Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 11
PROPHECY: THE WHITE HORSE OF REVELATION 6
Get your Bible and follow along with us. You can’t grow in grace and knowledge unless you stay in the Book. And that is the only reason I teach. I trust I can help people to understand what the Bible is saying. Let’s turn to the Book of Ezekiel. We will continue to study prophecy for several more lessons before going into the Book of Matthew as we continue ourThrough the Bible teaching.
We will be going to the Book of Revelation, and the timeline as it unfolds for that last seven years. First, I want to show you an event that’s unfolding in Ezekiel Chapter 37. I think we are seeing this happen right before our eyes. Ezekiel 37 is dealing with the awakening again of the Nation of Israel – how they have come out of complete obscurity as a nation. They have been buried among the Gentiles. But this Chapter prophesies that one day they will come alive, come back to the land and become a viable nation. We are seeing that take place even as we speak. But they haven’t come to the full culmination yet, that is still future. So let’s start at verse 1:
“The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,”
When we were in Israel a few months ago, our guide pointed to the valley of Kedron, and made reference to this Chapter. He said, “This is what the Jews call the valley of dry bones.” There is a multitude of graves as you look from the Mount of Olives down across the Kedron Valley up to the old wall. But that is not what Ezekiel 37 is talking about.Ezekiel 37 is talking about the Nation of Israel out of the land; out among the Gentile nations scattered across the world without a land, altar, or priesthood. This has been the lot of the Jew ever since 70 AD. But it’s not going to stay that way. And Israel out of the land is a Nation that is in its grave. And that is the whole concept you need to remember as you read this Chapter.
“And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.”
If you know anything about bones, you realize the longer they lie out in the sun, the whiter and dryer they get. The emphasis here is that Israel has been out of the land, the place of blessing, for a long time – over 1900 years. It was from 70 A.D. when Titus destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the Temple, that the Jews were scattered throughout the then-known world. They didn’t become a nation again until 1948. So they were out there a long time.
“And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live?…”
The normal answer from a human standpoint would have been, “No way!” How could a nation as tiny as Israel completely subjugated by her Gentile enemies ever come back on the scene. I guess when you have an agnostic, or someone who has trouble believing the Bible as the Word of God, one of the most viable proofs, that this Book is supernatural and is the Word of God, is the Jew. He is living proof that this Book knows what it’s talking about – keep that in mind. This little nation should have been completely obliterated. They should have been totally assimilated into the various nations of the world and lost their identity completely – but they haven’t. And we have seen them go back to their land.
Another miracle is the Hebrew language. It was dead. Even the Jews didn’t speak Hebrew for hundreds of years. But when some of the Zionists first anticipated going back to what we call Palestine to make it a Jewish homeland, they demanded that people learn and speak Hebrew again. So, if you go to Israel today, all the billboards and all the highway signs are Hebrew and English. Never has a dead language ever been brought back to life as it has here. Another absolute proof of the prophetic word. So he says:
“Again he said unto me, `Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.'”
Now the most that people know about Ezekiel 37 is the old well-known spiritual, isn’t it? “The hip bone’s connected to the…” and so on and so on. Well, that’s where it came from. It’s from this Chapter. But it’s speaking of something far more important than just a skeleton. Remember, we’re talking about the Nation of Israel as they have been out there amongst the Gentile nations.
“Thus saith the LORD GOD unto these bones (to these Israelites scattered throughout the world); `Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live.'” In other words, a national breath. They will once again become a nation of people.
“And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you,…”
This is a symbolic language. It is merely speaking of that which was dead and seemingly without hope: all of a sudden they are coming back. The Nation of Israel is in the news every day, seven days a week for some reason or another. But they haven’t reached yet, all this is looking forward to – but they’re certainly on their way.
“…and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.”
It’s amazing that in spite of all that Israel has accomplished (the tremendous increase in agricultural production; large high-rise building projects; freeway construction. It’s just unbelievable), they do not give God any of the credit. They just claim that they are doing it on their own. But the Lord says that one day they will realize that they didn’t do it on their own. That it was the work of their Almighty God. Alright, verse 7:
“So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking,…”
We want you to see the illustration. This great valley floor, just covered with dry bones. That’s what we want to picture mentally. All of a sudden those bones begin to move, to shake and rattle – they begin to come together and form skeletons. Then soon, the flesh comes on them; and then the skin. And the day is coming when the life will come on them. Now, all of this is just symbolic language in regard to the Nation of Israel away from their homeland. Scattered amongst the nations. Seemingly no hope of ever having a homeland. But little by little, beginning in 1897, a Viennese Jew by the name of Theodor Herzl dreamed of a homeland for the Jews, and founded the World Zionist Organization. The British Government and other powers at that time, thought they could set them aside an area in Africa someplace. But these Jews said, “No we don’t want someplace in Africa. We want our own homeland. We want the land of our forefathers.” And of course we know now from history that it was quite a battle. The British fought them tooth and toenail, all during the eight days after World War II.
Very few people are aware that as the Jews were escaping Europe from the holocaust, the British navy patrolled the Mediterranean Sea day and night, trying to intercept the boat people of that day, who were the Israelites, or Jews, coming out of Europe. If they intercepted them, they would put them in refugee camps on the island of Cyprus. But the few that got through went into the land of Israel and began by building the Kibbutzim. If you go to Israel today, you will likely visit a Kibbutz, which is basically a farming community. But from their farming enterprises, they have expanded and have begun manufacturing and developing a tourist trade.
But it was the Kibbutz people who were the mainstay of that little rag-tag army that defeated the Arabs in 1948. It was quite a bit like our own revolutionary war. Just the rag-tag of farmers and common people with no military acumen whatsoever. And yet with the overwhelming power of God – with just small arms, no tanks, no artillery, no air power – they won the war in 1948 and established themselves as a little nation once again. Well that’s the shaking of the dry bones. Alright now let’s read on:
“And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above (that much they’ve accomplished. But the last still hasn’t happened.): but there was no breath in them.” Or I should say that is still the case. There is no spiritual breath, as yet.
“Then said he unto me, `Prophesy unto 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.'”
We’re dealing now with the spiritual aspect. And so we see them in the land. They have their own government – they have their Knesset (what we would call our Congress). And they have a sovereignty of sorts. But they are still so dependent on Uncle Sam and some of the Western European nations for their financial stability. In fact one of the first things that our guide told us, “We just consider ourselves the fifty first State.” – which is so apropos, as they are dependent on us, even though they are an independent state.
“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.”
That was the vision that he saw, but in reality it is the Nation of Israel coming back to their homeland out of all the nations of the earth. You may ask, “Well, where do you get that?”You just read on, and like I’ve said so many times, if you go far enough, the Scripture interprets for you. Now look what it says in verse 11:
“Then he said unto me, `Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel:…'”
Do you see that? Not just two tribes. But the whole house of Israel. I’m emphasizing that because there is a great move afoot that maintains the Jews of today are only the residue of Judah and Benjamin. The other ten tribes are lost and have been destroyed and are no long a viable entity. But that flies in the face of Scripture. Because even in the Book of Acts, as Peter addresses the Jews on the day of Pentecost, what term does he use? “Therefore let the whole house of Israel know assuredly,…“ The whole house of Israel is not just Judah and Benjamin; it’s all twelve or thirteen tribes if you want to include the two sons of Joseph. So, here again, we have the terminology that they are the whole house of Israel.
“`…behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost:…'”
Isn’t that exactly what the Jew felt? Especially prior and after World War II? No hope of having a homeland. No hope of having any congealing of their people. They were just isolated, usually in ghettos in various capital cities in Europe. And they thought that there was no hope. And then all of a sudden a Sovereign God came into the picture. And they said:
“…Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.”
And then I would like to come down to verse 13. Where God says:
“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 (in other words, out of the place of dispersion.), And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I (God says) shall place you (where?) in your own land:…”
With all due respect to the Arabs, no one likes to give up what they call their homeland. And we certainly don’t look down on them for feeling that way. But the Scripture is so plain. Whose land is the land of Palestine? It’s the Jews.’ It was promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And all of Scripture declares it as “Their land.” Our United States government can go to its doom trying to change that. Other governments will go to their doom if they try to change that. Because God has delineated this little strip of ground between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, as the homeland for his Covenant people.
“…then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.” Now he gives another illustration. And he says to Ezekiel:
“Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, `For Judah (that was the Southern Kingdom, remember. Judah and Benjamin, the Southern Kingdom after the nation was divided), and for the children of Israel his companions:’ then take another stick, and write upon it, `For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:'”
That was the Northern Kingdom. So we have one stick representing the Southern Kingdom, Judah and Benjamin. The other stick is representing the ten tribes to the north which we normally call the Northern Kingdom, or Israel, or Ephraim. In verse 17, he says:
“And join them one to another into (what?) one stick (see); and they shall become one in thine hand.”
A miracle? Just about like when Moses cast down his rod back there in Exodus. Ezekiel takes two separate sticks, one for Judah and one for the Northern Kingdom. And in his hand, those two become one. Alright, God again is showing not only Ezekiel, but us today, a tremendous lesson. Verse 18:
“And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, `Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?’ Say unto them, `Thus saith the Lord GOD;…'”
You know I’m always emphasizing that what is most important in the life of a believer is faith. I think I’m getting to be known as emphasizing faith – taking God at His Word. But who is saying this? God is saying it. What does He expect us to do? Believe it. And here is a good example. We believe that the Nation of Israel is going to come back and totally come together as one nation. No longer divided – all the tribes will be involved. Now verse 20:
“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,…'”
The word heathen in our Bible is simply another word for Gentiles. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are decrepit paganists or something like that – but Gentiles from all the nations of the world.
“…whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:”
We have been witnessing the return ever since the turn of the century, but especially since World War II. The Jews are just constantly coming back. I read in the Daily Oklahoman several weeks ago where a speaker in Oklahoma City, and I believe it was the head of tourism from the Nation of Israel, and he was speaking to a group of businessmen there. He gave this comparison which was shocking. In order to get an idea of what Israel has absorbed in the last year or two, it would be like the whole Nation of France immigrating to America in twelve months time. These immigrants came from all over the world, especially from Russia and from Eastern Europe. This is a staggering number of Jews that have come into that little land which is only 40 miles wide and about 200 miles long at the very most. Could we absorb them? Just imagine what they are up against – finding places for them to live, a food supply. They have to be put on welfare until they can get on their feet and find a job. But always be aware that God is bringing them back.
“And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel (most people don’t realize just how many mountains are in that nation. And here they are building high-rise apartments on those mountain sides. Just one right after the other. Now read on); and one king shall be king to them all:” That is still future. But they are looking for their King. And again, as you travel the Nation of Israel, you see big billboard signs in Hebrew telling the people to prepare for the coming of the Messiah. They don’t look at it as we do for they think He is coming for the first time, and we know it will be the Second Coming. But they realize the signs of the times are building so rapidly that Israel should be ready for her Messiah. Yes, the day is coming, and that is why we are going to study the Book of Revelation because all of that is going to build to the coming of the King of kings.
“And 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 all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.”
That hasn’t happened yet. Tonight you would have to say, “Lo-Ammi.” And what does that mean? “They’re not my people.” At times Moses used to tell God, “They are not my people.” And God would say, “They are not mine either.” Still, God doesn’t call them His people, although He has His hand over them and is protecting them. Yet, as a nation, they are completely out of fellowship with Him. And some of the Jewish people who hear me teach this might not accept this. I have many Jewish people who watch the program. Many are now beginning to see what the Old Testament is really talking about. The day is coming when the Jew will be called once again, “My people.” They will have a new heart and God will cleanse them. Also remember in Jeremiah 31:31 it says:
“`Behold, the days come,’ saith the LORD, `that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:'”
They won’t be under that old Covenant of Law any longer, but a new Covenant, where no one will have to be taught the Word of God or what the Law commands. But under that new Covenant every Israelite will have the heart of God within him. They will be an obedient people, they will be a people of faith and believe. And they will prosper materially. Remember in the Old Testament economy, when the Jews were obedient and faithful, God would bless them with material blessing. Now He never promised the Church that in the New Testament. So the day is coming when Israel once again will be showered with all the blessing of God. They are going to enjoy the King and His Kingdom. They will be the head of the nations rather than the tail.