Sermon by Pastor Jim Jester
February 12, 2023
SCRIPTURE READING: Ezekiel 14:13-14
Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it: 14 Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord GOD.
If anyone believes that a nation is not held accountable for its corporate sin, let this passage of Scripture set him straight. A nation does sin, and that nation pays for the sin it commits. We really have not seen, as yet, the retribution God will place upon America for its disobedience. But there are many signs: extreme weather, cyber threats and hints of nuclear war.
The background to Ezekiel’s prophetic ministry is Judah’s apostasy following the death of the last good king, Josiah, in 609 B.C. From that time on Judah’s kings seemed to go out of their way to avoid righteousness, and the kingdom rapidly declined. Sounds like the present national administration in America, 2023, does it not?
Ezekiel the prophet was carried into the Babylonian captivity early in the siege of Jerusalem around 597 BC. He received his prophetic gift while in Babylon and continued to prophesy about 22 years, to the 14th year after the destruction of Jerusalem. He was a priest and one might assume that he was from the tribe of Levi. His exile had deprived Ezekiel of his priestly ministry, but God graciously gave him the prophetic ministry of which his book is the record.
PERSONIFICATION OF JERUSALEM
In chapter 16 of Ezekiel, God speaks about Jerusalem as if the city were a person. There is no need to spiritualize this to mean something else, as many commentators do because they don’t like the meaning intended. The meaning here is clearly racial. God said the city had its origin in uncleanness.
3 Thus saith the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite. 5 None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the loathing of thy person in the day that thou wast born. (Eze. 16:3 & 5)
Who, in this day, would think that the Bible uses racial slurs? But here is a definite negative connotation in the words Amorite and Hittite. This is like us today saying, “You’re a Judas” (meaning you’re a traitor); or, “You’re a Jezebel” (meaning a wicked woman). Yes, a racial slur at the city of Jerusalem.
In time, as the city grew, God said, “Then washed I thee with water; yea, I throughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil.” (Eze. 16:9) God is still talking about the city born unclean, but now bathed and anointed — now clean. The “water” that washed Jerusalem was the family of God and the Law, because the Israelites had occupied the promised land.
Furthermore, God states about this racial infusion:
10 I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers’ skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk. 11 I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck. 12 And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head. 13 Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom. 14 And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD. (Eze. 16:10-14)
Thus a portrait of the city of Jerusalem at full glory, perhaps during King Solomon’s reign, when the city had reached the apex of its beauty, fame, wealth and culture. A status of royalty prevailed as a kingdom because God had lavished His blessings upon her. Here is simply God’s glory being poured out upon a city or a nation when God’s children are in harmony with Him.
However, the glory ends as the obedience of His children ends. From the 15th verse to the end of this chapter, God tells how this magnificent city played the harlot, lost all her fine food, beautiful jewels, embroidered cloth, and even their sons and daughters — a complete full circle, to the statement, “…Your mother was an Hittite, and your father an Amorite.” (Eze. 16:45)
The city where God put His dwelling place was again the unclean place of its beginning. The very next verse says:
46 And your elder sister is Samaria, who lived with her daughters to the north of you; and your younger sister, who lived to the south of you, is Sodom with her daughters. 47 Yet you were not content to walk in their ways, or do according to their abominations; within a very little time you were more corrupt than they in all your ways. (Eze. 16:46-47, RSV)
Samaria was a land of half-breeds, and Sodom was a land of every sexual abomination; yet God’s children in Jerusalem acted worse than the heathens of Samaria and Sodom overall. Can you believe it? Isn’t it clear that this story of Jerusalem is just like America today? We once, on the national scale, were blessed by the goodness of our God, but now look at our national wickedness!
Schumer Calls for Amnesty for Illegals
“Now more than ever, we’re short of workers,” Schumer said. “We have a population that is not reproducing on its own with the same level that it used to.”
“The only way we’re going to have a good future in America is if we welcome and embrace immigrants, the Dreamers, and all of them, ’cause our ultimate goal is to help the Dreamers but get a path to citizenship for all 11 million or however many undocumented there are here, and we will be pursuing that in the next Senate, the comprehensive immigration reform.”
Last year, Schumer joined with the Anti-Defamation League in calling for Tucker Carlson to be de-platformed for spreading the “anti-Semitic” and “racist lie” of “replacement theory,” otherwise known as the Great Replacement.
“Proponents of this white nationalist, far-right conspiracy theory believe that a complicit or cooperative class of elites are advancing a plot designed to undermine the political power and culture of white Americans,” Schumer wrote in a letter for Fox News CEO Rupert Murdoch. “For years, these types of beliefs have existed at the fringes of American life. However, this pernicious theory, which has no basis in fact, has been injected into the mainstream thanks in large part to a dangerous level of amplification by your network and its anchors. I implore you to immediately cease all dissemination of false white nationalist, far-right conspiracy theories on your network.”
“This is literally the Great Replacement, clearly outlined by Chuck Schumer,” Matt Walsh commented. [And I agree with Matt. What Schumer is proposing is in contradiction to his lie that a Replacement is not intended.]
“If Chuck Schumer is so concerned about the reproduction of Americans, then he should adamantly oppose abortion,” commented Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). “That’s 63 million Americans, which is far greater than 11 million illegal aliens.”
Interestingly, though Schumer is one of the top proponents of abortion in America, he actually is strongly opposed to abortion in Israel.
And of course, immigration goes hand in hand with Critical Race Theory, and other abominations to our God, such as the murder of babies.
The Satanic Temple to Open Health Clinic (Feb. 1, 2023, Fox News)
The Satanic Temple is opening a health clinic in New Mexico to provide “free religious medication abortion” and will name the facility “The Samuel Alito’s Mom’s Satanic Abortion Clinic” in mockery of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who authored the opinion overturning Roe v. Wade. [My comment: In other words, your mom should have aborted you, and then your decision would not exist.]
TST Health, the new medical services arm of the non-theistic religious organization, will provide Telehealth screenings and appointments to provide abortion pills to patients. These services will be provided free of charge as part of The Satanic Temple’s “abortion ritual,” [Added comment: A destruction ritual that serves as a protective rite — “Its purpose is to cast off notions of guilt, shame, and mental discomfort that a patient may be experiencing due to choosing to have a legal and medically safe abortion.” The group said its goal is not to convince a woman to have an abortion, but rather to “assist in affirming their decision and to ward off the effects of unjust persecution, which can cause one to stray from the paths of scientific reasoning and free will that Satanists strive to embody.”]
The facility was named for Justice Alito's mother because Alito wrote the majority opinion, which overturned Roe v. Wade and held that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. [which is true]
Yes, what a contrast it is today compared to the America once blessed of God in the past. Aren’t we like Jerusalem, being judged more degenerate than Samaria and Sodom? Are Americans oblivious to the fact that God blessed our nation far beyond the others, just as His people occupied the Promised Land? Our nation came to full glory and was the hope of the world — “a shining city on a hill.” Is it any wonder that Paul wrote to the Romans with this hope; “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” (Rom. 8:19) So the whole earth waits for the announcement that we, the White Anglo-Saxon race are indeed the literal sons of God.
God is asking His people, “Have you had enough, America?” Have you had enough of integration, enough of child molestation, enough of violence, enough of jewish tyranny? If you have, then repent and… “I will bring you out from the peoples” (Eze. 20:34, RSV) There is coming a day when God will segregate His people from the aliens.
Ezekiel’s vision of the valley (or plain) of dry bones is a picture of Judah’s redemption and restoration. This vision is symbolic of the resurrection of the dead in Christ, but not a literal resurrection of dead flesh.
The notion that the very bones of the dead are to be pieced together and clothed with flesh, that the scattered dust of corpses is to be gathered from the four quarters of the earth, that the very same animal organism that once lived and died and decayed or was devoured by worms shall be built up again, is a coarse, degrading idea. It gives no suggestion of a future exalted, spiritual life. It is beset with monstrous difficulties when we look at it in the light and facts of nature. If this conception of the resurrection be set forth as the only Christian idea, men will not accept it, and the glorious hope of any resurrection or future life at all will be endangered. But this idea is quite contrary to the profound teaching of St. Paul, who says expressly, “Thou sowest not that body that shall be,” (I Cor. 15:37) and “Flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven” (I Cor. 15:50). The Bible teaches the resurrection of the dead,but not the resurrection of flesh.The old, coarse, impossible notion has no support in the passage before us. We have here a symbolic vision, and it is no more to be taken literally than the illustration of the two sticks that follows. Still, as a figure and an image it is strikingly suggestive of the future resurrection. He who restores nations and souls by quickening grace will also awaken them that sleep in Jesus, and raise them up, a glorious army redeemed from death. (Pulpit Commentary)
The vision is also a picture of lost mankind — so totally dead in sin that there is nothing they can do to revive from their spiritually dead condition. Left to themselves, and totally lost without God, they are helpless.
PREACHING TO DRY BONES
Ezekiel beholds the dismal sight of the valley of dry bones. It is a scene of silent desolation. No picture of death could be more complete — only bones, no flesh. The vultures have picked them clean. The bones are dry — they have been left to bleach in the sun. They are not even lying in their natural order as complete skeletons — they are scattered about. Was there ever a scene of more perfect and utter deadness? Yet the prophet is required to preach to these dry bones!
What is most remarkable is that the preaching is effective. An awful scene is witnessed — the bones shake and move and fit themselves together, and flesh, sinews, and skin cover them. This is a great encouragement for the preacher. Some audiences are almost like Ezekiel’s valley. They are cold, dead, and completely indifferent. These people indeed, are like dry bones.
The preacher despairs of doing any good to them; and as long as he despairs he will do no good. If Ezekiel had not been endued with obedience and faith, he would not have taken the trouble to preach to the bones; and then the great resurrection would not have taken place. It is our duty to preach (or witness) to all. It is God who brings the result and raises the spiritually dead.
Note that Ezekiel was speaking as God’s messenger and in His power. This is the only preaching that will succeed with the indifferent. The preacher to the godless must be a prophet. He must speak God’s truth in God’s strength. This stirs dry bones.
PREACHING TO THE WIND
Ezekiel had a measure of success; and a wonderful success it appeared to be. The bones fitted themselves together and were clothed with flesh. But still, they were not alive. They are still corpses. Remember, this is a valley of death.
Now, the first preaching has done its work. It is useless to repeat it. A new thing must be tried — as Pentecost, when the wind of the Spirit of God came upon the apostles, and others said, “they are full of new wine.” Ezekiel must prophesy to the wind to breathe on the slain, and make them live. When he does so, the wind comes, and there stands up a great army of living men.
The wind is here regarded as the power of life. It is typical of the Spirit of God (Jn. 3:8). Life can only come from God’s Spirit. The most stirring preaching will not create it. We may preach God’s truth in His strength, and good results may follow, but not the Divine life unless the Spirit of God comes and produces it.
Preaching must be followed by prayer. The preacher must call down the power of God to his aid if his work is to have living results. We need more prophesying to the wind if life is to take possession of dead souls.
Ezekiel’s vision speaks not only of Judah, but verse 11 of chapter 37 says “the whole house of Israel.” So the Scripture has in mind both houses. Then it further elaborates beginning in verse 15 with the parable of the “two sticks.”These sticks “become one” (v. 17) in the hand of the prophet. This was an allusion to the tribal rod of Numbers 17:2. The union of the two rods was a prophecy in action of the brotherly reunion of Judah and the ten tribes.
The latter part of this chapter reveals the future kingdom of God that is the result of this resurrection and uniting of both houses of Israel.
Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all sides, and bring them to 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 over them all; and they shall be no longer two nations, and no longer divided into two kingdoms. 23 They shall not defile themselves any more with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions; but I will save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. (Eze. 37:21-23, RSV)
Thus, the salvation of Israel is fulfilled permanently under the throne of David.
The story of the dry bones coming to life points to the fact that God’s people will again know who they are; and that Christ our Lord will be king over them and their descendants forever.
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. (Eze. 37:27-28)
If you have ever wondered how God felt about the half-breed jews taking part in the Temple worship in Jerusalem, especially in the days when Jesus ministered, we have God’s clear feelings spoken in Ezekiel chapter 44.
6 Say to the rebellious house, to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: O house of Israel, let there be an end to all your abominations, 7 in admitting foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and flesh, to be in my sanctuary, profaning it, when you offer to me my food, the fat and the blood. You have broken my covenant, in addition to all your abominations. 8 And you have not kept charge of my holy things; but you have set foreigners to keep my charge in my sanctuary. 9 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: No foreigner, uncircumcised [unclean] in heart and flesh, of all the foreigners who are among the people of Israel, shall enter my sanctuary. (Eze. 44:6-9, RSV)
Well, so this is how God feels about racial mixtures in the churches of America! Yet, nearly all of them today are doing this very same sin. Let the humanists and universalists wail, but God has spoken — no foreigners, no strangers, shall be in the sanctuary of God. Thus, we have seen here (again), the same conclusion as the previous sermon on Jeremiah.
The word “Jew” never appears in Ezekiel. It is Israel that God is in covenant with, not jews. Thus, the racial context of Ezekiel is obvious.
From our opening Scripture reading, we know that God will hold nations accountable for their sins. Complete and utter judgment was predicted for Jerusalem because of sin against God. The only hope that remains for anybody present in the kingdom at this time, lies in the words, “Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness.” (Ez. 14:14) This is hope for the righteous when the four punishments had come upon Jerusalem, as listed in this chapter. This teaches the importance of holy living. And even though their own sons and daughters were not spared, yet, they alone survived. Furthermore, when they look around, they will admit that the judgment was just and certainly deserved upon the wicked. (q.v., Ez. 14:22) It will be the same for America.