Bowie Apostolic Church
Days 6 - 7: Visions of Ezekiel
by From the Pastor's Desk on April 17th, 2013

Day 6: Valley of Dry Bones

Ezekiel 37:1 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. 2 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. 3 And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones……..

Prophetic Parables are actually my favorite type of parable. We are used to human parables given by men, but it is something when God lowers Himself to use things that He created to convey what is actually on His mind. Whether it is God speaking only or Him giving His prophet a vision, it is a parable none the less.

In this parable we see God’s view of the spiritual state of the nation of Israel, His children. They are lifeless and it appears to be beyond hope. In this particular time, they have been defeated by the Babylonians are in bondage. Ezekiel himself has been taken into exile away from his homeland of Israel and is now staying in the dreaded city of Babylon. In the Bible, bones represent life. Therefore, dry bones represent their lack of a future. From Ezekiel’s perspective and the perspective of everyone else in Israel there is no hope. This is evident in verse 11 where God shares the opinions of His people saying “Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’” God converses with Ezekiel, perhaps to inspire faith, “… can these bones live?” Ezekiel’s response somewhat shows the pain of the past and a slight glimmer of hope in the future “O Lord God, you know.”

Many times this is the way we who believe in the power of the early church can feel about the possibility of seeing that power again. What we have experienced in the past can affect how we feel about the possibilities of the future, despite the fact that just like Ezekiel, we have a received a word from the Lord. Just like the dry bones of Israel, the faith of many have gone dry for God reviving not just the power in His church, but His power in them as individuals.

God responds to Ezekiel and says “Prophesy over these bones.” It is something how the word of God can bring a change in our lives. Many times we have allowed the miraculous portions of scripture into our fantasy, but have not received the instructional parts of the word of God into our hearts. Rather than dealing with the heart we look only for what is in our imagination. Well friend, it should be clear that if we don’t obey the word of God and allow it to have free reign in our hearts and lives, many things that we have in our minds that will come to pass in our lives just may be in our minds. Our visions and aspirations must be rooted and grounded in the whole counsel of God.

In the bible, in both Hebrew and Greek, the same word used in the language for spirit is also used to mean wind or breath. They are translated as such depending on the context. We see this typology in the creation of Adam when God breathed the breath of life into him and he became a living soul. We also see it on the day of Pentecost when there was a sound of a rushing mighty wind as they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the wind represents the Spirit. When Ezekiel prophesied to the dry bones, the promise was that breath would enter back into them. This breath would come from the four winds of the earth.

It is important that when the word of the Lord comes, the Spirit of God bears witness to it. Jesus said that the true worship the Father in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24). That truth is the word of God. This parable given to Ezekiel in the form of a vision is a representation of God’s faithfulness to revive the dryness in our lives and in our churches. Surely a revival is needed in these times.

Day 7: Rising Waters Flowing from the Temple

Ezekiel 47:1 Then he brought me back to the door of the temple, and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. 2 Then he brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate that faces toward the east; and behold, the water was trickling out on the south side. 3 Going on eastward with a measuring line in his hand, the man measured a thousand cubits, and then led me through the water, and it was ankle-deep. 4 Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was knee-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was waist-deep. 5 Again he measured a thousand, and it was a river that I could not pass through, for the water had risen. It was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be passed through. 6 And he said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” 

Another prophetic parable given by God to Ezekiel comes in the vision of the temple. Just as the bones in the prophet’s previous vision of the valley of dry bones we are dealing with life and revival again. Just as bones represent life in the bible, water does as well. In this case the life is again of a spiritual nature. Jesus referred to this spiritual life when he referred to rivers of living waters flowing from the inner most being of a believer (John 7:37-38). He was referring to the Holy Spirit. He also said to the Samaritan woman at the well that if any man would drink of the water that He offered would have this water springing up to everlasting life (John 4:14).

In this particular vision, the temple of Israel had already been destroyed but here again is a story of redemption. There is the temple of God in this vision. This is a promise of the resurrection of what was lost. Even though the temple of Jerusalem would be rebuilt after this vision, the vision is not referring to the restoration of a physical temple. The second temple would also be destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70. This vision represents the redemption of Israel through the prosperity of the new covenant.

The waters that flow from the temple represent God enlivening the covenant with His people with His Spirit. His Spirit, however, is too much to be contained in one little temple. It therefore shall flow from the House of God to every corner of the earth. How will this be done? It has already begun through what the True Hope of Israel, Jesus Christ, did on Calvary. This is the first step in restoring what had fallen not just in the case of the Babylonians destroying the temple, but also in the pitiful spiritual state of Israel.

I want you to realize, this temple does not refer to a physical building as much as it refers to a people. Through Christ, we are a part of the covenant that God made with Abraham and therefore we benefit from restoration as well. In these waters of restoration that flow from the temple, the further it gets away from the source, the deeper they get. We see this same principle in the birth of the church. In Acts 1:8 it reads “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” What started in Jerusalem was supposed to spread from that city to the surrounding region and to the uttermost part of the earth. Just as the waters got deeper and deeper as Ezekiel got further and further from the temple, as the message left Jerusalem and got farther away the response and number of converts grew.

We are a part of this restoration of God’s covenant with Israel and it is only going to come through Jesus Christ. In Him we are blessed with them.

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