Friday, March 8, 2019

Notes Concerning the Day of Atonement (Prophetically the Day of the LORD) II

by Michael C. Garrett

"You're going to receive exactly what you deserve."

Jeremiah 25: This is a prophecy which goes back thousands of years ago when God announced that Nebuchadnezzar II, the king of Babylon, would inflict punishment upon the people of Judah. Verse 1 – Now, isn’t it interesting, right now, every day in your newspapers, or on the television or the news on your computer, we’re seeing terrible things taking place IN the ancient land of Babylon!? Not far away from what we call BAGDAD. That land has just descended into chaos! And the birth of what they call ISIS! The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria! Nothing but bloodshed and horror’s beyond the abilities to describe. Well, way back then, God used the king of Babylon (think in terms of IRAQ) as a weapon of punishment against the tribe of Judah. Verses 2-3 – God is saying, “I kept sending my prophets, I kept speaking to you, and you refused to hear them, you refuse to heed what they were trying to tell you!” Verses 4-6 – Now, one of the Ten Commandments states, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery.’ And, all of the Ten Commandments have a, sort of, physical nature to them. However, they have a much more powerful spiritual meaning! And so when you come to the word adultery – and we all know what adultery is. And, Paul went on to describe all forms of sexual misconduct could, sort of, fall under that general plank of ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery.’ But he’s not just talking about physical adultery – the betrayal of a man or a wife to their mate. It has a much more expansive meaning. In the mind of God, He married ancient ISRAEL. They became His bride. A beautiful picture of this is in Ezekiel 16, and His thoughts about it. However, Israel has NEVER been true to God. They’ve NEVER been faithful, and one of the sin’s which they commit with great regularity – and most people of this land don’t even know about it. Now, is murder the worst sin!? No, King David committed murder, and it was WRONG, and he was punished sorely, however, murder is not the worse sin you could do. Is stealing!? Is lying!? Some people would say, “Well, cheating on your mate!”

Well, if that be true, then many of the households in America have a horrible black cloud over it! Because quite frankly, many Americans have not been faithful to their marriage vows. What’s the worst mistake you could make!? Is committing spiritual adultery! Separating yourself from God Almighty and Jesus Christ by going after a false religion. Now, King David was in contact with the correct religion. David made a terrible mistake. He allowed his human emotions and lust’s and desires to get in his way. Cloud his thinking. Confuse him. But he was always trying to be in contact with God, even though he wasn’t doing a very good job for a while. And after he plotted the death of his lovers husband, and succeeded – he was STILL wanting to be close to God! And when he was shown his great error, and he repented – he was STILL there close to God! But if you go a different way, you become involved in a different religion, if you’re not close to God, then God can’t deal with you! The telephone cord has been severed. “’Do NOT go after other gods to serve them and worship them, …’” – this is why He was so upset with Judah! And also the people of Israel! Now, people say, “Well, how is our country going after false gods!?” Well, our country and the people of the Western world, put great emphasis on so-called “holidays.” Like Christmas. They claim it to be the birthday of Christ. Yet, Jesus Christ was not born at the end of December. They put great emphasis on things like Easter. Which is a pagan name, about a pagan goddess. And all of the signs and symbols of Easter: eggs, reproduction, bunny rabbits - those are signs of an ancient fertility god. God doesn’t appreciate people celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ and calling it EASTER! It offends Him! Because the true meaning is PASSOVER! And then the Days of Unleavened Bread. And later on the Feast of Pentecost. And so, people don’t go about it correctly. People of this Western world think we are supposed to go to church on the first day of the week.

And yet the Bible says, so plainly and clearly, that we are to worship God, and come together as an assembly, on the seventh day of the week. And, if you look at the Bible, there’s not even a remote argument which can change that!

Also there’s what’s called Halloween in our culture. In which ghosts, goblins, and demons and creatures of the night – evil subjects – are glorified! This is NOT a celebration which goes to the glory of God, this is a celebration which goes to the glory of Satan the devil and his way of life! And yet we as a nation embrace it and go, “Oh, isn’t this wonderful!” And if you quiz somebody, “Why are you doing this!? Why are you teaching your child to extort, that’s what it is, ‘trick-or-treat’!?”

And the Bible plainly says, Revelation 18:4 – this whole chapter is talking about the punishment which will come upon an institution, which glorifies these false doctrines. “…’Come out of her,’ – meaning these false religious ideas, these institutions of false religion. ‘My people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.’” The people who are in charge of these false religions will be punished. If you are a follower of these false religions you, someday, will be punished. And God, He pleads with you here, ‘Come out of her! Don’t be a part of her sins!’ Now, I’ve heard people say, “Well, isn’t it nice that this family is going to their Jewish temple, and that family goes to their cathedral or to their church, or their mosque. And, oh, God loves that because their all trying to worship Him!” We don’t get to decide how to worship God! God dictates to us – ‘This is how you honor Me!’ ‘This is how you worship Me!’ ‘This is how you give My name praise!’ And He’s very specific about it in the Bible. And just having some false religion and make believing you’re pleasing God, which most of the people in our Western world does, God says, ‘You’re worshipping other gods!’ He says, ‘it will provoke Me to anger!’ Verses 7-8 – “…’Because you have not heard My Words,’” – now where can you hear the Words of God!? You find the Words of God recorded in the Bible. Verses 9-13, 14 – Again, this principle, it’s said many times in many different ways, but it basically – in the end – everybody will receive exactly what they deserve. God will treat you the way you deserve to be treated. THIS PRINCIPLE IS STATED OVER AND OVER AGAIN IN THE BIBLE! It is a statement of God’s ultimate divine justice. Now, this does not preclude the fact that you CAN go to Jesus Christ, you CAN ask for forgiveness, You CAN be forgiven, you CAN have all of your sins washed away, and you now remove that curse from you. And that’s what He wants you to do! Being reconciled to God by having your sin’s washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. But if you don’t, you will be treated according to your deeds and according to the works of your own hands.

Verse 15 – Now, we read back in Revelation 14:19 – “…the great winepress of the wrath of God.’” And Verse 20, “And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.” - Five and six feet deep!

Verses 16-27; Jeremiah 25 – the Day of the Lord. And this is a type. The Bible has prophecies which has an earlier fulfillment, and then they have a latter fulfillment. And this prophecy here, is also going to happen again – in the end-time. And, notice all of the nations, especially the Middle East, that are singled out and named, will be the recipient of God’s wrath! He’s going to pay back according to their deeds. Now, the number one reason for God’s anger with people – is because of false religion. IF you are indoctrinated into a false religion, He can’t reach you anymore. Verse 28 – “…Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘You shall certainly drink!’” You shall have this reward whether you want it or not! Verse 29 – “…’for I will call for a sword on all the inhabitants of the earth,’” – this coming event, known in the Bible as the Day of the Lord, which is closely prophetically associated with the meaning of the Day of Atonement.  This is going to be all out total war, death, and suffering! For the whole world. For people around the world. Verses 30-33 – And, who’s He talking to in Verse 34!? He’s talking to the religious leaders, and maybe even the civic leaders, people who should have known better, should have guided and led their people. Verses 35-37 – Yes, God is a God of mercy and love, graciousness, kindness, and we who have received His calling, and His repentance and His baptism, and the receiving of His Spirit, we can attest to the kindness and graciousness. And yet in the end, at some point, everything is reconciled – the “books are balanced.” The evil which people perpetrated, the evil which they represent, it will be visited upon their head. THERE WILL BE JUSTICE! And that day of justice, that day of judgment, is the Day of the Lord! And it is prophetically linked with the true meaning of the Day of Atonement. Verse 38 – He has forgotten His covenant, momentarily, with the people of Israel and with all the earth. Now, does He solve the problem later on!? Yes! He establishes the Kingdom of God. He goes about restructuring the Earth, it’s religions, it’s government’s, all segments of its society. And who will be there to help guide and lead Him!? Well, God the Father and Jesus Christ will be on the Earth, all of the holy angels will be upon the Earth, His resurrected saints will be upon the Earth, as members of His Family, His government. And all of those together will help guide and lead this new world – this ‘World Tomorrow,’ which we often called it.

The world will be put right. But in order to get there so much of this world will have to be destroyed. The great majority of this world’s people must be eliminated. And then, God will start over – just like what He did with Noah. The world was so evil, so intent upon evil, where every thought of every imagination of the heart was only evil continually – that’s how evil they were – and God says, ‘I’ve had enough! I’m going to just wipe them out, except for one family, and start over!’ And He did! And, human kind, apart from God, simply is always influenced by Satan and his demons. And THAT’S WHERE this world has gone! Think about all the suffering’s which has happened over the many thousands of years! Now, to this modern-day, the world is a very unstable place. We have IRAN, getting closer to nuclear weapons, and the American government doing nothing to stop it. We have North Korea with nuclear weapons, the American government or the world does nothing to stop it. We have Russia bullying its way throughout Europe, and America and her allies is, basically, doing nothing to stop it. You have ISIS, you have the Middle East – ISIS, and the war with ISIS is now filtering into the country of Lebanon. And it won’t stop there! And it’s filtering up to the border of Turkey, and it won’t stop there! Wherever you look the world is falling apart. It’s like it’s going to explode into some kind of catechism of warfare! And, the truth be known, that’s where we are going! Now, I hope you can see, what’s in Jeremiah 25 goes along perfectly with what’s in Ezekiel 13, Ezekiel 34, what was in the Book of Revelation. A lot of people in the past might have read chapter 25 and really not understood what it was talking about. Yes, it is an ancient history lesson, but if you go through it, you understand that event thousands of years ago is just a portent of what’s going to happen in the future. This is all talking about the Day of the Lord!

Ezekiel 7 – Again, throughout the Bible, there are these statements made by God which said, ‘In the end I’m going to deal with you exactly the way that you deserve to be treated, according to your deeds and according to your works!’

Verse 1 – “…thus says the Lord GOD to the land of Israel” – to the land of Israel - basically, the people of the modern Western world. The United States, Canada, Western Europe, England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa – the places where those people eventually settled.

Verses 2-3 – In the end you’re going to receive exactly what you deserve. Verses 4-7 – “…the day of trouble is near,” – another way of saying the Day of the Lord! Verses 8-9, 14 – ‘They have blown the trumpet and made everyone ready,’ – remember, near the time of the end, the blowing of the seven trumpets. And the SEVENTH TRUMP is the resurrection trump. And right after the resurrection trump, comes the Day of the Lord, in the Book of Revelation it’s called the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES! “’But no one goes to the battle; …” – why does no one come to the battle!? Because most of them are dead or dying or diseased or sick or too weak from hunger and thirst. Verse 15 – This is the WORD OF GOD and this is describing the Day of the Lord!

Ezekiel 16 – Now, I’ve alluded to this chapter before. This describes God’s view of ISRAEL. This describes His thought processes. Verses 1-13 – Of course, all allegory. But God is basically describing the birth and now the growth into young woman-hood. And He said He entered into a covenant and married them. We’re told in chapter 19, that He entered into a wedding with them. Verses 14-15 – “’But you trusted in your own beauty, played the harlot …’” – remember, if you walk away from God, He looks upon it as adultery! Verses 16-20 – “…’Were your acts of harlotry a small matter,’” – Now, people would say, “How have we devoured our young people!?” Well, think about the things we allow them to see on television and on computers. Think about the ways in which they are mistreated and misused. But maybe the ultimate way – you think every year how many human beings there are who NEVER had a chance to draw a breath of air because their mother found it inconvenient to be pregnant and she destroyed that baby, while it was still in her womb. That child didn’t belong to her, that child belonged to God! Verses 21-22 – “…’you did not remember the days of your youth,’” – you forgot that you were this ugly, naked, dirty, soiled, little baby that nobody wanted. And God took you in and helped you to grow up and gave you the finest of everything. You forgotten where you came from!

Verse 23 – Now, there aren’t a lot of places in the Bible where you see the word ‘Woe!’ You see it back in the Book of Revelation, and here we see it, “’Woe, woe to you!’”

Verses 24-25 – Again,  this is a very graphic description, but He’s referring to, ‘You have gone after other gods and other customs and other religions and other doctrines, and you have not followed Me!’ ‘And I’m the One that gave you life!’ ‘And I’m the One that saved you!’ ‘And I’m the One that took you out of that mud and cleaned you up, because I had a special purpose for you, and yet you would never submit to what I wanted you to do!’ God has always loved ISRAEL and God always will! But there have been times when the physical people of Israel had greatly frustrated God. However, in the “World Tomorrow,” in the Kingdom of God, in the Millennium, the resurrected members of the house of Israel will finally serve the world the way God always wanted them to help. Verses 26-27 – “…’the daughters of the Philistines,’” think Palestinians. Verse 28 – “…’harlot with the Assyrians,’” – think modern day Germany. Verse 29-30 – “…’as the land of the trader, Chaldea;’” – think Iraq. Verse 31 – “…’Yet you were not like a harlot, because you scorned payment.’” - What He’s saying is, ‘You played the whore and didn’t even want the money!’ Verse 32 – In this case, who was to be the husband of Israel!? God Almighty, Jesus Christ! And, in the Kingdom of God, the very first thing that happens AFTER the resurrection is the great wedding ceremony, where God and Jesus Christ, the Bride, the Church, marries Jesus Christ! So you see that analogy continue, in the Old Testament, and you see it continue on into the very beginning of the Millennium. Verses 33-35 – “’Now then, O harlot, hear the Word of the LORD!’” – Now, back in chapter 17 of Revelation, verse 1 – So, sometimes the very institutions, which claim to be religious, are given this very same title. Not just the country, not just the people, but also the religions. IF you go your own way and choose your own religion and go against the Way of God, He considers you to be in an adulterous relationship. Or a relationship of terrible sexual misconduct. And, WHERE can you avoid that problem, HOW can you avoid being stuck in an improper relationship!? You go to the Bible, it’s the only place you can go – the Book! Verses 36-39 – ‘In the end, all these nations that you played footsie with will turn against you – O’ House of Israel!’ Verses 40-42 – ‘After your punished, very severely, then I will turn back to you and help you!’ Think about it, there are two ways to learn: Think as your small child, and your walking in the kitchen and you reach up and start to put your hand on a hot burner on the stove, and your parent goes, “No! Do not put your hand up there, it will hurt you!” Well, that’s one way to learn, and if you’re smart you’ll go, “Well, I don’t fully understand, but hey, they told me not to, I’m gonna do what they say!”

But if you don’t listen, theirs another way to learn – ‘sssssssss.’ And you badly damage your hand! Two ways to learn, an easy way and there’s the hard way. God has tried to teach our people the easy way over and over. He's said, ‘I’ve sent you prophet’s!’ And as Jesus said, ‘All you’ve ever done is kill them!’ He said, ‘You’re going to learn, but now you’re going to learn the hard way!’ Verses 43, 59 – That marriage bond, which was supposed to have been there, you paid no attention to and had no respect for.

Ezekiel 18:30 – talking directly to the house of Israel. Again, who are the people of the house of Israel!? Well, basically, the people of the modern Western world. The United States, Canada, Western Europe, England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa – the places where those people eventually settled – the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel. Genesis 35:10 – “’Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but ISRAEL shall be your name.’” Now, Leviticus 23; ‘the children of Israel’ – ISRAEL means “struggle with God” #3478 – However, many other Bible help books (and I realize that the Strong’s Concordance isn’t the most accurate, or maybe the most extensive word study help you can use; my hardback states “struggle with God” – the Online Strong’s states “He will rule as God”) does state that the name Israel has a shocking meaning - “He will rule as God.” As an example: Abrim Publication states, “Judging from Genesis 32:28, the form   ישראל (Israel) appears to be a compilation of two elements. The first one is the noun (  אל El), the common abbreviation of Elohim, meaning God. … The second part of our name appears to be related to the verb   שרה I (sara I) … H.A.W. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament believes our verb to mean to contend or have power.” That was Israel’s destiny that they as a people will rule as God! Well, the house of Israel, and a little further along, the spiritual house of Israel, which is the modern-day Church – the New Testament Church, those people where ever they are who have the Spirit of God and who have their name written in the Book of Life – upon the return of Jesus Christ and our resurrection and our transformation from mortal to immortal we will be co-rulers, co-owners, with Jesus Christ! and we indeed helping God the Father and Jesus Christ – will rule as the Family of God! Verses 11-12; Genesis 35.

Genesis 48: - When Joseph had been reunited with his elderly father, Joseph is now the viceroy of Egypt, and he makes arrangement’s for all of his family to be brought over to Egypt and where they prosper for many years. And then unfortunately they ended up being enslaved by the Egyptian people.

Verse 13-15 – Remember, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are people who in their human lifetime had opportunities to deal with God – the One we now call Jesus – face to face, directly. They knew exactly who God was! They had met Him, conversed with Him, shared meals with Him! Verse 16 – So, biblically, you can point to actual Scripture’s that strongly show that in the end-time there was to be a nation and a company of nation’s which had the name of Israel placed upon them from the eyes of God. Now we live in a world that’s very confused and, we don’t even know our American history very well, let alone going back into ancient history. Most Americans are totally ignorant of American history, and they don’t understand these concepts. We here in America – when you read in the Bible, “O’ house of Israel.” – God is speaking to the people of America, in Canada, the British Empire or the former members of the British Empire, and their own separate countries, and it says in verse 30 of Ezekiel 18 – “’Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, everyone according to his ways,’ says the Lord GOD.” In the end, God, with all of the other attributes which do make up the very character of God – love, mercy, forgiveness, kindness, and all of these wonderful attributes which we rely upon to have a hope of eternal life – but also in the nature of God, a very consistent, sense of justice. And IF you do not repent of your evil sooner or later you will pay for your evil. Also, verse 4; Ezekiel 18: - “’Behold, all souls …’” Now, the word soul doesn’t mean some ghostly apparition or something. Doesn’t mean some disembodied spirit. The word soul in the Hebrew simply means a living creature. A creature, a human being, a dog, a cat, a cow, a horse, a bird – living creatures are all called souls. Because they breathe. “…’The soul who sins shall die.’” Ultimately, IF you disobey God AFTER all the time’s He has attempted to reach you, if in the end you will NOT give in to God’s will and God’s Way of life – in the end – IF you remain defiant, you will die. And He says it again in Verse 20! The very Word of God, which truly kicks-in-the-head the concept that you have an immortal soul. I mean, MOST of the people who go to the churches, under the umbrella of Christianity, and many pagan religions, believe that you don’t die when you die.

Even though you die you don’t die – you go somewhere else, become some other thing – you float off to Heaven as most so-called Christians believe. The Bible says nothing about going off to Heaven. It talks about meeting Jesus Christ in the atmosphere, the resurrected saints. The Bible does talk about Heaven coming to the Earth! The very throne of God! The very city of God – New Jerusalem! “A new heaven and a new earth” with New Jerusalem being the capital of the Earth.

But It has nothing to do with, “You’re going to live forever in either Heaven or in Hell.” And the people who teach that, from most of the churches, are totally, defiantly, openly, disagreeing with the Word of God! Which really is a quandary – WHO, O’ little man, put you in charge of defining what God has already defined!? You don’t have the authority – human beings – to change the will of God or the Word of God! God tells us what He’s going to do! And going off to Heaven, or as Billy Graham use to say, “I’s goin’ to Heaven!” and people just eat that stuff up! And all the silly things you hear around funeral’s and the death of a loved one. Filling a bunch of balloons with helium and letting them go so that the balloon “goes up to Heaven.” No, it probably goes up to about 5,000 feet, hit’s an air temperature (which it has no more lift) and as the gas leaks out, it falls. “The soul that sins it will die!” Now, in the end, there are simply only TWO possibilities, and I’m not talking about any church tradition – you’ve got to understand, I really do not care about church traditions; and I’m not being mean when I say this, I don’t care what Baptist’s believe, or Lutherans, or Methodists, or Mormons, or Catholics, I don’t care what Muslims believe or Buddhists believe, I don’t care about any of them, and I may study them to be educated, but they have no meaning for me. And quite frankly, I have very little to do with even the so-called traditions from the Churches of which I have attended for most of my life. I don’t care about tradition. I don’t care when somebody says, “Well, such-and-such said the following.” Alright, but that doesn’t make it true. I know Catholics, when the pope stands up and speaks, they’re taught, that he is speaking for God. And they have the right to believe that, but I’m telling you from my perspective, I don’t look upon the words as coming from God. Or when the Mormon president stands up and makes some proclamation, “Alright, you people who want to be in that religion, I guess it means something to you, but means nothing to me.” Or when the Baptists get together and have some type of convention.

Here recently they were all in an uproar over gay “marriage,” and what they were going to do with it. As many churches have had over the last few years. I don’t care what their traditions says. And, just to be honest, a very important person, in the establishment of the tradition of which I have attended, was named Herbert Armstrong. I respected the man – he has long since been put into the grave.

I appreciated the man, but I realize as I read the Bible, he didn’t understand everything. He, sort of, got a lot of things, upside down and topsy turvy. His son, I thought was a marvelous teacher, and  I respected him and appreciate him deeply. And I’m sorry that he’s no longer with us, but, when it comes to Garner Ted Armstrong says this and the Bible says that, there’s no problem for me to say, “Mr. Ted, I love ya, but, I’ve got to go with the Bible!” I’ve got to do what the Bible says. And I realize that a lot of mistakes have been made. I believe what’s really in the Bible. I’m not a follower of John Wesley. I’m not a follower of the teachings of John Calvin. Or Martin Luther. Their theology means nothing to me. I don’t care what the pope says, or the Vatican says.

God says at the end of verse 30 of Ezekiel 18 – “’Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, …’” Change your ways, change the way you think, change the way you act, change the way you speak, change the way you interact with other people, change the way you interact with God. Just because you go to a church doesn’t mean your pleasing God. The only way you’re going to please God is if you’re doing, believing, teaching, the things which He says. And that’s very difficult to get people to understand. If you truly want to honor God and to respect God and to love God, then it’s incumbent upon you to know what He actually teaches. And what He believes. And what He wants you to believe.

John 4 – Now, these are the Words of Jesus Christ! These are not the words of anyone else! The Words of the Master, of the Savior, of your soon coming King, the Son of God, the Messiah. Now, if you can’t believe these Words, I don’t know what you can believe. Verse 23 – “’But the hour is coming, and now is [to us; we’re hearing these Words], when the true [implying that there can be false worshipers!] worshipers will worship the Father in spirit [through God’s Spirit residing within them, because of the gift that God gives you after repentance and baptism and the laying on of hands] and in truth [not some make believe fairy-tale; now where does truth come from!? We’re told in John 17:17, “’Your Word is truth.’” The Word of God is the source of truth!]; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.’” To worship Him in truth, not in lies. Not in human traditions. And you who are associated with the Worldwide Church of God, or once were, and now you’re attending parts of once was the Worldwide Church of God as it fractured, splintered and split, worship God in truth! And if some of the doctrines you were told to be true, if you can show them - from your Bible - that they aren’t correct, then be willing to change! That’s called repentance.

Verse 31; Ezekiel 18 – “’Cast away from you all the transgressions, …’” – all of your mistakes. Be it mistakes in your own personal life, or whether it’s mistakes in your religious life – like false doctrine, incorrect doctrine. “…’and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.’”

That’s actually referring to the New Covenant! The New Covenant, which quite frankly… there’s a church headquartered down in Tyler, Texas, that doesn’t seem to be interested in knowing about the New Covenant.

And many of their member’s want to hang onto the Old Covenant mentality. And, make no mistake about it, the Worldwide Church of God, was an Old Covenant institution.

But the New Covenant emphasizes Jesus Christ and the promise of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ being the Head of that Church, the ministry, the High Priesthood of Jesus Christ. And it talks about having the Ten Commandments written on your heart and on your mind. And having the Spirit of God within you. And looking forward to the promises of God, the promise of forgiveness, and the promise of eternal life. None of those things could be found in the Old Covenant And God calls out – one of the most plaintive and mournful statements in the Bible – “’For why should you die, O house of Israel?’” ‘Why do you continue to go down these false paths!? Why don’t you just come to Me in truth and in Spirit!?’ Verse 32 – Turn away from the evil, turn away from the false doctrines, turn away from the misconceptions – and live! Live now a physical life and also live eternally in the Kingdom of God.

Ezekiel 22:18-20 – a reference to the Day of the Lord! Verse 21 – He is speaking of the people, not the earth. The Worldwide Church of God came up with a lou lou of a doctrine. The Worldwide Church of God, and I believe all of its descendants - although I haven’t researched every one of them - they taught - AS DOCTRINE – that after the thousand-year reign of Christ, and after what they call the one-hundred-year “White Throne Judgment,” which we don’t know how long it’s going to be because… they got that one wrong, too. But at the end of the Millennium, and the end of the “White Throne Judgment,” they taught and still do teach, that God was going to melt down the Earth like “liquid glass.” And expunge any trace of human life. Now folks that’s quite a story. But it’s just a story. It has no bases in fact. One more doctrine they simply got WRONG! But you see the Worldwide Church of God and its descendants… and I’m going to make up a phrase here… the vanity of ownership. I’m sure you’ve seen some cars that look like they shouldn’t be on the road anymore!? They may have fenders all bent up, or their doors crashed in, and maybe there’s a big crack in the windshield, there’s smoke coming out of the exhaust. And yet, if you go up to that owner, and say, “Buddy, you need to get rid of that car!” IF he’s in love with that car – and many people are in love with their car – he might very well take that as an insult and get up in your face. “Don’t you tell me what you think about my car, I love my car!” It’s the vanity of ownership. Because it’s MY car, I’m going to love it! Well, people do that with some of their thoughts. They come up with an idea, “Hey, let’s start teaching this!” Even though it doesn’t come from the Bible, it’s just some tradition that’s been recycled once again. And the Worldwide Church of God was great at recycling the doctrines of other churches.

But they wouldn’t say, “O’ we got this from the Baptists, or we got that from the Lutherans, or we got this from there…” No, they sort of, made you believe they thought it up all on their own. And one of these things that they came up is, “the earth is going to be melted down!” Once they declared this to be their doctrine, they were too vain to stand up and admit, “We got it wrong!” Verses 22-24, 25 – “’The conspiracy of her prophets in her midst …’” – what a statement! There is a conspiracy of her prophets! Again, who’s He talking about!?  Verse 18, “…’the house of Israel.’” So in part He’s talking about the physical people of Israel – the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But He’s also talking about the spiritual house of Israel – the Church, the Body of Christ. A conspiracy of her Church leaders. And I will say, if you think about the conspiracy there is, to teach people that they ought to go to church on Sunday, they ought to worship Jesus Christ with a pagan “holiday” name – Easter/Ishtar – they’ve got to go to church on the Mass-of-Christ to celebrate His birth, and all the other folderol that falls around our calendars. That’s quite a conspiracy! But even within the Churches of God, the so-called Body of Christ, there are groups of ministers, who do indeed become deeply involved in their own attack conspiracies. Verse 26 – “…’they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.’” – pretty powerful statement! And again, He might be talking about the physical people of God – the people of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa – but I think here He’s talking more than just that. But He also at times has been talking about the so-called Churches of God. The institutions which claim to represent God, but in the end, they don’t. Verse 27 – “’Her princes …’” think about the governmental officials. There’s an awful lot of corruption in government. Weather it’s national government, or state government, or county government, or city government. Verse 28 – “’Her prophets plastered them with untampered mortar, …’” – meaning it’s not going to last long. Verses 29-31 – “…and I have recompensed their deeds on their own heads.’ says the Lord GOD.” – ‘I will give to them exactly what they deserve!’

Again, this principle is one of the most repeatedly mentioned principles in all the Bible concerning the very nature of God! It is the Day of the Lord when God punishes sinful mankind.

Ezekiel 23:17 – Remember in verse 12 it mentions the Assyrians, it mentions in verse 8 Egypt, verse 17 the Babylonians. These are different people who conquered different parts of the ancient nation of Israel. They were used by God as punishment upon His people who had failed to follow Him. It has an ancient meaning, it has a yet prophetic meaning in the future. Because ONCE AGAIN we will be plagued by the Assyrians (modern-day Germans). The Babylonians (modern-day Iraqis). By the Egyptians. Verse 18 - Now again, in the Bible, words such as adultery, fornication, and whoredom – and if you read the context, most of the time, it’s not talking about improper sexual relations, it’s referring to getting into league with strange religions. Strange philosophies. Now, what’s the religion of Iraq right now!? It’s Muslim, they’re Islam. (According to the 2018 CIA Factbook, Iraq is 95% Muslim – 64-69% Shia and 29-34% Sunni). Just think about it: What has happened to America the last decade. The last few years. Now, it’s difficult for my mind to comprehend how it seems as though in the minds of certain leaders of our national preeminence, they seem to prefer the religion of the Muslims more than they do the religion of Christianity. And the people on the far Left will go out of their way to defend Islam and Muslims. And yet these very same people, if the Muslims ever did get control of the leadership, those very same people would be killed, probably beheaded. And we have American people who aren’t smart enough to figure that out! Verse 29 – “’They will deal hatefully with you,’” – they, these foreign religions. These foreign people. Notice verse 25 – that’s what these foreign people and these foreign ideas will eventually do to the people of Israel. Both Judah and to the house of Israel.

Verse 30 – And that is happening RIGHT NOW within America! A nation based upon Judeo-Christian ethics and philosophy – the Bible – our nation is being undercut by foreign religions that have not God as their God. And, it’s one more reason why we in this country are going to have a really hard fall. Verse 35 – “…’Because you have forgotten Me …’” – think about the people on the far Left who have wanted to remove the words “In God We Trust” from our coins and our paper money. Think about the people on the Left who petitioned the courts to have the words “under God” removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. Think about all of the things which so-called liberal fair-minded people have tried to do to people who are… want to be followers of Jesus Christ! Verse 37 – “…’and even sacrificed their sons whom they bore to Me, passing them through the fire, to devour them.’” – again, just think about what we do in the name of liberal politics – in the name of “progressive thought.” Think about the millions of Americans who were killed before they ever took their first breath! Our son’s and our daughter’s. It is shameful what we do in this country! Verses 38-39 – a curious thing – of all the institutions within America, and I guess around the world, which has spoken out against abortion very forcefully, you have to give credit to the Catholic Church. For a long time they have been forceful antagonists against abortions. And yet look at some of our leaders within America – I think about one who was our vice president – who claims to be a Roman Catholic – and about every Easter time you saw him walking around with ashes on his forehead. I think about the lady who use to be the house majority leader from the State of California. I think about many of these people who have advocated for abortion “rights” forcefully, aggressively. And yet, they claim to be Catholic. Now how is that!? We have no respect for life. We have no respect for God.

Now, we’re going over all these prophecies. It’s talking about God’s future punishment upon this country and other countries. That punishment will come in the Day of the Lord! Again, the Day of the Lord is the single most prophesied event in the Bible! What is Isaiah talking about much of the time!? He’s talking about the events which will come about during the Day of the Lord. What is Jeremiah talking about!? What is the Lamentation about!? When Jeremiah writes the Book of Lamentations, what’s he lamenting!? What’s he so upset about!? He’s upset about the destruction which comes upon his people on what we now call the Day of the Lord! What is Ezekiel talking about over and over!? The Day of the Lord. 

About 9 of the 12 “minor” prophets are Books which discuss the Day of the Lord. So you have Isaiah, Jeremiah, the Book of Lamentations, Ezekiel, the “minor” prophets – they’re all talking about the Day of the Lord! Much of the Book of Revelation is talking about the Day of the Lord! It is by far the single most prophesied event in the Bible! And the churches and the people of the tradition of which I come have not understood it, because they have not been taught it. And it wasn’t taught because the leaders didn’t understand it.

Ezekiel 24:13 – You have to go back in the chapter to verse 1 – “Again, in the ninth year, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, the Word of the LORD came to me, saying, … ‘the king of Babylon started his siege against Jerusalem this very day. And utter a parable to the rebellious house, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD …’” – Again, this happened historically, it was an initial fulfillment of this prophecy. And like so many prophecies they have an earlier fulfillment and they have a latter-day fulfillment. And so what’s described here as history, is also (if you understand it) prophecy. Verse 14 – Again, this principle over and over in the Bible. ‘You’re going to get in the end exactly what you deserve.’ It is the pronouncement of God’s sense of justice and judgment. And He’s talking about the Day of the Lord! 

Ezekiel 30:1-3 – What are they talking about!? They’re talking about THE DAY OF THE LORD! It is prophetically linked to the meaning of the Day of Atonement. “’It will be a day of clouds, the time of the Gentiles.’” – because so many of the Gentile nations rise up against Israel. And greatly wound it, damage it, destroy many of the people, take many people into captivity. A terrible day! And, it’s in the future, and we’re simply not that far away from it.

Revelation 1:10 – “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day.” – the Day of the Lord! Paul is having a vision. Now, it’s humorist that there are so many  Protestant’s in their attempt to give biblical proof to the concept of Sunday worship – this is one of their proof text’s. They go, “See, see, Paul was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, Sunday!” Well, the Day of the Lord, the Lord’s Day, it means the same thing! And most of this Book leads up to the events of the Day of the Lord! And, the sad part is, most churches have not a clue about the true meaning of the Day of the Lord. And, that goes back to the Worldwide Church of God and its descendants which have now fractured into dozens and scores and even hundreds of different organizations and groups. And this has never been known by the descendants of the Worldwide Church of God. 

Watchman for the House of Israel

Ezekiel 1: - When God Almighty and Jesus Christ – anything that They put into the Bible is important – however, when They repeat the Message, you REALLY know it’s important! It’s a very strategic, major emphasis, that They want you to catch. They don’t want you to accidentally miss it! “…I was among the captives by the River Chebar, …” – another name for the Euphrates River in Chaldea – Southeast Iraq. Now, low-and-behold, after all these years, we’re still talking about Iraq and Persia (Iran), still talking about the people of the Middle East. Our headlines are still filled with the same places! And, think of Chaldea basically being BABYLON. And, remember the Jewish people were taken captive, hauled off in mass over to that area, and they stayed there a substantial amount of time – and many of them, eventually, got to come home. Many of them stayed in Babylon. And this is why the Apostle Peter talked about himself being in Babylon. Because his assignment, after the death of Jesus Christ and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, was to go to Babylon to teach the Jewish people who had stayed there and their descendants. This is a powerful part of Jewish history and it’s a powerful event in the Bible, and yet, you have the formation of the first temple following this. And then, eventually, the building of the second temple. And now, we’re waiting for the building of the third temple – or, something that gives a “house,” a “home,” a “temple,” a “tabernacle,” a “tent,” something for the events of the end-time era.

“…the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.” – So here Ezekiel is being given information, he’s being shown thing’s by God through the Spirit of God. Verses 2-3 – Ezekiel was being used as a servant of Jesus Christ and God Almighty. Then there’s quite a scene which is described here!

Now, this chapter has fascinated mankind for centuries, probably millennia, because of the imagery! Ezekiel, much like John – John was here in about 90-95 AD, he was on the Isle of Patmos and he saw in vision things. And he didn’t know exactly what they were. But he did his best and he describes, I think, what you and I could presume (hopefully correctly) of what would be military helicopters. But John didn’t know… he didn’t say, ‘O’, look I saw military helicopters!’ He did the best he could to describe them and different weapons of war. And, so here Ezekiel, he’s seeing thing’s also! And it’s really, sort of, out of this world! Because it comes from the throne of God! And he doesn’t quite know what to call it, and he just attempts to describe it from what he knew about life and his world around him. Verse 4 – this has given birth to… and I don’t really suggest you turn on your TV and watch channels that talk about aliens from outer space. I really think that does a person a disservice, it gets your mind off of the return of Jesus Christ and gets it on highly materialistic things, which… if you wanna know, do I think there are such things as UFOs!? No. Do I think there are lights, sounds, and weird things that happen in the sky!? Yes. Because I’ve seen a few. But do I think these are “little green men from Mars”!? No I don’t. Or any other planet. I’m actually one which believes – and I will believe this until God Almighty or His official representative tells me differently – that the EARTH is the one place in this great big wide universe where God has created life and has created conditions in which life can exist. And often you hear TV shows refer to the events in the first chapter of Ezekiel. And they want to say that Ezekiel saw a spacecraft from outer space. And, in one sense, sort of, he did. Ezekiel describes a “spacecraft” inhabited by “alien” beings which came from deep outer space – yes – it did. But it was from the throne of God! And this is from God!                             

No comments:

Post a Comment

Be sure to leave a comment and tell us what you think.