DEAD MEN’S BONES
Dead Men’s Bones is based on the scathing denunciation, directed to
the Jewish religious authorities, that was issued by JESUS CHRIST throughout the Gospels. From the time the glory of
God was removed during the Babylonian captivity, and on through the Persian,
Grecian, and Roman eras, the nation of Israel never recovered her
independence, nor do we see any Spiritual resurgence inspired by the God of
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
This action, wherein God removes
His divine presence from the evil which had encroached upon the temple in
Jerusalem, also testifies of the unscriptural notion the LORD would ever
administer a so called “divine council,” in which devils
participate (see Part IV of the present work for details on the faulty idea of
a “divine council”). It is the very nature of the Holy God revealed
in the Scriptures that He continues apart from all iniquity.
When the life which exists in the
Holy Spirit decisively moved away from Israel, it is as if the physical nation
was transformed into a flesh and blood people, without the presence of the
Spirit of the LORD. Although the Jews continued to observe the rituals and
religious norms of their existence, the inner reality of the nation could best
be characterized as comprised of Dead Men’s Bones.
Through His prophets, God
repeatedly pronounced what had happened to the people who were called by His
name. It is late in his writings the prophet Ezekiel documents
the LORD’s perspective of Israel’s desperate condition, as God
imaged the nation as a large valley filled with Dead Men’s Bones.
“[And when] the spirit of
the Lord.…set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of [Dead
Men’s] bones, [He] caused me to pass by them round about:
and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very
dry” (Ezekiel 37:1,2 ).
It doesn’t take a prophet to
see the picture of a large cluster of bones which are “very dry,”
is an indicator the bones represent people who have been Spiritually dead for a
“Again he said unto me,
Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry
bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord God unto these
bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live”
(Ezekiel 37:4, 5).
Ezekiel is told by the LORD to prophesy that these bones will
come together, and then sinews and flesh will come upon them – but there
will still be no breath in them.
“There was a noise, and
behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. 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” (Ezekiel 37:7, 8).
The LORD then tells Ezekiel that
before He breathes life into these Dead Men’s Bones, they
will have abandoned hope, and acknowledged the desolation which has overtaken
“Behold, they say, Our
bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off….” (Ezekiel
The next passage is astonishing,
for God then pronounces that He will breathe life into the assembled Dead
Men’s Bones, and He will open their graves and place His
spirit within them.
“Behold, O my people, I
will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves….And
shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live” (Ezekiel 37:12, 14).
Although most Christians are still
being taught the Jewish family is still “chosen,” even though
they broke the covenant under which they were chosen, the New
Covenant involves the promise of God to put His Spirit within
the “dry bones” assembled in the “valley” Ezekiel
was shown. This allocation of the Spirit of the LORD is part of the New
Covenant God makes with Israel, which is characterized as the arrival
of the kingdom of God in the Gospels.
“Jesus came into Galilee,
preaching the [Good News] of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is
fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe
the gospel” (Mark 1:14, 15).
When the leaders of the nation
refused to embrace JESUS as the prophesied Messiah who mediates the New
Covenant between God and man, Christ pronounced those who reject Him
are as Dead Men’s Bones who choose to remain in graves
that cannot be seen.
“Woe unto you, scribes and
Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are as graves which appear not, and
the men that walk over them are not aware of them” (Luke 11:44).
In this regard, it’s
instructive to remember Ezekiel’s prophecy said that when
God puts His Spirit within the Dead Men’s Bones, He would
cause His people to come up out of their graves. He also said
this would occur when His people know that He is the one who
opens their graves:
“Behold, O my people, I
will open your graves…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, and shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live” (Ezekiel
Obviously, the “scribes, and
Pharisees [and the] hypocrites” did not know that Jesus is the
LORD who desired to resurrect them through His blood sacrifice, followed by the
pouring out of the Spirit of God, which the Father promised He would place
within His people. Remember, those who remained in the grave are the
“hypocrites” who dealt “treacherously” with God, and
they are the flesh and blood people (still in the Dead Men’s Bones state
of existence), who God referred to through Ezekiel.
“For thus saith the Lord
God; I will even deal with thee as thou hast done, which hast despised
the oath in breaking the covenant. (Ezekiel 16:59, 60).
Thus, God will judge the flesh and
blood people who remain in the grave because they refuse the life
found in the Spirit – even as He blesses the people who respond favorably
to His Life. Regarding that phase of the promise, where Ezekiel
says God will bring His people up out of the grave and revive them through His
Spirit, it was only the born again portion of physical Israel who obeyed
Christ’s instructions to wait for the rest of the promise from the
Father. After His resurrection (but just before He ascended to heaven), Jesus
said the following.
“And being assembled
together with them, [He] commanded them that they should not depart from
Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father…And
suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind…And
they were all filled with the Holy Ghost…and they were all amazed”
(Acts 1:4; 2:2, 7, 12).
exceedingly Good News, those who know that
-- James Lloyd
To Be Continued
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