Are the passage that David red and and the the song that we just sang comes directly from the prophet that we're going to be looking at today. So in this series we've been looking at the word of the prophets. We've been considering what it is that these men that God used thousands of years ago what it is. They had to say for their day in why that still matters to us today and I've gotten some questions about this series like why take a profit a week like Isaiah has 66 chapters. How do you preach that in one week and my goal in this is not to exhaustively. Preach each of these prophets. But to have us begin to understand more broadly. What it is that God is doing as he speaks through these prophets. And so when we look at Isaiah and we look at Jeremiah weed to see them in concert. We have a tendency to take the different parts of the Bible as separate as not tied in and so I want us to understand how these guys all tie into what God is doing it. So we looked at Isaiah a couple weeks ago was preaching to the southern Kingdom of Judah street that they were two kingdoms God's people divided into two Northern Kingdom of Israel had 10 tribes of Southern Kingdom of Judah had two tribes. They were two different nations the northern kingdom who will look at some prophets that spoke to the northern kingdom. They were carried off into Exile in 722 BC and frankly pretty much never heard from again, which becomes really important later on in the day. I've got to work amongst his people but the southern Kingdom of Judah where the city of Jerusalem was located. They were still going and they had the temple and they were saying hey were worshipping Yahweh. We're worshipping The God Who Reigns right with this is this is us but as we saw and Isaiah as we sign Jeremih last week these guys in Judah we're still even though they were outwardly saying yes, we follow Yahweh. They were following Idols. They were doing their own thing. They were not worshipping Yahweh. They were they were following after false gods chasing the desires of the heart. So Isaiah is in the southern Kingdom. He's preaching about a hundred years before the Judgment that God says is coming before it comes Jeremiah then is he's got a front-row seat for this judgment that was coming for the Exile. And so when we read in Jeremiah he's looking at The things that Isaiah said we're going to happen now we get to Ezekiel and I don't know how many of you read Ezekiel this week. That's what I've been encouraging. If your guests first time with this here today each week. We're taking one of these Old Testament prophets and earlier in the week on Facebook. I mean I'm asking people. Hey read this Prophet before Sunday mainly because I can't preach, you know all of the texts in one go and so it'd be great if everybody had some some contacts there but also because it's amazing. We start reading the word of God what God starts doing in us and I was grateful for text that I received this week from people who are reading through like can you believe what is Ezekiel says here? Can you believe this? I'm like, right. It's amazing how relevant these books that were in so long ago amazing how relevant they are to us back to the point is zekiel. Is following on the heels of Isaiah and Jeremiah Isaiah is a hundred years before the Exile Jeremiah sees the Exile Ezekiel is taken away in Exile. So we get really kind of the complete picture here with these three first profits. All right, so is zekiel is is part of the Judgment. He's he's under the Judgment. He's walking down the steps of Exile that Isaiah and Jeremiah foretold and and Isaiah and Jeremiah both one of the things that you guys noticed is that there's some common themes it just in these first two those first two prophets, right? They diagnose the reason why God brings the Exile and that reason is that Israel the people of God, they failed to submit to obey and love Yahweh. That's the reason and they give the same reason. This is why God's judgment is coming because you have not loved you all way because you have not obeyed you already have not submitted to y'all way. That's why you're going into judge into Exile Ezekiel says the exact same thing. He says this is the reason for the Exile. What is Ezekiel also does something that both the other prophets did but is he cool just makes it perfectly clear for us. As God is speaking to him. He gives not just the reason for the Exile. You failed to keep your Covenant with Yahweh. He diagnoses. The reason for that failure. The reason that Israel the people of God who knew you wait who you always revealed himself to? Who gave them all of these blessings that they did not deserve the reason that they failed to keep Covenant with Yahweh was because they had hard hearts. And rebellious spirits. And the beauty in Ezekiel, is he reveals? How God's going to fix that problem? God is going to sovereignly swap out these hard Hearts for Hearts that are soft to Yahweh and he's going to remove from his people this rebellious spirit and instead he's going to put his own Spirits in side of them. And that was the song. We just sang. That's the song we're going to sing in worship out of this text is saying God we need you to do this. This is where is zekiel meets us today. People with hard Hearts people with rebellious spirits and saying Lord unless you change this. I'm never going to be able to worship you as you deserve so is zekiel follows on the heels of Isaiah and Jeremiah not just in time, but also in saying here's the problem and hears God's solution to let's look at Ezekiel to open your bibles if you haven't already open your Bible to Ezekiel now if you're here and you don't have a Bible by the way, it's perfectly acceptable if you just use the Bible on your smartphone. Okay, so it is it's okay. We're not afraid of Technology. All right, so go ahead and use that. Nobody's going to judge you. I'm not going to look at you and think you're playing Tetris. Unless you are. Don't do that, but feel free to use your smartphone to find Ezekiel. And if you don't have a Bible or a smartphone with a Bible on it underneath the the chair in front of you there should be a Bible if if you are here and you don't have a Bible feel free to grab one of those and take it home with you. Right, but we want to look at the actual text. What is it that that God reveals to us through Ezekiel as we want to look at the structure. How how is Ezekiel divided up in and then some of you were like, that sounds really boring.
Okay structure can be kind of boring but not in Ezekiel. How many if you read it this week is zekiel is a why there's some wild stuff going on in this book. All right, and I'm not going to be able to do justice to it. But let me just say that it when you hear structure and Ezekiel don't think boring because Ezekiel is anything but boring. All right. So in the Book of Ezekiel, the first part of the structure is is chapters 1 through 7 and in chapters 1 through 7. We see that the glory of God Appears in Babylon. All right, so just right there chapter one. Look at verse one with me in the 30th year in the fourth month on the 5th day of the month as I was among the Exiles by the chamber Canal the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. So is Ezekiel is speaking here and then he's going to be introduced in the next 2-3 versus and so he's in that he sees and he describes it and there's this stormy wind. It's out of the North. There's this great Cloud, there's these wheels and there's these weird creatures with four faces and wings everywhere and eyes everywhere and wheels within wheels and I'm telling you it's not boring. Okay, you can read it. You can kind of skim through there and and this is the appearance that he sees. All right, and he's trying to describe something that is very clearly indescribable. but he's talking about these living creatures and there's this expanse over their head and there's this the sound of the almighty and there's this other sound and whenever they Stood Still they would let down their wings when they were standstill that have their wings up and it's just crazy But then he says it's at the very end such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord and when I saw it, I fell on my face.
Ezekiel Is a Jew he's from Judah. Isaiah prophesied and said you're going to get carried away to Babylon Jeremiah prophesied that you're going to get carried away to Babylon Ezekiel got carried away to Babylon. Now the one thing you need to understand about the faith that these prophets held the faith that they were certain of because God had declared it to them was that the presence of God was in Jerusalem. Was in the Temple and so when is Ezekiel is sitting on the banks of a Babylonian canal and God shows up? He's got to be about the most shocked person ever. Not that he didn't believe God was real and that was a no. Look God's real like Paul in the New Testament. It would Jesus but no, it's not that he didn't believe in Yahweh. It's the fact that you always not supposed to be in Babylon. You always supposed to be in Jerusalem. What in the world is he doing showing up out here? This is amazing Ezekiel Sees God. Someplace, he should never have expected would never have expected to see God. This is this is my boyfriend in chapters 1 through 7. What we see is God's work through his Ezekiel in Babylon where he wasn't supposed to be where he had sent his people in judgment and yet he's still working through is Ezekiel. There's a 1 through 7. You see the glory of God in Babylon and that's crazy. The glory of God is supposed to be in Jerusalem. So they are in chapters 8 through 11. We get this flashback almost right and it's this vision of the glory of God departing the temple because that the question seems to be burning in ezekiel's mind. What is God doing here? God supposed to be the glory of God is supposed to remain in the temple. Is that Ezekiel? I hope that wasn't important Steve Steve Stevens. Sorry. I don't know what it is. But I hope it wasn't important. We see the answer to the question. What is God doing in Babylon? Well gods in Babylon because he's left the temple. He's left Israel. Look at chapter 10 with me look at chapter 10 and start in verse 18th of the vision that God gives his equal to answer the question. Then the glory of the Lord went out from the threshold of the house and stood over the cherubim and the cherubim lifted their wings mounted up from the earth before my eyes as they went out out of the Temple. With the wheels beside them they stood at the entrance of the East Gate of the house of the Lord and the glory of Israel was over them. These were the living creatures that I saw underneath the god of Israel by the chamber canal and I knew that they were chair of them. So the question that is equal has what's God doing in Babylon? Well gods in Babylon cuz he left Israel. This is this is the greatest punishment, right Ezekiel is not right unaware of the fact that the Exile is real. He was part of the first wave of Exiles taken to Babylon, but to receive news that God has rejected his people by removing his presents from them. That's a blow and when Ezekiel communicates this to the people. That's he's prophesying to them. That's how the people are supposed to feel like. Oh my goodness. Not only have we been sent into Exile but because of our Deeds the spirit of God has gone into exile. The spirit of God is no longer present with his people. This is the worst thing possible in the Psalms David rights and he says do not take your spirit from me. Oh God. Don't cast me away from your presence. Whatever else you do. Don't remove your presence in here is Ezekiel says God removed his presence from his people. That's the Judgment of God. We tend to look at it. We think man Exile doesn't sound real great have to leave my home have to go live as slaves among the people that don't worship the same way. I do have different customs and I do wow, that's rough and yet Ezekiel says far more difficult than that is a fact that the spirit of God has been taken away. And I just have a question. I know we're doing structure and I'm not supposed to be preaching right now.
Do any of us feel the same way about the spirit of God? I would be more concerned with what we had lost the Comforts that we no longer had. When we need more concerned about the fact that our relationship with God has been affected or the fact that our bank account was affected. Are we more attached to comfort in this world than we are to the spirits of God?
there's good news in this to there's a just judgment Ezekiel sees the spirit depart the temple. But Ezekiel sees the spirits. God is not done with Israel if he's still speaking to Israel. He may have judge them by removing his presence for a while. But there's hope in the fact that he's even speaking to his Ezekiel There's Hope in the fact that he shows up in Babylon Ezekiel can take comfort in the fact that God is still on his throne wherever his people might be. Button in chapters 12 through 32. We don't get all that. Hope yet. There is hope put in 12232. We see a lot of judgment. We see a lot of judgment on Israel, but also on her neighbors, this is very consistent with what we sign it as they and in Jeremiah Wright. God judges sin, wherever it is in his people those who do not know him Sin is Sin before a righteous and holy God long exposition of judgments in in chapter 15. Turn there with me we read about God's Judgment of Jerusalem of Judah of his people the word of the Lord came to me son of man. How does the wood of the vine surpassed any would the vine branch that is among the Trees of the forest? He's saying look,
You tell me is Ezekiel if you were saying I need some wood to build something. You're not going to go cut down the Grapevine. You're going to go cut down an oak. He says I wish you wouldn't use the vine. You don't use the vine for anything. Is wood from it taken from it to make anything do people take a pig from it to hang a vessel on the answer is no you don't use Vines for building up until Pinterest came along and my dad.
Is wood taken from it to make anything to people take a behold. It is given to the fire for fuel, right. The only thing this is good for us to be burned.
That's it you burn it and if you burn it in both hands burn off and all you're left with is the middle. What you going to do? Pull it out of the fire and then make something of it. He says, this is his real. A worthless Vine that's been cast into the fire burned on both ends. And now All That Remains is charred Remnant. Look at what he says in for 6. Therefore thus says the Lord God like the wood of the vine from among the trees the forest which I have given to the fire for fuel. So I have given up the inhabitants of Jerusalem and I will set my face against them though. They escaped from the fire the fire shall yet consume them and you will know that I am the Lord when I set my face against them I will make the land desolate because they have acted faithless Lee declares the Lord God and then the rest of this section is is more of the same. I'm judging Judah. I'm judging Jerusalem. I'm judging Tire. I'm going to judge Babylon judge sin, wherever I find sin. I'm going to judge it all. And God says this is what I'm going to do.
And at that point, what are we left with? Not much. Some ashes right? That's that's all that's left and yet even from that. God can still work in chapter 33. We see that the Judgment comes turn to chapter 33 with me. In chapter 33 the Judgment that he's been talking about comes and Jerusalem falls. Estill and still the people refuse to obey they refuse to hear the word of God that is being shared with them. It's amazing to me when we read in versus Air chapter 33. Look at verse 30 with me. As for you son of man, your people who talk together About You by the walls and at the doors of the houses say to one another each to his brother come and hear the what the word is that comes from the Lord and they come to you as people come and they sit before you as my people and they hear what you say, but they will not do it for with lustful talk in their mouths. They act their heart is set on their own game behold you are to them like one who sings lustful songs with a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument for they hear what you say. But they will not do it.
Earlier in chapter 33 you can get you can flip back there. You can see Jerusalem is struck down. You can see Jerusalem is judged and the people who are listening to his Ezekiel are still sitting there saying so Jerusalem is literally burning. And the people are like let's go. Listen to Ezekiel again. They're treating his preaching as performance art. Like I go to a concert, I don't expect my life to be changed. I expect to be entertained, right? That's what he saying. He's saying look the people are going to come out and listen to zekiel. Even though Jerusalem is destroyed even though my word came through even though they have tangible evidence of my judgment. They're going to treat you like performance art. Let's go hear what the word the Lord has to say today through Ezekiel. Man, wasn't that a great message Ezekiel? And then walk out and do nothing.
Do we treat the preaching of the word of God the same way?
This is a sad reality in our culture. I saw this when when I was on campus at Seminary when it when I was in to take you to my undergraduate there my wife and I went to the same school. And if you lived on campus it was requirements that you attend Chapel two times a week or two times a week. There would be a worship service similar to this one, except we use the pipe organ and a hymnbook. Other than that. It was basically the same somebody would get up and preach and it was amazing. Even notice requirement for every on campus student win some local Pastor that nobody has ever heard of was preaching the chapel would be almost empty now. I don't want to sound holier than now because I was there to see The Emptiness. I was getting paid to be there. I worked Iran sound for the perfect camping site. I really had to be there but it would be empty for this nobody that anybody ever heard of the den somebody like John MacArthur would show up or the president of a school would preach and the chapel would just be packed. And I realize this is a problem. When what we're here for is the name when what we're here for is the show in this person's known as a good preacher, so go listen to the gym. Right, that's a problem. And that's what God says. This is what's happening with Israel. They love to come hear the word of God preached, but they have no intention of doing anything with it. Oh may we not be that kind of people Red Hills? Let's go listen to the sermon. Let's get our toes stepped on. And then let's walk out the door and come back next week. May we not be those who hear preaching? And intend to do nothing with it. so Jerusalem's destroyed the Judgment has fallen the Exile is in place. The stump of the vine is all that's left. It's burned at both ends, and he just got the Civil charged bit left. Where's the hope? Frizzy Kiel doesn't lie in the ashes for Ezekiel the hope lies in the God that he just saw and so in 34 237 we see is Ezekiel reveal. This is how God's going to fix his people. This is how God's going to redeem his people. This is how God's going to save his people and more on that in just a second. But 38 through 48. The vision shifts again and instead of being how God is going to fix just his people. It shifts in Ezekiel says, this is how God's going to fix everything. This is how God's going to bring all of creation under his Dominion. Not just his people. And it is glorious. Look at look at chapter 43 of the zekiel with me. I know you've had the flip around a lot in this book. but carry on Press On
chapter 43 in the midst of is he kissing the song God's going to fix everything? Look what God shows him. Then. He led me to the gates the gate Facing East which you remember was the gate that earlier the spirit had left out of and behold the glory of the god of Israel was coming from the East and the sound of his coming was like the sound of many Waters in the earth shown with his glory and the vision that I saw was just like the vision that I had seen when he came to destroy the city and just like the vision that I had seen by the chamber canal and I fell on my face as the glory of the Lord entered the temple by the gate Facing East the spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner Court behold the glory of the Lord filled the temple the judgement of God against his people was removing his presents from the Judgment of God against the world was lifting up his Spirit from out amongst them the way he fixes the world is by sending his Spirit back into that inviting people back into his present. That's how God is going to fix everything.
That's incredible. I want you to understand that what's happening in verse in chapter 38 through 48 of Ezekiel is the same thing that Isaiah talked about at the end of his book the same thing to Jeremiah pointed us to when he was giving the hope for Israel if the same thing that we see at the end of Revelation in chapters 21 and 22 what you're seeing is the same thing as fixing everything in Revelation. We read and God will wipe away every tear from every eye and there shall no longer be death or Mourning or any such thing for God is with his people. I want you to understand this. There is no greater judgment than God can give except to remove his spirit. There is no blessing greater than him returning it.
Some of you were looking at me like yeah, I'm on board with that some of your looking like me. This dude's crazy. Here's a question. This is not original to me. I don't know who first asked it, but I know that it has been on my heart and mind of shared it with you before would you want heaven? If God were not there.
That's a good way to diagnose your faith. Are you in it for what you get out of it or you in it because of who he is because if you say yeah, no death no morning eternal glory great. I'll sign up for some of that. I don't care. If God, they're not you've missed the points according to Ezekiel. What matters is not whether or not you're comfortable? What matters is not whether or not you're suffering what matters is whether or not God is with you whether or not you were experiencing his presence. Ezekiel says there's no greater blessing than having the spirit of God, and there's no greater judgment than not having it. Would you want Heaven if God were not there? And those who love Yahweh say no. I'll suffer if that means I'm with Christ. I'll gladly be in prison if that means the spirit is with me. I'll gladly leave off comfort and ease if that means I can experience the presence of God. This is what we get to the heart of when we assume back in on that section. I said would come back to resume back in on how God fixes his people in chapters 34 237 turn to chapter 34 with me. When when when God fixes his people? He rescues them from their oppressors, right and we're on board with that right? You guys know what it is to be oppressed whether you would use that term or not. How many of you have ever send? Said amen. I appreciate the honest ones with their hands in the air. Everybody else that didn't raise your hand. No, I'm kidding. Hippocrates
I said I was kidding Paul.
We've all sinned that suppression, right that is a precious in a presses us, you know, what else has our desires oppress us read Romans 7 sometime in Romans 7, we get the glimpse of the most miserable person on Earth. I want to do good but I don't do good the good I want to do I don't do the bad that I don't want to do I do do which is really confusing language. Would you get what he's saying? Right? We're a pressed by our own desires there were in conflict that says join us in sand join us in Rebellion. Come have fun. It'll be great. We repress by an enemy a spiritual force that opposes our sanctification to depose this moving towards Christ repressed. And God says, here's how I'm going to fix you. I'm going to rescue you from your oppressors. I'm going to rescue you. What is God do to rescue us?
He comes to us. He comes to us. This is this is what his real didn't understand. They thought it was great. As long as in the temple the glory of God throughout then they would be fine outside of it. God says know you need much more than my presence in the building somewhere. You need to be with you. We don't typically feel the pressure. When were in the word when were with God we feel depression when we're away from God God says if I'm going to rescue from your pressures, I need to be with you and he says in this In this passage 34 cases. Here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to seek out my sheep and my sheep will know my voice. I'm going to gather those who have been scattered by the poor Shepherds that has provided. I'm going to be their Shepherd to rescue them from their oppressors. I'm going to be with my people and he says I'm going to give them a new Shepherd. He says I'm going to give them a new ship. Look at 34 Verse 22. 34 Verse 22, I will rescue my flock they shall no longer be a prey. I will judge between sheep and sheep. I'm going to be with them looking for 23. I will set up over them one Shepherd my servant David and he will feed them. He will feed them and be their Shepherd. God says I'm going to rescue my sheep from their oppressors and then he says and I'm going to give them a new David will Shepherd them. Now. If you're not real familiar with the with kind of the context, you're David was the first good King, I guess of Israel. It was the second king, but the first thing was kind of a disappointment. Alright, so David is that this is what people look back to in Judah and Israel. They look back in there. Like if only we had a king like David well at what we know about David was he was a Shepherd boy before he was King, right? He literally was anointed to be king stinking of sheep. If you've never been around sheep, I'll just assure you they stink. Okay, that was David. He was a shepherd and he was he was known he was the shepherd King and Ezekiel says this is what God is going to do. He's going to give you a new Shepherd King. He's not just going to be with you to free you from your oppressors, but he's going to give you a new David to Shepherd you Shepherd you as he intends, but I want you to understand why he does this. what should I say and why God fixes his people in this is part of the how Israel was convinced that they would not be carried into Exile. You know, why because they were God's chosen people. Okay, they were convinced that job would not judge them because they had that name the people of God. God says I'm going to rescue you from your oppressors. I'm going to give you this David not because of your name, but because of my name turn to pay chapter 36. Chapter 36 and I want to read this. It's starting in verse 16. The word of the Lord came to me son of man when the house of Israel lived in their own land. They defiled it by their ways and their deeds their ways before me were like the uncleanness of a woman in her menstrual impurity. So I poured out on them my wrath for the blood that they had shed in the land for the idols with which they had defiled it. I scattered them among the Nations and they were dispersed through all the countries in accordance with their ways and their deeds I judge them but when they came to the nation's wherever they came they profaned my holy name in that people said of them. These are the people of the Lord yet. They had to go out of his same. Look God judges you and he sends you out of the land and you go out telling people that you're his people you still want to claim your name, the people of God, you got understand God's not going to fix you because of Annie name that you've given yourself because of any name that you would claim God's going to fix you. For the sake of his name verse 21, but I had concerned for my Holy Name which the house of Israel had profaned among the Nations to which they came there for its say to the house of Israel that says the Lord God. It's not for your sake o House of Israel that I'm about to act but for the sake of my Holy Name, which you have profaned among the Nations to which you came I will vindicate the Holiness of my great name, which is been profaned among the Nations which you have for playing among them in the nation will know that I am the Lord declares the Lord God when through you I've been to Kate my Holiness Before Their Eyes Church us It's never been about us. It wasn't about Israel and they were going and they have this badge of honor like look at us. Yes, you just conquered us. Yes, we've just come into your land Babylon, but we are the people of God in the people of a bad want to look at him like really This is what? God gets
anytime we go out and we Proclaim to people the good news of us.
They can look at us and say what? We don't look like good news most of the time. Red Hills is not a name that people would look at me like Look at that. Those people are amazing. right Brandon Boone is not a name that people are going to look at and say I want to know that guy's God.
But the name of Jesus.
Is a great name? The name of Jesus will never be forgotten.
Somebody reminded me yesterday about a conversation about a statement made by The Beatles were more famous than Jesus. more famous than Jesus
really and it most of us would rightly castigate The Beatles for saying that. But how many of us secretly want our name to be right up there with Jesus? Mavis want to be known for our Good Deeds how many of us want to be known by people that we meet. That guy is a good guy a guy's got it together.
Jesus is The Only Name worthy of that. Yahweh is The Only Name worthy of this. Right? And God says redeem you Christians. for your namesake But for my namesake note that Christian. Right, that's important that Jesus is the name that is glorified that God's name is glorified. We can't take credit for the work. He does we can't say look what we did by our faith. We brought salvation for ourselves. No, God would say no. I brought salvation to you so that the nation's would glorify me. I gave this means of escaping the penalty of sin and death so that the nation's would glorify me one of my favorite quotes from a guy named count Von Zinzendorf
and he was the the founder of the Moravian missionary movement and every missionary that he sent out cuz he loaded them on a boat. This is this is pre-modern technology. Is he set them on that boat? He said here's your task preach the gospel die and be forgotten. And there is no higher badge of honor that a Christian can play and preach the gospel die and be forgotten because your name doesn't matter. The name of Jesus matters the name of Jesus is what saves people not Red Hills not Brandon, not your name Jesus. And so God says to fix you. I've got to get your eyes off of you. I've got to get your eyes onto me cuz it's only the end of the world will glorify me. As long as you're running around in your own case. Look at us look at us where the people of God no, no, no, no. No, they're not right. We're right now. I don't even know if they've got it wrong. Come over here. We've got better music. We've got better preaching. We've got better coffee downstairs in the fellowship hall. As long as it's anything to do with us that we're taking out. It's not worth anything. We take the name of Jesus and say God be glorified. Even if we're forgotten and never remembered. So God fixes his people by rescuing from them from their oppressors by being with them by appointing a new David Jesus Christ fulfills that role you look at John. I'm the Good Shepherd my sheep hear my voice and then you'll see that he glorifies himself and not his people and we have this call to preach the gospel, even though we are forgotten but what brings us to that point. What brings us to that point is what we see it in the the latter part here of verse or chapter 36 look at verse 24. God is speaking to his people about how he's going to fix them. He says I will take you from the nation's I will gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you you will be clean from all your uncleanness in from all your Idols. I will cleanse you and I will give you a new heart and a new spirit. I will put within you. I will remove the Heart of Stone from your flesh and give you a heart of Flesh and I will put my spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules you shall dwell in the land that I gave your father's you shall be my people and I will be your God. The problem was the guy that told his people how to stay his people do what I tell you to do. The problem was as we see throughout the Old Testament they couldn't do it. And you and I If we're honest with ourselves. We couldn't do it either. It's really easy to blame Adam and Eve's they had one rule. They broke it. Everything got messed up. Julie's a 12 I would have been there. I would have done that. Yeah, pretty sure you would have sorry because the entire record of human history is that left to our own devices? We will always break the law of God left to our own devices.
So in order to fix that God has to not just change the rules. That doesn't work. dirty tried that really didn't ride a knew what was going to happen back in Deuteronomy 30 Moses talk about all this stuff. Well before the prophets ever got around us and God's going to judge you when you ultimately fail him Moses already said that God knew this did he wanted to demonstrate to us rules will never make you right with God.
Rules will never make you right with God. It doesn't matter how good you think you are. You're going to screw up somewhere and we know that if anyone fails at one point he is guilty of the whole law.
So God says I'm going to fix this. I'm going to take these hearts that are hard to my instruction. I'm going to take these spirits that want to rebelled against me. I'm going to pull them out and I'm going to put new hearts in hearts that are soft towards me and my spirit inside of them to make them. Obey. I want you to see the way this goes we've settled for a cost-free Christianity in America by and large. believe in Jesus and go your Merry way and when you die, you'll go to heaven has been the gospel preached most often. That's not the gospel. The gospel is believe in Jesus because God has changed your heart. And then out of the grace that he gives you you're going to be set free from your desires. You can be set free to obey him. We are saved for good works. You're not saved by good works. There is a transformation that takes place when our heart changes our actions change when inside is clean. As Jesus said the outside is clean. But until that inside changes wrought. Jesus is all your good deeds are just like white wash on a tomb outside. It looks pretty. But inside you're full of dead things. So what we need what God's people need is for him to change our hearts to change the spirit inside of us so that we obey him. and when when God does that it's like the song that we sang It's like chapter 37 of Ezekiel. I want you two to just listen to this. So God changes, this people's hearts changes their spirits of the Taliban. He rescues them from death and he resurrects them. Listen to chapter 37. The hand of the Lord was upon me and he brought me out in the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley. It was full of Bones and he led me among them and a hold they were very many on the surface of the valley and behold they were very dry and soda set the stage this Valley that is Ezekiel has been brought to his is the valley outside of Jerusalem. The result of the Judgment of God his people sin death comes the wages of sin is death were told this time and time again back in the garden Adam and Eve don't eat from this tree if you do you die. God's people rejected him God's people died and there weren't enough left to bury the bodies. So Ezekiel is taken in this Vision to see the Judgment of God the death. And these bodies have been laying out so long that the bones are now dry.
He said to me son of man can these bones live and I answered a lord God, you know. Good answer Ezekiel. Then he said to me prophesy over these bones and say to them. Oh Dry Bones hear the word of the Lord thus says the Lord God to these bones behold. I will cause breath to enter you and you will live and I will lay sinews upon you and will cause flash to come up on you and cover you with skin and put breath in you and you shall live and you shall know that I am the Lord. Can you imagine a more desperate task than the one appointed to Ezekiel Ezekiel go preach to the bones.
Go tell them to do something. You have no power to create in them something. They didn't have no power to do in themselves. Let me tell you every single person that stands up here to preach feels the same way.
We're trying to tell you to do things that you can't do.
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So what's the difference? How does this happen? So I prophesied as I was commanded and as I prophesied there was a sound Behold a rattling in the bones came together bone do it's bone. And I looked and behold there was sinews on them in the flash should come on them and skin head covered them, but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me prophesy to the breath prophesy. Son of man in state of the breath that says the Lord God come from the Four Winds o breath and breathe on the plane that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me in the breath came into them and they lived and stood on their feet and exceedingly great Army. What should understand Ezekiel couldn't do this is ezekiel's words could not bring life to these dead bodies. Ezekiel's words could not bring bones back together. but as he declared what the Lord said the Lord works and did this then he said to me son of man. These bones are the whole house of Israel behold. They say our bones are dried up and our hope is lost. We are indeed cut off their for prophesy and say to them thus says the Lord God behold. I will open your Graves and raise you from your Graves of my people and I will bring you into the land of Israel and you will know that I am the Lord when I open your Graves and raise you from your Graves all my people and I will put my spirit within you and you shall live and I will place you in your own land in you will know that I am the Lord I have spoken and I will do it declares the Lord. What is the proof? Yahweh is who he says he is. What is the proof that God is who he says he is when he raises the dead to life.
When he gives life where there was nothing but death. When Jesus walked out of the Tomb almost 2,000 years ago. We knew right then. Yahweh is Yahweh. God is salvation. God is mighty and God will save his people whenever somebody who is dead in their sins who is so committed to their own desires that they will destroy their own life and the life of those around them when that person is brought to repentance and change is and says it's no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. Yahweh is Yahweh. God is salvation. He's done what we could never do. When you see resurrection power, you know God is God when your life is transformed not because you tried harder, but because God changes you from the inside out. You know, God is God. That's how others will know that God is God when the dead things live. When the life we lead is no longer ours, but it's Christ. The world will know that Yahweh is Yahweh when his Spirit brings transformation.
When our lives look different because we have the spirit. God is known as the God who saves that's how God fixes his people. He rescues them from his their oppressors by sending his son to Shepherd them. He glorify his own name and not theirs. He puts the focus back where it belongs on him. It changes our hearts and our spirit so that we will obey him. He brings life where there was death and he gives us Resurrection. That's how God fixes his people.
So what do we do?
with the message of Ezekiel How do we respond to something like this? Could I just humbly submit? That we ought to believe this. Not just intellectually assume it's truth, but believe it. Down to the very center of our being from our head to our toes believe this God Saves us through Jesus Christ. I'll just pay lip service to some doctrinal points give life service to the transformation that Jesus brings in you believe it believe in Jesus Christ confess him as Lord and you will be saved. What should we do? We should pray for the Lord to give us new Hearts recognizing that sheer force of will is not enough to accomplish righteousness is not enough to bring Salvation. God change our hearts as well sing in just a moment. God give us your spirit. Take away the rebellious Spirit from it as we should pray that he would do these things for the sake of his name for his glory among the Nations. finally I think we should Marvel. I think we should be awestruck. Pastor Richard R. This is been a while, but it came to my mind just now we should be gobsmacked. Right we should just be amazed at the fact that God would do things this way. We should worship. Because God has brought life where death reigned where no human interaction could ever have been sufficient no modern medical miracle could have raised those dead things back to life and yet God did we should exalt with joyful worship. Would you pray with me?