It’s perfectly fine to “pull scriptures down” into situations that are not precisely the complete fulfillment of their full purpose. Jesus quoted Isa 61 in the temple, and omitted “Day of Vengeance of the Lord”. It wasn’t time for the Day in Vengeance to be called forth, that day in the temple when Jesus stood up to read. And Jesus gets the timing thing.
Paul cited Isa 28 “with men of other tongues” to explain praying in strange tongues, although it is apparent that Isa 28 was first intended to prophesy the incoming invasion of the Babylonians. Both of course represent the invasion of foreign cultures and nations – in our case believers praying in tongues representing the invasion of the Kingdom of God into the earth.
Peter, in Acts 2 cries out the prophecy of Joel 2:29 – the outpouring of God, to describe the upper room event, even though the FULL-fillment of that Joel-prophecy was yet to completely occur – the moon did not turn to blood (Joel 2:31) on the day of Pentecost.
All that said, when the Spirit of the Lord is guiding someone, it is OK to pull down scriptures, in obedience to the Spirit. And that, of course, is guaranteed to offend the religious spirit – which is fine with God.
All THAT said, we also would do well to respect and embrace the actual and original context in which a word from the Lord was first revealed.
Which leads us to Ezekiel.
Here’s most of the children of Israel, in captivity because of their ongoing disobedience, and a bunch of guys (Ezekiel and some likely holy friends) hanging out near the River Chebar, and God decides that one guy in particular is going to receive some powerful revelation (Ezek 3:1 – the word came “expressly to Ezekiel”).
(Now remember Matt 5:17-18 – Jesus told us ALL has to be fulfilled – and goes on to clearly warn us against teaching anything other than that – it can reduce our reward, no matter what the intent of our error).
Note that this prophecy is not to PEOPLE, but rather to PHYSICAL EARTH.
1 “And you, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say, ‘O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD!
2 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Because the enemy has said of you, ‘Aha! The ancient heights have become our possession,'”‘
3 “therefore prophesy, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Because they made you desolate and swallowed you up on every side, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and you are taken up by the lips of talkers and slandered by the people”–
4 ‘therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD! Thus says the Lord GOD (VERY OBVIOUSLY WHO/WHAT HE IS TALKING TO IS NOW LISTED) to the mountains, the hills, the rivers, the valleys, the desolate wastes, and the cities that have been forsaken, which became plunder and mockery to the rest of the nations all around–
5 ‘therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Surely I have spoken in My burning jealousy against the rest of the nations and against all Edom, who gave My land to themselves as a possession, with whole-hearted joy and spiteful minds, in order to plunder its open country.”‘
6 “Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say to the mountains, the hills, the rivers, and the valleys, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I have spoken in My jealousy and My fury, because you have borne the shame of the nations.” (The LAND as well as the people had borne shame for the sins of the people).
7 ‘Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “I have raised My hand in an oath that surely the nations that are around you shall bear their own shame. (Strong stuff, God taking an oath. To whom did He swear? Ans: To Himself and to the reader)
8 “But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come.
9 “For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown.
10 “I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. (ALL the house of Israel, and then duplicated again in confirmation. When God says ALL, He means ALL).
11 “I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bear young; I will make you inhabited as in former times, and do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.
12 “Yes, I will cause men to walk on you (for the EARTH, men walking on it is a good thing. For PEOPLE, men walking on you meant destruction, in Scripture), My people Israel; they shall take possession of you, and you shall be their inheritance; no more shall you bereave them of their children.”
13 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Because they say to you, ‘You devour men and bereave your nation of children,’
14 “therefore you shall devour men no more, nor bereave your nation anymore,” says the Lord GOD.
15 “Nor will I let you hear the taunts of the nations anymore, nor bear the reproach of the peoples anymore, nor shall you cause your nation to stumble anymore,” says the Lord GOD.'”
16 Moreover (MOREOVER – as if that was not enough) the word of the LORD came to me, saying:
17 “Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own ways and deeds; to Me their way was like the uncleanness of a woman in her customary impurity. (God had taken note of every sin of Israel, prior to the captivity)
18 “Therefore I poured out My fury on them for the blood they had shed on the land, and for their idols with which they had defiled it. (This is the God who never changes)
19 “So I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed throughout the countries; I judged them according to their ways and their deeds.
20 “When they came to the nations, wherever they went, they profaned My holy name– when they said of them, ‘These are the people of the LORD, and yet they have gone out of His land.’
21 “But I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations wherever they went.
22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel (which is what the proud Jewish folks were/are inclined to think), but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went.
23 “And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD,” says the Lord GOD, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.
24 “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.
25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
(This next verse is often quoted as being a promise for the recipients of NT salvation, AND THERE’s truth there, but let’s appreciate it in its context – this points to the end times, once Messiah returns, and the people of Israel gaze upon the One whom they have pierced, and accept Him for Who He is)
26 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
28 “Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.
29 “I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you.
30 “And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations.
31 “Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations.
(That is not Jewish guilt: “loathe yourselves”, it is a remembrance, with regret, of the foolishness and madness of sin. Point well made.)
32 “Not for your sake do I do this,” says the Lord GOD, “let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel!”
33 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt.
DRY BONES – all of Chapter 37 – I suggest you read it all – This amazing sequence is often applied to dry and dead saints who are promised restoration by a sovereign work of God. Amen – but I have to see this as what it is – a promise to Israel. Of course if the Lord breathes on these verses for other purpose, run with it. Some notable points are below (beyond Ezekiel’s obedience to prophecy as commanded, and the magic of what he saw in this long-distant vision of mass resurrection)
11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’
12 “Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
We know the dead will rise when the Lord returns. These verses fit. And He is working a special work within the house of Israel. Not enough time to go deep into all that in one already-long blog, but more might be expressed later.
CHAPTER 38 – a good prophetic read. Certainly is HHY (Hasn’t Happened Yet, so it has yet to occur). Gog and Magog, Rosh, etc. can in part be traced to Gen 10:2. At best, educated folks speculate as to the precise nations involved here, but some nations are named by names that are still familiar to us. All this coordinates with Zech 14:2, where the Lord says He will gather ALL nations, so named or not named, the point is well made, with the named being specifically pointed to by God.)
4 “I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws (in like spiritual fashion to how the Babylonians physically, torturously brought many of the Jews into captivity, leading them through the Ishtar Gate, referred to as the Gate of Satan – which Hitler reconstructed in Berlin – you can google that www.google.com), and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords.
5 “Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet;
6 “Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops– many people are with you.
7 “Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them.
8 “After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely.
9 “You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you.”
10 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan:
11 “You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates’–
12 “to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land.
13 “Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?'”‘
14 “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it? (It will infuriate the demonized nations that Israel is in existence, simply trying to live out their lives, in their land).
15 “Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army.
16 “You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.”
17 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days by My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied for years in those days that I would bring you against them?
18 “And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” says the Lord GOD, “that My fury will show in My face.
19 “For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: ‘Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel,
20 ‘so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.’
21 “I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,” says the Lord GOD. “Every man’s sword will be against his brother.
22 “And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.
23 “Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.”‘
Lots is HHY (Hasn’t Happened Yet) – but surely will, confirms our Lord. This post is a cursory look, at best, but it ought to magnify both the charge and the blessing associated with Ps 122 – the saints praying for the peace of Jerusalem. It is KEY to all that has yet to occur, and Jerusalem is Ground Zero for God’s plans of redemption and glory. And His priorities need to be our priorities.
No wonder Zech 2 tells us that offending Israel is like poking our God in His eye.
God owns all the earth (Ps 24:1, and elsewhere) but there’s something special about the LAND of Israel (as well as the people, my people).
2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a sabbath to the LORD.
21 ‘Then I will command My blessing on you in the sixth year, and it will bring forth produce enough for three years.
22 ‘And you shall sow in the eighth year, and eat old produce until the ninth year; until its produce comes in, you shall eat of the old harvest.
23 ‘The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with Me.
Mine Mine Mine, says the Lord. And all that He has promised will occur. We are invited to learn of His plans, press into them, pray into them, and rejoice that His end plan is a good one.
When we pray “Your will be done” it is wisdom to understand as much of His revealed will as possible, so that we can pray with knowledge and understanding, and anticipation, hastening the coming of the Lord.
Jesus (Matt 24:29), says that “IMMEDIATELY” after some wild events, He will appear. Immediately means not 2,000 years later. In the dictionary “immediately” means immediately. All the prophecies of tough stuff happening were not fulfilled in the first century. Some were partially filled, obviously.
My flesh sort of wishes all the tough stuff would have happened already – that Nero was the complete and final Mr. 666. But too much did NOT happen back between 33AD and 100AD for us to happily check everything off. Like Ezekiel, for instance. Or Zechariah.
The joy of the Lord is our strength, always. His yoke is easy and His burden is light, always. We move forward into the world loving the lost, repairing the breaches, bringing hope to the world, always. And we embrace the whole word of God, always.