The prophet Ezekiel mentioned several events that would cause the heathen to learn about God. These events are connected with prophecies about the restoration of Israel. The New Testament identifies the Christian Church as Israel and Abraham’s seed. Those who believe in Christ inherit the promises of God. [Eph 2:11-13, Phil.3:3] In Acts 3:23, the apostle Peter quoted from the law of Moses, and showed that those of Israel who reject Jesus as their promised Messiah will be destroyed from among the people. [Acts 3:23] Thus, unbelieving Jews have been cut off from Israel, while Christians of all nations have become the true Israel of God.
Ezekiel’s prophecies apply to the Church which has been scattered and made desolate, who Christ leads out of captivity into the knowledge of the truth.
1. The heathen will learn of God, and God will be sanctified in them, when he gathers his saints who are scattered.
In Ezekiel God says:
I will accept you with your sweet savor, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen. [Ezek. 20:41]
This prophecy has not been fulfilled by unbelieving ethnic Jews settling in Palestine.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. [John 13:35]
We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. [1 John 3:14]
Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. [1 John 3:16]
2. Only when God is sanctified in his people, in the sight of the heathen, will Israel dwell in the land God promised to give to Jacob.
Thus saith the Lord God; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob. [Ezek. 28:25]
Although unbelieving Jews have settled in the Jewish state in the Middle East, Jesus is not acknowledged as Christ, and is not sanctified by them. The earthly Canaan is a figure of a better country, a heavenly one.
Ezekiel’s prophecy does not apply to the literal earthly Canaan, but the land of Canaan should be viewed as a metaphor or a type that represents possessing the spiritual blessings promised to those who believe in Christ. Jacob understood that the land signified spiritual blessings and revelations of God. [Gen 49:26] Israel dwelling in their land means the Church will understand the message of the prophets in the true spiritual sense. The promised land of the saints is heavenly. [Heb. 11:16]
3. None of the saints will be ‘left behind’ in the lands of their captivity.
… then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. [Ezek. 39:28]
This prophecy of Ezekiel is not fulfilled by ethnic Jews; literally it means that every ethnic Jew must live in the earthly Canaan, and none elsewhere. Of course that has not happened.
The prophecy shows that false doctrines and flawed interpretations will be discredited and abandoned by those who follow Christ.
4. When Christ is worshiped by his people, the heathen will know that he is the Lord.
And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. [Ezek. 36:23]
Christ’s name will not be profaned by his people any more, and God will be sanctified in them. Then the heathen will know that he is the Lord.
So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel. [Ezek. 39:7]
5. The heathen will know, when God restores his Church which was made desolate by false teachers.
Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the Lord build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it. [Ezek. 36:36]
In the 70th week, the church is made desolate by the antichrist, but at the end of the week the holy Spirit will be poured out upon it. “… and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. [Dan. 9:27]
6. When God’s sanctuary is established in the midst of his people, the heathen will know that God sanctifies them.
And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore. [Ezek. 37:28]
The heathen have not come to know God because of the efforts of Zionists to encourage Jews to settle in Palestine. On the contrary, that is the major cause of strife and contention in the area.
This prophecy applies to the church, the true temple, not to unbelieving Jews. [Eph 2:19-22]
The heathen will see God’s judgment on the enemies of the church.
And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them. [Ezek. 39:21]
7. When Gog and Magog are judged, God is sanctified in them, and the heathen will know him.
And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes. [Ezek. 38:16]
God’s sheep will dwell safely, and will no longer be a prey to the heathen.
And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid. [Ezek. 34:28]
The heathen will bear their shame.
Therefore thus saith the Lord God; I have lifted up mine hand, Surely the heathen that are about you, they shall bear their shame. [Ezek. 36:7]
Copyright © 2010, 2014 by Douglas E. Cox
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