May 15, 2016 ©Homer Kizer
Commentary — From the Margins
We Start Over — Again
The hand of the LORD was upon me, and He brought me out in the spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And He led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And He said to me, "Son of Adam, can these bones live?" And I answered, "O Lord GOD, you know." Then He said to me, "Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. … Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the LORD." So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. (Ezek 37:1–7)
For sons of God, there is a learning curve tailored to the person, and specifically related to the crown or office for which [in which] the son of God was called to serve. This learning curve serves the son of God as public school serves human children, with this learning curve customized to exploit the “natural” abilities of the human person.
Today, most individuals who self-identify themselves as “Christians” are not born of spirit; do not have the indwelling of the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou]; and certainly do not have the mind of Christ. They have not yet been called to serve God, Father and Son, as a firstborn son. They are, instead, pious individuals that form the corpse of Christ, this corpse being “dead” since the death of John (ca 100–102 CE). So, today, it is the rare Christian who is foreknown by the Father and predestined to be called, justified, and glorified as a son of God. It is unlikely that a genuinely born of spirit son of God will, by chance, encounter another genuinely born of spirit son of God … encounters usually occur when one son of God seeks out another, whether in Sabbath services or at a High Sabbath observance. And then, far too often, the pastor or minister conducting the services isn’t born of spirit; has physical knowledge but no spiritual understanding; and finds Rome, the Roman Empire and the Roman Church in biblical prophecies when Rome isn’t in any prophecy—“Rome” lies outside the original boundaries of Eden, which geographically represents [is the symbol for] all of human conscious thought.
In typology, “belief” of God is the substance of the Tree of Life that lies at the center of Eden; “unbelief” as represented by the Tree of the Knowledge of God and Evil also lies at the center of Eden, with “Death” laying to the North [Assyria] and “Sin” to the South [Egypt] and this world’s transactional economy to the East [Babylon]. To the west is the sea, and it is from the sea that the federated kings of Greece emerge following the breaking of the federation’s first king, first horn (because it is “first”) … the great king of Greece, the federation’s first king, reigned over humanity through the appetites of the flesh until this king is broken at the Second Passover liberation of a second nation of Israel. This first king appears today with a single horn between his eyes, this horn appearing as an erect penis if the Adversary’s administrative hierarchy were to appear before God as a single individual.
What Nebuchadnezzar sees in vision; what Daniel sees in vision (same vision) is the Adversary’s administrative hierarchy after the great horn of the first king of Greece is broken, meaning that Daniel’s visions in Belshazzar’s first year [chap 7] and third year [chap 8] begin narratively before the vision seen in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar [chap 2], with each successive vision beginning before the previous vision, but with all of the visions ending with the restoration of all things through the coming and establishment of the kingdom of God. And this narrative pattern would suggest that Daniel’s long vision of chapters 10 through 12 should begin before Daniel’s vision of Belshazzar’s third year begins, meaning that in Daniel’s long vision of the third year of King Cyrus, the narrative will begin before the kings of Media and Persia push to the south, to the west, and to the north. And indeed the narrative does:
And as for me, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood up to confirm and strengthen him. And now I will show you the truth. Behold, three more kings shall arise in Persia, and a fourth shall be far richer than all of them. And when he has become strong through his riches, he shall stir up all against the kingdom of Greece. Then a mighty king shall arise, who shall rule with great dominion and do as he wills. And as soon as he has arisen, his kingdom shall be broken and divided toward the four winds of heaven, but not to his posterity, nor according to the authority with which he ruled, for his kingdom shall be plucked up and go to others besides these. (Dan 11:1–4)
If Daniel’s visions were about human kings or about the physical man Nebuchadnezzar, there would be no narrative pattern of each vision slightly preceding in its inception the previous vision; for Nebuchadnezzar reigned before the human kings [sars] of Persia or the human kings [sars] of Greece … in vision, when both Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel see the humanoid image consisting of four metals and miry clay, the legs exist, with these two legs being the kings of the South [Egypt] and of the North [Assyria], the third and fourth beasts of chapter 7, with the king of the South not appearing in Daniel’s long vision until Daniel 11:5, and with the king of the North not appearing until Daniel 11:6. So the time setting for Nebuchadnezzar’s vision (with Daniel telling the king, “‘There is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days’” — Dan 2:28) is set in the latter days; is set after the Second Passover liberation of a second nation of Israel. For the first and great king of the king of Greece shall be suddenly broken (Dan 8:8) on the Second Passover because this demonic king is an uncovered [by the blood of the Lamb] “firstborn” in that he is the first convert of the Adversary, the significance of the color “yellow” of both the gold head and bronze belly and loins, but not the color of the silver arms and chest, or of the iron lower legs and feet.
The son of God who has the mind of Christ will understand that when Daniel as a youth tells Nebuchadnezzar that he, Nebuchadnezzar, is the head of gold that “‘into whose hand [the Lord] has given, wherever they dwell, the children of man, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, making you rule over them all’” (Dan 2:38), Daniel either speaks hyperbole or Daniel speaks to the human king of Babylon while his words are addressed to the spiritual king of Babylon, the Adversary. Either way, Nebuchadnezzar did not have authority over human persons outside of greater Eden [he certainly never ruled the children of men in either China nor Chile], and he never ruled the beasts of the fields or the birds of the air. But the Adversary as the spiritual king of Babylon rules over humanity wherever men dwell as well as ruling over the beasts of fields and the bird of the sky, with a scriptural reference being Isaiah 11:1–9, especially beginning verse 6 when the “natures” of the great predators change because the Messiah has begun to rule.
Again, the iron legs of the humanoid image Nebuchadnezzar saw in vision represent in type the Ptolemaic and Seleucid Empires, both Greek Empires with one not being significantly stronger than the other. In reality the iron legs represent the demonic kings of the South and the North, both beginning as ideological Greek “kings” that come to power after the first king of Greece is suddenly broken [because he is “first,” an uncovered firstborn]. But the color change from bronze (a yellow mental) to iron (a white metal, similar to silver) discloses that kings of the South and the North at the end of the age will attempt to imitate the false “Christianity” of the kings of Persia that comes to an abrupt halt when the demonic king of Greece flies out of the west to trample the kings of Persia, thereby moving away from their “yellow” roots, such will be the turmoil of the Affliction, the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years.
How is it that possession of the mind of Christ will give to the son of God knowledge that the prophetic narratives of Daniel’s visions move backwards in time, each vision beginning slightly earlier than the preceding vision, thereby disclosing that Nebuchadnezzar’s vision [again chap 2] cannot be about the course of events throughout the history of human empires, beginning with Nebuchadnezzar and continuing forward until the Second Advent, but has to be about the latter days, beginning after the emergence of the four demonic kings from the sea [chap 7]; hence after Revelation chapter 6, verse 8 … this is not really a question, but a statement wearing the narrative garb of a question. And so it is with much of inscribed history: what passes as “factual” is social fiction. With “history,” genre is garbled by the biases of those recording history.
Again, there is a learning curve customized to every son of God, with this curve intended to “push” the son of God through spiritual infancy and into conscious awareness of the indwelling mind of Christ that comes to the person born of spirit in a manner analogous to how the mind of man comes to the human infant born of human parents … the human infant has the “mind of man” from conception although that doesn’t seem to be the case; for a child thinks like a child, reasons like a child, plans like a child, and seems far from thinking the thoughts of a man. However, the physical child receives no other mind as the child grows from infancy to adolescence to physical maturation. The mind that was in the child at birth matures through biological changes until it is outwardly [by others] recognizable as the mind of a man; the mind changes because the nature of the physical creation dictates “change,” not permitting the status quo to long remain. Likewise, the mind of Christ that is in every newborn son of God matures through spiritual changes dictated by the son of God dwelling inside the ever-changing creation; dwelling in a house of flesh that hurries to die, usually accomplishing this task in less than a century.
When a person has not been truly born of spirit through the indwelling of Christ Jesus in the form of His spirit [pneuma Christou], the person is no more than the fleshly body that will not inherit the kingdom of God:
The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. (1 Cor 15:47–50)
Before the spirit was given, every human person was “from the earth,” “a man of dust.” Following the person’s death, all that remained of the person was dust; dry bones, what the prophet Ezekiel sees in vision. And in my typical narrative structure, I have circled back to where I want to begin.
The prophet Ezekiel received specific instructions concerning to whom he should prophesy:
And you, son of Adam, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD. … Because the enemy said of you, “Aha!” and, “The ancient heights have become our possession,” therefore prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Precisely because they made you desolate and crushed you from all sides, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and you became the talk and evil gossip of the people, therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD: Thus says the Lord GOD to the mountains and the hills, the ravines and the valleys, the desolate wastes and the deserted cities, which have become a prey and derision to the rest of the nations all around, therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Surely I have spoken in my hot jealousy against the rest of the nations and against all Edom, who gave my land to themselves as a possession with wholehearted joy and utter contempt, that they might make its pasturelands a prey. Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say to the mountains and hills, to the ravines and valleys, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I have spoken in my jealous wrath, because you have suffered the reproach of the nations. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: I swear that the nations that are all around you shall themselves suffer reproach. (Ezek 36:1–7 emphasis added)
When I was in my spiritual infancy and attending the services of the former Worldwide Church of God, I was taught the “mountains and hills, ravines and valleys” to whom Ezekiel as a son of Adam prophesied was an “Israel”; was a future nation of Israel. But that explanation always seemed problematic because of,
But you, O mountains of Israel, shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to my people Israel, for they will soon come home. For behold, I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. And I will multiply people on you, the whole house of Israel, all of it. The cities shall be inhabited and the waste places rebuilt. And I will multiply on you man and beast, and they shall multiply and be fruitful. And I will cause you to be inhabited as in your former times, and will do more good to you than ever before. Then you will know that I am the LORD. I will let people walk on you, even my people Israel. And they shall possess you, and you shall be their inheritance, and you shall no longer bereave them of children. Thus says the Lord GOD: Because they say to you, “You devour people, and you bereave your nation of children,” therefore you shall no longer devour people and no longer bereave your nation of children, declares the Lord GOD. And I will not let you hear anymore the reproach of the nations, and you shall no longer bear the disgrace of the peoples and no longer cause your nation to stumble, declares the Lord GOD. (Ezek 36:8–15 double emphasis added)
When Israel has only one life—is not born of spirit—then to get the sort of separation between the flesh [created from dust, hence is “the land”] and the spirit that exists in a genuinely born-of-spirit son of God, there needs to be a narrative personification of the land, a narrative separation between the outer self of persons and the non-spiritually-living inner selves of these same persons: Paul’s old man that disciples must crucify and put to death.
Personification of the land as a woman is seen in Canticles [the woman is not the Christian Church as some have taught; nor is “Solomon” King Solomon].
The separation Ezekiel sees in vision between the personified “land of Israel” and the “people of Israel” in whom the Lord will place a new spirit produces the dynamics of the land not being at fault for the lawlessness/idolatry of the people: the fleshly bodies of ancient Israelites were not capable of committing idolatry; the inner selves of these physical people animated their fleshly bodies and committed idolatry.
Son of Adam, when the house of Israel lived in their own land, they defiled it by their ways and their deeds. Their ways before me were like the uncleanness of a woman in her menstrual impurity. So I poured out my wrath upon them for the blood that they had shed in the land, for the idols with which they had defiled it. I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries. In accordance with their ways and their deeds I judged them. But when they came to the nations, wherever they came, they profaned my holy name, in that people said of them, “These are the people of the LORD, and yet they had to go out of his land.” But I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations to which they came. Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Lord GOD, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. (Ezek 36:17–28)
The giving of a new heart and a new spirit will cause the house of Israel to no longer be a physical nation that is a continuation from ancient Israel, but will cause the house of Israel to be a nation born of spirit, circumcised of heart, and no longer stubborn but humbled by all that the house of Israel has endured for so long … and what has the house of Israel endured? The successive death of each generation: the promise of the New Covenant is healing from death through the defeat of Death, the demonic king of the North.
For a people without the mind of Christ, visualization of living inner and outer selves that function as husband and wife should function, the inner self to be the “head” of the outer self as the husband is to be the head of his wife (1 Cor 11:3), not anyone else’s wife [the inner self doesn’t dwell in two or more houses, but in one house, the fleshly body]. Hence, prophetically, Israel will dwell in one land, the Promised Land, a type of heaven, with Jerusalem/New Jerusalem as the great city in this one land. Therefore, as the Lord promises to return the house of Israel to the Promised Land when the people return to Him when in a far land (Deut 30:1–6), the promise symbolizes the giving of the spirit to Israel at a specific time, this time being in the Endurance, the last 1260 days of the seven endtime years of tribulation.
However, in the preceding 1260 days—the time of the prophesying of the two witnesses—a few natural Israelites [144,000] will come to Christ through being convicted that He is the Messiah. They will come via their belief that He is the chosen one even though the Adversary will remain the prince of this world as Babylon falls; will remain the prince of this world until the doubled day 1260.
As the Adversary is today and will remain the prince of this world until dominion is taken from him and given to the Son of Man (Dan 7:9–14; Rev 11:15–18; 12:7–12) on the doubled day 1260, in order for God to draw a person from this world—the person belonging to the Adversary—a price has to be paid for the person, this price being the death of the physical body/Body of Christ … I am spiritually alive today because Christ died at Calvary. The Elect are spiritually alive because Christ Jesus died physically at Calvary. And every other Christian will be filled-with and empowered by the spirit of God [but not born of spirit] because all uncovered firstborns [approximately 2.4 billion people] will be slain at the Second Passover for the spiritual liberation of a second nation of Israel, the greater Christian Church.
The 144,000 that follow Christ Jesus wherever He leads in the Endurance will be involuntarily filled-with and empowered by the spirit of God when dominion over the single kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man on the doubled day 1260, the Affliction forming the time-linked shadow and copy of the Endurance. Therefore, as the two witnesses in the Affliction will be a type of Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, the glorified Christ Jesus as the Lamb of God, along with the Elect who will be born of spirit through the indwelling of the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou], not simply the spirit of God [pneuma Theou], form the reality of the two witnesses, the ultimate reality of Moses and Aaron.
No son of Adam will precede another son of Adam into heaven. Christ Jesus, who came from heaven, will and has preceded every son of Adam into heaven; for His Father wasn’t of Adam but was the Logos [’o Logos], the Beloved of the Father.
As the Affliction and Endurance are time-linked shadow and reality (just as the shadow cast by your physical body is time-linked to you), the 144,000 natural Israelites that followed the Lamb wherever he leads forms the time-linked shadow of resurrected Israel:
The hand of the LORD was upon me, and He brought me out in the spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And He led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And He said to me, "Son of Adam, can these bones live?" And I answered, "O Lord GOD, you know." Then He said to me, "Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the LORD." So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. 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 may live." So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army. 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 is lost; we are indeed cut off.' Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD. (Ezek 37:1–14 double emphasis added)
The very dry bones of Israel are of a nation that had but one indwelling “life” or breath of life. Therefore, to resurrect this nation—to transform dust into life—the breath of the Lord must be added to the dust that can be made in flesh and sinew but not made alive without the addition of the breath/spirit of God.
Thus, what is seen in Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones is the capstone of the construction of humanity that began with Adam outside of the Garden of Eden … but this is the subject for an addition instalment of this Commentary.
I will be off-line for a while as I physically relocate to the Aleutians. I was just sent photos of the meter bases, which will have to be replaced before electrical service to the duplexes can be hooked up. And then there are other problems that will take a while to remedy. So when I can continue this Commentary is a little bit of an open date. The important thing to remember is that no one of man will be “waved before God” and accepted until all of the harvest of firstfruits is gathered to God. This includes King David as well as the house of Israel—and of a second nation of Israel, analogous to the children of Israel that followed Joshua [’Iesou] across the Jordan and into the Promised Land.
* * *
"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."