When Will the “House of Israel” Receive Ezekiel’s message? They Were Removed in Captivity 130 Years Earlier!

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets …” (Heb. 1:1-2).

So we might think, “Ezekiel?  That’s for ‘time past’!   That’s Old Testament!   This major prophet wrote 13 prophecies in chronological order from 593-571 B.C.   What could he say way back then that we’d need to know?”

Actually you’re going to be surprised how much the book of Ezekiel reveals for our day.   Paul in Hebrews certainly wasn’t saying don’t bother paying attention to the prophets because he’s the one who wrote, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16).

For the “House of Israel” today

Fifty years ago I was shocked to learn that Ezekiel was commissioned by God to “speak to the house of Israel” (3:1).  The book of Ezekiel mentions “House of Israel” 78 times, “House of Jacob” 1 time, and “House of Judah” only 5 times.

Today we are conditioned to think “Israel” = Jews since Israel today is Judah, Jews and Jewish.  But Judah is only one tribe of the 12 Tribes of Israel.  “House of Israel” in the Bible refers to the 10 Tribes of Israel led by Ephraim and Manassah.

blessing E&MRemember how in Gen. 48:16 Israel [Jacob] blessed Ephraim and Manassah:  “Let my name be named upon them” (emphasis mine).

Although some times in Ezekiel, “Israel” will refer to or include Judah and Jerusalem, many times it clearly refers to the 10 Tribes.

But wait!  Here’s the intrigue

Ezekiel was commissioned to speak to the House of Israel.  But they had been removed from anywhere near him 130 years earlier by the Assyrians (2 Kings 17).  No way did Ezekiel deliver a message to them!

And no way would God be over a century late in having His prophet deliver a warning message to His people!

Key of David eBook adMaybe you guessed it!  Ezekiel is a crucial message to the House of Israel today.

Do you know where Manasseh is today?  Ephraim?  The other tribes?

It’s many of you reading this post!  You need to understand Ezekiel.

Let’s look at it together in future posts!

Fifty years ago I couldn’t wait to read the exciting truth about the United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy.  This happens to be a huge part of understanding the Key of David.  And the book of Ezekiel.

USBCProphecy

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Are You Getting Anything Out of This Blog?

Some of you write amazing blogs that I like to read.   One common characteristic is an interesting writing pizazz that I hope rubs off on me.   Next to sharing God’s way, I want most not to bore people.  You’d think God’s way couldn’t be boring, but with some people all things are possible!

Caralyn’s “BeautyBeyondBones” has flair down pat.  What a way with words!  She shares hip lingo and culture that this old man has no clue about!  Having a common name spelled uniquely is a tip off that you’re going to get that from her blog!  Her battle and victory over anorexia is certainly not my problem, as I am the fattest I have ever been, but as she puts it so well, “we’re all recovering from something.”  She has good motivational principles to apply, but I also get the bonus of getting her take on life as a millennial in hopes of dealing with my four.  It’s no wonder she has 45,000 subscribers and is dinging the counter!

BJ’s “RiverWalk” enlightens me on the Bible which is, of course, what old Broose the Moose aims to do for others.  He regularly takes the day’s Bible passage from reading the Bible in a  year and brings it to life with some interesting background information or exciting personal experience.  And I’ve got to admire a man sacrificing his life in service over in Turkey.  It’s no wonder he has 26,000 subscribers.

When I ask myself, “Are you getting anything out of these two blogs?”, my answer is a resounding “yes!” and I eagerly wait for their next post.

Leading Us to Our Glorious Destiny adAfter writing for five years and offering 350 posts and 9 eBooks

sometimes I wonder if I’m doing any good and if anybody is getting anything out of this blog?  WordPress stats don’t give that.

I would so appreciate a comment from you

Especially if there is some subject you’d like me to write about.   It seems like I’ve written about everything there is and am now repeating myself like an old befuddled man!

I sincerely hope that you “little flock” (Luke 12:32) following this blog are being called NOW by God and being led to His incredible destiny for you.

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Dear Bible

In 1943 Ruth Crowley of the Chicago Sun-Times started an advice column called Dear Ann Landers.  In 1955 Esther Pauline “Eppie” Lederer replaced her and continued 47 years, building a readership of 90 million until she died in 2002.

In 1956 Pauline Phillips started her advice column called Dear Abby, which is carried on today by her daughter Jeanne Phillips.

Who hasn’t heard of Dear Ann Landers and Dear Abby?  Maybe you’ve written off to them!  I often read them but never felt like I had anything worthy of climbing the mountain to reach the great Guru.

These newspaper columns are hugely popular because they feature apparently real people asking for advice about real life experiences that can be so intricate, complicated and even bizarre.   I never felt my life measured up to all the intrigue.  You probably get a sense of that when you read this blog!

In the Pueblo Chieftain newspaper there has been a column called Ask Pastor ________ [I’m leaving her name off].  Yes, her!  Anyone who knows anything about the Bible should immediately suspect all of her advice (1 Tim. 2:12-3:15).

Years ago I thought about starting up Dear Bible, on the idea that people should want the advice of God rather than just human ideas.  So the idea would be for

Dear Bible to dispense advice via only actual Bible verses

Bible cloudySo it would be advice straight from God, not twisted by humans (2 Pet. 3:16).

To get started, I tried to make up realistic-sounding problems that I could then give the Bible’s scripture advice.

Dear Bible, my mother-in-law drives me crazy … Dear Crazy, (quote the book of Ruth).

Dear Bible, my husband … my wife is mistreating me… Dear Mistreated, (quote Eph. 5).  As you might surmise …

Dear Bible, it just didn’t work

Zechariah eBook AdThe Bible doesn’t say “Jane should tell her brother to stop trying to get his stepchildren to …”

People would get tired of reading “Humble yourself.”  Or “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Or “Love others as yourself.”  Or “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”

Dear Reader

For each temptation of the devil, Jesus Christ quoted him an “It is written …”

We should study the Bible daily and apply its foundational principles that work under all life’s situations (2 Tim. 3:15-17).

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Somebody Forgot to Tell the Bible That the Law Is Done Away

Many people say “The law is done away”

They forgot to tell the Bible.   They think there ought to be a law against the Bible teaching law, commandment-keeping and works.   So they remove the unnecessary words, in their mind.

♦   Take out Gen. 2:3 about God sanctifying [setting apart] the seventh day.    The Sabbath got changed to Sunday when Jesus was resurrected.  Paul said you can esteem one day above another or every day alike, your choice.

Actually, Jesus was resurrected on Saturday late afternoon, just before sunset, exactly three days and three nights in the grave like He said would be the only sign of His messiahship (Matt. 12:40).  And Paul was talking about days a person chooses to fast, not days of worship (Rom. 14:2).   We should study into these two issues for ourselves!

♦  Temptation AdRemove Gen. 2:17 forbidding eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.   Satan was right that they wouldn’t die because they’re immortal souls, predestined to go to heaven or hell upon death.

Actually, Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden and from having access to the Holy Spirit, which was symbolized by the Tree of Life.  Their progeny has eaten from the forbidden tree ever since and earned the death penalty for sin against the law (Rom. 6:23.)  God is calling only a few to be His firstfruits at the return of Christ.  How are we responding? (Matt. 13).

♦  Sacrifice of IsaacNo need for Gen. 26:5 about “Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”  All Abraham had to do was believe.

Actually, Abraham became the Father of the Faithful because He showed His faith by his prompt works of obedience to what God said (James 2:21-26).   Faith without works is dead—not Isaac in this famous Bible story!

♦  10CFor sure take out the Ten Commandments (Exo. 20 and Deut. 5), especially that fourth one!  Love is the fulfilling of the law and the end of the law.   Christ in us frees us from the burden!   Somebody needs to stop Moses from going back up the mount for new tablets and let them stay smashed to bits!

Actually, “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.  And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).

Whoa!   So far we’ve looked at just the first five books of the 66 books of the Bible!   We don’t have time to excise the rest of the Old Testament one book at a time.

But that’s okay because those who believe the law is done away also believe the whole Old Testament is done away.  Replaced by the better New Covenant established by Jesus Christ shedding His blood on the cross.  So save us all the trouble and just get rid of the first two-thirds of the Bible.   Next …

Jesus’ words have got to go

Start with the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus said not only can we not murder or commit adultery, but we can’t even hate or lust.  How dare Him make the law even more binding, according to the spirit of the law!  Who does He think He is!  God?

Then He says “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets.  I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matt. 5:17.   Hey, that’s what we think!

Then He says “depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matt. 7:23).  Hey, we don’t need more practice, we’re good at it!

Poor Jesus!  He says “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me” (John 14:21).  We’re the ones who love You.   We’re the ones who understand that love is the fulfilling of the law and does away with the need for law and commandments and works.

So forget piecemeal hacking!  We’ll just remove the Gospels since Jesus did away with the law by His death on the cross.  How should we know why He would do away with everything He had taught!  Wised up, I guess.

At last we get to Paul who preached the end of the law

And he overturned and contradicted everything the Bible had taught up until then.  People say he taught we are under grace not law, with no works required.

Grace bookletOK, take out the part where the Jerusalem elders told Paul that “you yourself also walk orderly and keep the law” (Acts 21:24).  Remove where Paul said “by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:20).  Where Paul said “do we then make void the law through faith?  Certainly not!  On the contrary, we establish the law” (Rom. 3:31).

And how can we put up with Paul stating “Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good … For we know that the law is spiritual” (Rom. 7:12-14).  Spiritual?  C’mon, Paul!  How can you say it will never have an end when we know the Bible does away with the law!

Or where he proclaims “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be” (Rom. 8:7).  How dare Paul call us carnal when we’re so righteous for eschewing legalism!

Over and over this Apostle to the Gentiles keeps keeping the law and teaching others to do so.  Imitating Christ just like He said (Matt. 5:19).   We’d be content to just keep on twisting the parts where he writes thoughts “hard to understand” (2 Pet. 3:16) because people would understand that.  But he has to go and keep making some plain statements that even we can’t twist to our own destruction!

We’d better just get rid of his 14 books in the Bible.

There!  Since we believe the law is done away,

Somebody should have told the Bible!

We’ve just removed all law and commandment-keeping and works from the Bible.    We can make the Bible say whatever we want it to say!  Even though Paul said “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

And several times the Bible warns against not only adding words to it, but also taking away words from it.  That warning also comes in the very last chapter of the Bible—in Rev. 22.

No problem.  When we took out all the references to law and commandment-keeping in the Bible, all of those warning pages were removed also!

We just have the two covers left.  Bible study is a snap now!   Trouble is, if we don’t repent of thinking God would ever do away with His law, we’ll be the ones done away with.

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“We Are God’s Masterpiece”

Think of a masterpiece and you will undoubtedly think of the Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece of Italian Renaissance art.
Mona Lisa

He painted his oil on wood 2’6″ x 1’9″ between 1503-1506 and this most famous piece of art has been displayed in the Louvre Museum in Paris since 1797.  I feel privileged to have viewed it twice.  Plus I got to enjoy the 500-year da Vinci celebration when it was on display in Denver this past year.

Paul wrote in Eph. 2:10:   “We are God’s masterpiece.”

The famous enigmatic lady was, not daVinci’s wife, but Lisa Gharardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo, a Florentine silk merchant, who commissioned da Vinci to paint her.   “Mona” is a contraction of the Italian word Madonna meaning “my lady.”

potter clayEach of us was created by God “in His image” (Gen. 1:26).   The Master Potter knows just how to shape and mold us by our life experiences.   [At this point, you’d find it inspiring to treat yourself to Shannon Wexelberg’s “Shades of You”].

blacksmithGod is a Master Blacksmith who holds His metal to the fire as it blazes red hot.  How does He know when the time is just right to remove it from fiery trials?  When He sees His reflection in it!  [At this point, treat yourself to Shannon’s “Change Me” where she sings “Come now and cleanse me with fire … Come make me Your own”]

Here is why each of us is a greater masterpiece

by far than Leonardo da Vinci’s.   He was an amazing man but no comparison to the Father and the Son of Man!  And we are a real live subject—a real live son or daughter of God destined to be born into the Family and Kingdom of God.

Not a painting subject to vandalism and decay but a God Being who will live for eternity.  Not a good work hanging on a wall but “created in Christ Jesus for good works (Eph. 2:10), which God prepared beforehand “to be our way of life” (New Revised Standard Version).  God has a future planned with exciting projects where we will be commissioned by Him to create masterpieces!

Book of Life AdThe Mona Lisa is the highest insured painting ever at $100 million.  Once we’ve repented, believed, been baptized, and had hands laid on us by a minister of God who asks that God grant us the Holy Spirit, then we have the down payment that we will be resurrected into the God Family at the return of Jesus Christ.  We are “sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, [which] is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:13-14).   This is the highest assurance!

What price can you put on being a son or daughter of God?  The pearl of great price!

Leonardo da Vinci created a visual representation of his idea of happiness suggested by the Italian word “giocondo” (the silk merchant’s name).  God offers every son and daughter His nine fruits of the Holy Spirit, the second one being JOY.  God’s JOY is so far above happiness which is based on the word happen.  We can be joyful no matter what circumstances happen.

We will have “pleasures forevermore” (Psa. 16:11) in God’s Family and Kingdom.

Now that’s something to smile about!

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Waiting on the Master Timer

Of all the wonderful names and qualities of God, the one I think about most is God being

The Master Timer

You know “My times are in Your hands” (Psa. 31:15).  The One to trust because He knows best when and how.  You don’t so you let Him direct.

So why aren’t my circumstances changing for the good!  Where’s a new exciting open door to walk through and be of greater service!  This is getting old.

In my life God has generally given me a change of opportunity after about five years.  So naturally my eyes are wide open scanning the horizon for what He’s got in mind!  For at least the last six months.   As my Aunt Margaret put it so apropos:  poo-ta-poot!  It’s a good thing we walk by faith and not by sight because I ain’t seein’ nothin’!

Joseph pitJoseph was 17 when he was thrown into a pit by his jealous brothers.  They sold him to traders where he ended up a slave to Potiphar.  “The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master” (Gen. 39:2).  Joseph did everything right but when he refused the carnal advances of Potiphar’s wife, that came at him “day after day (verse 10),” off he went to prison.  “The Lord was with Joseph in the prison” (verse 21).  In time it looked like he’d be freed if only the grateful butler would tell how he had predicted his good fortune.  If only!  The butler forgot (40:23), and Joseph got to linger in the prison two more years!  This was getting old!  Till the Master Timer decided it was at last time to make Joseph, who also was getting old—properly mature—at age 30, second in command of Egypt!

Thirteen years!  Undoubtedly Joseph wondered when he was going to get a break!  He had no choice in where his life led him, except he wisely chose to cooperate with all his might with where God had him placed.  God took Joseph from the pit—where the jealous brothers originally planned to kill him!—to the top!  Way over the top of the pit!

The righteous patriarch Jacob had to live 13 years grieving over his lost beloved son before learning that Joseph was alive!

Leading Us to Our Glorious Destiny adThe Master Timer was working with Joseph and Jacob.  Leading them to their glorious destiny like He is us (Psa. 73:24)!

What an important prophet Daniel was 

All the amazing stories and developments in his one book of the Bible.  Fiery furnace!  Lions den!  Sounds like excitement nonstop!  Yet between chapters 9 and 10 passed two years.  What did God do with Daniel for two whole years?

Maybe seemed like a frustrating two long years to Daniel.  Things were getting really old for him too:  in captivity 66 years and probably over 80 years old!  But to the Master Timer, a day is as a 1,000 years.   God’s got plenty of time.  Actually He’s above time.   So we should trust God like there’s no tomorrow!  He’s giving us eternity.

My favorite chapter in the Bible

is Psa. 37 (New Living Translation):
♥   “Trust in the Lord and do good” (verse 3).
♥   “Take delight in the Lord and he will give you your heart’s desires.  Commit everything you do to the Lord.  Trust him, and he will help you” (verse 4).
♥   “Wait patiently for him to act” (verse 7).  That means long-passioned!

Waiting on the Master Timer is a necessary walk of faith for a Christian.  As the saying puts it so well:  What does a waiter do?  He serves.

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“The Moment You Began Praying”

If you’re ever about to be tossed into a fiery furnace, think of the book of Daniel and the example of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego.

If it’s a lion’s den, think of the book of Daniel also, and this time the example of Daniel himself.

Hopefully we’ll never face such a threat.

But we do pray—hopefully regularly

and there are two verses in the book of Daniel, again involving Daniel himself, that should really inspire us!

When Daniel was praying in Daniel chapter 9, God sent his top announcing angel, Gabriel, to him.  When?

“The moment you began praying, a command was given.  And now I am here to tell you what it was, for you are very precious to God” (Dan. 9:23 New Living Translation).

God sent Gabriel “the moment” Daniel began praying!

A fluke?  In an example two years later, when Daniel was again praying, an angel—probably Gabriel but the Bible doesn’t say—said:  “”Don’t be afraid, Daniel.  Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, you request has been heard in heaven.  I have come to answer your prayer” (Dan. 10:12 NLT).

God answers our prayers.  God loves us.  We are very precious to Him.

For full disclosure, in both examples Daniel was not only praying but fasting (9:3, 10:2-3).  Some things do require prayer and fasting (Matt. 17:21).

But to live as humans, we can’t be fasting all the time.  Most long-time Christians find that about once a month seems to be a good guideline.

Prayer eBook adBut the Bible gives the guideline of striving to pray three times a day.  David said that but also, wouldn’t you almost expect it, Daniel!  [in Dan. 6:10].  That’s what got Daniel thrown into the lion’s den.  God took care of keeping the lions fasting!  Even the king loved Daniel so much that he was fasting for him to be saved from his own misguided decree that he couldn’t reverse.

Here’s God’s claim-it promise anytime we are praying:  “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15).

Yes, if we ask that God’s will be done and not ours, John says we know that God hears us and that we have the petitions we have asked of Him.  Yes, we can absolutely count on God to do His will!  May we be in perfect sync with it!

So let’s not wait till we’re tossed into a fiery furnace or a lion’s den to take advantage of God’s encouragement in the book of Daniel.

Let’s pray and start the moment

that God will respond to!  He’d love to because we are very precious to Him!

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