“The Lord took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the Lord to a valley filled with bones. He led me all around among the bones that covered the valley floor. They were scattered everywhere across the ground and were completely dried out. Then He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones become living people again?” “O Sovereign Lord,” I replied, “You alone know the answer to that.” Then He said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look! I Am going to put breath into you and make you live again! I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I Am the Lord.’” So I spoke this message, just as He told me. Suddenly as I spoke, there was a rattling noise all across the valley. The bones of each body came together and attached themselves as complete skeletons. Then as I watched, muscles and flesh formed over the bones. Then skin formed to cover their bodies, but they still had no breath in them. Then He said to Me, “Speak a prophetic message to the winds, son of man. Speak a prophetic message and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again.’” So I spoke the message as He commanded me, and breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet—a great army. Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel. They are saying, ‘We have become old, dry bones—all hope is gone. Our nation is finished.’ Therefore, prophesy to them and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O My people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel. When this happens, O My people, you will know that I Am the Lord. I will put My Spirit in you, and you will live again and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done what I said. Yes, the Lord has spoken!’”
Ezekiel 37:1-14 NLT
There’s a line from a movie years ago that everyone quoted for a while. “ I see dead people.” This was in essence the conversation the Lord was having with Ezekiel. He had prophesied to the bones, they took on flesh, but was still dead, then he prophesied to the body and it received breath. At this point it seemed like everything was in place but the people who had been given a new life, complained that they still felt dried up. Then the Lord pointed out to Ezekiel what was still missing. His Spirit. Wondering why the church looks alive but is seeing no results. Your answer is found in verse 14. We do not have His Spirit. We have His body, we have His breath, but we lack His Spirit anointing.
The burden removing, yoke destroying power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said when He, the Spirit of truth is come, that means we weren’t born with Him, we received Him when we said the prayer of salvation. What we received was the infilling of the Holy Spirit which is the recreated spirit which took us from a life of sin, to a life of righteousness. But the Spirit that brings supernatural power to do things we cannot in our own abilities, that Spirit brings a whole new dimension to our spiritual lives. Let’s examine this.
“That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” He said. As He spoke, He showed them the wounds in His hands and His side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again He said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so I Am sending you.” Then He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.””
John 20:19-23 NLT
This happened after Jesus was resurrected from the dead. You could say that they had prayed the prayer of salvation at this meeting and accepted the finished work of Christ and received their born again spirit. Remember, what is written in Hebrews 9:22? Without the shedding of blood there’s no remission of sin. The disciples weren’t born again until the resurrection. This is why Jesus was able to say to them if you forgive anyone’s sin they’re forgiven etc. you can only understand the power of forgiveness if you’re forgiven. Remember some of them weren’t convinced that He would rise from the dead. You have to read the gospels. I can’t write everything here. Thomas wasn’t called doubting Thomas for no reason. He didn’t believe until he had evidence. Peter went back to his old career of fishing, and the rest of the fishermen went with him. John 21 this happened after they had seen the resurrected Jesus. John 20
They received what we received at our new birth the Spirit that brings evidence of our new birth. So the Spirit that brings testimony or evidence of our conversion was what the Lord was speaking of to Ezekiel. We find the New Testament account of that in Acts chapter 2. But before that, The Lord Jesus gave this command to His disciples after His resurrection and before His ascension.
“Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And He said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of His Name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ You are witnesses of all these things. “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as My Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”
Luke 24:45-49 NLT
I thought we just read that He breathed on them and said receive the Holy Spirit? He did, but as I explained it was their born again experience. They received the Spirit of sonship or the evidence. Here we’re reading that He opened their minds to understand the scriptures. Why didn’t they understand before? The Spirit of Truth was not yet given to them. All of this was predicated on Jesus rising from the dead. Hence Romans 10:9 explains to us how we receive the same Spirit of Truth they received when Jesus breathe on them. Are you getting this? He’s speaking faster than I can type. Now to what He was speaking of when He told them to go to Jerusalem and stay there until the Holy Spirit fills them with power, does not imply that there are two Holy Spirits, but that there are two different infillings. One for the new birth experience, the other for the power to carry out the requirements of the new life.
The Lord said, they looked the part, but they felt that something was missing, I know what it is and I’ll supply it. He didn’t say He would breathe, He told Ezekiel that He would put His Spirit in them. Let’s go read what happened in Acts.
“On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.”
Acts of the Apostles 2:1-4 NLT
What looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. He was putting His Spirit in them. There is no power in the believer absent the power of the Holy Spirit. The sons of Sceva probably were Christians, they were trying to use power they had not received to cast out demons. The result wasn’t good. Without what happened in Acts 2 happening in us, we remain powerless. Yes, we’re saved by the blood of Jesus, but that’s not the whole experience. There’s much more! Why didn’t Jesus just stop at breathing on them? Why did He tell them to wait for another infilling? Because there’s more. Most pastors don’t teach this because they either haven’t experienced Him, or they erroneously believe that it only applied to the disciples. Well if that’s true, how come I received that baptism with the evidence of tongues? The gift is available to all who believe and receive Him. Back to the sons of Sceva. They tried using the Name of Jesus who Paul preached, but hadn’t received the power that Paul received.
“God gave Paul the power to perform unusual miracles. When handkerchiefs or aprons that had merely touched his skin were placed on sick people, they were healed of their diseases, and evil spirits were expelled. A group of Jews was traveling from town to town casting out evil spirits. They tried to use the Name of the Lord Jesus in their incantation, saying, “I command you in the Name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, to come out!” Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this. But one time when they tried it, the evil spirit replied, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?” Then the man with the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them, and attacked them with such violence that they fled from the house, naked and battered.”
Acts of the Apostles 19:11-16 NLT
Where did Paul get his power? Exactly. And we can too. Where did the other apostles get their power? Exactly. Are we followers of Christ? Then we can/have receive(d) the same power. Our problem is believing and being persuaded. The sons of Sceva believed, but they lacked authority, we have the authority but we don’t believe. God has PUT His Spirit within us. We must choose to believe and walk in Him. The Lord said, they say our bones are dried up! So here’s what I’m going to do. I will Put MY SPIRIT in them. Why? So that they will live. And what will be the result? Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.”
Jesus wants us filled with His power, in order that we would continue what He started. We were born again for a purpose. Not to be pew warmers, dressed up and looking good, alive without power. No! we are better than that. If you have not received the promise of Luke 24. Then ask! At least Israel had sense enough to recognize that they looked alive but their bones were dried up. They wanted more than the breath, they wanted the Spirit that brought real life and power. Jesus promised it and the Father delivered on that promise. We have work to do people of God, the world is watching and waiting for manifestation. Romans 8:22-23 This is what Jesus also promised.
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Matthew 7:7-8 NLT
If you want to see real change in your life, then move from the outward appearance to the inward change. Jesus said Behold! Look! Take notice! I give you power! Not I gave, this is continuous. Our problem is we’re content with the skin and breath, if that were enough there wouldn’t have been the promise of more. Move out into the deep for a change, leave the shallow waters of complacency and just enough. Receive the promise of the Holy Spirit and walk in power. The world is tired of seeing dead people, they want to see Jesus. Christ in us, the hope of glory.
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit
March 29, 2021