July 18

Ezekiel 45-48, Psalm 45

Our society now resembles the audience which directly heard the words of the prophet, Ezekiel. The audience then was the people of Judah who were despondent in that they had just lost everything: their nation, their homes, their temple, etc. Though personally responsible due to their own lack of faith, many fail to take personal responsibility and enter a state of hopelessness not sure where to turn. In our current godless society it is no different. Without accepting the truth that they have removed God from their lives they begin their search for deeper meaning from multiple sources. Today, there are a multitude of religions and religious books which offer alternatives to true Christianity. Many will point to the fact that there are truths and nice sayings in these other books from the Koran, the sayings of Buddha, the leaders of the New Age movement, etc. But we must all remember that some truths mixed with lies makes the entire book and movement false. A partial truth is still a lie. This is why the Bible stands apart from every other book. The Bible has been proven to be true prophetically, geographically, historically, archaeologically, and though written over 1400 years in three languages on three continents by over 40 authors there are no contradictions. Spending time seeking alternatives can easily lead many astray as the majority are seeking self-help more than actual truth.

Currently the average amount of salt in the sea is 3.5% and allows the large amount of sea life that thrives there. The amount of salt in the Dead Sea is 25% and therefore nothing is able to live in it. For any who have gone to Israel and entered the Dead Sea, you will notice all you can do is bob up and down in it, swimming is not possible due to it's chemical composition. But we see an awesome picture which occurs in the Millennial Kingdom. We read in Ezekiel 47:1, "Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced the east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar." We read further in 47:7-8, "When I returned, there along the bank of the river, were many trees on one side and the other. Then he said to me: "This water flows toward the eastern region, goes into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed." The sea which lies east of Jerusalem is the Dead Sea. We read further in 47:9, "And it shall be that every living thing thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed,...". We read in 47:12, "Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail...Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine." Currently east of Jerusalem leading to the Dead Sea is the Judean desert. Approximately 100 years later we read from the prophet Zechariah in 14:4, that the Lord in that day will stand on the Mount of Olives (which is directly east of Jerusalem) and split the Mount of Olives in two from east to west. Interestingly when the Intercontinental Hotel wanted to build a hotel on the brow of the Mount of Olives, their geologists confirmed a fault line running directly below where they wanted to build. We read in Zechariah 14:8, "And in that day it shall be That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, Half of them toward the eastern sea And half toward the western sea;...". Approximately 600 years later we read the words of John in the Book of Revelation in 22:1-2, we again read of this future river proceeding from the throne of God and producing the tree of life with leaves for healing.

Following this thread of prophecy may seem laborious, but what is amazing is that our story does not change and remains the same across centuries and authors. The most reassuring thing is in Ezekiel 48:35, the future name of this city is Yahweh Shammah, or "THE LORD IS THERE". Jesus said in John 7:37-38, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." In the very next verse we read the river Jesus was referring to was the Holy Spirit. People can continue to spend time searching out truth in this book or that book. They can overlook inconsistencies and half-truths seeking to absorb the sayings that they want to hear and that make them feel good. The truth is all roads do not lead to the same God, only Jesus leads us on that path (John 14:6). Every other alternative may make us feel good for a little while but is a lie and will not lead us to the Holy Spirit that Jesus refers to or to the tree of life which will only be enjoyed by those who follow the only path that leads us there, Jesus Christ. Finding that path requires a decision on the part of the one travelling. No one stumbles onto that path accidentally. So, as mentioned earlier everyone has a choice to make, but only the Bible and it's path to Jesus leads to truth and everlasting life. Only our story from beginning to end makes sense and is authenticated by prophecy, history, etc. May we all find that correct path and lead others onto it.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster