The Blessing Of Being United In Christ

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The Blessing Of Being United In Christ

The Blessing Of Being United In Christ

Ezekiel 37:15  The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
16  Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:
17  And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.
18  And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?
19  Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.
20  And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.
21  And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:
22  And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:
23  Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.
24  And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.
25  And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.
26  Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.
27  My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
28  And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.

In verse 15 God again reminds us that it is He that is giving this word. Ezekiel was the writer, but the message came from the LORD. As we see here again, that God is reminding the nation and all who would read these words that Jehovah God is in charge.
As we look at our world today and we look at the chaos that is permeating more and more of society, it is comforting for those who know the Lord, that He is in charge. Israel did not grasp that in the days of Ezekiel. They thought they could follow false gods and everything would be fine. They did not see the importance of trusting the true God and following Him. God encouraged Ezekiel with these words and He also gave encouragement to the nation if they would turn to Him.
One of the fallacies that has been floating around for a long time is the false idea of the 10 missing tribes of Israel. British Israelism and Herbert W. Armstrong were big into promoting this idea and then assuming that these missing tribes were in the British Isles, etc. God has always known where every person is. He knows where the different tribes of Israel are as well. He knows that the Jews are still scattered throughout the world today.
In verses 16 and following God described the two divisions of the nation of Israel with two sticks. God often used illustrations to teach important truths. He never used illustrations for entertainment purposes. It was always to bring an important truth to bear upon the people. Ezekiel was told to take one stick and write the name of Judah on it. That stick would represent the entire nation of Judah.
On the other stick Ezekiel was to write the name Joseph as a representation of the northern ten tribes. God was using this illustration and the explanation of it to further emphasize what He had already stated above.
The nation of Israel had been split in two by God after the death of king Solomon. It was divided as a judgment upon king Solomon’s sin of idolatry. The nation had been a fragile union prior to this time. It had been split somewhat at the death of King Saul. Part of it followed after David and part of it followed after Ishbosheth. During the reign of king David, the nation was divided for a short time by his rebellious son Absalom.
We should be able to see that unity can only found in knowing the true God and following Him. This still holds true today in marriages, in families, in churches and in countries. Canada is probably as much divided now as it has ever been. Our P.M. has no idea of how to unite a country. He thinks he is right and all those who disagree with him are wrong. He likes to use different derogatory terms to describe those who disagree with him. He has managed to unite his party and most of the media behind him. He is a pawn of the world elites and he is ultimately being used by God for His glory. God is showing us the folly of following a man and a philosophy that is pagan to its core. Will people wake up? Not very many, but hopefully some will.
In our text, God reminded the nation of Israel that the division that He brought about in their midst due to their sin, would be healed in the future. God knows when that will be, but we do not. We know it will be at the time of the Millennium, but we do not know the date of that time.
Verse 17 tells us that Ezekiel was to join these two sticks together and they shall become one in thine hand. As we will see further in these verses the way these two groups would come back together will be their repentance and their turning to God for salvation.
We will look at this further and see how important this is for us today as well. We have New Evangelicalism which is trying to unite different groups through compromise. We have the ecumenical movement that is doing the same thing. Most people think that unity will come through finding the lowest common denominator and ignoring other “lesser” issues. God shows us throughout His Word there is no lowest common denominator that unites and there are no lesser issues. God is the only One that can bring true unity and He is the greatest, not the lowest. Everything He says and does is important and nothing can be ignored or dismissed.
Jesus Christ stated:

John 10:27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

Jesus also stated:

John 8:29  And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

God desires that people be unified. God also teaches that true unity can only come when people know the true God and humbly submit to Him. He demands unity under His authority and direction. That is the only way we can be unified. In heaven there will be complete unity. Only those who are saved will be in heaven. There will be no carnal Christians in heaven. God is not content with carnal Christians on earth either. The apostle Paul was directed by God to write much about the way of unity and the importance of unity. The New Testament saints were accused of turning their world upside down. They could do that because they were humble servants of the true and living God. False doctrine was addressed and refuted. Truth was exalted.
Hell will be a place of division and torment. The wise person trusts in the God of Creation and humbly submits to Him and is thus drawn to others who are of the same spirit and mind.

Philippians 2:5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

We will look at this further in this text.
Pastor Bartel

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