Praise the Lord – our God is recovering us both inwardly and outwardly, so that He may give us His Spirit, breathe Himself into us, enliven us, and make us His corporate expression! Amen!
This week in our morning revival we continue our Crystallization-Study of Ezekiel with an in-depth study of Ezekiel 37; the title for this week is, The Dry Bones being Enlivened to Become an Exceedingly Great Army and the Two Pieces of Wood Being Joined Together for the Building of the House of God.
Ezekiel starts with a stormy wind, which many times in our spiritual experience brings in a dissatisfaction concerning our spiritual condition, making us restless concerning our spiritual situation.
We need such a wind to come and make us both restless and open so that we may be what God desires – a house for Himself, a building that is His corporate expression on earth.
For this, there needs to be not merely individuals but saints, God’s people, a corporate Israel, that speaks what God speaks, and as a result, God blows His wind (as He did in Ezek. 37), and life comes in to enliven us, resuscitate us, revive us, until we all rise up from our grave and stand up on our feet to become an army, a great army for His interest on earth.
The Lord really wants to blow with His breath of life, the living breath, so that all His people would be made alive and formed together as an army for His interest.
We need to pray this into our experience; we need to not only understand and mentally agree, but pray all these things before the Lord that He would make it our real experience today in the Lord’s recovery, right now.
I was really encouraged by the prayer right at the beginning of the message, which brother Minoru prayed, something along these lines,
Lord, may the Spirit of Jehovah be with us; may the Spirit of life, the Spirit of reality, the Spirit of power, the Spirit that is Your very presence, be with us all the time. May the word of Jehovah be with us; may the word of revelation, the word of Your burden, the word of Your living commandments come upon us, be breathed into us, and be inscribed into every part of our being. Oh Lord, may the hand of Jehovah be upon us; may the hand of the Almighty be one with us, and may His authority be with us in every way. Amen, Lord, we prophesy to the Spirit – come from the four winds, oh breath! Come oh Spirit and breathe upon these ones that they may live! Blow away all deadness, all coldness, all indifference, and all lethargy! Lord, blow Yourself into us! Revive us, renew us, snatch us out of our grave, lift us up onto our feet, and make us the living great army of God to fight for Your interest on the earth! Amen, Lord, do it in us: may Your work and Your will be done according to Your word among us today!
The Four Main Sections of Ezekiel and the Three Great Ezekiel Chapters in the Bible
The book of Ezekiel has four main sections, and each section contains one crucial point.
The first section – composed of chapter 1 of Ezekiel – speaks of the glorious vision of God and reveals the holy God in His glory. This chapter is unique in the Bible, and it describes in a mysterious yet marvelous way our glorious God and our holy God, and how He gains a corporate expression in man in glory.
The second section – composed of chapters 2 through 32 of Ezekiel – speaks of God’s judgment to deal with all things and matters that don’t match His righteousness, His holiness, and His glory. In this section God comes into to judge everything that doesn’t correspond to His nature among His people Israel and among the Gentiles.
Whatever is incompatible with His nature, He judges; this section is full of God’s judgment on Israel and on the nations.
The third section – composed of chapters 33 through 39 of Ezekiel – speak concerning God’s recovery of a remnant of His people. As God comes in to judge, He remembers His covenant of grace, and He therefore preserves a group of His elect, and He brings them back to their own land.
The main idea in this section is the Lord’s recovery of His people according to His covenant.
The fourth section – composed of the last chapters, Ezekiel 40 through 48 – speaks of God coming to build His people (who were recovered by Him) into His dwelling place. The concluding section of Ezekiel speaks of God’s glory in His building, the recovery of His corporate expression on earth in His people – His building.
In the book of Ezekiel there are three chapters that can be considered great chapters in the entire Bible, each chapter speaking of one particular matter: Ezekiel 1 speaks of fire, Ezekiel 37 speaks of breath, and Ezekiel 47 speaks of water.
Fire, breath, and water are spoken of in many other places in the Bible, but in these three chapters they are spoken of in a unique way and in a detailed way.
The Bible speaks of God being a consuming fire, but Ezekiel 1 gives us details of how God is a fire, burning in the electrum, burning as fire among and through the living creatures.
Similarly, John 4 and 7, and Rev. 22 speak about water, but in Ezekiel 47 water is mentioned in a very peculiar and wonderful way – the water flows from under the house of God, the level of water increases, and this water brings life wherever it flows.
Furthermore, in John 20 the Lord breathed into His disciples the Holy Spirit, and in Gen. 1 God breathed into Adam the breath of life, but Ezek. 37 speaks concerning God’s breath in a very specific and wonderful way.
The breath of God spoken of in Ezek. 37 is God’s Spirit coming into us to enliven us that we may become a corporate body, formed into an army, to be built up as God’s dwelling place.
This is wonderful! It is wonderful to see how unique the book of Ezekiel is, and to be enlightened concerning God as fire, God as the breath of life, and God as the living water, all issuing in the building of God, the corporate expression of God!
God is Inwardly and Outwardly Recovering us to give us His Spirit and Renew us
Our God is not only life, light, holiness, and righteousness, and He is not only a loving, merciful, almighty, omnipotent, and creating God; our God is a God of recovery – He is a recovering God.
He created us, He called us, He sought us, He redeemed us, He regenerated us, and He imparted His life into us; all these should be good enough, but we keep failing, we keep rejecting Him, and we keep going astray from Him…so He comes in to recover us.
He doesn’t give up on us, He doesn’t “throw us in the bin” or “throw in the towel” – He simply comes in to recover us.
In Ezek. 33-37 we see a description of God’s recovery of His people in many aspects and details. In Ezek. 34 we see the Lord coming as a Shepherd to seek us, His people who are now lost sheep, to bring us back to Christ as our good land to enjoy Him in rest and peace.
In Ezek. 36 He recovers us, His people, not only outwardly but also inwardly – He gives us a new heart and a new spirit, and He puts His Spirit into us. Furthermore in Ezek. 37 the Lord comes to revive His dead and scattered people and to make them one.
We need the Lord’s recovery not only in one aspect but in many aspects and many ways; He recovers us outwardly and inwardly, He seeks for us to bring us back to Himself, and He imparts Himself into us to make us one with Him.
Even when we’re dead and without any hope – which is the case with so many brothers and sisters scattered all throughout Christianity on earth today – the Lord comes in as the breath of life to enliven us, resuscitate us, and bring us to life, to make us a great army fighting for His interest, and to make us one.
Because many of His people are driven away and scattered like sheep, the Lord comes in as the Shepherd. Because His people’s inward condition is unclean and old, He gives them a new heart and a new spirit, and He imparts His Spirit into them. Because His people have become like dead, dry bones, He comes in as the breath of life to enliven them and join them together.
How we thank the Lord for coming to us where we are – even in our low situation and condition – to recover us back to Himself, back to His original purpose, so that we may become His building, His corporate expression on earth!
He recovers us outwardly and inwardly so that we may obtain His Spirit and be regenerated and renewed to be the army fighting for His interest in oneness.
Outwardly He shepherds us and brings us into the church life to enjoy Him as our good pasture; inwardly He renews our heart and spirit, and He imparts His Spirit into us, so that we may be enlivened and empowered to be the corporate new man that He needs for the fulfillment of His purpose.
Thank You Lord for recovering us outwardly and inwardly so that we may obtain Your Spirit and be regenerated, renewed, enlivened, and made one with You and the saints to be the corporate man You desire to have for the fulfillment of Your purpose. Thank You Lord for being our Shepherd caring for us and bringing us back to Yourself as our good pasture, and back to the church life as the proper place for us to feed on the all-inclusive Christ. Thank You Lord for giving us a new heart and a new spirit, and for imparting Your Spirit into our spirit. Lord, keep us in Your recovery until we become what You desire, the one new man that fulfills Your eternal purpose!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by Minoru Chen for this week, and portions from, Life-study of Ezekiel, msg. 18 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-study of Ezekiel (2), msg. 1 (week 13 in the HWMR), The Dry Bones being Enlivened to Become an Exceedingly Great Army and the Two Pieces of Wood Being Joined Together for the Building of the House of God.
- Hymns on this topic:
# “I will impart My laws into their mind,” / Our covenanting God revealed to mankind; / “I will inscribe My laws upon their heart,” / God’s highest law of life in us to impart. / Christ is the title-deed of all God is; / Christ is a testament with all its bequests; / Now the New Testament is ours to claim, / As we, in spirit, call upon His name. (Song on the new covenant blessings)
# Jesus, our wonderful Shepherd / Brought us right out of the fold / Into His pasture so plenteous, / Into His riches untold. / Glorious church life, / Feasting from such a rich store! / Here where we’re dwelling in oneness / God commands life evermore. (Hymns #1221)
# Breathe Thou, O Lord, on me, / My drooping spirit raise; / Deliver me from fear and death / Into Thy life of praise. (Hymns #842)
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