We are living in a day when God’s people are being gathered together under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him. II Thessalonians 2:1. The Body of Christ is being formed and prepared for ministry. This is a unique time. No generation has ever walked in what God is preparing and bringing forth. We are in a transition period, and we are becoming kings and priests unto God (Revelation 1:6). The Body of Christ will be kings in that they will minister the rule and reign of our great King the Lord Jesus Christ. They will be priests because they will also have the ministry of presenting people unto God. I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. II Corinthians 11:2.
At the present time God’s people are scattered. They are found among many various church organizations. The Spirit of Christ prophesied through David saying, All my bones are out of joint (Psalm 22:14). He was speaking of the members of the Body of Christ. In the 34th chapter of Ezekiel the Lord speaks of how His sheep have been scattered by false ministries.
Ezekiel 34:1-6 And the Word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?
3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.
4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.
5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beast of the field, when they were scattered.
6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, My flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.
In the remainder of chapter 34 God speaks of the judgment He will bring upon the false shepherds. He also speaks of how He will bring His sheep out from under them and will set up one Shepherd (Jesus Christ) over them. The following verses tell what God will do for His sheep after He delivers them from the false shepherds.
Ezekiel 36:24-28 For I will take you from among the heathen, and
gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
27 And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them.
28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God.
Ezekiel’s prophecy reaches into our day. It is prophetic of God gathering His scattered sheep and bringing them under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Then God says that He will give them a new heart and will put a new spirit within them. He will put His Spirit within them and enable them to walk in His Word. In other words, God is going to create the many-membered Body of Christ.
If we really hear what the Lord is speaking in these verses, it will be a tremendous revelation to our hearts. When He says that He will put His Spirit in us so that we may walk in His statutes, keep His judgments and do them, and that we will be His people and He will be our God, He is speaking of a relationship beyond what the church has known. It is a relationship that will be created as He brings forth the Body of Christ.
Revelation 21:3 Behold, the Tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.
This is what God is looking for. He wants a people in whom He can dwell, a people He can flow through as He brings forth His will and His Kingdom. How is the Lord going to perform this? He has spoken, but how is it performed? How is the Body of Christ created? In chapter 34 of Ezekiel He reveals the state of today’s church. His sheep are scattered. Then He says that He will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered (Ezekiel 34:12). Then in chapter 36 of Ezekiel He says that He will take those sheep that were once scattered and put His Spirit in them. In other words, they will become the Body of Christ, the place of His dwelling. In chapter 37 of Ezekiel He tells how He will perform it.
Ezekiel 37:1-2 The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out
in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was
full of bones,
2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.
These are the bones that the Spirit of Christ prophesied through David saying, All My bones are out of joint (Psalm 22:14). God’s sheep are not only scattered but they haven’t been fed and taken care of. They are like dry bones in an open valley.
Ezekiel 37:3 And He said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, Thou knowest.
Notice that Ezekiel is called “son of man.” Jesus is called the Son of man in the Gospels. Thus Ezekiel is a type of Christ. He represents the foundation ministries of the Body of Christ, those ministries in Ephesians 4:11 who have the responsibility of building up the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13).
The Lord asked Ezekiel, “Can these bones live?” Ezekiel looked at those dry bones with no life in them at all, and said, “O Lord God, Thou knowest.”
Ezekiel 37:4 Again He said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord.
The Lord said unto Ezekiel, Prophesy upon these bones. The prophetic Word will be the means by which God creates the Body of Christ. Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord! What is the first commandment? Is it And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength (Mark 12:30)? That is part of it. It begins this way: Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart… Hear, O Israel! O ye dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord! First, there must be the capacity to hear the Word of the Lord. So the first ministry to the scattered sheep is creating the ears that can hear the Word of the Lord.
37:5-10 Thus saith
the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath (spirit) to enter
into you, and ye shall live:
6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath (spirit) in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall now that I am the Lord.
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.
8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath (spirit) in them.
9 Then said He unto me, Prophesy unto the wind (spirit), prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath (spirit), and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath (spirit) came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
The prophetic Word creates the Body of Christ. Notice that the Word of God that creates this exceeding great army is not a voice that booms out of heaven. It is spoken by an Ezekiel company. The Body of Christ is built upon the foundational ministries of apostles and prophets. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22. Without these ministries the Body of Christ will not be formed.
Ezekiel 37:11-13 Then He said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the
whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is
lost: we are cut off for our parts.
12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O My people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
13 And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up out of your graves.
God’s sheep were spiritually dead until they heard the Word of the Lord; they were dry bones. This is the beginning of resurrection life. It is what Jesus spoke of when He said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. John 5:25.
When the apostles went forth in the Book of Acts their primary ministry was the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But they did not try to convince people that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Instead they ministered the resurrection life of the Lord. The Word they ministered carried the resurrected life of Jesus Christ. The presence of the resurrected Lord flowed through them to those who heard their Word.
And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves. The prophetic Word of the Lord brings His sheep under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The primary ministry of our day is “our gathering together unto Him.” We beseech you, brethren, and by our gathering together unto Him. II Thessalonians 2:1. The living Word spoken by a prophetic company ministers the presence of the Lord and gathers us together under His Lordship.
Ezekiel 37:14 And shall put My Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.
The Lord has spoken it and He will perform it. What we must realize is that He doesn’t do it by Himself. He has chosen to involve us in accomplishing His will. If what the Lord is going to do in creating the Body of Christ is a revelation to our hearts, then that revelation carries with it the responsibility of executing His Word. We have the responsibility of prophesying the will of God, as Ezekiel did, and gathering His scattered sheep under His Lordship. Proclaim the Word of the Lord! Prophesy to the dry bones. O ye dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord! Prophesy until those dry bones become an exceeding great army.
Copyright © 2003 by Henry DuBose