The Valley of Dry Bones
One of the most impressive prophecies in the scriptures that I know of which portrays this burden of God for the unity and revival of the general house of Israel today, is found at the beginning of the 37th chapter of the book of Ezekiel. This is the vision the Lord gave to Ezekiel just prior to Ezekiel joining those two sticks together in his hand.
It is the vision of the valley of dry bones. It is the vision of how God raised an army.
“In The Spirit”
May I for a moment implore you, my patient reader, to consider what is meant by the qualification prefacing this vision, namely, “In the Spirit of the LORD” (Ezek. 37:1). This line that is so often found in the tales of the prophets is of no small significance, and if we cannot lay clear hold of the meaning of that pithy sentence, then we ought to close the book, go no further, fall on our faces and cry to God for wisdom to understand the mind of these Spirit-possessed prophets. This was the foundation of every prophetic revelation and every heavenly vision that was ever given to mere men of flesh, and this is the key of understanding these prophecies for ourselves. If something so majestic, so heavenly, so other-worldly, so wonderful and past finding out by the finite mind of men is going to be communicated to the sensual inlets (I mean, those inlets of the senses) of some prophet, then God must take this prophet into his hand and fill this prophet with the Spirit; thus bypassing all of his own fleshly perceptions, God is able to impress upon the very heart of his inner man the deep things of God which are otherwise beyond human comprehension!
I stand in awe of God's word.
This is not the way so many of these modern-day sons of Sceva want it; no, this is not a spiritual drive-through as it's so often preached in our generation, as though you can get the heart of God into you as easily as you get your milkshake and fries at McDonald’s! This intimacy with the heart of God only comes the hard way: exile on Patmos, 21 days of prayer, three years barefooted in undergarments, 430 days bedridden, and the list continues. Dwelling nigh to the heart of this God requires that a man or woman be absolutely abandoned to the Divine will and be altogether divorced from the corruptions that are in this world and the lust of other things. How few there are that are thus weaned from earth to heaven! God raise up prophets and Nazarites!
Well, dear reader, if this is the only way God can communicate these precious revelations to the hearts of men, how then do we expect to understand the things we read if we are not in the same frame as those glorious prophets of old? You don't even read your Bible on your knees! Shame on this Christian world today that thinks they can get something for nothing, as though God never said, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread!” Where are the men willing to sacrifice themselves and stop playing games with the time and lives God gave them? The difference between you and these prophets is you still count your life, comforts, TV's and toys dear to yourself, when they loved nothing but the presence of God and the things of another world!
We will lay hold of the truths communicated within these prophets’ prophecies when we have tear-streaked faces, calloused knees, and broken and disturbed hearts like they did!
Back In The Valley
In the valley, God made this man see an awful sight. Across the vast champaign, all that filled the vision of the lean prophet was the haunting presence of death. Bones rent the otherwise serene scene: “Very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry” (Ezek. 37:2). This was a desperate situation, and as the alarms were sounding, God chose a man to meet his need. This was a mass-casualty incident that no field surgeon had ever imagined in his wildest PTSD-dreams! As God's children lay dying, God called upon a prophet to resuscitate the dead corpse!
O what an honor! O what a tremendous task! Ezekiel, with trembling knees, answered the call.
If perhaps they had recently expired, the hopes of revival would have been more reasonably accessible, but these bones were “very dry”, indicating that they had been long dead, and the hope of life, by the eyes of sight, was absolutely ridiculous – there was absolutely no chance.
“But what is impossible with man is possible with God.”
Ezekiel was thus commanded to prophesy over the bones the reality that existed in the heart of God for their revival. This was matchless mercy! This is the revival ministry we need today! Step by step, the Lord took the prophet by the hand and instructed him in the way. He began by declaring the full heart of God over the lifeless, wretched situation; shamelessly declaring health and wellness in a graveyard. As he prophesied, there was a noise and a sign of shaking among the bones, as they began to move together again – bone to bone. This was not the climax of Ezekiel's prophetic ministry; he was not content with mere moving and shaking, though it is our sad confession that all of our fathers were all too content with this first work, and except God comes and finishes his work among us, we will go no further than they. Ezekiel contended for the fullness. The Lord said they would live again, that there would be breath!
Then, as the prophet stood, still in wonder at what was playing out before his eyes, the Lord spoke again, “Prophesy to the wind!” Thus the prophet, as he was commanded, prophesied to the four winds to come and breathe upon the slain, and as he obeyed the apparently absurd word of God, breath came into them! The prophet remarks, “They stood upon their feet, an exceeding great army” (Ezek. 37:10).
The purpose of God in this end time, unprecedented and unpreached revival, is to raise a force – an army!
In The Valley Today
Don't you see it?! This is where we lie today. Sure, there's been some moving and shaking, and most have been satisfied thereby, while few, more sober-minded souls, stand aghast as they scan the valley below. We need the Lord to minister among his people a holy dissatisfaction again for the lifeless formalism that has by long custom substituted itself for the glory of God.
I stand overlooking this same ancient war-zone where a battle was decided long ago, but where a war was promised one day to be won. I stand on faith's precipice, undismayed at the dismal sight. This book is a prophecy to the wind, because I am unsettled at the death that has masqueraded through the courts of God's house for so long, bewitching the nations with its pseudo-Christianity. I am unsettled at the complacency the church has with its death, when the New Testament testifies of glory, even the right-hand wonders of God revealed among his people and among the heathen, not in the arenas and stadiums of pomp and show, but in the gutters and hoods of America. The only vision in the heart of God for Christians and stadiums today, is either the Christians outside the stadiums crying out against the pop-Christianity of this generation (or every other form of sin) within, or else Christian persecution taking center-stage again as it was in the Roman world up until the 4th century... What a shame! That our forefathers would be slaughtered within the coliseums of old, and Christians nowadays are celebrated therein! O give me the faith of our fathers, Lord Jesus!
I stand riveted as I behold all of God's people carried away captive, divided and conquered on the hills, sundered from their good Shepherd and his peaceful fold. I weep over the scenes that pass before me, God bears me witness. I have wept over the things that I write here; these are not trite clichés, or off-the-cuff pithy lines that I'm writing to you – I'm pouring out my soul! I have consecrated myself to the things that I'm writing of, I have been to jail on multiple occasions (and will go many more times before it's all said and done) for the things I am manifesting and defending in these pages – I have suffered the loss of all things for the revival that's coming. This is the only way it's coming at all, beloved; it's going to be by Nazarites wholly consecrating themselves to the cause of God in the earth, truly married to his glory. God's calling Samsons that he can overwhelm with heart-break, treachery, betrayal, brushes with the very terrors of hell – enough to drown the most stalwart soul in sorrow! Nothing less than this is going to be what it will take to make up this hedge and deliver the captive people of God once and for all.
God has some choice, chosen saints on hand now (even some of you reading these pages) who will awake at this midnight hour, perceive the danger at hand, wash their defiled garments, get right with God, and then separate themselves to fulfill the call of God to this generation to stand at all costs for this revival of glory among the house of God. I will not be the only one, beloved; God is raising an army whether you like it or not, whether you're a part of it or not (O that God would awaken your soul!) - this is God's holy prerogative in the earth in the last days and who can say him, “Nay”?
It has been my sober consideration for years now that I was not the first to receive this call. I am persuaded that there have been many men who the Lord spoke clearly to in generations past and even in this generation (maybe especially in this generation), who did not hearken to the call, or perhaps they did for a season and then, somewhere along the way, disobeyed the heavenly vision, and thus were passed by by God. This is concerning to me. O may God have mercy on me, and on you, my dear reader, to be one that he can entrust with the spiritual riches of his Kingdom and his heart and burden for his Church today.
You may say that I am speaking as a madman and am only “prophesying to the wind”. Well, I argue that I am not mad, but confess that I am indeed “prophesying to the wind”, yet not how you suppose it to be. This very work before you is the sermon that I'm preaching over the lifeless bodies of God's people slain in the valley, knowing that whom the Son will, he quickeneth (John 5:21). I am convinced of the truth that God is going to grip somebody by these words (which are not mine but God's), and they're going to arise, and ere long God shall have his army!