STUDY  43

EZEKIEL'S VALLEY OF DRY BONES

STUDIES

  (This study was written by Bro. Don Adair and copyrighted    in 1999 by Mt. Carmel CenterYou can print a copy of this study for yourself and share it with others if you make no changes in it, if you take no credit for it, if you charge no money for it, if you include this notification in this parenthesis with it; and if you include his name, address, phone number, website, and e-mail, at the bottom.)

EZEKIEL'S VALLEY OF DRY BONES

Copyright    1999
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BELIEVE YOUR BIBLE AS IT READS TO UNDERSTAND LITERAL EVENTS AND PEOPLE

"Brethren, cling to your Bible as it reads, and stop your criticisms in regard to its validity, and obey the Word, and not one of you will be lost."--1 Selected Messages, pg. 18:1 (bold emphasis, braces added).

Christians are to believe the "Bible as it reads." That is, when we read the Bible about the life of Abraham, or Elijah, or John the Baptist, we must believe that what they did in real life was exact in a literal sense, as the Bible says. A good example is the life of Jesus. When we read that He was rejected by His own Jewish people, who had Him killed on the cross by the Romans; and when we also read that He was resurrected from the tomb of the dead to life again (Lk. 24:5,6), then we must accept these events from the "Bible as it reads" (1 S.M. 18:1). It was doubting Thomas who did not believe that Jesus was resurrected from the dead, and that is why Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed" (Jn. 20:29). All those people, therefore, who have "not seen" Jesus resurrected, "yet have believed," are those who read about it and believe the "Bible as it reads." Therefore, those true Christians who really want to study the mystery of the valley of "dry bones" (Ezek. 37:1,4) and learn who they are and when they will be resurrected, must believe the "Bible as it reads," which is noted in several examples:

BELIEVE YOUR BIBLE AS IT READS TO UNDERSTAND TYPES AND ANTITYPES

There are words in the Bible which are actual, literal events concerning real people; and they must be taken from the "Bible as it reads." They are known as "types;" and their purpose is to illustrate certain truths regarding other peoples and events at another time under similar circumstances, which are known as antitypes. Paul spoke about these types when he wrote:

"Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples {margin says types}: and...are written for our admonition {true Christians}, upon whom the ends of the world {latter days} are come."--1 Corinthians 10:11 (bold emphasis, braces added).

A good example to consider about types and antitypes is the "tower" (Gen. 11:5) of "Babel" (Gen. 11:9), as recorded in the book of Genesis. This type--the tower "called Babel" (that is, confusion--see margin), applies specifically in antitype to the Christian churches today, who are confused about certain Bible doctrines, and who spread confusion everywhere. The only exception is God's true church--"Laodicea" (Rev. 3:14); they do not "constitute Babylon, or any part of Babylon" (T.M. 36,37).

"And the term 'Babylon'--confusion--may be appropriately applied to these bodies {Protestant Churches in their confusion}, all professing to derive their doctrines from the Bible, yet divided into almost innumerable sects, with widely conflicting creeds and theories."--Great Controversy, pg. 383:1 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"Today private interpretations have harmed and confused the world more than at any other time. Look at the shattered sectarian world of today. It {confusion in the Protestant churches of Babylon} has split Christendom into hundreds of sects, chips of all sizes, one disagreeing with the other. Who can say that their diverse private interpretations of the Scriptures are inspired, dependable, or profitable for anything but to cause {these Babylonian} Christians to quarrel and bicker among themselves over {false} theories and doctrines?"--2 Timely Greetings, No. 24, pg. 17 (bold emphasis, braces added).

And besides this example, there are other types of literal people and events, such as Enoch, Noah, Elijah, Esau and Jacob, Moses, and many others, which are taken from the "Bible as it reads," and applied in antitype to similar events of peoples living in "ends of the world"--the latter days today. There are also other words which are t     o be taken in the "Bible as it reads" (1 S.M. 18:1) in regard to symbolic meanings.

BELIEVE YOUR BIBLE AS IT READS TO UNDERSTAND THE SYMBOLS

There are many prophecies in the Bible which have a symbolic meaning, such as the "great image" (Dan. 2:31-35), and the "four great beasts" (Dan. 7:2-8).

"The gold, silver, brass, and iron {symbols} have been interpreted to represent Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia, and Rome....The lion, the bear, the leopard, and the non-descript beast {symbols} depict the same kingdoms as the gold, the silver, brass and iron."--2 Shepherd's Rod, pg. 30:1,3 (bold emphasis, braces added).

But these are not the only things in the Bible that have a symbolic meaning. The book of Revelation consists of many more symbols, such as the "seven candlesticks" (Rev. 1:12), which symbolize "seven churches" (Rev. 1:20), of which "Laodicea" is the last (Rev. 3:14). And the "four beasts"--a lion, a calf, a man, and an eagle (Rev. 4:7), which symbolize the saints (Rev. 5:8,9). And the four seals with riders on horses that are white, red, black, and pale (Rev. 6:2,4,5,8), which symbolize the "works of man" (15 Tr. 57:3) ruling the earth (horse). And the "star" that "fell from heaven" who was "given the key of the bottomless pit" (Rev. 9:1), which symbolizes Jesus--the "bright and morning star" (Rev. 22:16). But these are only a few symbols; there are many other symbols, more than there is room here to list. However, there is one important thing to know about them in order to correctly understand them, and that is to believe the "Bible as it reads." Some people cannot believe the symbols of the Bible as it reads, because it does not read as they want to believe. So they change the symbols to mean what they believe; or some ignore those symbols which disagree with their belief. And some never learn their meaning, because they do not study enough. The saints, however, believe the symbols in the "Bible as it reads; and that is how the Lord guides them "into all truth" (Jn. 16:13) to know what they mean. There are also other words which are to be taken in the "Bible as it reads" (1 S.M. 18:1) in regard to parabolic meanings.

BELIEVE YOUR BIBLE AS IT READS TO UNDERSTAND THE PARABLES

Jesus used parables, which He drew from nature and events of every day life. These parables must be taken from the "Bible as it reads;" then only can it illustrate a lesson about literal events and people. One good example is Jesus' parable of the "wheat" (Mt. 13:24,37)--the saints, and the "tares" (Mt. 13:25)--the wicked people who are the "children of the wicked one" (Mt. 13:38)--"the devil" (Mt. 13:39), who has sown them into God's church among the saints.. And there is Jesus' parable of the five wise and five foolish virgins (Mt. 25:1,2).

"The five wise virgins were they who trusted in God and His word only; having no confidence in man, and were hungry for truth, searching for light, and gladly accepting it when it came."--1 Shepherd's Rod, pg. 185:1 (bold emphasis added).

"The five foolish virgins are they who had confidence in men; they were willing that others should think and study for them. Their love for this world and the things of it, exceeded their love for Christ and the world to come."--1 Shepherd's Rod, pg. 185:1 (bold emphasis, braces added).

Jesus' parable of the "wise virgins" illustrates the literal saints who trust God's word and believe the "Bible as it reads;" whereas the "foolish virgins" do not, because they trust in men. But there is more to learn from the "Bible as it reads."

BELIEVE YOUR BIBLE AS IT READS TO UNDERSTAND SPIRITUAL MEANINGS

A good example is seen in the words that Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, as recorded in John's gospel. Though His words spoke of literal things, He applied them to a spiritual meaning.

"There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto Him, Rabbi, we know that Thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that Thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see {enter} the Kingdom of God."--John 3:1-3 (bold emphasis, braces added).

Jesus told Nicodemus about a literal kingdom of real living people, not a fictitious kingdom of man's imagination which none can be a part of.

"From these scriptures {Isa. 61:4-6} we see that the Kingdom of God, the church purified, free from 'tares' {wicked people} is a real thing {literally}. It is not something imaginary, not something foamy floating and lost in space, but right here on earth {in the latter days--Dan. 2:28,44}. Timely Greetings, No. 41, pg. 27 (bold emphasis, braces added).

To "see" (enter) that literal kingdom of living people, Nicodemus was told that he must be "born again" spiritually. That is, the dead saints who were "born again" will be resurrected to "see" (enter) that literal kingdom of immortality at Christ's second advent (1 Thess. 4:16); whereas the living saints who are "born again" will "see" (enter--Jn. 3:3) both the literal kingdom in the latter days and the immortal kingdom (1 Thess. 4:17), also at Christ's second advent. This fact startled Nicodemus, and he asked Jesus:

"Nicodemus saith unto Him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water {baptism} and of the Spirit {a spiritual birth, a born again experience}, he cannot see {enter--Jn. 3:3} into the Kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again {a spiritual birth}. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."--John 3:4-8 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"To the question, 'How can a man be born when he is old?' Jesus answered, 'Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.' Nicodemus had to be baptized {by water}, had to publicly acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God {not come to see him at night when the public would not know}, and receive the Spirit of Truth {a spiritual birth, a born again experience}."--1 Timely Greetings, No. 49, pg. 6:1 (bold emphasis, braces added).

This kingdom of spiritually born-again Christians is noted in Ezekiel's prophecy of the valley of dry bones. Though its primary application is literal, another meaning has been applied to it by Sis. E. G. White (the prophetess of the Seventh-day Adventist church--1 S.M. 36:0) as a "simile" (sim'-e-la), to illustrate a spiritual birth which Jesus spoke of, and which every saint must experience to be saved.

BELIEVE YOUR BIBLE AS IT READS TO UNDERSTAND A "SIMILE"

"The souls {not physical bodies} of those {people} 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....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....We are to repeat to them the message, 'Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give them light.'...But not only does this simile of the dry bones apply to the world, but also to those {Seventh-day Adventists} 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....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 {Seventh-day Adventist} church of God {9 Test. 164:1}, 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....Many {Seventh-day Adventists} 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....The {spiritually} dead {sinners} are often made to pass for the living {saints}; for those who are working out what they term salvation after their own ideas, have not God working in them and to do of His good pleasure....This class {of sinners in the Seventh-day Adventist church} is well represented by the valley of dry bones Ezekiel saw in vision."--Ellen G. White Comments, 7A, Vol. 4, pgs. 1165, 1166; Review and Herald, Jan. 17, 1893 (bold emphasis, braces, underlining added).

Sis. White's use of a "simile" of Ezekiel's prophecy is not only applied to "the world," but also to "those...with great light" (Seventh-day Adventists), because "many" of them (and more today) need to be born again. Their souls, she said, though physically alive are "without spiritual life." Their souls are but "skeletons" who are, as it were, in their "graves" having no spiritual breath. Their souls are like walking dead people whose "names are on the church books" (5 Test. 52:2), professing to be spiritually alive, while they are spiritually dead!

"In the last vision given me, I was shown a startling fact that but a small portion of those {Seventh-day Adventists} who now profess the truth {and many more today because the church has become worse} will be sanctified by it and be saved. Many will get above the simplicity of the work. They will conform to the world, cherish idols, and become spiritually dead."--1 Testimonies, pgs. 608, 609 (bold emphasis, braces added).

Ezekiel's primary application of the "dry bones" (Ezek. 37:4) is to be understood as the bodies of the dead saints--the "whole house of Israel" (Ezek. 37:11), who have been literally resurrected from their "graves" (Ezek. 37:13), and who became living souls when the "wind" (Ezek. 37:9) as "breath came into them" (Ezek. 37:10).

"In this {literal} resurrection {of the dry bones} only God's own people, {the saints in} Israel, arise with no sinner among them."--2 Timely Greetings, No. 7, pg. 13:1 (bold emphasis, braces added).

The prophetess (Sis. E. G. White) of the Seventh-day Adventist church, however, is using the literal resurrection from their "graves" (Ezek. 37:13) in Ezekiel's vision of the "valley of dry bones" as a figure of speech for a secondary application. Her purpose is not to deny that the "valley of dry bones" is literal; but to illustrate a resurrection of spiritually dead people in the Seventh-day Adventist church whose bodies are yet alive. And that, of course, is the reason why she used the word "simile" in the aforequoted "Review and Herald" statement, wherein she wrote--"this simile of the dry bones."

Webster's dictionary defines the meaning of "simile" as: "a figure of speech comparing two unlike things that is often introduced by like or as (as in cheeks like roses)--compare metaphore."

As the dictionary's definition of a simile is "a figure of speech comparing two unlike things," such as someone's "cheeks" being like "roses;" so Sis. White uses a "simile" of the valley of "dry bones" as "a figure of speech" to compare "two unlike things"--Ezekiel's literal resurrection being like a spiritual resurrection. By her "simile" of Ezekiel's literal resurrection she is warning the people in the Seventh-day Adventist church (modern Israel--9 Test. 164:1) that though their bodies are alive, their souls are spiritually dead and need to be resurrected (born again) to be saved; otherwise they will never "see" (enter--Jn. 3:3) God's literal kingdom soon to be set up in the latter days (Dan. 2:28, 44).

Many Seventh-day Adventists, however, deny that Ezekiel's prophecy of a resurrection of the saints of Israel from their "graves" (Ezek. 37:13) is literal, because Sis. White wrote, they argue, that the valley of "dry bones" is a spiritual resurrection to illustrate a born-again experience. They say this because most of them have "taken for granted as truth" (T.M. 70:2) that her secondary application of a spiritual resurrection is the only acceptable one; while they overlook and ignore Ezekiel's primary application of a literal resurrection, or reject it altogether. And the obvious reason why is because they have not noticed or have deliberately ignored this fact: Her use of the word "simile" proves conclusively that she is only making a secondary application of Ezekiel's literal resurrection of the "dry bones" (Ezek. 37:4), as a spiritual resurrection to illustrate a born-again experience.

Other Seventh-day Adventists, however, have noticed Sis. White's use of the word "simile," and realize that it does not change the fact that the valley of "dry bones" (Ezek. 37:1,4) is a literal resurrection. They know she never denied in her writings that Ezekiel prophesied a literal resurrection. Neither did she write that it was only a spiritual resurrection, because she would never contradict the Biblical account of Ezekiel's literal resurrection; which is further proven by considering this fact: If Ezekiel had said that the dry bones resurrection was not literal but spiritual, then there would have been no need for Sis. White to use a "simile" to illustrate it as a spiritual resurrection by a "figure of speech"! And since she was a prophetess of God, then she could not and would not contradict Ezekiel's prophesy of a literal resurrection of the saints of Israel from their "graves" (Ezek. 37:13); and that, of course, is why she used a "simile" to illustrate her teaching of a spiritual resurrection. True Seventh-day Adventists, therefore, would accept Sis. White's correct use of a "simile" to illustrate a a spiritual resurrection; while at the same time they would also accept the resurrection of the valley of "dry bones" (Ezek. 37:1,4) of the dead bodies of the saints--the "whole house of Israel" (Ezek. 37:11) as a literal resurrection from their "graves" (Ezek. 37:13). But in spite of the plain words of Ezekiel's prophecy, some people today refuse to accept it as a literal resurrection.

SOME SAY EZEKIEL'S LITERAL RESURRECTION IS SYMBOLIC

Sis. White wrote that "not only does this simile of the dry bones apply to the world {which would include the Jews}, but also to those {Seventh-day Adventists} who have been blessed with great light" (R.H. 1893). Therefore, the Jewish people of "the world" are also represented in her "simile" as a walking dead people who are "skeletons" in their "graves," who are "without spiritual life," and who need to be born again as did Nicodemus--the Jewish Pharisee (Jn. 3:3)! If they would repent of crucifying their Messiah (Jesus), and accept Him as their Saviour, then they would not only become born again Christian Jews, but they would also "see" (enter) God's literal kingdom soon to be set up in the latter days (Dan. 2:28,44). Instead, they either deny or ignore that Ezekiel's prophecy is a literal resurrection of the saints of Israel from their "graves" (Ezek. 37:13); while there are some (which could be either Jews or Christians) who believe the error that it is a symbolic resurrection.

Since the Bible admonishes everyone to "study...rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15), then those who take that which is literal, or symbolic, or typical, or parabolic, or spiritual, and confuse them or mix them, rather than believe the "Bible as it reads" (1 S.M. 18:1), are not "rightly dividing the word of truth;" and it is for this reason that the Spirit cannot lead them into "all truth" (Jn. 16:13). And that is why the Jews today cannot be led to believe that the entire contents of Ezekiel's prophecy (Ezek. 37:1-14) must be applied literally. In the Bible Dictionary, it applies the dry bones as figurative of the Jewish nation which regathered, as history recorded, in 1948 to set up their new State of Israel. And there are some people (which could be Jews or Christians) who render a dual application to Ezekiel's prophecy of the "dry bones" (Ezek. 37:1,4): That is, they apply the literal resurrection as symbolic or figurative, as does the Bible Dictionary, but apply the "exceeding great army" (Ezek. 37:10), the "whole house of Israel" (Ezek. 37:11), and the returning to the "land of Israel" (Ezek. 37:12) as a literal "army," "house," and "land," which they say refers to the Jewish people. There are several reasons why they are wrong in applying Ezekiel's prophecy as part symbolic or figurative, and part literal:

(A) The Jewish people today can not be represented as the dead saints of Israel--the "dry bones," because they are living sinners who have rejected their Messiah (Jesus). Therefore, Ezekiel's prophecy of the dead saints of Israel, who are still "dry bones" (Ezek. 37:1,4) even to this very day, and have not yet been literally resurrected, cannot apply to the living Jewish sinners of today who have never been literally resurrected. And that, of course, is the reason why some say it is a symbolic or figurative resurrection, so they can apply it to the Jewish people.

(B) The living Jewish sinners of today can not be the "exceeding great army" (Ezek. 37:10) of dead saints who are to be literally resurrected, because only a small handful of Jews have returned to that land; and because they have never been literally resurrected.

(C) The living Jewish sinners today can not be the dead saints of the "whole house of Israel" (Ezek. 37:11), because they descended not from all twelve tribes, but only from the sinners of the two tribes of Judah (14 Tr. 21:1) who crucified their Messiah (Jesus); and because they have never been literally resurrected.

(D) The living Jewish sinners today can not be the dead saints of "dry bones" (Ezek. 37:4) whom Ezekiel prophesied are to be literally resurrected and return to the "land of Israel" (Ezek. 37:12), because they are not "an exceeding great army" (Ezek. 37:10) of saints, nor are they the "whole house of Israel" (Ezek. 37:11) from the twelve tribes, because they have never been literally resurrected.

(E) The living Jewish sinners today can not be the literally resurrected bodies of the "dry bones" of the dead saints who all "know that I am the Lord" (Ezek. 37:13), because the Jews crucified their Lord and Messiah (Jesus). Thus, they and their descendants, even to this very day, do not "know" Him as their Lord; and because they have never been literally resurrected.

Thus, the fact that the Jewish people of today in Palestine have never been literally resurrected, proves irrefutably that they do not believe the "Bible as it reads" (1 S.M. 18:1). If they did, they would have to admit two facts: that Ezekiel's prophecy of the valley of "dry bones" (Ezek. 37:1,4) is a literal resurrection of the dead saints of Israel from their "graves" (Ezek. 37:13); and that the symbolic or figurative resurrection of their new "State of Israel" in 1948 is false.

I remember one time when I was in New York I called a Jewish Synagogue to ask the priest some questions about certain Old Testament prophecies. And when I told him my reason for calling, he asked me if I was a Jew and I answered "No." Then he asked me if I had any relatives that were Jews; and after I said that I did not know, he said that he had nothing to tell me and could not answer any of my questions and hung up his phone. Had he talked to me, one of the questions I would have asked him would be about the valley of dry bones: "Do the Jews teach that Ezekiel's literal resurrection of the dead bodies of the saints, even the "whole house of Israel" (Ezek. 37:11), whose "graves" the Lord will "open" (Ezek. 37:12) in the latter days--our day (since this resurrection has not yet occured), is a symbolic resurrection?" Even though I was disappointed because he would not talk to me, I knew that a symbolic application of Ezekiel's literal resurrection is wrong, because that is not the way the Bible reads (1 S.M. 18:1). I also knew that the main reason why some (which could be either Jews or Christians) teach a symbolic resurrection, is because they do not know where to place the time of Ezekiel's literal resurrection.

(A) They can't place it at Christ's second advent, because all the dead saints are resurrected at that time (1 Cor. 15:52), and "caught up together...in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air" (1 Thess. 4:17), whom He takes to heaven (Jn. 14:2,3); whereas Ezekiel said that the resurrected saints of Israel do not go to heaven but into the "land of Israel" (Ezek. 37:12).

(B) Neither can they place it at Christ's first advent, because those living Jews were not resurrected, and because they were already in the land of Israel.

(C) And neither can they apply it to the few saints resurrected at the time Christ was resurrected (Mt. 27:52,53), because He didn't take them to the "land of Israel" (Ezek. 37:12), since they were already there; instead, He took them to heaven with Him (D.A. 833:2).

Yet, some (which could be either Jews or Christians) know that the Jews today are not a literally resurrected people, and that they are not the saints who have repented for killing their Messiah (Jesus). And because they have no other place in time to put Ezekiel's literal resurrection of the dead saints from their "graves" (Ezek. 37:13), they apply it as a symbolic or figurative resurrection to the scattered Jews who have been returning to the land of Israel since 1948 to set up their new State of Israel.

It was not God, however, who led them to Palestine in 1948; because He drove the Jews out of the land of Israel because of their sins (especially for killing their Messiah--Jesus). And now today, almost two thousand years later, they still refuse to repent and accept Him, even while they vainly seek another messiah. And since Jesus would not lead them there (because they have not repented for killing Him}, then they will not stay there very much longer. The "fierce anger of the Lord" (Zeph. 2:2) shall come upon them to drive them out of the holy land, because the Lord said to them through His prophet Hosea, "ye are not My people, and I will not be your God" (Hosea 1:9).

ANGER OF THE LORD UPON THE JEWS FOR KILLING THEIR MESSIAH

Paul the apostle verified what Hosea said: "And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them {Jews}, Ye are not My people; there shall they {Christian Jews} be called the children of the living God" (Rom. 9:26). This means that God was with the early Christian Jews and the true Christians thereafter, even until the latter days; but He is not with the latter-day Jews who gathered together in 1948. He will drive them out of the promised land to make room for the 144,000 living Christians--"the children of the living God" (Rom. 9:26) in our day! It was the prophet Zephaniah who prophesied that the latter-day Jews would gather together in Palestine (which they did in 1948), and that sometime afterwards the anger of the Lord would come upon them to drive them out when World War II is resumed (2 T.G. 41:16:0). (Note: After these thoughts about God's anger upon the Jews and the setting up of His kingdom is finished, then the study of the valley of "dry bones" will continue.)

"Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired {latter-day Jews}; before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord's anger come upon you."--Zephaniah 2:1, 2 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"These verses of Scripture {Zeph. 2:1-3} , you note, are to meet fulfillment just...before the fierce anger of the Lord breaks upon the {Jewish} nation not desired {who have been} gathering together {since 1948}...Now in view of the fact that there is but one such undesired nation, the Jewish, and none other, that is hated by all nations, this scripture cannot possibly apply to another people. Also...before the day of the Lord's anger, the undesired Jews world over are gathering together in Palestine {since 1948}...showing that the anger of the Lord is to fall upon the Jews unless they reform {accept their Messiah Jesus},...And so according to Scripture, Jew and Arab alike are to go out of the Promised Land, and the meek of the earth {144,000 saints--Rev. 7:4-8 are} to march into it."--2 Timely Greetings, No. 41, pg. 13:1,2 (bold emphasis, braces added).

Any Christian who believes the "Bible as it reads" (1 S.M. 18:1) would understand that the prophecy of Zephaniah can only apply to the Jewish people for at least three reasons:

(A) He knows that since the Jews are the only people who have been scattered as a nation from the holy land, then they must be those who are to "gather together" (Zeph. 2:1) back to the holy land (since 1948) where they were scattered from.

(B) And he knows that only the Jews can be the "nation not desired" (Zeph. 2:1), because they are the most hated people in the world.

(C) And he also knows that because the Jews crucified their Messiah (Jesus), then that is the reason why the "fierce anger of the Lord" (Zeph. 2:2) is soon to come upon these unconverted and unrepentant people.

These irrefutable facts prove that it will not be the Jewish people who rejected their Messiah (Jesus) that will finally possess God's kingdom (Dan. 2:44) in the holy land. Instead, it will be Christian Jews of today (the 144,000) who will be sealed from among the 12 tribes of Israel (Rev. 7:4-8), and who descended from the scattered ten tribes (Israel), and the descendants of the early Christian Jews from the two tribes (Judah), that will return to possess the land of Israel. This possession of the holy land by the 144,000 Christian Jews from the Laodicean church (Rev. 3:14) is, of course, after the hated Jews, the "nation not desired" (Zeph. 2:1), have been driven out by the "fierce anger of the Lord" (Zeph. 2:3) when the "times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (Lk. 21:24).

"In view of the fact that this scripture {Zeph. 2:1,2,4,5} is now being unfolded {since 1948}, and also the fact that there is but one people, one nation (the descendants of the ancient scribes, priests, and Pharisees who rejected the Lord {Jesus} and who have not even to this day accepted Him, that are hardly desired anywhere in the world) that is now doing all she can to gather together in Palestine--in view of all this, the present-day {hated} Jews are that undesired nation. Upon her, therefore, the Lord's anger is to fall if she continues to deny Christ. Yes, the universally hated Jew is the only nation that has been scattered throughout the Gentile world, and is the only one that is now gathering together in Palestine {since 1948}."--1 Timely Greetings, No. 22, pg. 25:4 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"Now you plainly see that the unconverted Jews who {set up their new State of Israel in 1948} are endeavoring to take the land of Palestine are not the people of whom these passages of Scripture {Ezek. 36:26-28} speak. Now you see that Arab, Jew, or Gentile, all will eventually have to move away and give room to God's {kingdom of} clean and purified people."--2 Timely Greetings, No. 42, pg. 36:6 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"God will have a people {144,000 saints} in the land {of Israel} all right, but they all {as Christians not unconverted Jews} shall know the Lord {Jesus}. Those, therefore, who are {the Jews today that rejected their Messiah and do not know Him are} now trying to establish themselves in Palestine {by setting up their new State of Israel since 1948} are not that people."--2 Timely Greetings, No. 41, pg. 12:3 (bold emphasis, braces added).

The Jews today in the holy land are not "that people" (144,000 Christian saints) because the prophet Zephaniah said the "fierce anger of the Lord" (Zeph. 2:3) will soon drive the hated Jews, the "nation not desired" (Zeph. 2:1), out of the holy land, and then the "times of the Gentiles is fulfilled" (Lk. 21:24).

"And they {the Jewish people} shall fall by the edge of the sword {in A.D. 70}, and shall be led away {from Palestine and Jerusalem} captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."--Luke 21:24 (bold emphasis, braces added).

The "times of the Gentiles" began when the heathens occupied the holy land in place of the Jewish people; which obviously commenced in A.D. 70 when the Lord allowed Titus the Roman general to drive the Jews from the holy land (P.K. 713:0) because of their sins, especially for killing their Messiah (Jesus). And even though the Christians launched the "crusades" to recover Jerusalem from the Gentiles, they were unsuccessful.

"CRUSADES, military expeditions undertaken by Western European Christians between 1095 and 1270, usually at the behest of the papacy, to recover Jerusalem and other Palestine places of pilgrimage from Muslim control. The name crusade (from lat., 'cross,' the emblem of the crusaders) was also applied, especially in the 13th century, to wars against pagan peoples, Christian heretics, and political foes of the papacy."--FUNK & WAGNALLS NEW ENCYCLOPEDIA, Vol. 7, pg. 356.

The Christian crusaders never did gain back Jerusalem, because they eventually lost the battle against the Gentile Arabs, so the holy land was still in the hands of the Gentiles. And since the Jews rejected and killed their Messiah (Jesus) and are not Christians, then they would not believe His words (Mt. 24:35) about "Jerusalem" being "trodden down of the Gentiles" (Lk. 21:24) in the holy land. And many Christians, who misunderstood what Jesus said, think that when the Jews returned to the holy land in 1948 to set up their new State of Israel, then the "times of the Gentiles was fulfilled" (Lk. 21:24). And they quote what the Lord said to Abraham, "I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curseth thee" (Gen. 12:3); and tell others that if they do not want God's curses, then they should bless the Jews with their money to help them establish their new State of Israel. They are wrong, of course, for this reason: If the hated Jews who were scattered are to "gather together" (Zeph. 2:1) in the holy land to possess Jerusalem, not to receive "the fierce anger of the Lord" (Zeph. 2:2), but to receive God's blessings and be His great people in their new State of Israel, then that means the Jews were justified for killing Jesus as a false messiah and for persecuting the Christians. It means that the Jews are right when they say they are God's true people and that the Christians are deluded Gentiles! Since, however, Jesus was and still is the true Messiah, then the Jews were wrong for killing Jesus and persecuting the Christians; and one day they shall indeed suffer His anger and be driven out of the holy land, as His prophet Zephaniah predicted (Zeph. 2:2).

Furthermore, the Jews still think that their blood line from the seed of Abraham makes them God's people and everybody else the Gentiles. But there are many other people who are descendants of Abraham's seed besides Isaac (Gen. 21:3,12) and his son Jacob (Gen. 25:20-26), and his sons (Gen. 35:22-26): There are the Ishmaelites (Gen. 16:4,11; 25:12-16), and the Moabites and the Ammonites (Gen. 19:37,38) from Abraham's seed through his nephew Lot, and the sons of Abraham by his second wife Keturah (Gen. 25:1,2); and from the sons of Esau, the Edomites (Gen. 36:1-5). Truly, the seed of Abraham is as the "sand...upon the sea" (Gen. 22:17); but those who are descendants of his seed have no guarantee that they are God's true people. This irrefutable fact proves, then, that just because these different peoples were descendants of Abraham, it does not automatically make them the people of God, as the Jews boast they are.

So what is the difference between a Jew and a Gentile? Webster's dictionary says that a "Gentile" is "a person of a non-Jewish nation or of non-Jewish faith," but it also says that it means a "heathen." And what is a heathen? It is "an unconverted member of a people or nation that does not acknowledge the God of the Bible" (Webster's Dict.). This irrefutable fact proves, then, that in the days of the ancient Jews all the heathens (whether or not they are descendants of Abraham) were those who did not believe in the "God of the Bible" (the Old Testament Scriptures); and that all the heathens today are those people (which includes the Jews today) who do not believe in the "God of the Bible" (the Old and New Testament scriptures)! Thus, the Jews are also heathen Gentiles, because they do not believe the "God of the Bible" in the New Testament scriptures, who sent His Son Jesus to be their Messiah. So when the Jewish heathens (Gentiles) returned to the holy land in 1948, the "times of the Gentiles" was not "fulfilled" (Lk. 21:24).

"Now as to what I think about the Palestine situation itself: I think the Jews {nation not desired} need to have a place to go to, but I do not think God is leading them. If God drove the Jews from His land because of their wickedness, because He no longer could tolerate them, then it is certain that He is not leading them back to it now while they are of the same {unconverted} mind and just as hostile against His only Son {Jesus their Messiah} as they were two thousand years ago. The Jews, therefore, are taking the land {since 1948} on their own responsibility, and when the 'times of the Gentiles' (Luke 21:24) end, the new State of Israel, as they call themselves, will then vacate the land much faster {when God's fierce anger comes upon them} than they can now take it, unless they take God {Jesus their Messiah--Isa. 9:6} into the land with them."--2 Timely Greetings, No. 41, pgs. 10, 11 (bold emphasis, braces added).

Since the Jewish people today who descended from ancient Israel are also heathen Gentiles, who now occupy the holy land along with all the other Gentiles, then they cannot be the 144,000 who are sealed from among the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev. 7:4-8). This irrefutable fact proves that the 144,000 must be Christian saints, because the Lord today is not in the business of sealing Gentile heathens (except they be converted); instead, He is sealing the Christians who believe in the "God of the Bible" (the Old and New Testament scriptures)! And since the return of the Jews in 1948 to set up their new State of Israel" did not mean that the "times of the Gentiles was fulfilled" (Lk. 21:24), then it will "be fulfilled" when the Jews and other Gentiles are driven out of the holy land, as noted in the continuation of Zephaniah's prophecy.

TIMES OF GENTILES FULFILLED WHEN THEY ARE DRIVEN FROM THE HOLY LAND

"Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired {the Jews of today}...before the day of the Lord's anger come upon you."--Zephaniah 2:1,2 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"For {when the Lord's anger comes upon you then} Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up. Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! the Word of the Lord is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no {Gentile} inhabitant {when all unconverted Arabs and Jewish Gentiles are driven out}."--Zephaniah 2:4,5 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"The fourth verse {of Zeph. 2} definitely implies that the {Jewish} 'nation' {which was scattered} is to gather together in the cities of Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Ekron, in the land of the Philistines, in the land of Canaan--in Palestine."--1 Timely Greetings, No. 22, pg. 25:3 (bold emphasis, braces added).

Zephaniah predicted that the hated Jews who were scattered would "gather together" (Zeph. 2:1) not only in the Jerusalem area, but also in Palestine and the sea coast cities of "Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Ekron." And since the Jews have not yet possessed these cities, then obviously they must possess them in the near future. And Zephaniah also predicted that the "fierce anger of the Lord" (Zeph. 2:2) shall drive them out of Palestine. This fact proves that it was not Jesus who led the Jews to Palestine in 1948; instead, they went there "on their own responsibility" (2 T.G. 41:11:0) to set up their new State of Israel, which they say is God's kingdom. But they will not stay there much longer, because this "nation not desired" will be driven out of Palestine to make way for God to set up His kingdom there, where the 144,000 Christians will stand on "Mount Sion" (Rev. 14:1) with the "Lamb" (Jesus).

"'And they [the church] shall fall by the edge of the sword {in A.D. 70}, and shall be led away [from the promised land] captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled' (Luke 21:24), the time that the {unconverted heathens and Jewish} Gentiles go out of Jerusalem and the Israelites {144,000 saints} go in."--5 Tract, pg. 111:2 (brackets belong) (bold emphasis, braces added).

"The occupation of the Promised Land by the Gentiles {heathens} today was typified by yesterday's Gentile occupation of it. And when ancient Israel returned from Egypt to the land of promise, the times of the Gentiles in those days were fulfilled. Likewise now when antitypical Israel, the 144,000 guileless servants of God, are sealed and taken to Mt. Zion {after the Jews are driven out}, there to stand with the Lamb {when God's kingdom is being set up--Dan. 2:44}, the 'times of the Gentiles' in these days will be fulfilled."--5 Tract, pgs. 111, 112 (bold emphasis, braces added).

Today, God is sealing His 144,000 Christian saints in the Laodicean church. Soon, the "fierce anger of the Lord" will come upon the Jews, Arabs, and other Gentiles during the next war, and they will be driven from the holy land. Then, the "times of the Gentiles is fulfilled" (Lk. 21:24) while the Gentiles go out of the holy land and the 144,000 saints go in to stand on Mt. Zion with the "Lamb" (Jesus), when God sets up His kingdom in the days of the kingdoms of this world (latter days), which Daniel predicted. (Note: After the study about God's kingdom is discussed, then study of the valley of "dry bones" will continue.)

GOD'S KINGDOM SET UP WHEN GENTILES ARE DRIVEN FROM HOLY LAND

"But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets {Amos 3:7}, and maketh know to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days {time of iron and clay--world of today}."--Daniel 2:28 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image....this image's head was of fine gold {Babylon}, his breasts and arms of silver {Medo-Persia}, his belly and his thighs of brass {Grecia}, his legs of iron {Rome}, his feet part of iron and part of clay {world of today in the latter days}."--Daniel 2:31-34 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"Our position {in the latter days} in the image of Nebuchadnezzar is represented by the {ten} toes {of iron and clay--the world of today}, in a divided state, and of a crumbling material that will not hold together. Prophecy shows us {Seventh-day Adventists} that the great day of God is right upon us. It hasteth greatly."--1 Testimonies, pg. 361:0 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain {by angels} without hands {of men}, and that it brake in pieces the iron {Rome}, the brass {Grecia}, the clay {world of today}, the silver {Medo-Persia}, and the gold {Babylon}; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter {in the latter days--world of today}: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure."--Daniel 2:45 (bold emphasis, braces added).

To learn what the "stone" symbolizes, which "was cut out of the mountain without hands" (not by man but by angels), is it necessary to know first of all what does God's Word say a mountain symbolizes in the "latter days."

"And it shall come to pass in the last days {same as Daniel's latter days}, that the mountain of the Lord's house {church} shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it."--Isaiah 2:2 (bold emphasis, braces added).

This symbolic "mountain" in the "latter days" (Dan. 2:28), as noted in Daniel's prophecy (Dan. 2:45), is interpreted to be "the Lord's house" (church) in the "last days," as noted in Isaiah's prophecy. And since that "mountain" (church) exists today in the latter days or last days, then it must be the seventh candlestick, the last one of the "seven candlesticks"--the Christian churches (Rev. 1:20), because Christ Jesus is standing in "the midst" of them (Rev. 1:13). This last seventh "candlestick" (church) is entitled "Laodicea" (Rev. 3:14), which means "people declaring judgment," and which title identifies it as the Seventh-day Adventist church; because they are the only people who have been declaring judgment since they began in 1844. (If you want to learn more about Laodicea, then click on that study at the end.)

And since the symbolic "stone" is "cut out of the mountain" (Dan. 2:45), which is a church of people, then the "stone," coming from that "mountain" (church), must also be people who are part of that church. The apostle Peter stated that a "stone" not only symbolizes Christ Jesus, but it also symbolizes the saints.

"To whom coming, as unto a living stone {Christ}, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious. Ye also {the saints}, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house {church}, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."--1 Peter 2:4,5 (bold emphasis, braces added).

The "stone" (Dan. 2:45), therefore, must symbolize a group of "lively" saints in God's last church, which is "Laodicea"--the "mountain" (Dan. 2:45) or the "candlestick" (Rev. 3:14), who will be living in the "latter days." They are identified as the 144,000 living saints, which was one of the first doctrinal teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist church since 1844. And since the 144,000 are sealed from the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev. 7:4-8) in the Seventh-day Adventist church (1 S.R. 64:, then their "type" must be Elijah who was an Israelite, and who was translated without seeing death.

ELIJAH A TYPE OF THE 144,000 SAINTS WHO NEVER DIE

"And it came to pass, as they {Elijah and Elisha} still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot {Ps. 104:3} of fire {Dan. 7:9}, and horses {Rev. 19:14} of fire {Isa. 66:15; Ps. 68:17}, and parted them asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind {Ezek. 1:4,26,28} into heaven {Ps. 68:4}."--2 Kings 2:11 (bold emphasis, braces added)

"Now all these things {Elijah translated and never died} happened to them {Israel and Judah} for ensamples {types--see margin}: and they are written for our admonition {God's true Christians} upon whom the ends of the world {the latter days} are come."--1 Corinthians 10:11 (bold emphasis, boldings, braces added).

"Warning, admonition, promise, all are for us {Christians}, upon whom the ends of the world {the latter days--1 T.G. 42:3:3; 9:5} are come."--6 Testimonies, pg. 410:1 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"Elijah was a type of the {144,000} saints who will be living on the earth at the time of the second advent of Christ and who will be 'changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump,' without tasting death. 1 Corinthians 15:51,52."--Prophets and Kings, pg. 227 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"Accordingly, Elijah, an Israelite himself, logically typifies the 144,000."--1 Shepherd's Rod tract, pg. 22:4 (bold emphasis added).

The symbolic "stone," therefore, symbolizes the 144,000 saints sealed in the Seventh-day Adventist church. They will go into the holy land to stand on Mt. Zion (Rev. 14:1) when the "times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (Lk. 21:24), while all the Gentiles (Jews, Arabs, heathens, atheists, etc.) are going out of Palestine. This great event occurs at the time God is setting up His kingdom in the days of the kingdoms of this world (latter days),

"Dan. 2:44--'And in the days of these kings [the toe kings] {while yet alive} shall the God of heaven set up a Kingdom which shall never be destroyed: and the Kingdom shall not be left to other people, but It shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms {can't break them if they are dead}, and It shall stand forever.'"--11 Sym. Code, No. 12, pg. 18 (brackets belong) (bold emphasis, braces added).

"Not a man, not a people or a nation, but the Lord Himself so declares. The prophet {Isaiah} was shown things concerning the Lord's house (church), 'in the last days,'--not in Isaiah's days. The statement 'last days,' in itself leads us to the 'time of the end.' {in the day of the ten toes--latter days}."--1 Timely Greetings, No. 5, pg. 4:2 (bold emphasis, braces added).

It's important to note that God sets up His kingdom while the "ten toes" (Dan. 2:34)--the present day kings (ruling governments) are alive not dead, because that is what this Bible phrase, "in the days of these kings," means. Read this same thought in another Bible text: "And there was a famine in the days of David three years,...and David enquired of the Lord." (2 Sam. 21:1). Any sincere Bible student knows that the phrase "in the days of David" means that David was alive during the famine, because "David enquired of the Lord," which a dead person cannot do. So the same applies to Daniel's prophecy--"in the days of these kings" while they are alive, "shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom" (Dan. 2:44)." And since these kings of the world (ten toes) are still alive when God sets up His kingdom, it means, then, that these wicked people of these kingdoms have not yet been slain by the "brightness" of Christ's second advent (2 Thess. 2:8).

Moreover, Daniel predicted that these wicked kingdoms will be destroyed, because he saw that "a stone...smote the image upon his feet" (Dan. 2:34). But Daniel also saw that God's "kingdom...shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms" (Dan. 2:44). But how can the image be smitten twice? Once by God's "kingdom" (Dan. 2:44), and once again by the "stone" (Dan. 2:34, 45). Anyone knows that after the image is smitten and broken once, there is no longer an image to be smitten again. So the only obvious answer is that the image is not smitten twice but only once; which means that God's literal "kingdom" of people who smite the image (Dan. 2:44) are the same people symbolized by the "stone" (Dan. 2:45)--the 144,000 saints.

"Finally, since the stone, as has been seen, is cut out--the infant kingdom set up--'in the days of these kings' (the toe-kings), not after their days, and since the 144,000 'servants of God' stand on mount Zion (Rev. 14:1), it conclusively follows that the stone kingdom in its beginning {in the latter days} is set up in the Holy Land, while the toe-kings are yet in existence {still alive because Jesus has not come the second time}."--2 Timely Greetings, No. 46, pgs. 30, 31 (bold emphasis, braces added).

RESURRECTION OF DRY BONES AFTER GOD SETS UP HIS KINGDOM

Therefore, it is after God's stone-kingdom has been set up that the "dry bones" (dead bodies) of the saints of the "whole house of Israel" (Ezek. 37:11) will be literally resurrected; which is before the second coming of Christ. And here is the obvious reason why: When Jesus comes He literally resurrects all the dead saints at that time (1 Cor. 15:52), which includes all races of people, not just Israelites. Neither can the event of the resurrected saints (dry bones) occur at the end of the one thousand years, because this literal resurrection of dead people are not the saints, but the wicked "nations" (Rev. 20:8) who will be "devoured" by "fire...from God" (Rev. 20:10). Thus, the conclusion of these irrefutable facts prove that at the time when the "fierce anger of the Lord" (Zeph. 2:3) comes upon the Jews, and they, along with the Arabs and all heathens, atheists, infidels, etc., are driven out of the holy land when the "times of the Gentiles is fulfilled" (Lk. 21:24), then God sets up His kingdom (Dan. 2:44) in the "latter days" (Dan. 2:28), where the living 144,000 saints stand on Mt. Zion (Rev. 14:1). And then the "whole house of Israel" (Ezek. 37:11) will be literally resurrected and brought "into the land of Israel" (Ezek. 37:12)--the kingdom of God (Dan. 2:44). Thus, the resurrected saints of Israel (dry bones) will be a part of the five groups of saints in that kingdom:

"These {5} groups {of saints} are (1) the 144,000, Israelites, the first fruits of the living {saints who never die},...they shall return to Jerusalem, and stand on Mount Sion with the Lamb; (2) those {other living saints who never die} whom John saw, after the sealing of the 144,000,...--the great multitude {living saints} who go to Jerusalem...; (3) those {dead saints} who arise to everlasting life in the {special} resurrection of Daniel 12:2; (4) those Israelites {dry-bone dead saints} who shall come forth in the resurrection of Ezekiel 37:1-14; (5) all {those dead saints} who come in the resurrection of Revelation 20:6 {at Christ's second advent};--collectively, these are all the Israelites and Gentiles who shall return to Jerusalem, possess the promised land, and then the whole earth."--9 Tract, pgs. 65, 66 (bold emphasis, braces added).

WHY IS ISRAEL RESURRECTED BEFORE CHRIST'S SECOND ADVENT?

But why are the dead saints (dry bones) of the "whole house of Israel" (Ezek. 37:11) resurrected before the other dead saints are resurrected at Jesus' second advent? There are several reasons:

1. WHY ISRAEL RAISED--The APOSTLES are JUDGES: "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias shall first come, and restore all things" (Mt. 17:11). The word "restore" means to regenerate: "to renew, rebuild...to bring back to or put back into a former or original state;" and the word "regenerate" means: "to undergo regeneration...to restore to original strength or properties;" and the word "regeneration" means: "renewal or restoration" (Webster's Dict.). And since Adam lost his kingdom of "all things" after he sinned (Gen. 3:6), then that "kingdom" (Dan. 2:44) in the "latter days" (Dan. 2:28) is what Elijah will restore in the "regeneration" of all things. And this is what Jesus promised to the apostles:

"Then answered Peter and said unto Him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed Thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed Me, in the regeneration {restoration of God's kingdom in the last days} when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."--Matthew 19:27,28 (bold emphasis, braces added).

Jesus promised the twelve apostles that after the latter-day kingdom is restored "in the regeneration" (Mt. 19:28) of "all things" (Mt. 17:11), they would sit on "twelve thrones" as judges over the twelve tribes. But Jesus can't keep His promise to them, who are now dead, unless He literally resurrects the "whole house of Israel" (Ezek. 37:11), which would include the apostles, and bring them "into the land of Israel" (Ezek. 37:12). Then the living Jewish apostles would sit on thrones judging the living Israelite saints in God's soon-coming kingdom (Dan. 2:44). Therefore, Jesus' promise to the apostles is one reason why the dead bodies of the saints of Israel (dry bones) must be literally resurrected after God's kingdom is set up. But there is another reason why the saints of Israel are resurrected, because of Jesus' other promise about Abraham:

2. WHY ISRAEL RAISED--ABRAHAM, ISAAC, and JACOB: Jesus told the Jews that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would be seen in God's kingdom, while the wicked Jews would be "cast out" (Mt. 8:11) or "thrust out" (Lk. 13:28).

"And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven {G.C. 347:0}. But the children of the {devil's} kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."--Matthew 8:11, 12 (bold emphasis, braces added).

The "expression, 'the kingdom of heaven,' designates the work of divine grace upon the hearts of men" (G.C. 347:0) on earth, which shows that the work of the "kingdom of heaven" (Mt. 8:11) has been extended to the work on earth. That is why Jesus said in the Lord's prayer, "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven" (Mt. 6:10). This irrefutable fact proves that after God's "kingdom" (Dan. 2:44) has been set up (Dan. 2:44) in the "latter days" (Dan. 2:28), then "Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob" (Mt. 8:11) will be a part of the dry-bone saints of the "whole house of Israel" (Ezek. 37:11) who will be literally resurrected and taken "into the land of Israel" (Ezek. 37:12) to be seen by others. But there is another reason why they are resurrected, because of Jesus' other promise about the wicked:

3. WHY ISRAEL RAISED--WICKED JEWS THRUST OUT: What Jesus told the "ruler of the Synagogue" who "answered with indignation" (Lk. 13:14), also applies to the Scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and other rulers:

"There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye {wicked Jews who crucified their Messiah Jesus} shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God {in the latter days--Dan. 2:28,44}, and you yourselves thrust out."--Luke 13:28 (bold emphasis, braces added).

Jesus said that one day the wicked Jewish rulers who are now dead, will be alive to "see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God" (Lk. 13:28) who have been literally resurrected among the saints of the "whole house of Israel" (Ezek. 37:11). But these wicked rulers will be "thrust out" (Lk. 13:28), and that is why they will weep and gnash their teeth. Since, however, the resurrected Israelites (dry bones) are all saints, then these wicked Israelites cannot be resurrected with them. So how will they be alive to see Abraham? Obviously they must be raised to life again in another resurrection which is known as the special resurrection, because it is different than the other ones; and here is the reason why: All the resurrections in the Bible are either all saints or all sinners, except the special resurrection in which saints and sinners are mixed.

"In this {literal} resurrection {in the valley of dry bones} only God's own people, {the saints in} Israel, arise with no sinner among them. Moreover, these {saints in Israel} do not meet the Lord in the air {1 Thess. 4:17}; they are taken to the land of Israel {Ezek. 37:12}, Palestine. This resurrection {of the dry bones}, therefore, is not the same as the resurrection of 1 Thessalonians {4:16--only the saints at Christ's second advent}, of the Revelation {20:13--only the wicked at the end of the 1000 years}, or of Daniel 12 {saints and sinners mixed}. It {Dan. 12:2,3} must be a separate one {a special resurrection}."--2 Timely Greetings, No. 7, pg. 13:1 (bold emphasis, braces added).

There are several literal resurrections mentioned in the Bible; some individual and some group resurrections. Note some individual resurrections:

(A) Moses was resurrected and appeared with Elijah when Jesus was "transfigured" (Mt. 17:2,3).

(B) An unnamed man was resurrected when his dead body "touched the bones of Elisha" (2 Ki. 13:20,21).

(C) Lazarus (Jn. 11:43,44) and other individuals were resurrected by Jesus (Lk. 7:13-15).

(D) Christ Jesus was resurrected (Mt. 28:6).

Now note the three group resurrections of saints and the one group resurrection of sinners:

(A) ALL SAINTS: At Christ's first advent a group of saints were resurrected after His resurrection (Mt. 27:52, 53).

(B) ALL SAINTS: A group resurrection of all the saints of the "whole house of Israel" (Ezek. 37:11).

(C) ALL SAINTS: At Christ's second advent all the saints that died in the Old Testament era and in the New Testament Christian era (except the saints of Israel who would have already been resurrected), will be resurrected to "meet the Lord in the air" (1 Thess. 4:16,17).

(A) ALL SINNERS: And all the sinners who have already died, and those living when Jesus comes that are killed dead by His "brightness" (2 Thess. 2:8), will be resurrected to live again after the one thousand years; because John said that the "rest of the {wicked} dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished" (Rev. 20:5).

The resurrection in Daniel 12:2, 3, however, is a special resurrection, because it will be composed of saints and sinners mixed together.

MIXED--SAINTS and SINNERS: "And at that time shall Michael {Jesus} stand up, the great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people {saints}: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people {living saints} shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them {saints 'wise' and sinners 'foolish'} that sleep {dead} in the dust {graves} of the earth shall awake {be resurrected to life again}, some {the saints arise} to everlasting life, and some {sinners arise} to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise {saints} shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they {saints} that turn {convert} many to righteousness {in probationary time} as the stars for ever and ever."--Daniel 12:1-3 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"In these three verses {Dan. 12:1-3} several things clearly stand out: (1) Only those {saints} whose names are written in the books are delivered; there are therefore no 'foolish' ones {sinners} among them {living saints}; (2) Those who are resurrected, however, are mixed, both foolish {sinners} and wise {saints} come up; (3) The statement, 'and they that be wise [implying that some be foolish] shall shine as the brightness of the firmament' indicates that these 'wise' ones {saints} are from among the raised; (4) That if the wise are from among the resurrected and turn {convert} many to righteousness, then they {saints} must be resurrected in probationary time, in time of salvation."--2 Timely Greetings, No. 7, pg. 14:1 (brackets [] belong) (bold emphasis, braces {} added).

Daniel predicted that some saints and some sinners who "sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake" (Dan. 2:2) and be raised to life again in this special resurrection during probationary time; which is after God's kingdom has been set up (Dan. 2:44) when the 144,000 stand on Mt. Zion (Rev. 14:1), but before Christ's second advent. These resurrected "wise" saints will continue to teach the truth to others and "turn many to righteousness" (Dan. 12:3), meaning that they accept the truth and are converted to Christ; which proves that the time of probation (when people can "turn" to Christ) has not closed.

The resurrected sinners, however, refuse to "turn" (Dan. 12:3) and be converted, and they arise to continue a life of rebellion against Christ, and go into "shame and everlasting contempt" (Dan. 12:2). Though the Bible does not say who are these resurrected sinners, Jesus identified some of them when He told certain Jewish leaders (Pharisees, Sadducees, priests, and scribes), that they would see "Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God {in the latter days--Dan. 2:28,44}, and you yourselves thrust out" (Lk. 13:28). That is, after God's kingdom is set up in the last days, there will be three specific persons (Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob) seen among the saints of the "whole house of Israel" (Ezek. 37:11), who will be resurrected and brought into that kingdom. And there will be many other saints of Israel seen in that kingdom who are known, and many more who are unknown. To mention a few of the famous among those known (if they were not already resurrected--Mt. 27:52,53; D.A. 833:2) would be Aaron, Miriam, Joseph, Joshua, Elisha, Samson, David, Hezekiah, Josiah, Esther, Daniel (Dan. 12:13) and other prophets, and many other saints of Israel.

And besides all these saints of Israel, Jesus said that Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob will also be seen by the wicked sinners who crucified Him, after they were resurrected in Daniel's special resurrection (Dan. 12:2); and they will be "thrust out" (Lk. 13:28) of the kingdom and finally go into "everlasting contempt" (Dan. 12:2). They will continue to live on until the second advent of Christ and "wail" when they see Him; and be among the "wicked" who are destroyed by His "brightness" (2 Thess. 2:8), as John the Revelator verified:

"Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him {resurrected Pharisees, Sadducees and maybe other Jews and Romans}: and all kindreds of the earth {all the wicked, including those who pierced Him} shall wail because of Him. Even so, amen."--Revelation 1:7 (bold emphasis, braces added).

Note some of the wicked sinners who had a part in the crucifixion of Christ whereby they "pierced Him" (Rev. 1:7) were: Annas, ex-high priest (Jn. 18:13); Caiaphas, high priest (Jn. 18:24); the chief priests and elders (Mt. 27:1); Pilate, Roman governor of Judaea (Lk. 3:1; Jn. 18:28,29); Herod, Tetrarch of Galilee (Lk. 3:1; 23:7); Jewish people (Lk. 23:21,23); and Roman soldiers (Jn. 19:23). This could be a sizeable amount of Jewish and Roman people raised to life again in Daniel's special resurrection; but he does not number them. And since they are wicked sinners, then no matter how many they are, they will all be those whom Jesus said would be "thrust out" (Lk. 13:28) of God's latter-day kingdom.

But why will those who "pierced Him" be resurrected? Obviously as a "test" to show that in spite of their hatred of the Christian religion which they tried to destroy, they see that it has grown tremendously in the latter days. And even though they will see that their lost kingdom (Dan. 2:44) has been restored (Mt. 17:11) in the "latter days" (Dan. 2:28), when the 144,000 Christians stand with Christ Jesus the "Lamb" (Rev. 14:1), they will still refuse to repent and "turn" and be converted to the Messiah whom they rejected and crucified!

"Finally, it plainly appears that this mixed resurrection {of saints and sinners} is a test; that is, they are all given the opportunity to be wise, to turn many to righteousness, but only a part of them do so. Some of them {including the Jews and Romans who crucified Christ} again fall into sin, and therefore they awake to shame and everlasting contempt (everlasting disobedience), but the wise awake to everlasting life, never again to die. This plainly shows that those who give themselves to wickedness up to the time they die, would not turn to righteousness {be converted and be born again} even though they be {resurrected to life again and are} given a second chance {to repent}....Sin is indeed a mystery!"--2 Timely Greetings, No. 7, pg. 15:1 (bold emphasis, braces added).

4. WHY ISRAEL RAISED--THEY CAN REVEAL HISTORICAL DETAILS: There is another reason why the saints of the "whole house of Israel" (Ezek. 37:11) will be literally resurrected from their "graves" (Ezek. 37:13), and brought "into the land of Israel" (Ezek. 37:12). They can tell the living saints--the 144,000 (Rev. 14:1) very much valuable information about certain people who are mentioned in the Bible, and what they did and and for what reason. And they can explain about certain events that occurred in the Bible, and explain them in greater detail to the saints. They can also reveal other people and events which were not mentioned in the Bible, and disclose the mystery of some events. And they can also reveal the location of the ark.

5. WHY ISRAEL RAISED--THEY CAN REVEAL THE LOCATION OF THE ARK: The Bible said that the Lord commanded Moses to make an ark of "shittim wood" (Ex. 25:10) overlaid with "pure gold" (Ex. 25:11), and put in it "the testimony" (Ex. 25:16)--the ten commandments, which the Lord "shall give thee" (Ex. 25:16). Later, the Lord commanded Moses to meet Him on Mt. Sinai (Ex. 24:12,13), and He gave him ten commandments, the "two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God" (Ex. 31:18); and he put them in the ark as he was commanded (Ex. 25:16). That ark stayed in the hands of the children of Israel for many years until Jeremiah predicted that the kingdom of Judah would be overthrown by Babylon. Then it was hidden in a cave, where it is still hidden unto this day.

"Among the righteous {Jews} still in Jerusalem, to whom had been made plain the divine purpose, were some {saints} who determined to place beyond the reach of ruthless hands the sacred ark containing the tables of stone on which had been traced the precepts of the Decalogue. This they did. With mourning and sadness they secreted the ark in a cave, where it was to be hidden from the {sinful} people of Israel and Judah because of their sins, and was to be no more restored to them {the sinners}. That sacred ark is yet hidden. It has never been disturbed since it was secreted."--Prophets and Kings, pg. 453:2 (boldings, braces added).

God's kingdom will be set up when the 144,000 stand on Mt. Zion with the "Lamb" (Jesus), and the "whole house of Israel" (Ezek. 37:11) is literally resurrected and brought "into the land of Israel" (Ezek. 37:12). Then the ark containing the two stones inscribed with the ten commandments will be discovered, if the Israelite saints who secreted the ark in a cave tell the 144,000 exactly where it is located. And once again the kingdom of Israel, when it is restored, will have its sacred ark and with it the ten commandments on two tables of stone. It will be a witness to all the world that the fourth command regarding the Sabbath is not Sunday but the seventh day--Saturday! And besides this, they and other resurrected Israelites can reveal the location of the lost books, if they still exist.

6. WHY ISRAEL RAISED--THEY CAN REVEAL THE LOST BOOKS: The Bible mentions several valuable books that were written about the kings, and prophets, and others, which no one knows where there are. Were they also secreted and preserved as was the ark? These books are listed in Young's Concordance under the subject word "BOOK."

"Among those {books} mentioned in Scripture, but which have not been preserved are:--The Wars of the Lord, Jasher or the Upright, Samuel on the Kingdom, Chronicles of David, Acts of Solomon, Solomon's Natural History, History of the Kings, Samuel the Seer, Nathan the Seer, Shemaiah the Seer, Gad the Seer, Ahijah the Shilonite, Visions of Iddo, Jehu the Son of Hanani, Sayings of the Seers."--Youngs Analytical Concordance To The Bible, pg. 104 (bold emphasis, braces added).

It is obvious that after the dead saints (dry bones) of the "whole house of Israel" (Ezek. 37:11) are literally resurrected from their "graves" (Ezek. 37:13) and brought "into the land of Israel" (Ezek. 37:12), they would be able to tell the living saints (144,000) about these books, and where they are hidden, if they still exist. Then that valuable information would be known by the saints and used not only for their edification, but to enlighten many others (the great multitude--Rev. 7:9) who will be invited (Rev. 18:4) to come into God's kingdom.

CHRISTIANS TELL ISRAEL ABOUT JESUS

The people of Israel knew that someone was to come as a "Prophet," because Moses told them that "The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren (Mt. 1:18), like unto me; unto Him ye shall hearken" (Deut. 18:15). He was not, however, to be any ordinary human prophet, because that "Prophet" is capitalized, as is Lord, God, and Father, which means that He is to be a divine being. They knew that He would be born in "Bethlehem" (Mic. 5:2); and that He would be the "son of David" (Mt. 1:1). They also knew that He would be the "Son of God" (Ps. 2:7); and that He would be called "The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of peace" Isa. 9:6). They also knew from Daniel's prophecy that He would be the "Messiah" (the anointed One) (Dan. 9:26). And since they knew how to identify this "Prophet," but died and never knew who He was, then after their resurrection they would have an intense desire for the Christians in the God's restored kingdom to tell them about that Messiah. So while the Israel saints will tell them about Old Testament prophecies concerning people, events, and the coming Messiah, the Christian saints would tell them about New Testament people, events, and the "Prophet" Messiah--Jesus. What a glorious day that will be for all the resurrected and living saints in God's marvelous kingdom! If you are one of God's saints, and are still living during the next few years, then you will be in that kingdom after it is set up, and see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob!

TO BELIEVE OR NOT TO BELIEVE

There may be some Christians who do not take the "Bible as it reads" (1 S.M. 18:1), because they are not inclined to believe that the "whole house of Israel" (Ezek. 37:11) will be literally resurrected from their "graves" (Ezek. 37:13); and that the "wind" (Ezek. 37:9) and "breath" (Ezek. 37:10) will come into them to make them living souls. But how can they be true Christians if they do not believe that Christ Jesus was literally resurrected from the dead? If He is still dead, then what hope do these Christians have that He will come again the second time? Don't they believe that if they should die, the resurrected Jesus who still lives today, would leave heaven and come to the earth and resurrect them at His second advent? If they can't believe in the Bible about Ezekiel's prophecy of the literal resurrection of Israel, then they would be inclined not to believe the rest of the Bible!

The obvious reason why it is so hard for some Christians to believe in Ezekiel's prophecy, is not so much the literal resurrection of the saints of Israel, but the place where they are to go--"into the land of Israel" (Ezek. 37:12). It is hard for them to believe Daniel's prophecy that God's kingdom (Dan. 2:44) will be "restored" (Mt. 17:11) in the holy land in the "latter days" (Dan. 2:28). Yet, the Bible is clear on this point of truth: If that kingdom is not set up in the holy land, then the saints of Israel cannot be resurrected; because that is the exact place where they are to go after they have been raised to life again. And if these Christians cannot believe that the saints of Israel will not be resurrected to live in God's latter-day kingdom in the "land of Israel" (Ezek. 37:12), then they have no other place or time to put these resurrected saints (as already explained). It should be understood, therefore, that Christians can no more be saved for not believing the "Bible as it reads" (1 S.M. 18:1) about the setting up of God's latter-day kingdom, and His resurrection of the saints of Israel to live in that kingdom, than can the Jews be saved for not believing in Jesus and the New Testament Scriptures!

"FACTS ARE FACTS WHETHER BELIEVED OR NOT" (E.W. 99:2).

If you want to learn more about Laodicea, then click on STUDY.

If you want to learn more about God's latter-day kingdom, then click on STUDY.

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