The physical and spiritual
resurrection prophesied in
Ezekiel chapter 37
Let us first read together the Bible into the book of Ezekiel chapter 37, and then follow carefully the clarifications here below.
The article of Ezekiel chapter 37 is a prophecy. As well as the other books of prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation and the prophetic books of the other old Testament prophets, have now been interpreted in this time of the end, the interpretation of the prophecy of Ezekiel should have been found in the Spirit of Prophecy of Sister White and in the Shepherd’s Rod of Brother Victor T. Houteff. In the meantime we also need to know that the Ezekiel chapter 37 has in fact contained two things: First, the process of the resurrection itself (the physical resurrection) from the condition of the dead up to their standing again on earth. Secondly, the spiritual condition of the twelve tribes of the Israelites at the time of the end when this prophecy of Ezekiel chapter 37 revealed to them. Let us follow here below how the servants of God revealed them in this time of the end.
From the pen of Mrs. White the prophet
Mrs. Ellen G. White in turn gave us the following statements:
“At one time the prophet Ezekiel was in vision set down in the midst of a large valley. Before him lay a dismal scene. Throughout its whole extent the valley was covered with the bones of the dead. The question was asked, “Son of man, can these bones live?” The prophet replied, “O Lord God, Thou knowest.” What could the might and power of man accomplish with these dead bones? The prophet could see no hope of life being imparted to them. But as he looked, the power of God began to work. The scattered bones were shaken, and began to come together, “bone to his bone,” and were bound together by sinews. They were covered with flesh, and as the Lord breathed upon the bodies thus formed, “the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, and exceeding great army” (MS 85, 1903).
“The souls of those whom we desire to save are like the representation which Ezekiel saw in vision, a valley of dry bones. They are dead in trespasses and sins, but God would have us deal with them as though they were living. Were the question put to us, “Son of man, can these bones live?” our answer would be only the confession of ignorance, “O Lord, Thou knowest.” To all appearance there is nothing to lead us to hope for their restoration. Yet nevertheless the word of the prophecy must be spoken even to those who are like the dry bones in the valley. We are in no wise to be deterred from fulfilling our commission by the listlessness, the dullness, the lack of spiritual perception, in those upon whom the Word of God is brought to bear. We are to preach the word of life to those whom we may judge to be as hopeless subjects as though they were in their graves.
“Though they may seem unwilling to hear or to receive the light of truth, without questioning or wavering we are to do our part. We are to repeat to them the message, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead and Christ shall give thee light.”
“It is not the human agent that is to inspire with life. The Lord God of Israel will do that part, quickening the lifeless spiritual nature into activity. The breath of the Lord of hosts must enter into the lifeless bodies. In the judgment, when all secrets are laid bare, it will be known that the voice of God spoke through the human agent, and aroused the torpid conscience, and stirred the lifeless faculties, and moved sinners to repentance and contrition, and forsaking of sins. It will then be clearly seen that through the human agent faith in Jesus Christ was imparted to the soul, and spiritual life from heaven was breathed upon one who was dead in trespasses and sins, and he was quickened with spiritual life.
“But not only does this simile of the dry bones apply to the world, but also to those who have been blessed with great light; for they also are like the skeletons of the valley. They have the form of men, the framework of the body; but they have not spiritual life. But the parable does not leave the dry bones merely knit together into the forms of men; for it is not enough that there is symmetry of limb and feature. The breath of life must vivify the bodies that they may stand upright, and spring into activity. These bones represent the house of Israel, the church of God, and the hope of the church is the vivifying influence of the Holy Spirit. The Lord must breathe upon the dry bones, that they may live.
“The Spirit of God, with its vivifying power, must be in every human agent, that every spiritual muscle and sinew may be in exercise. Without the Holy Spirit, without the breath of God, there is torpidity of conscience, loss of spiritual life. Many who are without spiritual life have their names on the church records, but they are not written in the Lamb’s book of life. They may be joined to the church, but they are not united to the Lord. They may be diligent in the performance of a certain set of duties, and may be regarded as living men’; but many are among those who have “a name that thou livest and art dead.”
“Unless there is genuine conversion of the soul to God; unless the vital breath of God quickens the soul to spiritual life; unless the professors of truth are actuated by heaven-born of principle, they are not born of the incorruptible seed which liveth and abideth forever. Unless they trust in the righteousness of Christ as their only security; unless they copy His character, labor in His spirit, they are naked; they have not on the robe of His righteousness. The dead are often made to pass for the living; for those who are working out what they term salvation after their own ideas, have not God working in them to will and to do of His good pleasure.
“This class is well represented by the valley of dry bones Ezekiel saw in vision. (Review & Herald, Jan. 17, 1893) Quoted from Ellen G. White Bible Commentary, vol. 7 – A, pp. 175, 176.
“I lay down my pen and lift up my soul in prayer that the Lord would breathe upon His backslidden people, who are as dry bones, that they may live. The end is near, stealing upon us so stealthily, so imperceptibly, so noiselessly, like the muffled tread of the thief in the night, to surprise the sleepers off guard and unready. May the Lord grant to bring His Holy Spirit upon hearts that are now at ease that they may no longer sleep as do others, but watch and be sober. – General Conference Bulletin, 1893, pp. 132, 133. (Christian Service, p. 41)
From the pen of Bro. Victor T. Houteff
Brother Victor T. Houteff in turn gave us the following statements:
“In this resurrection only God’s own people, Israel, arise with no sinner among them. Moreover, these do not meet the Lord in the air; they are taken to the land of Israel, Palestine. This resurrection, therefore, is not the same as the resurrection of 1 Thessalonians, of the Revelation, or of Daniel 12. It must be a separate one.” – Timely Greetings, vol. 2, No. 7, p. 13.
Due to the fact that Brother Houteff himself has confirmed that the only source of the message of the Shepherd’s Rod is found in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, Fundamental Beliefs, p. 26, therefore the source of the above statement (The Timely Greetings, vol. 2, No. 7 p. 13) is to be found in the Bible, in Ezekiel chapter 37, and in the Spirit of Prophecy of Review & Herald, January 17, 1893 and in The General Conference Bulletin 1893.
Since the resurrection of Ezekiel chapter 37 is not the same as the resurrection of 1 Thessalonians chapter 4, verse 16, and of the Revelation chapter 20, verse 6, and of Daniel chapter 12 verse 2, it therefore must represent the spiritual resurrection of the 144.000 Israelites in the time of the end, who have no guile in their mouths, because they are without fault in the sight of God. This is the only separate resurrection mentioned by Brother Houteff in the above statement. These are they who are to be brought to Palestine to stand with Jesus on the mount Zion to meet the fulfillment of the Revelation 14 : 1.
Now it is transparently clear that it is the spiritual condition of our own Church of Laodicea in this time of the end, which has been prophesied in the Ezekiel chapter 37. At the time when the message of the angel of Revelation 18 : 1 by Bro. Houteff has united with the third angel message by Sister White, to become the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY of Revelation 19 : 10, that should have enlightened the earth with its glory, just at the same time when the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY the first time found us in 1929, the prophecy of Ezekiel chapter 37 began to lay open our spiritual condition up to this very moment.
From the pen of John the Revelator
From Revelation 3 : 14 – 20 we read :
“And unto the angel of the Church of the Laodiceans write : These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot : I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing ; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and poor, and blind, and naked; I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich, and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten : be zealous therefore and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock : if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.“ – Revelation 3 : 14 – 20.
This message is specifically addressed to the angel of the Laodicean Church, which is the General Conference of SDA and all its ministers of the gospel. And that is the spiritual condition predicted of them and all their diehard followers even up to the end. Whereas of the Laodicean Church herself the servant of the Lord said :
“The Lord has set His church as a light in the world, to guide the world to heaven. It is to be a part of heaven on the earth, flashing divine light on the pathway of benighted souls." – The Faith I live by, p. 304.
“Consider, my brethren and sisters, that the Lord has a people, a chosen people, His church, to be His own, His own fortress, which He holds in a sin–stricken, revolted world; and He intended that no authority should be known in it, no laws be acknowledged by it, but His own.” -- Testimonies to Ministers, p. 16.
Since the kingdom of Heaven that was likened to the ten virgins, began its fulfillment with the Philadelphian Church in the time of William Miller, then with the emergence of the Laodicean Church in 1844, it must unavoidably mean the emergence of the five wise virgins on the stage of history at the early beginning. Whereas the angel of Laodicea was just established in 1863.
So if the Laodicean Church was first emerged in 1844, then the angel of the Laodicean Church, which represents the Organization of the General Conference of SDA would have just been born in 1863. To this the servant of the Lord said :
“God has a church, and she has a divinely appointed ministry. “And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” -- Testimonies to Ministers, p. 52.
So the divinely appointed ministry of SDA Church in this time of the end should fall first in sin. And then followed by his diehard followers in all the Laodicea. And just then to be fulfilled the offer of a way out as those prophesied in the Revelation 3 : 14 – 20.
C o n c l u s i o n
In our fallen condition we have ever been represented in the prophecy of Ezekiel 37 as the dry bones, of which the prophet said : “Many who are without spiritual life have their names on the church records, but they are not written in the Lamb’s book of life. They may be joined to the church, but they are not united to the Lord. They may be diligent in the performance of a certain set of duties, and may be regarded as living men’; but many are among those who have “a name that thou livest and art dead.”
So though the Church of God was ever before without hope, and even up to now scattered in many parts of Laodicea without a Central Organization of her own, even without any Church building of her own, she will always by the Lord God Himself be deemed : “A PART OF HEAVEN ON EARTH”, or “GOD’S OWN FORTRESS WHICH HE HOLDS IN A SIN-STRICKEN, REVOLTED WORLD.”
The 144.000 elected saints of God will be at last emerged on the stage of history. They would be identified from their seeing eye to eye, of having the same mind, and speaking the same things. This is the fact to prove that they would be from now on under the guiding hand of the Lord God Himself through His divinely appointed teachers of the Rod.