An exciting and rich prophecy in the Old Testament is
that of Ezekiel 37. This prophecy encompasses the full
landscape of the gospel. It’s themes are both intriguing
yet simple enough for those willing to slow down for a
few minutes to read and understand them.

Originally, I understood Ezekiel 37 to be a prophecy
about the Jews return from Babylonian Captivity in
536 B.C. However, I became a bit more fascinated with
the prophecy after preparing for some lectures on the

I knew that this prophecy was used largely by rapture
ready enthusiasts to teach about the coming of a
third temple in Jerusalem. However, there were too
many textual difficulties both immediate and remote
to support that rationale.

Rather, Ezekiel 37 offers its own hermeneutic (interpretive
principles) and guidelines. Determined that I would follow
those in the text, it led me to a much different conclusion
than I had originally understood.

The prophecy not only demonstrates metaphorically, the
resurrection of Israel out of the graves of bondage to
sin-death, it is precisely the resurrection taught in the New
Testament and explains the meaning of graves found in
such passages as John 5:28-29, and 1 Corinthians 15:55-57).

Failure to appreciate the rich resource this text offers
in the matter of end time prophecy results in mass
confusion and inconsistencies for some, especially
those of the the futurists camps who can only see
biology and geography in eschatology.

However, the theme of Ezekiel 37, introduced briefly in
chapter 36:27-28, offers the contextual setting of the
Holy Spirit poured out in the last days.

Joel tells us that the outpouring of the Spirit defines the
period and interim of the last days of Old Covenant Israel,
(Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:16-20; 1 Cor. 1:7, 8).

During this time and through the Spirit, God created a
new Israel, even raising the “dead ones,” i.e. the 10 lost
tribes (Northern Israel also called Ephraim) who had been
scattered throughout the nations [among the Gentiles]
back to Himself in one united kingdom, under the new king
David, all within a new temple and new covenant.

It is through this process of giving his Spirit, that God
creates a new heart within Israel, removing the heart
of stone and fashioning them into a new spiritual body,
setting them in their own land as the redeemed people
of God.

William Bell

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