““He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, You know.”
Who was Ezekiel?
In 586 BC after three previous invasions the Babylonians conquered the city of Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple. The soil was drenched with Jewish blood while the remainder of the people surviving the bloodbath were taken into captivity to Babylon. Ezekiel was one of the younger men taken to Babylon in the first captivity, which occurred in 597 B.C. He served as God’s prophet to the Hebrew exiles who were allowed to live in a colony by themselves near the banks of the Kebar River. During those days of captivity Ezekiel prophesied concerning the future spiritual and national restoration of Israel as a nation in the Last Days before the Second Coming of Christ. His prophecy applied to Israel and by extension to the Church.
The years of desolation
History records that during its long history that Jerusalem has been attacked 52 times, captured and recaptured 44 times, besieged 23 times, and destroyed twice. The oldest part of the city was settled in the 4th millennium BCE, making Jerusalem one of the oldest cities in the world. In 70AD Jerusalem was finally conquered by the Roman Legions and the Temple destroyed with no stone left upon another as the Lord Jesus had also prophesied around 40 years or so before it occurred (Matthew 24:2). In 70AD Biblical Mosaic Judaism ceased to exist. For almost 2,000 years Israel was controlled by the Gentile nations. For that time there was no homeland for the Jewish people.
Can a land be born in one day?
Then on 14 May 1948, the day before the expiration of the British Mandate, David Ben-Gurion, the head of the Jewish Agency, declared “the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the State of Israel.” It was a modern miracle where Israel became a nation again in one day. Isaiah the prophet foretold this event when he wrote; “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once? As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons.” (Isaiah 66:8) This rebirth of the nation came about as a result of an intense time of persecution of the Jewish people in the early 30’s and during WWII. Before 1948 the Jewish people had become ‘a valley of dry bones’ and these ‘bones’ were very dry having been in that condition for a very long time.
A Modern Miracle!
Today there are many calling for the destruction of Israel and behind the scenes Satan is at work to destroy the Jewish State because he knows that God’s prophetic plans and purposes for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ depends on his prophetic plan and promises for Israel’s national and spiritual restoration as a nation. This small tiny bit of real estate is surrounded by the most powerful Muslim nations in the world hell bent on its destruction but it still remains to this day. The LORD has placed Jerusalem at the centre of the nations (Ezekiel 5:5). Once, the Jews were back in their own land in 1948, Israel flourished. At the start it was a barren land and a wilderness but under the hand of the Jewish people and by the sovereign mercy of God the land flourished again. Just a few examples, in 1963 Eilat was a small seaside village but today it is a beautiful seaside resort with a beautiful beach. Even back further in 1912 Jerusalem itself was a rundown rather bleak looking city but today it as a thriving metropolis and the centre of the world’s attention. In 1920 Beer Sheva was a small almost deserted village but today it is a beautiful and panoramic city. In 1930 Hod Asharon was a small rural village but today it is a well inhabited city with many new high rise apartments. Haifa was a small rather run down seaside village but today is a major and splendid modern city by the sea. In 1920 Petah Tikva was a small country village but today is a thriving city with modern high rise apartments. And then there is Tel Aviv which in 1920 looked like a makeshift camping sight but today is a splendid and thriving city.
What was spoken by the Prophets
The prophet Amos spoke about the future restoration of Israel when he wrote; “Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “When the ploughman will overtake the reaper And the treader of grapes him who sows seed; When the mountains will drip sweet wine And all the hills will be dissolved. “Also I will restore the captivity of My people Israel, And they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them; They will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, And make gardens and eat their fruit. “I will also plant them on their land, And they will not again be rooted out from their land Which I have given them,” Says the LORD your God.” (Amos 9:13-15) Ezekiel himself also prophesied; “‘Thus says the Lord God, “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places will be rebuilt. The desolate land will be cultivated instead of being a desolation in the sight of everyone who passes by. They will say, ‘This desolate land has become like the garden of Eden; and the waste, desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited.’ Then the nations that are left round about you will know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted that which was desolate; I, the Lord, have spoken and will do it.” (Ezekiel 36:33-36) This is Israel’s glorious future in the Millennial Kingdom to come.
An everlasting possession and an immovable stone
The national rebirth of Israel has happened because of the covenant God made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to give the Jewish people the land of Israel to be for them “an everlasting possession.” (Genesis 17:8) What we see today in Israel is the harbinger of the Millennial reign but because of their rejection of the Lord Jesus their Messiah they will have to pass through the Time of Jacob’s Trouble but will be saved out of it (Jeremiah 30:1-7). Even though Jerusalem is to be savaged by the antichrist and his armies for three and a half years and half of the people in Jerusalem taken once again into exile the city itself will not be removed but will prove to be an immovable stone that tears apart any nation that seeks to destroy it as Zechariah the prophet wrote; “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah. It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured (ripped, torn apart). And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.” (Zechariah 12:2-4)
The head and not the tail
Having said this there is no doubt that the blessing of the LORD remains upon Israel today as a nation because of the patriarch Abraham. Israel leads the way in Technology for the environment and making the desert bloom, greening the earth and cleansing the water and air and providing clean energy. Also the land is rich in underground natural gas and today they are drilling for oil. Many nations are now dealing with Israel. They are leading the way in Medical and scientific developments and in developing modern weapons and technology itself. All of these things are harbingers of what will happen in the Millennial Kingdom when Israel will be ‘the head and not the tail’ and Jerusalem, the Capital of the world. As Isaiah the prophet wrote; “Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it.” (Isaiah 2:2)
The Divine Potter
Israel is still clay in the potter’s hand. However, there are lumps and imperfections that need to be expelled from the clay and so the hand of the potter works with the clay to mould it according to his will and purposes. Of course Israel is the clay and God Himself is the divine potter and the circumstances surrounding Israel the wheel upon which they will be shaped. The final stage after moulding the clay is the potter’s refining process in the fire which hardens the clay and makes it then useful for the purpose for which it was created. The Time of JACOB’S Trouble will be the refining fire which will result in a clean and pure vessel fit for the master’s use. God’s ultimate purpose is to have a holy people free from sin and idolatry and reunited with His Son the Lord Jesus, Israel’s Messiah, Saviour and Lord. The LORD is using applied pressure to bring about Israel’s sanctification and using the surrounding nations to bring about Israel’s repentance. Once these nations have fulfilled God’s purposes He will get rid of them and the ones that will go first will be the Islamic nations that have attacked Jerusalem and killed and persecuted both the Jews and Christians.
A future hope!
Despite what the Media says about Israel and despite the nations turning against Israel and despite the rise of Antisemitism and replacement theology and the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement Israel will survive! The prophet Ezekiel grieved over the exile of the Jewish people as the LORD grieved over His wayward people and while God through Ezekiel told the Jews in exile in no uncertain terms why they were in exile He also gave them a future hope as a nation. And so we come to Ezekiel’s vision of the Valley of dry bones. It is a prophecy that applies to Israel and by extension to the Church. Now lwt’s look at the text of Ezekiel 37:1-14…
Dead men’s bones?
(Vss.1-3) “The hand of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry.”
In his vision Ezekiel saw the whole nation of Israel (Vs.11). The dry dead bones were scattered everywhere all over the valley and they had no identity humanly speaking but God knew who they represented and why they were there in that valley like dried out dead bones parched by the unrelenting sun. It was a picture of the spiritual state of Israel at the time of Ezekiel but also a future picture of Israel before 1948. Since 70AD in all of its long centuries the Jewish people were scattered among the nations although ten of the twelve Tribes were never lost as some have taught over the years. Furthermore, the fact that Ezekiel saw a valley speaks of a desperate and dark place.
Now all of the prophets represented the Lord Jesus in some way and Ezekiel also was a type of the Lord Jesus and is actually called the son of man, a title given to the Lord Jesus Himself. When we see Ezekiel passing among the bones it is a picture of the Lord Jesus walking around in Israel during His earthly ministry, and at his time the nation by enlarge was spiritually backslidden. It reminds us of the Lord Jesus walking among the Churches in the book of Revelation to review their spiritual condition. The lamp of God’s Spirit today is seeking to penetrate the spiritual darkness prevalent in Israel and by extension much of the Church. As Ezekiel walked among the dead bones he saw very clearly that there was no life in them at all and that they had been dead for a very long time. The extreme dryness speaks of Israel’s spiritual bankruptcy as a nation, a bankruptcy still conspicuous today. But God spoke to Ezekiel…
Can these bones live?
(Vs.3-4) “He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, You know.” Again He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.’”
Ezekiel was looking out over these dry bones scattered throughout the valley and then the LORD asked him if these bones could live? Of course to all human intents and purposes there was no way they could live and Ezekiel knew that he did not have the answer but that God did. The LORD then told Ezekiel to prophecy over the bones and that he was to speak the Word of God to them. In the Bible we read that “faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17) The Holy Spirit will always use the Word of God to penetrate the spiritual deadness in the souls of men and women, dead in lawlessness and sins. God was saying to Ezekiel that the Israelites were spiritually dead as a nation and prophetically that the Church in the last days by enlarge would also be spiritually dry.
Now only the Spirit of God can make alive the human spirit dead in sin and unresponsive to spiritual truth. Through the Holy Spirit a sinner dead in sins is given just enough light to enable them to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus but God will not do the repenting for them. As for Israel God tells us clearly in this prophecy of Ezekiel that Israel would be back in the Land of Israel in the Last days but without the life of the Spirit. Only the Word of God carried along by the Spirit of God can spiritually revive those who are spiritually dead. Ezekiel was to prophecy over these bones.
The Breath of God
(Vs.5-6) “Thus says the Lord God to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life. I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the Lord.’”
It is very clear that that the LORD was speaking of the spiritual and national restoration of Israel. Through this restoration Israel as a nation would come to know that the LORD is God. When the Lord Jesus came to Israel, like Ezekiel the prophet, He walked among the people of Israel who were by enlarge spiritually dry. The religious system was spiritually corrupted by the commandments and traditions of men and spiritually bankrupt. It was in fact a religious system full of ‘dead men’s bones.’ By the Holy Spirit God spoke through the Lord Jesus and the breath of the Spirit gave spiritual life to many in Israel during the ministry of the Lord Jesus as He walked among them (John 6:63). Many Jews found Salvation in their Messiah the Lord Jesus and were spiritually resurrected to eternal life. After the Lord Jesus had died and ascended to heaven on the Day of Pentecost He poured out His Holy Spirit upon a 120 Jewish believers in Jerusalem and after that many Jews were saved. Following this great spiritual revival and harvest among the Jews in Jerusalem the gospel message went out to the Gentile nations. David’s fallen tabernacle was spiritually restored on the Day of Pentecost as the Body of Messiah was born.
However, for most of the Jews in Jerusalem and those living in the Gentile nations they remained spiritually dead men and continued to reject their Messiah the Lord Jesus Christ. From 70AD the Spirit of God started to move among the Gentiles and for an undetermined length of time the gospel of the Kingdom went forth to the nations seeing untold millions upon millions of Gentiles being saved and grafted into the commonwealth of Israel, consequently becoming children of Abraham by faith (Ephesians 2:11-13) (Galatians 3:6-8) (Romans 4:16:18). Having said this does not cancel out God’s prophetic plan for the Jewish nation. Israel is still the root and believing Gentiles the wild olive branches grafted into Israel the cultivated Olive tree to replace those individual Jews who were broken off through unbelief. As Paul says if the root has gone so are the branches. The Church is an extension of Israel and has not replaced Israel. Paul deals with the relationship between Israel and the Church in Romans chapters 9-11.
Ezekiel’s prophecy was partially fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost but will have its ultimate fulfilment at the end of this present age as Israel is now a nation in its own right, a nation born in a day! (Isaiah 66:8). God remembers His covenants made to Israel including the New Covenant made with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah (Jeremiah 31:31-37). Clearly the prophets spoke of the spiritual and national restoration of Israel as a nation in the very Last Days. Not only would the nation be established again but the very breath or Spirit of God would be infused into the people (Jeremiah 31:27-40). And so Ezekiel prophesied to the dry bones.
A rattling and a resurrection
(Vs.7-8) “So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them.”
The prophet Isaiah wrote; “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once? As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons.” (Isaiah 66:8) Israel as a nation has always been in travail and subject to the birth pains of wars, persecution and a scattering among the nations, a valley of dry spiritual bones spiritually disconnected from the LORD their God. In 1948 the whole world heard the rattling of the bones as a nation suddenly came into being after almost 2,000 years, “a nation born in a day!” Satan had tried to destroy the Jewish people and the Holocaust was perpetrated by him against Israel, however the Jewish people survived. Satan could not win because he was fighting against a sovereign God who would honour His covenant promises to Israel to restore them nationally and spiritually because of His promises made to Abraham and sealed in a covenant of blood.
Not only was Israel reborn as a nation in 1948 but has prospered as a nation since that time despite all of the opposition from their Islamic neighbours. In 1948 when the fledgling state of Israel was reborn the Arab nations tried to exterminate them as a people but they prevailed. In 1948 around 600,000 Jewish settlers fought and won against millions of Arab antagonists attacking them. Then in 1973 during the Yom Kipper war when Israel was attacked by Egyptian forces they once again defeated their enemy big time. It was a massive blow to Egyptian power! Then in 1967 during the six-day war they took back the old City of Jerusalem, the Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights and the West Bank.
Since that time Israel has remained as a sovereign nation and the Land has experienced a physical transformation like no other nation in the Middle East. When the Jewish exiles arrived in the Land of Israel in 1948 the Land was mostly an arid land mass with a lot of swamp land but since that time Israel has become a modern and productive country in the areas of technology, farming, weapons systems and advances in medical research and environment issues not to mention the natural gas and oil reserves under the ground in Israel. There is no doubt that the blessings of Abraham are being restored to Israel, however, there is still no breath of the Spirit in most Israelis today.
They have been restored physically to their land and even though they now have ‘sinews and flesh’ they are still aliens and strangers to their own covenants of promise. They are to face their darkest hour of testing like Jacob, who after he wrestled through the night with the Metatron (the Messiah), came to a place of victory at daybreak. Likewise, Israel, after they have wrestled with their Messiah through the night of Great Tribulation, will be spiritually resurrected and then reconciled to their surviving Arab brothers as Jacob was reconciled to Esau.
Life from the dead!
(Vs.9-10) “Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life.”’” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.”
The Apostle Paul wrote concerning Israel, “What will their acceptance be but life from the dead.” In writing this he was speaking to those Gentile believers who thought that God had finished with Israel and that the Church was now God’s chosen people but Paul clearly showed that Israel at present has a partial hardening of their heart and a veil over their spiritual eyes but that that veil can once again be removed by the LORD. According to the prophets Joel and Zechariah Israel as a nation will be spiritually revived in the Land of Israel in the Last days. The mention of the Spirit coming from the four winds speaks of a spiritual revival among the Jewish people that will bring back Jews to Israel from the four corners of the earth.
It will also be a time when there will be wonders displayed in the heavens and on earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke and the sun will be darkened and the moon turned to blood and the constellations shaken and the stars falling to earth. In the midst of all of these things Israel will be spiritually resurrected (Joel 3:28-32) (Zechariah 12:10-14) (Jeremiah 31:31-37). In that day for the nation of Israel it will be “Life from the dead!”
On the Day of Pentecost Joel’s prophecy and Ezekiel’s vision was partially fulfilled. When Peter spoke to the crowds he said; “This is to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet Joel” and he went on to quote the words of Joel. In the original language in the biblical text of Acts Peter actually said “This is like that which was spoken by the prophet Joel.” The Spirit was poured out upon Israel and then upon all flesh as the gospel of the kingdom spread to the Gentile nations. It was a partial fulfilment, a harbinger of the spiritual restoration of the nation of Israel just prior to the return of the Lord Jesus.
On the Day of Pentecost there was no blood and fire and billows of smoke or the stars no longer shining or the sun not giving its light or the moon turning to blood. When Israel is spiritually revived at the end of the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (also called the Great Tribulation), multitudes of Gentiles will also be saved primarily through the witness of Jews who have been saved. At this time also the faithful Church will have rediscovered it Jewish roots and be one with Israel.
This last great outpouring of the Spirit upon all flesh will be the latter rain of the Spirit. Primarily it will be a faithful remnant of Jews at this time preaching the Gospel of the kingdom as there was on the Day of Pentecost in the days of the former rain of the Spirit. It will be the last great outpouring of the Spirit of God to win souls to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ before the bowls of His wrath are poured out without measure upon a Christ hating, Christ rejecting world. It will be just as it was in the days of Noah before the deluge came. On the Day of Pentecost David’s fallen tabernacle, namely the kingdom of Israel, was restored spiritually but not nationally.
After the Lord Jesus has come back, Israel will be fully restored nationally. This national restoration has been partly fulfilled in 1948 but will have its ultimate fulfilment after the Lord Jesus has returned to Israel at His Second Coming. In that day Israel will be the first and foremost among the nations that have survived the Great Tribulation and the city of Jerusalem the capital of the whole world. David’s fallen tabernacle will have been fully restored!
The first Church was Jewish and the last church will primarily be Jewish. After the surviving remnant of Israel is spiritually revived they will become a light to enlighten the Gentiles. When the Lord Jesus comes back with the armies of heaven He will rescue Israel from the hands of their enemies and from the hands of all that hate them. In that day Israel will become a mighty army for the LORD and march out under the authority of their Commander in Chief the Lord Jesus Christ to fight those nations attacking Jerusalem! Following this the Millennial Kingdom will commence (Zechariah 12:6-9); 14:3-21). Indeed when “all Israel is saved” then “the slain will come to life and to stand on their feet.” In other words their resurrection as a nation will be complete. It will be life from the dead for Israel!
The Valley of dry bones will have become a mighty army filled to the brim with the breath of God, an unstoppable army! The former rain of the Spirit saw the birth of the Church at Pentecost and the last rain of the Spirit will see the spiritual rebirth of Israel as a nation and multitudes saved. In the Millennial Kingdom faithful Israel and by extension the faithful Church will reign in life with the Lord Jesus Christ over the nations that have survived the Great Tribulation (Isaiah 14:2) (Deuteronomy 15:6) (Revelation 5:10) Revelation 20:6). In that day “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14)
The whole House of Israel
(Vs.11-14) “ Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people.”I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken and done it,” declares the Lord.’”
When you look at the film footage of the Nazi death camps and the millions of Jews, some living skeletons and many dead you can see the desolation spoken of by the prophet Ezekiel. If ever there was the look of hopelessness and despair on the faces of those filmed it was written on the faces of the surviving Jews. Many of them literally were just skin and bones much like Ezekiel described in his vision from the LORD. Yet out of this terrible calamity a nation would be born in a single day according to the Word of the LORD through the prophets, a nation destined to rule over the nations for a thousand years. After the Holocaust many Jews thought they were completely cut off and were without hope but God had not forgotten them or abandoned them even though they had suffered because of the curse of the law.
The good news!
The good news for Israel and for all men is that when the Lord Jesus died on the cross He became a curse for all of us whether we are Jew or Gentile because all of us have sinned and fall short of God’s divine righteousness. We are all under the curse of the law because of our sin and rebellion against Him (Romans 3:23). The Lord Jesus through His shed blood broke that curse hanging over the whole human race and whenever a sinner, Jew or Gentile, repents towards God and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ to save them from sin and the curse of the law, which is death and hell, that curse is broken over their lives (Galatians 3:13).
“Father forgive them”
Having said this we must keep in mind that the Lord Jesus did not curse Israel but they cursed themselves when they called down a curse upon themselves and their children at His trial before Pilate (Matthew 27:25). At the cross the Lord Jesus prayed; “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) After all the Jewish people have suffered they are still God’s covenant people.
Despair and disillusionment
The despair of the Jewish people was great after the fall of the Northern Kingdom to the Assyrians in 722BC. Their despair was seen after the fall of the southern kingdom to the Babylonians in 586BC. Their despair was seen again after Jerusalem had fallen to the Roman legions in in 70AD, not to mention the abject despair on the faces of the Jewish people at the bloodbath after the Barkochba rebellion in 132-135 AD also at the hands of the Romans. Having said this, the Holocaust saw the death of six million Jews. If despair was seen it was during those terrible years at the hands of the Nazis. Satan, operating through Adolph Hitler thought he had pulled of the ultimate solution for the Jews but he was wrong again!
Aliens and strangers
Today Hitler and his henchmen are all in the deepest and darkest hellfire while Israel is prospering as a nation but overall Israelis are still living as aliens and strangers from their own covenants of promise. Sodomy, licentiousness, hedonism, materialism and religious fervour mark the lives of many Israelis today. It is also a nation of idolatry. In many ways it is like Sodom and Gomorrah was in the time of Abraham and Lot. The Jewish people are back in the Land according to God’s plan and many more are to come but they are not there initially for a blessing but a judgement because of their sin and unbelief in the Lord Jesus as their saviour from sin, their rightful Lord and Messiah. God is yet to purify the sons of Levi because He will have a holy people in the end. This is why it is vitally important to support Jewish evangelism. It is to the Jew first! (Romans 1:16).
Jeremiah the prophet wrote; “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Write all the words which I have spoken to you in a book. For behold, days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel and Judah.’ The Lord says, ‘I will also bring them back to the land that I gave to their forefathers and they shall possess it.’” Now these are the words which the Lord spoke concerning Israel and concerning Judah: “For thus says the Lord, ‘I have heard a sound of terror, Of dread, and there is no peace. ‘Ask now, and see If a male can give birth. Why do I see every man With his hands on his loins, as a woman in childbirth? And why have all faces turned pale? ‘Alas! for that day is great, There is none like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s distress, But he will be saved from it.” (Jeremiah 30:2-7).
Cutting those days short!
During this time of Jacob’s trouble, lasting for three and a half years, two thirds of the Jewish people will perish in the land of Israel at the hands of Antichrist with only a third surviving.(Zechariah 13:7-9) At this time the faithful Church will also have its hour of crucifixion at the hands of Antichrist (Daniel 7:21, 25; 8:24; 12:1,7b) (Matthew 24:9, 21-22) (Revelation 13:7). Having said this, for the sake of His chosen ones, the LORD will cut those days short and send the Lord Jesus back to rapture and resurrect the faithful Church and to save Israel immediately after the distress of those days of Great Tribulation! (Matthew 24:29-31) (1 Corinthians 15:51-52) (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).
Coming out of Great Tribulation
In the Book of revelation we see faithful blood washed believers coming out of the Great Tribulation between the sixth and the seventh seal in the book of Revelation (Revelation 7:14). Faithful believers are seen “coming out (present continuous tense) of the great tribulation.” Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones is not only a vision of the national and spiritual resurrection of Israel but also a vision of the spiritual resurrection and rapture of the Church which by incorporation and inclusion is the extension of Israel. At no time in history has the Church replaced Israel! By the end of this time of Jacob’s Trouble the Lord Jesus will have a faithful believing remnant in Israel and in the Church. In that day Israel will be complete! As the prophet wrote; “Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.” (Isaiah 51:11) In the Millennial Kingdom there will be one shepherd and one flock (John 10:16).
After Israel as a nation have passed through the refining crucible of the LORD they will indeed come into the full blessing of Abraham and become the head and not the tail as they co-reign with their Messiah our Lord Jesus Christ over all of the nations of the world. The prophets also speak about this including the prophet Ezekiel. Since 1948 Jews have been returning to Israel but many still live and work within the Gentile nations but God is “opening the graves” of the Jewish people in every nation and calling them back to Israel. Sadly many are still not going back to Israel but the LORD will arrange things in such a way that they will be forced to go back to Israel. Already we see antisemitism spreading like gangrene within the Gentile nations and Jews becoming more marginalized than ever before. God is applying the pressure to bring His people back home. Antisemitism is rapidly becoming a global problem for the Jewish people and increasing in intensity and frequency as the media by enlarge turn more and more against Israel. The reason God is opening the graves of their captivity as a people and calling them back to Israel is to spiritually resurrect them in the Land when they encounter the Lord Jesus their resurrected Saviour, Lord and Messiah. When the LORD places His Spirit within them the whole world will know that they are the Apple of God’s Eye and that God is a covenant keeping God.
Possessing their possessions!
In the Millennial Kingdom Israel will “possess their possessions!” As a nation they will completely fulfil their calling and gifting from God under the kingship of their Messiah our Lord Jesus Christ. In that day; “many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favour of the LORD.’ “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘In those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you!” (Zechariah 8:22-23). Today Israel has “flesh and sinews” but the “breath of life from God” is yet to come but when it does they will come to life and stand on their feet, an exceedingly great army!” In that day for Israel it will be “Life from the Dead!”