Thus says the LORD God; “I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the heathen, wherever you went.”
Continuing: Friends, the LORD doesn’t act because of our righteousness, neither can we force him to act by our works. The LORD works and moves as it agrees with His plan and purpose, showing His glory.
22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus says the LORD God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the heathen, whither you went.
23 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which you have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, says the LORD God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
24 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 you 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 you shall keep my judgments, and do them.
28 And you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
29 I will also save you from all your uncleanness: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.
30 And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that you shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen.
31 Then shall you remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.
32 Not for your sakes do I this, says the LORD God, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.
33 Thus says the LORD God; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be built.
34 And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by.
35 And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.
36 Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.
37 Thus says the LORD God; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock.
38 As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
Those who have been reading along should recognize and understand all the scriptural allusions contained above, which we have studied in much detail. As we also know, the means to getting to this place which will become as Eden: the fenced and protected garden of heavenly New Jerusalem, are written in Ezekiel 37. Therein we read of all God’s people rising from the dead and becoming one rod in the hand of David, the beloved, with the same character traits, raised up from obscurity to repair the breach and unit the body of Christ.
Friends, God’s Elect, the dead body of Christ, led into death by its blind leaders and false prophets (in church and state), cannot and will not rise by the words of this same old dead wood and dumb rocks. These men should be repenting for the abominations they have brought into the holy place, and fed to the holy people making them weak and desolate. Instead of repenting and asking for God’s mercy, they continue to rebel against His plan, hoping to preach their way around Him while they continue to build their own kingdoms. They refuse to accept the fact they are the ruins upon which God will build His city, and the people they preach to are the ashes from the fires of idolatry, from which God will create the new man.
18 What profits the graven image that the maker thereof has graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trust therein, to make dumb idols?
19 Woe unto him that says to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.
20 But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.
1 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.
3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O LORD God, you know.
4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O you dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.
5 Thus says the LORD God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and you 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 in you, and you shall live; and you shall know 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 in them.
9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus says the LORD God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
11 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 says 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 you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
14 And shall put my spirit in you, and you shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall you know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, says the LORD.
15 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
16 Moreover, you son of man, take you one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and for all the house of Israel his companions:
17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in your hand.
18 And when the children of your people shall speak unto you, saying, Will you not shew us what you meanest by these?
19 Say unto them, Thus says the LORD God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.
20 And the sticks whereon you writes shall be in your hand before their eyes.
21 And say unto them, Thus says the LORD God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:
22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.
23 Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling-places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.
24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.
25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.
26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.
27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.
Friends, these men, preaching, teaching, and leading God’s people, are rebels unwilling to subordinate themselves to God’s will. They call Him LORD while they reject and oppose Him, and the worst of them vilify and demonize this work of His Holy Spirit. The word of God doesn’t say in vain that these men will hold God’s people down (katecho), until they are taken out of the way (see 2 Thessalonoians 2:7). These are the idols spoken of above in Ezekiel 36:25 thru 27, that we must be cleansed from, so the LORD himself can teach us, and put His spirit in us. “25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and you 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 you shall keep my judgments, and do them.”
As we have seen, the way this is accomplished isn’t through the same old corrupted ways and ideas. It is by God’s word flowing directly from Him, from His throne and the Lamb’s, to then be delivered as it is received. These men refuse this rest and refreshing because they don’t like the message because it exposes them. They call on others to repent and be forgiven, while at the same time rejecting the same calls sent directly to them from God. They would rather justify themselves among themselves, and condemn God.
14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
15 For he said to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
16 So then it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy.
17 For the scripture says unto Pharaoh [these men who hold God’s people captive], Even for this same purpose have I raised you up, that I might shew my power in you, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
18 Therefore has he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardens.
19 You will say then unto me, Why does he yet find fault? For who has resisted his will?
20 Nay but, O man, who are you that replies against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why have you made me thus?
21 Has not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?
22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
24 Even us, whom he has called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
25 As he says also in Hosea, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, You are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.
27 Isaiah also cries concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:
28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the LORD make upon the earth.
29 And as Isaiah said before, Except the LORD of Sabaoth [hosts – the armies of heaven] had left us a seed, we had been as Sodom, and been made like unto Gomorrah.
30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.
32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling-stone;
33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling-stone and rock of offence: and whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed.
Again, verses 32 & 33 above quote from Isaiah 28:16, which comes in the midst of describing those who are rejecting God’s teaching. The chapter tells of these men’s teaching as a covenant with death, and in agreement with Sheol, this world as the habitation of ALL the dead. The description is of what Ezekiel sees as a valley of dead bones. Isaiah 28:9 asks the question who shall the LORD teach knowledge, and answers it saying it is those who have been weaned from what these men have been feeding them.
1 Corinthians 13
8 Charity never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13 And now abides faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
This is God’s purpose, to bring understanding to what has been as an unknown tongue, precept upon precept, line upon line. Revealing the meaning of what must be known and learned, is so we can put away the childish ignorance, receiving His teaching after realizing we are in such a childish state. This connection and understand is why Paul quotes from Isaiah 28:11 in 1 Corinthians 14:21, saying the teaching is to unbelievers and the ignorant as if by stammer lips of another tongue. Not understanding is the sign of unbelief, as Isaiah 28:12 says, telling of these men being unable to hear the LORD, and later in verse 19 saying the only vexation is to understand the report.
1 John 4
1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
2 Hereby know you the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
3 And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you [Jesus Christ (One God) in your flesh], than he that is in the world.
5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world hears them.
6 We are of God: he that knows God hears us; he that is not of God hears not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
Isaiah 28 [to the drunkards leading and teaching God’s people]
5 In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,
6 And for a spirit of judgment to him that sits in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.
7 But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.
8 For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.
9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith you may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
14 Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, you scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
15 Because you have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
16 Therefore thus says the LORD God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believes shall not make haste.
17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with Sheol shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then you shall be trodden down by it.
19 From the time that it goes forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.
Peter, in 1 Peter 2:6, also quoted Isaiah 25:16, as he speaks to those who are now receiving the end of their faith, even that salvation of their souls. When the LORD is called by the name Jesus Christ, it is telling of Jehovah’s Salvation by His (one and only one) Spirit in us making us His children by joining us into His (One) family.
1 Peter 1
2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
8 Whom having not seen, you love; in whom, though now you see him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
15 But as he which has called you is holy, so be you holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be you holy; for I am holy.
17 And if you call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
18 Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
20 Who truly was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
22 Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that you love one another with a pure heart fervently:
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides for ever.
24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower thereof falls away:
25 But the word of the LORD endures for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
1 Peter 2
1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking,
2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby:
3 If so be you have tasted that the LORD is gracious.
4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
5 You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believes on him shall not be confounded.
7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should shew forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;
10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
1 Fret not yourself because of evildoers, neither be you envious against the workers of iniquity.
2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shall you dwell in the land, and truly you shall be fed.
4 Delight yourself also in the LORD: and he shall give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
6 And he shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noonday.
7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass.
8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not yourself in any wise to do evil.
9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, you shall diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
12 The wicked plots against the just, and gnashes upon him with his teeth.
13 The LORD shall laugh at him: for he sees that his day is coming.
14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.
15 Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.
16 A little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholds the righteous.
18 The LORD knows the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.
19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
20 But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.
21 The wicked borrows, and pays not again: but the righteous show mercy, and gives.
22 For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.
23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delights in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholds him with his hand.
25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
26 He is ever merciful, and lends; and his seed is blessed.
27 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.
28 For the LORD loves judgment, and forsakes not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.
30 The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of judgment.
31 The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
32 The wicked watches the righteous, and seeks to slay him.
33 The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.
34 Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt you to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.
35 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.
36 Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.
37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.
39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.
40 And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.