THESE ARE THEY ...
“These are they whom the LORD has sent to walk to and fro through the earth and patrol it” (Zech. 1:10, AMP). We have seen that the designation, “these are they,” applies to the elect of the Lord, who are faithfully and obediently following their Father, as He leads them to their appointed goal. But in Zechariah’s prophecy given above, “these are they” applies to the heavenly, angelic messengers of the Lord, who do their Father’s will in that Heavenly realm of Spirit, which also is the realm of all spiritual power and authority. Just as our Father has saints on earth who do His will whenever He calls upon them to either DO or BE, so also has He a host of Heavenly, spirit beings, or angels, who are “ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (Heb. 1:14), and who do His will from that Heavenly realm. The prayer Jesus told all of us to pray says this, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Mt. 6:10). The American Standard Version translates that verse as, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth.” God’s will is being done in the Heavens of His Spirit. That is an established fact! But now, God must have a people who shall also do all His will here on earth, just as His will is being done in the Heavens of His Spirit. And I believe our Father now has His elect and chosen sons, who are doing all His perfect will right here on earth, as He reveals it to them!
The Heavenly messengers of the Lord are faithfully doing the will of God. There is not one voice of discord, dissension or disobedience any where in the vast Heavens of God’s Spirit! All there are in strict and immediate obedience to the commanding voice of the King of kings and the Lord of lords! This same harmonious and obedient condition shall also come to the sons on earth, and I believe it has! And I am certain also that if every obedient act of the angelic hosts were recorded in the scriptures, we would see and understand that they are always active, always moving, either among the hosts of earth or among those in the Heavens, doing the will of their Father. Satan has also roamed the earth, searching for someone who was “perfect and upright,” who would unseat him and challenge his evil kingdom. Of course, his evil and subtle plan for them was not to bless and encourage those elect ones, but to deceive, discourage and destroy them. Yet, our Father’s plan and purpose for us does not include being enticed, deceived or destroyed by the evil one.
It is written, “Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it” (Job 2:1-2). From the two scriptures we have quoted, we can see and understand that the Heavens of Spirit abound with much spiritual activity. The angels of the Lord are busy doing the will of God in both realms, which are the Heavens of Spirit and the earthly realm of man. So also is the spirit of the evil one busy and active in both realms as well. No doubt, we all understand clearly that the spirit of Satan is always in direct opposition to Christ, the Spirit, Who is our Savior, our Lord and our King! So also is Satan in opposition to us, His elect and chosen ones! He who is evil personified, may now be going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it, by his own limited spirit-power, searching for those who will work with the Lord to defeat him, thus destroying his dark and dismal kingdom of evil.
And what would he do should he find us? As “the accuser”
of the brethren, Satan would like to point out a faithful saint to the Lord,
and accuse that one before the Father. But, as He did in Job’s case, the
Lord would reply to Satan concerning each of His elect ones today, saying, “there
is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth
God, and escheweth (or, turns off) evil” (Job 2:3). Our Father’s
assessment of us would most certainly override Satan’s evil thoughts concerning
all those who are destined to overthrow him and his evil kingdom! There is nothing
Satan can do to us to defeat or destroy us! Anything he might do to us will
only strengthen us for our warfare with death! As long as we abide in Christ
and are faithful to Him, we are sheltered in the hollow of His hand, above all
evil and the flesh!
The wise man said, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe” (Pro. 18:10). And, “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe” (Pro. 29:25). And the psalmist said, “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah” (Ps. 61:2-4). Indeed, we are safe and secure in Christ! Just as there are Heavenly angels roaming the earth and doing the will of our Father, in the Spirit and by the Spirit, so also does the spirit of the evil one go “to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it,” to trouble the Lord’s elect. But we are safe and secure in Christ! He is our shelter and our strong tower, protecting us from the enemy! We will abide in His Heavenly, spiritual tabernacle forever, where we are protected from the evil one. And we are persuaded that we shall never return to dwell within the limited confines and the unsafe four walls of the earthly tabernacles, churches and temples of man’s carnal creation!
In the one particular instance given in the scripture above and declared by the prophet Zechariah, the Heavenly, angelic hosts were sent to the earth to patrol it and minister to us, who are the heirs of His full salvation. We may question Father’s use of angels in this way, when we know He is all-wise and all-knowing. But we believe the angels are His ministering messengers regarding things or people in this earthly, worldly realm. When Father sends His angels to the earth, they come primarily to do His will, which includes ministering unto us, for we are the heirs of the full salvation of the Lord. So “these are they,” of the Heavenly hosts, returned to the angel of the Lord Who had sent them to the earth. “And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest” (Zech. 1:11).
When those angels returned from patrolling and searching the earth, they saw that “all the earth sitteth still and is at rest.” Now rest is good when it is the proper type of rest. When we REST from the works of the flesh and of the church system, we have then entered into the true REST of the Lord. But those who rest spiritually, are nothing more than sleepy, dormant Christians, who are indifferent to the great plan and purpose of our Father in Heaven! This is the sad state of Christendom today! Our nation and the world are plagued with sleepy and indifferent Christians! Were the Heavenly messengers or angels to walk to and fro through the earth today, by the Spirit, they would also see that “the earth sitteth still, and is at rest,” as it was that day in history.
“Then the Angel of the Lord said, O Lord of hosts, how long will You not have mercy and lovingkindness for Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, against which You have had indignation these seventy years [of the Babylonian captivity]? And the Lord answered the angel who talked with me with gracious and comforting words. So the angel who talked with me said to me, Cry out, Thus says the Lord of hosts: I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. And I am very angry with the nations that are at ease; for while I was but a little displeased, they helped forward the affliction and disaster” (Zech. 1:12-15, AMP). We may also ask the Lord, as those angels did, how long He will allow this present, gross, sinful condition to continue in the earth! And as He did the angels in this scripture, Father will always answer us “with gracious and comforting words.” There is no cause for alarm regarding conditions in this world, for Father is using all this evil and confusion to further His great plan of restoration and redemption for all mankind. And to illustrate and verify His great plan and purpose in the earth, the Lord then instructed the angels to cry aloud, saying to all who have ears to hear, “I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. And I am very angry with the nations that are at ease; for while I was but a little displeased, they helped forward the affliction and disaster.”
God was displeased with the nations who were at ease, for they helped forward or advance the affliction and disaster concerning Jerusalem and Zion. The words, “at ease,” as used in Zechariah’s prophecy, mean to be secure, in a bad sense, and also to be haughty. And haughty heathen nations, that are at ease or at rest and who help advance the affliction and the disaster of God’s people, will experience the wrath of God (see Rev. 16:1, 18:1-8 & 19:15). It was not right for the nations to be at ease or at rest then, for God’s people were in bondage to those nations. And as long as God’s people are in bondage, there will be no rest for the nations that enslaved them! Even though the Lord turned the wrath and “ease” of man to serve His Kingdom purposes, God must deal with the disobedience of men and nations! Although He may judge the people for their disobedience and destroy the Babylonish systems of man that misled and enslaved them, the people who were judged and disciplined of the Lord will be corrected by Him; then they will be changed and will turn to the Lord, to love and serve Him and His eternal, Kingdom purposes!
As the Lord was “jealous” (zealous or envious) then for Jerusalem and Zion, even so is He “jealous” now for His new Jerusalem and Zion people, for they/we are the hope of the world! Then the Lord also revealed that even as He was angry with the nations that were at ease, yet He used the wrath of those nations to forward or advance the prevailing affliction and disaster in the earth. Unknown to them, those nations were actually speeding up the affliction and the disaster in the earth, for the Lord was using their wrath, disobedience and erroneous, restful state to bring an end to man’s unrighteous dominion and hasten the transition to a better day! And the coming of a better Day in God would bring forth the deliverance, the restoration and the full redemption of the new Jerusalem and the Zion realms of the Kingdom of God!
The wisdom of God has declared, “Surely the wrath of man shall praise You; the remainder of wrath shall You restrain and gird and arm Yourself with it” (Ps. 76:10, AMP). The wrath of man, which includes anything man may do against the Lord and His purposes, shall praise Him. The remainder of man’s wrath, which does not praise Him, shall be restrained by the Lord and then used of Him to gird and arm Himself, to fulfill His Kingdom purposes in all the earth. May our souls and spirits be at rest, and quieted and encouraged before our Father today, knowing full well that every bit of darkness and evil in this present world is also serving the eternal, Kingdom purposes of Him Who is the only Potentate, the King of kings and the Lord of lords!
How often I have cried out to the Lord for our nation and people, and no doubt you have also! I cry not for the old Jerusalem or the old cities of Judah, for the covenant people are no longer there (see 2 Sam.7:10)! But I cry out to the Lord for our beloved nation and people, who are true Israelites by faith in Christ Jesus, to whom the covenant promises now apply (Gal. 3:16-18)! I cry and travail for our beloved nation, for it has been turned over to evil conspirators and ungodly traitors! And whenever I cry out to my Father in Heaven, He always answers me, “with gracious and comforting words,” as He did the angel of Zechariah’s prophesy. Father will always answer us “with gracious and comforting words,” for that is the expression of His very nature, which is Love, Grace and Mercy! And when He answers us with those gracious and comforting words, He will usually tell us that all is well!
Father will also tell us that He has everything under His control, and that nothing in the earth, or anywhere else in the universe, is unknown to Him! He has His angelic messengers who traverse the length and the breadth of the universe, by the Spirit, keeping a record of all that takes place in every realm! Those angels are also contributing to the advancement of the Kingdom of God in all the earth, for they were instructed to cry out the prophetic, creative Word of the Lord to all who have hearing ears, thus beginning the great restoration of all things. God is mindful of all the evil, as well as the good pleasure of His will, for it all fits into His great plan of restoration and redemption! All is well every where, for our Father is causing all things, including all the evil as well as all the good, to advance or further His Kingdom purposes in the earth! And He knows the end from the beginning! There is nothing that He does not see and know, for our Father has those “all-seeing eyes!” And we must also know, by the Spirit, that our loving and merciful Father planned all this, as it is now taking place in the earth, from the beginning!
Daniel spoke of the wisdom, the understanding, and the foreknowledge of the Lord, when he declared this great truth, by the Spirit: “Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him” (Dan. 2:20-22). And John also informed us of this when he said, “God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things” (1 Jo. 3:20). There is a “seeing” and a “knowing” that Jesus had, and which we shall have also. For example, Jesus knew the thoughts of people, Mt. 9:4; He also knew when virtue went out of Him to some needy people, Mk. 5:30; He knew the hypocrisy of people, Mk. 12:15; He knew that the Father had given all things into His hands, Jo. 13:3; He knew all things that should come upon Him in His earthly journey, Jo. 18:4; and He also knew when all things concerning Him and His work on earth were accomplished, that the scriptures might be fulfilled, Jo. 19:28. Jesus knew all this and more, to give us an idea of all that we shall know, when we are fully anointed with the seven Spirits of the Lord, as He was!
The anointed, prophetic Word of the Lord, given by Zechariah, continued, saying, “Therefore thus says the Lord: I have returned to Jerusalem with compassion (lovingkindness and mercy). My house shall be built in it, says the Lord of hosts, and a measuring line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem [with a view to rebuilding its walls]” (Zech. 1:16, AMP). Of course, some of this prophetic Word has already been fulfilled. The literal temple in Jerusalem has already been rebuilt after being destroyed by enemy nations, and so have the literal walls of the old city. But our interest now is with the new Jerusalem!
Now, a new and more glorious spiritual Temple has also been built by the Lord! And that glorious Temple is the Body of Christ! It is the Heavenly Zion, the true House of the Lord, whose builder and maker is God! It is all a part of the holy, heavenly city of God, including its spiritual walls and gates, which is “that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel” (Rev. 21:10-12). This is the glorious and Heavenly “city” of the Lord, which is also called “my house” in Zechariah’s prophecy! And no city or house on earth could ever compare with His glorious, spiritual Temple, which is the true House of the Lord! It also is the holy, heavenly Jerusalem, the spiritual “city,” or “house,” that is even now, “descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God!” We may not yet be able to see the fullness of that holy, new Jerusalem, descending out of Heaven to the earth, having the glory of God, but it has come, is coming and will continue to come, until all is fulfilled concerning us. In due time, we shall see that Heavenly city of the redeemed right here on earth, and the Glory of the Lord adorning Him, which includes each one of us!
Then, the prophetic Word of the Lord was declared, saying, “Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem” (Zech. 1:17). What a wealth of truth there is in this passage, especially when we understand it by the Spirit! When the Lord said, “My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad,” He was telling us that the Heavenly, Spiritual, new Jerusalem city of the Lord would be broken apart, or dashed in pieces as the original language gives it, and then dispersed throughout the earth. The Glory of God, which adorns the new Jerusalem, shall be spread abroad and dispersed, so that every city and village in the world will be adorned with the same spiritual Glory! What God is doing with us, His new Jerusalem people, He will also duplicate in every city, village and settlement in the world! The same glory that is now “descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God,” to change and transform us, shall also come down out of Heaven from God to every other city on earth, transforming the people of those areas, just as He has transformed us, His chosen and elect sons! What glory yet awaits this tired, old earth and all the people in it and of it! And we are the firstfruits of that glorious and full redemption and restoration, which “shall yet be spread abroad” to cover the whole earth, as the waters cover the sea.
These are they.... who are among the mighty men
“Now these are they that came to David to Ziklag,... and they were among the mighty men, helpers of the war” (1 Chron. 12:1). Father has His “mighty men” who are partners with Him in bringing to pass His sovereign, eternal purposes in the earth. Just as “mighty men” came to help David in his war with Saul, so “mighty men,” who are true, spiritual warriors, are also needed today! David was a warrior king, and he fought many wars and battles. But this war was with Saul, who wanted to continue to reign over Israel. However, God wanted David to be the next king, so a war took place to eliminate Saul, settle the dispute and establish the kingdom for David. Not many came to David to help him, but those who came were the “mighty men “ of this story, who were “helpers of the war” between Saul and David.
It is written of those “mighty men,” “They were armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows out of a bow, even of Saul's brethren of Benjamin” (1 Chron. 12:2). “And of the Gadites there separated themselves unto David into the hold to the wilderness men of might, and men of war fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as the roes upon the mountains” (1 Chron. 12:8). Then, the children of Benjamin and Judah came to David, but David did not know whether they came peaceably or whether they were for him or against him. “And David went out to meet them, and answered and said unto them, If ye be come peaceably unto me to help me, mine heart shall be knit unto you: but if ye be come to betray me to mine enemies, seeing there is no wrong in mine hands, the God of our fathers look thereon, and rebuke it” (1 Chron. 12:8).
How we need discernment and the wisdom of God during these difficult and dark days, to know and discern whether someone who may join us is for us or against us, or whether they are for the Lord or against Him. David went out to meet those people of unknown allegiance. “Then the spirit came upon Amasai, who was chief of the captains, and he said, Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse: peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thine helpers; for thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them, and made them captains of the band” (1 Chron. 12:18). To hear a word giving support and strength at that time, by the Spirit, must have been encouraging for David. And as it was in David’s case, those who may want to join us today will have the same sincere dedication to the cause of the Kingdom of God that we have. When we realize that our service or work for the Lord at this time in the Kingdom of God is to bring back the King, we will cry out as David did when he was criticized for wanting to challenge Goliath, saying, “Is there not a cause?” (1 Sam. 17:29). Indeed, there is a great Cause before us now, and we will see that Cause, or that Divine Purpose of our Father, in all that is taking place in all realms everywhere!
Even the negative events that are taking place in the world today are all a part of the sovereign purposes of our Father. During Israel’s history, when the Lord judged Israel for their disobedience and their sins, He gave this word, “Though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, says the Lord God, they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would but deliver their own lives by their righteousness (their moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation). For thus says the Lord God: How much more when I send My four sore acts of judgment upon Jerusalem--the sword, the famine, the evil wild beasts, and the pestilence--to cut off from it man and beast! [Lev 26:21-33.] And yet, behold, in it shall be left a remnant (an escaped portion), both sons and daughters. They shall be carried forth to you [in Babylon], and when you see their [ungodly] walk and their [wicked] doings, you will be consoled for the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, even concerning all that I have brought upon it. And they shall console you when you see their evil ways and their rebellious actions. Then you shall know (understand and realize) that I have not done without cause all that I have done in Jerusalem, says the Lord God” (Eze. 14:20-23, AMP).
Our Father knows what it takes to bring a stubborn and rebellious
remnant to repentance and renewal, resulting in a new life and a new awareness
of their Father and His Kingdom purposes. He did all this for us, and we are
much better for it! Like Noah, Daniel and Job, our own righteousness cannot
atone for the sins of all the people. They must be judged and disciplined, as
we have been, to be made the righteousness of God. Sometimes it takes the corrective
judgments of the Lord - His divine chastenings - to awaken us to the great Cause
of the Kingdom of God and His sovereign purposes, which will guide us in the
way of the Lord. It is when we are going through the difficult trials of this
life that we “shall know (understand and realize) that I have not done
without cause all that I have done in (the new) Jerusalem, says the Lord God.”
Our God has a Cause, a Plan, and a Purpose that He is fulfilling when He tests
and tries us, His holy remnant! And that sovereign Plan and Purpose of God shall
successfully bring us to the spiritual maturity of sonship fulfilled; His sovereign
purpose in our correction shall make of us manifest sons of our Father! Furthermore,
that same Cause, Plan and Purpose shall also be more completely fulfilled when
the Lord tests and tries the rest of the people of this world!
As sons of God, sons of the Kingdom, and joint heirs with Christ, we are beginning to know and experience the sovereign and omnipotent power of the Lord our God! Perhaps we have come to a point in our spiritual growth where it is not possible for us to grow any more, or to travel on this journey any further, without the greater manifestation of the power of our God! Only by His mighty power can we proceed any further on this spiritual yet earthly journey! Whether we realize it or not, during our early walk with the Lord, He CAUSED us to take a certain direction, spiritually speaking. When the Lord filled us with His Spirit, this prophetic Word was then fulfilled in our lives: “And I will put my spirit within you, and CAUSE YOU TO WALK IN MY STATUTES, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them” (Eze. 36:27). If we are true sons of God, who are destined to become manifest sons of our Father, then He has put His Spirit within us. And that sovereign, almighty, Spirit power CAUSES US TO WALK IN HIS STATUTES, AND KEEP AND DO ALL HIS JUDGMENTS AND DO ALL HIS WILL!
We did not make it this far without our Father’s help, and it is certain we cannot make it any further without Him either! If it were up to us to determine our own way and do our own thing, think of all the Ishmaels we would have brought forth! In all reality and truth, Father kept us true to Him and His ways every step of the way! And since this is true, it is also true that all who are appointed of their Father to be manifest sons of God have walked a spiritual path of dedication to the Lord and His King-dom purposes, as well as a walk of righteousness every step of the way! It was God Who called us to this walk; it is God Who enables us to walk this walk; and it will be God Who will take us all the way Home!
The Lord also said of His people in history: “In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded” (Eze. 36:33). Just as it is the Lord Who is cleansing us of all our iniquities, so also is it the Lord Who causes us, or leads us, to live where He has led us to live, whether in a city, a village, or in the country. Obviously, we do not all need to live in the same area, but we are all being led by the same Spirit to live where Father wants us to live! To know that Father has led us thus far in these somewhat lesser situations will establish for us a solid and ongoing relationship with our Father, that we may HEAR Him when He speaks! IT WILL BE BY HEARING THE WORD OF THE LORD AND SEEING HIM THAT WE ARE BEING TRANSFORMED INTO HIS GLORIOUS IMAGE AND HEAVENLY LIKENESS, as we shall see from the next chapter of Ezekiel’s prophecy!
Ezekiel’s prophecy of the “dry bones” certainly applies to us today! That chapter begins with this Word: “The hand of the LORD was upon me, and (He) carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, 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” (Eze. 37:1-2). Can we not see from this that God is the active One in this scripture? It was God Who carried the prophet out in the Spirit! It was also God Who set him down in the midst of that valley! And it was the Lord our God Who caused His prophet to pass by that open valley! And God enabled His prophet to see, by the Spirit, that many in that valley were very dry! But do you suppose our loving, merciful Father would cause His prophet to see the spiritual lack in His people and not do something about it? Would our Father expose a “valley” full of His people, revealing them all as being dry and dead bones, and not provide an answer, or a solution, to their great need? Not at all! God always reveals a need with a view to supplying that need! And He is the solution to every human need!
The Word of the Lord continued to come forth. The Lord then said, “Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD” (Eze. 37:4-6). The dry bones are not really bones. They represent God’s people! In the eyes of the Lord each one of us is a dry bone in the body of Christ! We need His help. We need His Life to make it any further! And in order to receive the Life of God to change us, WE MUST HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD! Then we will hear the prophetic Word of our Father, spoken by the angelic hosts of Heaven, and sent to all who have ears to hear, saying, “Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and YE SHALL LIVE: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and YE SHALL LIVE; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.” What a Word this is! WE SHALL LIVE! And the Life we shall Live will not be this “life,” with this old “dead” body of dry bones revived or renewed, nor will it be the “Christian life” of this world, or any other lesser life; the Life we shall live will be the fullness of the very Life and Glory of Christ, the Son of the Living God!
Notice the terminology God used! He said He would CAUSE His breath to enter into us! God provides the action, not we, ourselves! The only action required of us is spiritual: we must HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD! Then He will breathe His Life into us! And when He breathes His Life into the “dry bones,” which we are, WE SHALL TRULY LIVE! Then our Father will “lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin.” All the action needed to bring forth positive results in our lives comes from God! It may bewilder, confuse and confound us to hear that God will lay sinews on us, bring up flesh upon us, and cover us with skin, which are terms that describe this human body, but I believe Father used these terms to show us that we shall be complete spirit beings in the Kingdom of our Father! Nothing will be lacking in our makeup as Kingdom people, for we shall be complete and perfect triune beings! Both our soul and our spirit shall be transformed by the Spirit of the Lord, and we shall be given a new body like unto His glorious body of Life abundant. Then, the Lord said He will “put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.”
Here again, it is the Lord Who initiates the action on our behalf, transforming us from dry, dead bones in this earthly body, into vital, Living, Christlike spiritual beings in the blessed Kingdom of our Father! HE GIVES US EARS TO HEAR! HE CAUSES US TO HEAR HIS WORD (see Is. 30:30)! HE ALSO CAUSES HIS BREATH TO ENTER INTO US! THEN HE LAYS SINEWS AND FLESH AND SKIN UPON THE DRY BONES THAT WE ARE! But our Father is not finished with us yet! The prophecy continues, saying, “And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. 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. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army” (Eze. 37:8-10).
With each step in our spiritual development, from babes in Christ to full grown and mature, manifest sons of God, THE BREATH OF GOD IS REQUIRED TO CAUSE US TO GROW SPIRITUALLY! Without the unction and the anointing of the breath of the Spirit of Life from God, it is impossible for us to grow beyond the “dry bones” state! We all know that the flesh provides no benefit whatsoever! Jesus said, “It is the Spirit Who gives life [He is the Life-giver]; the flesh conveys no benefit whatever [there is no profit in it]. The words (truths) that I have been speaking to you are spirit and life” (Jo. 6:63, AMP). Without the Spirit of Life from God we are dead and will forever remain so!
After the “dry bones” that we are was covered with sinew, flesh and skin, we were still dead. So God spoke forth His Word, saying to all who have ears to hear, “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. 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.” The “wind,” as used here, is the Spirit or the Breath of God, while “the four winds” represent the universal Life-giving Spirit of God. IT IS GOD WHO BREATHES HIS LIFE INTO US, CAUSING US TO LIVE THE FULLNESS OF THE LIFE OF CHRIST! It takes the breath of God, or the breath of Life from God, to truly Live! And when we have reached the spiritual heights, to Live the Life of Christ in glorious fullness, we will then really know that He is, in truth and in fact, the LORD God Almighty. Then we will also know experientially, that He is THE ONLY POTENTATE, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, as well as the Father of all!
The Lord gave this prophecy for His chosen remnant: “If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I WILL CAUSE THEE to ride upon the high places of the earth, and FEED THEE with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it” (Is. 58:13-14). The real, true, spiritual Sabbath of the Lord is not one day of the week; it is a dispensa-tional Day or age; it is the Seventh Day, the Day of the Lord, the Day of the reign of Christ over all nations. All other Sabbath days in history pointed to this present Day or age, and revealed the truth of the true Sabbath of the Lord! It is the present Kingdom Day, which also is the seventh Day or age, the real, true Sabbath of the Lord! The Lord is telling us that if we will honor this present Sabbath Day, set it aside unto the Lord and enter into His Rest, He will “CAUSE THEE to ride upon the high places of the earth, and FEED THEE with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.”
Here again, the Lord is CAUSING US to ride upon the high places of the earth. It is God’s responsibility to fulfill His Word, and He will do it for us, if we will meet His conditions! Our Father’s conditions, or what He requires of us, is to hear His Word, honor this present Sabbath or Kingdom Day by entering into His rest, and minister unto Him (see Eze. 44:15-16)! These are the Lord’s requirements or principles, which we will observe to receive His highest and best! And what are those “high places” if they are not the high spiritual places which the elect shall walk during their earthly journey with their God? God will CAUSE US to walk those high places, by the Spirit, and He will also FEED US with the heritage of Jacob, who is our father in Israel and our father in the faith! When the angel of the Lord announced the birth of Jesus, he gave this prophetic Word: “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over THE HOUSE OF JACOB for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Lu. 1:32-33). We are members of “the house of Jacob,” through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord! We also belong to the Kingdom of God, even that blessed Kingdom, of which it is written, “there shall be no end!”
Our Transformation: a Two-Stage Process, Beginning With Our
Gradual or Incremental Change
As we read the prophecy of Ezekiel quoted above, we can see that it is by hearing the Word of the Lord that we are being changed. The very first thing the Lord said to His people, who were as dry bones, was “O ye dry bones, HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD.” Then there is another Word which says, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for WE SHALL SEE HIM AS HE IS” (1 Jo. 3:2). One scripture tells us that we must hear the Word of the Lord to be transformed and resurrected, while another scripture tells us we must see Him to be changed into His image and likeness. Is there a conflict of truth here? Not at all! God’s Word has no conflicts! If there are any conflicts, they are due to our limited understanding!
In the prophecy of Ezekiel, chapter thirty-seven, an incremental, gradual, or step-by-step process of change is revealed. By hearing the Word of the Lord, we begin our spiritual growth, from immature sons, to more mature sons of the living God, and finally to fully manifest sons of our Father. This is our incremental or gradual process of change, which is also described in other scriptures. For example, Paul wrote to tell us, “And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, ARE CONSTANTLY BEING TRANSFIGURED into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18, AMP). Daily and continually, we are being changed and transformed into the glorious image and Heavenly likeness of Christ, the Lord of Glory!
The Amplified Translators suggest that the Word of God is the mirror which reflects the glory of the Lord. As we remain open to hear the Word of the Lord, by the Spirit, Christ the Lord is then revealed to us, so that we are constantly being changed into His very own image, in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another! And all this comes from the Lord, Who is the Spirit! Thus, the Word of God is the mirror which reflects the glory of the Lord. Christ is revealed in His Word! And when we HEAR HIS WORD, we are seeing the glory of the Lord as in a mirror! And this mirror image of Him is changing us from one degree of glory to another, higher degree of glory, by the Spirit! Daily we are being metamorphosed into the likeness of Him Who reveals Himself in His Word. And we must hear His Word with an unveiled face! The unveiled face is the open face; it depicts the whole person as being open to the Lord and open to change. We are not closed to the truth, but we are “open” to receive all truth from the Lord, Who is the Spirit. This is that gradual and incremental change, which takes place by the Word of the Lord! It is the same process of change set forth in the prophecy of Ezekiel, chapter thirty-seven. When we hear the Word of the Lord, we are gradually being changed, transfigured or metamorphosed into His glorious image and Heavenly likeness, by the Spirit of the Lord! Let us continue to hear the Word of the Lord, which reveals the glory of the Lord, for by His Spirit and His Word, we are being transformed!
Our process of change was described this way by the prophet, Zechariah. “THEN [the guiding angel] showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at Joshua's right hand to be his adversary and to accuse him. And the Lord said to Satan, The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! Even the Lord, Who [now and habitually] chooses Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this [returned captive Joshua] a brand plucked out of the fire? [Jude 9.] Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and was standing before the Angel [of the Lord]. And He spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And He said to [Joshua], Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you, and I will clothe you with rich apparel. And I [Zechariah] said, Let them put a clean turban on his head. So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with [rich] garments. And the Angel of the Lord stood by.” (Zech. 3:1-5, AMP). Indeed, WE ARE PROGRESSIVELY AND GRADUALLY BEING CHANGED BY THE WORD OF GOD! Our gradual, incremental change is taking place, as by precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, and there a little, and from glory to glory, our Father teaches and trains us to become fully manifest sons of the Living God!
But until our change is complete, and we are fully manifest
sons of our Father, we will heed this further Word given by the prophet, Zechariah:
“And the Angel of the Lord [solemnly and earnestly] protested and affirmed to Joshua, saying, Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in My ways and keep My charge, then also you shall rule My house and have charge of My courts, and I will give you access [to My presence] and places to walk among these who stand here” (Zech. 3:6-7, AMP). Joshua is a type of the saints of the Lord who shall be transformed into the glorious image and likeness of Christ, the Lord of glory. The Lord is seen here clothing Joshua with those RICH GARMENTS of His abundant and everlasting Life. This abundant, resurrection Life of Christ will be ours “If you will walk in My ways and keep My charge, then also you shall rule My house and have charge of My courts, and I will give you access [to My presence] and places to walk among these who stand here.” What wonderful promises are given to those WHO HAVE SPIRITUAL EARS TO HEAR AND SPIRITUAL EYES TO SEE! “These are they...” who shall rule His house, have charge of His courts, be given access to His presence and shall walk the high places with the redeemed of the Lord, who have been faithful to Him throughout their journey in this world! All we need to do is walk in His ways and keep His charge, then our Father will CAUSE US TO HEAR HIS WORD! And by hearing His Word Father will begin the process of our gradual change, in preparation for our final, instantaneous transformation into His wonderful image and glorious likeness!
The Second and Final Stage of our Transformation: “In
The Apostle Paul wrote about our final transformation, which would take place “in a moment,” when he declared, by the Spirit, “Take notice! I tell you a mystery (a secret truth, an event decreed by the hidden purpose or counsel of God). We shall not all fall asleep [in death], but we shall all be changed (transformed) In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the [sound of the] last trumpet call. For a trumpet will sound, and the dead [in Christ] will be raised imperishable (free and immune from decay), and we shall be changed (transformed)” (1 Cor. 15:51-52, AMP). I like that! The King James translation uses the rather bland word “Behold,” to begin this announcement, the New International Version used the word “Listen,” while the Amplified translators used the more forceful, vigorous and powerful term: “TAKE NOTICE!”
This great Truth of which we should now TAKE NOTICE, is a secret truth; it is an event decreed by the hidden purpose and counsel of God! And may we all TAKE NOTICE NOW, for we are on the verge of entering into that which has been prophesied for many millenniums! Saints and sons of all the ages past and present have faithfully believed and anticipated that which Heaven now stands ready to impart to every waiting and prepared son of God! We are a blessed and privileged people, for our Father raised us up, by the Spirit, at this very hour when much of the prophetic Word shall be fulfilled in a prepared people - a people of Kingdom purpose!
But this is not yet the end of the great secret truth, which
is the event decreed by the hidden purpose and counsel of God! There is much
more! And it is this: “For this perishable [part of us] must put on the
imperishable [nature], and this mortal [part of us, this nature that is capable
of dying] must put on immortality (freedom from death). And when this perishable
puts on the imperishable and this that was capable of dying puts on freedom
from death, then shall be fulfilled the Scripture that says, Death is swallowed
up (utterly vanquished forever) in and unto victory. [Isa 25:8.] O death, where
is your victory? O death, where is your sting? [Hos 13:14.]” (1 Cor. 15:53-55,
AMP). Death seems like such a formidable foe right now, but it really isn’t!
Death is the absence of Life; Life is freedom from death! And when our loving
and merciful Father gives us His Life, death and every portion of it, including
all sickness and disease, must flee from us and all mankind, enabling us to
Live forever in the presence of our God! Once we are clothed upon with His Life,
as a garment (2 Cor. 5:2), WE SHALL BE TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY FREE FOREVER OF
ALL DEATH! We have been born of water, or of the flesh, now we wait to be born
again of the Spirit (Jo. 3:5-6). The Lord said: “Shall I bring to the
birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring
forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.” (Is. 66:9, AMP). Then He said,
“I WILL CAUSE THE REMNANT OF THIS PEOPLE TO POSSESS ALL THESE THINGS”
(Zech. 8:12). AMEN, AND INDEED WE SHALL!
Paul and Emily Mueller
P O BOX 25055, PORTLAND, OR 97298-0055