into thinking Baal was actually speaking and calling the shots during the human sacrifice.  The blood would be caught in the circular channel running around the outside perimeter of this 4.5 ton stone slab of a sacrificial table.  During excavation of the site this small tunnel or speaking tube was found blocked at both ends with small stones.  The site carbon-dated to around 995BC give or take 180 years.  If it actually dated somewhat less that 995BC, anywhere from 180 years or less, this site could have been built anywhere from the time of kings David and Solomon down to king Ahab and queen Jezebel of the northern House of Israel, when the Phoenician-Israelite maritime navy was colonizing and mining distant lands wherever they could.  From the evidence below they had reached inland from our New England coast.  The setup of their astronomical Calendrical observatory was for religious purposes, a part of Baal worship.  A small Phoenician sea-anchor made of granite was found at the bottom of Canobie Lake in New Hampshire as well, about the size and weight that would successfully anchor a boat of about 30 feet in length (I’m a sailor, and observed its weight).  If the Phoenician-Israelite maritime merchant marine and navy had reached the American continent, they certainly had colonies for trade all over the European, English and Irish coastlines.  [see http://www.stonehengeusa.com for museum facts and driving directions.  For a deeper study into the Phoenician-Celtic presence in America order America BC by Barry Fell, on http://www.amazon.com]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Such things should not happen, nor be.  You have also taken your beautiful jewelry from my gold and my silver, which I had given you, and made for yourselves male images and played the harlot with them.  [Comment:  In Barry Fell’s book “America BC” there is a whole chapter on giant phallic symbols, statues, found in both Europe and America, dating to this Celtic-Phoenician period corresponding to the time of the kings of Israel and Judah.  God spells out what they were doing with the smaller models of these phallic symbols.  Just go into any Sex Shop and you’ll find the modern version of these things, some battery operated.  Baal-worship was very sex oriented, which resulted in producing a lot of babies (sort of like our “free love” society of the 1960s), which were then conveniently sacrificed on the altars of Baal, as these verses continue to make plain.  From the 1960s onward, our modern counterpart has been to simply get an abortion.]  You took your embroidered garments and covered them, and you set my oil and my incense before them.  Also my food which I gave you---the pastry of fine flour, oil, and honey which I fed you---you set it before them as sweet incense; and so it was,’ says the Lord GOD.  Moreover you took your sons and your daughters, whom you bore to me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured.  Were your acts of harlotry a small matter, that you have slain my children and offered them to pass through the fire?  And in all your abominations and acts of harlotry you did not remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare, struggling in your own blood.  Then it was so, after all your wickedness---‘Woe, woe to you!’ says the Lord GOD---that you also built for yourself a shrine, and made a high place for yourself in every street.  You built high places at the head of every road, and made your beauty to be abhorred.  You offered yourself to everyone who passed by, and multiplied your acts of harlotry.  You also committed harlotry with the Egyptians, your very fleshly neighbors, and increased your acts of harlotry to provoke me to anger.  Behold, therefore, I stretched out my hand against you, diminished your allotment, and gave you up to the will of those who hate you, the daughters of the Philistines, who were ashamed of your lewd behavior.  You also played the harlot with the Assyrians, because you were insatiable; indeed you played the harlot with them and still were not satisfied.  Moreover you multiplied your acts of harlotry as far as the land of the trader, Chaldea; and even then you were not satisfied.  How degenerate is your heart!’ says the Lord GOD, ‘seeing you do all these things, the deeds of a brazen harlot.  You erected your shrine at the head of every road, and built your high place in every street.  Yet you were not like a harlot, because you scorned payment.  You are an adulterous wife, who takes strangers instead of her husband.  Men make payment to harlots, but you made your payments to all your lovers, and hired them to come to you from all around for your harlotry.  You are the opposite of other women in your harlotry, because no one solicited you to be a harlot.  In that you gave payment but no payment was given you, therefore you are the opposite.”

 

God’s Judgment, All Jerusalem’s lovers will turn on her

 

Verses 35-43, “Now then, O harlot, hear the word of the LORD!  Thus says the Lord GOD:  ‘Because your filthiness was poured out and your nakedness uncovered in your harlotry with your lovers, and with all your abominable idols, and because of the blood of your children which you gave to them, surely, therefore, I will gather all your lovers with whom you took pleasure, all those you loved, and all those you hated; I will gather them from all around against you and will uncover your nakedness to them, that they may see all your nakedness.  And I will judge you as women who break wedlock or shed blood are judged; I will bring blood upon you in fury and jealousy.  I will also give you into their hand, and they shall throw down your shrines and break down your high places.  They shall also strip you of your clothes, take your beautiful jewelry, and leave you naked and bare.  They shall also bring up an assembly against you, and they shall stone you with stones and thrust you through with their swords.  They shall burn your houses with fire, and execute judgments on you in the sight of many women; and I will make you cease playing the harlot, and you shall no longer hire lovers.  [Comment:  Modern-day hiring of lovers would be the “buying” of allies through massive donations of foreign aid.  The United States of America fits this description right now, with their massive donations of foreign aid, given to help maintain alliances around the world, and also with our counterpart to Baal worship, the slaughter of 45 million babies by abortions, averaging 1 million unborn babies a year.  How are we different?  Tell me.  God is just.  We claim to be a Christian nation, God’s people.  But how are we any different than the House of Judah here, which also claimed to be God’s people?  There is a coming counterpart to these verses coming upon the U.S. and the western democracies, because God is just, and says he changes not.]  So I will lay to rest my fury toward you, and my jealousy shall depart from you.  I will be quiet, and be angry no more.  Because you did not remember the days of your youth, but agitated me with all these things, surely I will also recompense your deeds on your own head,’ says the Lord GOD.  ‘And you shall not commit lewdness in addition to all your abominations.’”

 

Jerusalem is more wicked than Samaria and Sodom

 

Verses 44-52. “Indeed everyone who quotes proverbs will use this proverb against you:  ‘Like mother, like daughter!  You are your mother’s daughter, loathing husband and children; and you are the sister of your sisters, who loathed their husbands and children; your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite.  Your elder sister is Samaria, who dwells with her daughters to the north of you; and your younger sister, who dwells to the south of you, is Sodom and her daughters.  You did not walk in their ways nor act according to their abominations; but as if that were too little, you became more corrupt than they in all your ways.  As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘neither your sister Sodom nor her daughters have done as you and your daughters have done.  Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom:  She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.  And they were haughty and committed abomination before me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit.  Samaria did not commit half of your sins; but you have multiplied you abominations more than they, and have justified your sisters by all the abominations which you have done.  You who judged your sisters, bear your own shame also, because the sins which you committed were more abominable than theirs; they are more righteous than you.  Yes, be disgraced also, and bear your own shame, because you justified your sisters.” 

 

A Time of Restoration Most Theologians Ignore

 

Verses 53-55, “When I bring back their captives, the captives of Sodom and her daughters, and the captives of Samaria and her daughters, then I will also bring back the captives of your captivity among them, that you may bear your own shame and be disgraced by all that you did when you comforted them.”  Now in Genesis 19 we all know what happened to “Sodom and her daughters”, Sodom and Gomorrah were annihilated by God in a big fiery blast, all the inhabitants died except for Lot and his two unmarried daughters.  Keep that in mind as you read the next verse.  “When your sisters, Sodom and her daughters, return to their former state, and Samaria and her daughters return to their former state, then you and your daughters will return to your former state.”  Now what would be the “former state” of Sodom and Gomorrah before they were fried to death?  It would be physical life.  Wouldn’t it?  It couldn’t be anything else.  These three short verses directly cross-reference to another powerful chapter in Ezekiel.  This is obviously talking about a resurrection back to physical life of two major very rich and prosperous and wicked Gentile cities, Sodom and Gomorrah.  But it’s never wise to try to hang a doctrine on three short verses in the Bible, although some theologians try.  So turn to Ezekiel 37:1-14 and read that entire section for yourself.  Jesus also made reference to this resurrection referring to it as a period of judgment, “the day of judgment” in Matthew 11:24.  This also cross-references to Revelation 20:5, 11-13, which identifies this “day of judgment” as the Great White Throne judgment.  Now most theologians say “Right, everybody who was not saved in their normal lifetimes is resurrected back to physical life at this second resurrection, the Great White Throne Judgment, and then judged unworthy of eternal life and thrown right smack into the lake of fire.  Why, because the very next two verses, 14-15 of Revelation 20, seem to indicate that.  But they all ignore Ezekiel 37:1-14 because it doesn’t fit their theology.  How do they ignore Ezekiel 37:1-14?  They allegorize it away by saying it refers to the physical restoration of Israel.  And since the return of the Jews to form the nation of Israel in 1948, they all say now that the return of the Jews to the Promised Land in 1948 is the fulfillment of Ezekiel 37:1-14.  But careful reading of these verses, especially verses 12-14, show that those resurrected in this massive resurrection back to physical life is accompanied by a massive conversion of those people, where they all receive God’s Holy Spirit.  The Israeli nation is mostly secular right now, and 99.99 percent of them reject Jesus Christ as their Savior, so the Jews returning to Palestine in 1948 just does not fit this prophecy in any way, shape or manner.  And this prophecy says also they will be brought back into their land, indicating they’re going to need land, to live in, which would indicate they’re being brought back to life to live and grow (Holy Spirit indwelling them) and overcome spiritually, and become believers just as we are today. Incorporating Ezekiel 16:53-55 and Ezekiel 37:1-14 into Revelation 20:5, 11-13 would strongly indicate there is a significant time-gap between Revelation 20:5, 11-13 and Revelation 20:14-15, the lake of fire.  You can see why theologians want to sweep Ezekiel 37:1-14 under the rug, because it destroys their pet doctrine about everyone who is not converted, accepting Christ, and becoming “born-again” in their normal lifetimes end up in the Gehenna fire of Revelation 20:14-15.  Since I am doing this commentary on the Book of Ezekiel, I am giving this interpretation, “with the bark on,” because it is the only interpretation that seems to fit when all the passages on the subject are put together.  If you don’t agree or don’t like it, you are free to believe whatever you like or whatever you have been taught.  We will all learn the truth on these matters when Jesus returns, and then all doctrinal debate and disagreement will end. To read a paper giving a more thorough treatment of this subject, log onto:  http://www.unityinchrist.com/destiny/2ndResurrection5.htm.  To see most of the other various beliefs on this subject within the Body of Christ, log onto: http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm.

 

Jerusalem will pay for her iniquity

 

Verses 56-59, “For your sister Sodom was not a byword in your mouth in the days of your pride, before your wickedness was uncovered.  It was like the time of the reproach of the daughters of Syria and all those around her, and of the daughters of the Philistines, who despise you everywhere.  You have paid for your lewdness and your abominations,’ says the LORD.”  i.e. this is looking forward to the immediate and soon-coming destruction of the cities of Judah and Jerusalem.  God in that verse is looking at it like it has already happened, because when God says something is going to happen it happens.  “For thus says the Lord GOD:  ‘I will deal with you as you have done, who despised the oath by breaking the covenant.”

 

God promises to bring them into his new covenant

 

Verses 60-61, “Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.  Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed, when you receive your older and younger sisters [i.e. Sodom, Gomorrah and Samaria, by context]; for I will give them to you for daughters, but not because of my covenant with you.  And I will establish my covenant with you.  Then you shall know that I am the LORD, that you may remember and be ashamed, and never open your mouth anymore because of your shame, when I provide you an atonement for all that you have done,’ says the Lord GOD.”  That atonement has been provided by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Yeshua haMeshiach for our Jewish friends).  Obviously, they can’t receive that atonement, which equates to receiving the Holy Spirit upon repentance, until they are resurrected back to life again.  All these people he was addressing have died.  This promise to bring them into “his covenant”, which is obviously the new covenant described in Jeremiah 31:31-34, again can only be done for them by resurrecting them back to physical life and giving them the Holy Spirit, placing these two verses in context with verses 53-55 and Ezekiel 37:1-14.  Proper interpretation of a Bible doctrine (teaching) can never ignore one set of verses over and above another set, proper interpretation must be “inclusive” not “exclusive” of all related passages.

 

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