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February 1, 2017

Exact Ezekiel; Chapters 4-5

           It was startling enough for Ezekiel to encounter a panoramic presentation of flying creatures whose mobility was unquestionably from another dimension, but now, after only seven days of astonishment (trying to sort out what had just occurred)-the Lord sends him to receive another event. These life shattering episodes are not some 3-D television presentation featuring computer simulation. They are not I-Max dioramic theater. Ezekiel is able to interact with his surroundings, involving both dialogue and physical emotion. He is a player, and the voice he hears is not an anonymous off-stage force. God speaks and Ezekiel has learned to love His Voice. He is being conditioned, on a deep level of intensity and awareness, in order that the very whisper of the Spirit will cause an immediate compliance. He also realizes his voice is heard and merits a response. (For example: In Ezekiel 4, his consternation regarding using human dung as a fire source caused him to audibly ask God for some other resource. God answered his dilemma by allowing cow dung as a substitute. [In India, to this very day, women scurry after "sacred cows" in order to pile the drying feces into baskets to use as cheap fuel for preparing meals].)

Perhaps these occurrences were giving him an arsenal of personal experiences to draw from when doubts and fears arose. The ministry of a prophet is demanding and confrontational and needs such assurance. He will need irrefutable evidence of his calling. No "middle ground" of compromise is sought by the true man of God, but inevitable pressures will arise against such an unbendable attitude, and he will need the encouragement these visions bring. (To have infallible evidence of the call of God on one's life is a storehouse of confidence. Such markings cannot be explained apart from the sovereignty of God, for only God could have destined these encounters.) In God's special classroom of prophetic power, Ezekiel must be assured of his place in Him.

As the ensuing verses unfold, the Lord reveals how deep the obstinacy toward Himself and His messenger will be. Rope burns aside (the Lord tethered Ezekiel), the abuse inflicted upon Ezekiel would only support God's case against organized religion. Their national rejection of Ezekiel was tantamount to a rejection of his God!

For the reader to keep a mental picture of these events, a listing below summarizes the foregoing chapters.

Ezekiel One:
Took place at the river Chebar about midway through the reign of King Zedekiah and before the complete sacking of Jerusalem (this final event would happen six years after). Chapter One is mainly the vision of the Living Creatures and the Glory of God.
Ezekiel Two:
Ezekiel is caused to "stand and receive." He is given authority to act as a prophet and required to eat the Scroll of God's Word. He and the Word became one!
Ezekiel Three:
Lifted by his hair in transport, He was supernaturally made a watchman of the House of Israel and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit (the Spirit entered him).

Chapter 4: Bricks, burdens and baking:

Continuing his ministry of exactness, Ezekiel was told to take a brick (or tile) and make it the graphic centerpiece to portray a battle. He was to elevate the tile, run battlements around it (like invading armies used in those times to scale fortresses-long dirt ramps similar to those the Romans used at Masada).

Ezekiel 4:1-3:
'You also, son of man, take a clay tablet and lay it before you, and portray on it a city, Jerusalem. 2 Lay siege against it, build a siege wall against it, and heap up a mound against it; set camps against it also, and place battering rams against it all around. 3 Moreover take for yourself an iron plate, and set it as an iron wall between you and the city. Set your face against it, and it shall be besieged, and you shall lay siege against it. This will be a sign to the house of Israel.'

Ezekiel is told to take an iron griddle and put it between him and the action at Jerusalem. Three aspects of this strange action are proposed. (1) It is to show he is distanced from the event and barely able to view its horrors. (2) He, symbolically, is "steeled" against the propensity of the great conflagration. (3) He uses it as an amplifying device for his prophecy, to direct his narrative more loudly to those who observe him, as he calls that which has not taken place into reality (this exact scene took place in the siege of Jerusalem in less than six years). Nothing happens in ancient history unless it is first revealed to God's prophets.

Graphic portrayals make the eye perceive what the ear may miss.

Ezekiel was told to make a depiction of a city under siege; it was to represent Jerusalem. This was a "show and tell" event, for Ezekiel was told to demonstrate what was taking place (whether he was to act out the scene he saw or simply narrate or even give technical and strategic comment-we are not told). Long before there were power point presentations, movie productions and computer driven audio/video action, there was this model presentation. So complete was this depiction that battering rams were distinguishable as part of the battle fray. (To this day, designers and architects use scale models and 3-D mockups to demonstrate their plans.)

To those who observed the prophet's artistic work, its impact was significant. As the awareness of the intent of the production became evident, they were astonished at its completeness. The model most likely became part of Ezekiel's display area in his home. It kept him focused upon the tragedy about to happen to his beloved Jerusalem and in whose Temple he once served. It was a reminder to all who visited him that God was bringing this about because of their iniquity, and it was high time to recognize their decisions had caused it to happen.

For 390 days he would be reminded by this model of the end result of the sins of Israel. (The ten Northern Tribes had already been carried away by Assyria, and their contribution to the events before him had already been made.) Then, he would suffer 40 more days for the sins of Judah. (A good question is, "Why wasn't Benjamin mentioned? Jerusalem is on Benjamin's land, so why no burden for their sins? Answer: they were included as an inseparable part of Judah since the Ephraim fiasco found in Judges 20:12ff.)

The Lord told Ezekiel to lay siege against the city by taking the part of the aggressors. He was to act as if he was Babylon's army and take on the character of the enemy of Israel. This would be similar to a military strategist appraising a country's ability to sustain battle. Ezekiel knew Jerusalem's weaknesses and how Israel had eroded its forces since Solomon.

His remonstration was to continue for some time, until his audiences grew tired of its rehearsal-obviously, not as tired as God, who observed the response to Jeremiah's forty years of messages.

Ezekiel 4:4-6:
4 'Lie also on your left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it. According to the number of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their iniquity. 5 For I have laid on you the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days; so you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. 6 And when you have completed them, lie again on your right side; then you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days. I have laid on you a day for each year.'

Ezekiel, like Jesus, was to bear the sins of his people. He was instructed to lie on his left side (the side of no favor) for over a year (390) days. God said they had sinned for 390 years. That means they were out of God's favor and protection for an extended time. After Solomon's death came the great division of Tribes with Israel (North ten tribes) building their own places of worship, ordaining their own priests (having itching ears) and incorporating pagan deities. They exercised no restraint in using pagan rites as part of their worship services.

While he was lying on his left side, he was to continually have his eyes on Jerusalem's Tile display. He was to bare his arm and point toward the tile. I would imagine he pronounced judgment on Israel by perhaps saying, "Because of you-this…"

Oh church, could there come a day when a true prophet would behold the degradation of the country and pronounce against its pulpits, "Because of you-this!"?

(The uncovered right arm is significant as the Lord bared His arm similarly on judgment occasions.)

In bearing the iniquity of Israel, humble Ezekiel probably was constantly in intercession and offering prayers of repentance for Israel. Crying out to God for mercy and intermingling sighs, he made discovery after discovery of yet more gross wickedness. God's Spirit inside him pointed, no doubt, to realms of lasciviousness and dark dealings of which he had been unaware. The dross of his burden floated continuously to the top. Ezekiel bore it! He bore their iniquity and was sustained by the grace of God to the very end of the allotted time. Exact Ezekiel always did what God told him.

Where is the true prophet today? Where is that "someone" willing to take the burden of the hour and refuse to be comforted by the excuses for the church's excesses? Where is that "someone" who abdicates his person in order to take on the person of God? Yes, what is needed now is the voice of the Prophet backed by the spirit of the prophet!

Ezekiel was tethered. God told him he would be bound with ropes and prohibited to venture into the general population. He was under house arrest by God.

How does God bind someone so that he cannot turn from his task? Think about it and feel the restrictions in his call. Evidently, he was house bound. Evidently, he was frustrated by having his tongue restrained. Evidently, his liberties about diet and food choice were taken away. Evidently, he meticulously measured each allowable product in order not to exceed God's limits. God would have to sustain him when his stomach growled and he experienced hunger and thirst like those under siege. No doubt, consternation coursed his brain for having to pay for the sins of others, but alas, his own sin was in there too. No doubt depressive thoughts flooded his frame with debilitating effect. Self-blame and self-shame were regular visitors-it had to be so, for he was bearing all the emotional tide of a nation. True intercession is like that! Intercession digs deep into cause and effect and rends the heaven with invectives of remorse and prayers for national forgiveness. There are no dry-eyed intercessors!

Imagine visitors coming to comfort or just to view this man of God. Imagine the course of conversation as Ezekiel excuses himself to eat and drink by measure. He bore social "incorrectness" because this bazaar behavior was "ordered by the Lord." Whispers outside must have concluded, "He just thinks he heard from God-he must be deranged."

Through the changing seasons, the bare-armed prophet identified with the sin of Israel until he became inseparable from his charge. He became the spiritual authority for those ten tribes. No Israelite could explain away his actions by excuse, not with Ezekiel. Verse 5 says it all:

             "For I have laid on you the years of their iniquity."

Now Ezekiel began to comprehend what it meant when Scripture said, "laid on Him, the iniquity of us all." Ezekiel bore their sin and carried their iniquity as one with them. Hence, the iron griddle-he was separated by God to this task.

Ezekiel 4:7-8:
'Therefore you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem; your arm shall be uncovered, and you shall prophesy against it. 8 And surely I will restrain you so that you cannot turn from one side to another till you have ended the days of your siege.'

His tongue was unrestricted except with outsiders. Inside his house, he was to prophesy against the city he loved. Have you ever prophesied against someplace? I have, and it is an awesome act. (I remember prophesying in tongues and sending it 500 miles to its destination. I remember being sent to a mountain top and told to prophesy Fire, Tornado and earthquake against the city below. It is an awful thing later to hear the downtown had burned, a tornado came later and ripped apart a few buildings that survived the fire and an earthquake rumbled afterwards, where there had been no tremors before.)

I will restrain you so that you cannot turn from one side to another till you have ended the days of your siege.'

God's restraints are not odious. The Lord was telling Ezekiel He "had his back." Allowed only to speak prophetically to Jerusalem and say only the things prompted by the Spirit sometimes saddened the speaker. Some of the leaders and priests he knew were still living there. Some of his congregants were still living there. The precious Temple was still standing, though about to be sacked and burned and he was calling for it! (The city I prophesied against was where I lived!)

Ezekiel 4:9-12:
9 'Also take for yourself wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt; put them into one vessel, and make bread of them for yourself. During the number of days that you lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days, you shall eat it. 10 And your food which you eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day; from time to time you shall eat it. 11 You shall also drink water by measure, one-sixth of a hin; from time to time you shall drink. 12 And you shall eat it as barley cakes; and bake it using fuel of human waste in their sight.'

The ingredients he was to use for making bread are approved by the highest levels of culinary arts even today. They include sufficient protein and no white flour or corn ingredients. Now if he were bound with rope too completely, he would not have had sufficient movement to make bread or drink water. (I believe he was tethered, much like a dog on a leash.)

There was one onerous ingredient, the requirement to make his fire for baking from human waste. (Those under siege would have no option.)

Ezekiel 4:13-15:
Then the LORD said, "So shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, where I will drive them."

14 So I said, "Ah, Lord GOD! Indeed I have never defiled myself from my youth till now; I have never eaten what died of itself or was torn by beasts, nor has abominable flesh ever come into my mouth."

15 Then He said to me, "See, I am giving you cow dung instead of human waste, and you shall prepare your bread over it."

Ezekiel waits for God to pause then cries out, "Lord have mercy and substitute some other fuel other than human waste." Then he quoted the Law about cleanliness and good habits and declared his faithfulness to it. He was a holy man. He was a religious man. He was a Priest. He was also an obedient servant and knew his request was heard. The Lord substituted cow dung.

God repeats Himself in verses 13 and 16. Observing Ezekiel's anxiety over the human waste command, God "sends it by again." How often does this happen to us? Yahweh revealed His reasoning. The graphic picture of measured food and water is to show how starved and waterless Jerusalem will be during the siege. It was so devastating a famine that people were cannibalizing their children. The aqueduct, constructed to supply water in case of invasion, failed. Jerusalem's lengthy siege caused their store of grain to be depleted. The strategies of the "survivalists failed." Famine, Pestilence and Sword is God's effective method of judgment.

"How in the world did we wind up here?" was becoming plainer to Ezekiel's eyes.

Ezekiel 4:16-17:
16 Moreover He said to me, "Son of man, surely I will cut off the supply of bread in Jerusalem; they shall eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and shall drink water by measure and with dread, 17 that they may lack bread and water, and be dismayed with one another, and waste away because of their iniquity.

When the national mind is not subject to the Lord, there is only one course: to wind up blaming others and being in dismay at the situation. (Across the world-THIS is the order of the day!)

Chapter Five: Judgment by thirds: Famine, Pestilence and Sword

Ezekiel 5:1-4:
'And you, son of man, take a sharp sword, take it as a barber's razor, and pass it over your head and your beard; then take scales to weigh and divide the hair. 2 You shall burn with fire one-third in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are finished; then you shall take one-third and strike around it with the sword, and one-third you shall scatter in the wind: I will draw out a sword after them. 3 You shall also take a small number of them and bind them in the edge of your garment. 4 Then take some of them again and throw them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire. From there a fire will go out into all the house of Israel.

Again, a graphic is used to display the extent of judgment throughout the homeland. Beards and stylish hair would mean nothing to the devastated and starving. Ezekiel is ordered to cut and weigh his hair in proper thirds. (Do you remember Paul shaving his head to show he had taken a vow before God?)

Those who were "keeping an eye on the prophet," no doubt conjectured, "what's he up to now?" Meticulously, he measured and weighed because what was being shown was the gradual and yet complete judgment of a nation.

(The people of Germany could not have imagined the comprehensive dimension of the Third Reich. They could never have imagined the starvation, abuse and attempted annihilation of all things held sacred including human life. Beyond the scope of imagination was their plight and who could have painted so grizzly a picture of what was about to transpire? The cries of, "Why Me?" could be heard in the deadened halls of churches whose pulpits had been deadened long before by German Theology. Rudolph Bultman's skepticism was rampant, as was higher criticism seeking to render God's Word as fable and fiction. Currently, Western Civilization cannot fathom such a judgment as Jerusalem endured. No painter dares portray burning cities and chaotic conditions of starvation and displacement as antiseptic pulpits spew "accepted material" to a yawning audience. Where is the prophet?)

One Third of the hair (weighed and measured) was to be burned (with the scorched smell rising from the center of the tile). This was to portray when Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon (Iraq), ordered the burning of the city, both Temple and Walls, as his final humiliation of Israel.

One Third was to be hacked by the sword he used to cut his beard and head. Imagine using a sharp sword like a razor. The sword was to cut at random through the second set of hairs with no specific order. Some pieces were small, some large, some longer or shorter than others. These represented the fate of a population seeking to flee, using various ways and differing times to escape. (Remember, Babylon had already removed the able bodied, intelligent population. What remained were the governmental leaders and some of the religious hierarchy. Most had heard the prophet, but instead of peacefully surrendering, as Jeremiah prescribed, chose their own way and sought to preserve their freedom.) Those who fled were hacked. Men, women, children were hacked by the sword.

One third of the hair was to be scattered to the wind. (In reality, the ten Northern Tribes had already met that fate. Passing through the Caucasus Mountains, they immigrated to most of Europe.) God chose to select certain of these to be brandished by the sword of His own wielding.

A few hairs were to be selected and bound to the Priest's garment. Oh, yes, there were those who clung to God and the ways of the Lord. Yeah, the names of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, along with Daniel, the Sons of Zadok and even Ezekiel would be represented by these hairs. Although devastation was all around, God has His people who have not bowed the knee. Ezekiel, later on, would mark those who wept and travailed over the plight of his nation.

Alas, some of the faithful were to be chosen as martyrs to the fire. Fire going to the whole house of Israel shows how much Israel was saturated by this event.

4 Then take some of them again and throw them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire. From there a fire will go out into all the house of Israel.

Witness to the nations:

Ezekiel 5:5-10:
5 "Thus says the Lord GOD: 'This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the midst of the nations and the countries all around her. 6 She has rebelled against My judgments by doing wickedness more than the nations, and against My statutes more than the countries that are all around her; for they have refused My judgments, and they have not walked in My statutes.' 7 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: 'Because you have multiplied disobedience more than the nations that are all around you, have not walked in My statutes nor kept My judgments, nor even done according to the judgments of the nations that are all around you' - 8 therefore thus says the Lord GOD: 'Indeed I, even I, am against you and will execute judgments in your midst in the sight of the nations. 9 And I will do among you what I have never done, and the like of which I will never do again, because of all your abominations. 10 Therefore fathers shall eat their sons in your midst, and sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments among you, and all of you who remain I will scatter to all the winds.

Ezekiel, remember, is making plain to the people why God carried out such judgment on His chosen people. Many "could not believe what had happened or what was happening." Why didn't God come to their rescue?

Remember also, Jeremiah faced excuse after excuse in the face of deceiving prophets and priests. He actually chronicled some of them in his book. Things like, "This is the Temple of God, the Lord would never allow it to be burned or desecrated. After all, Solomon was commissioned to build it." Again, "We are God's special people; He would not allow this to happen to us." As a matter of fact, every excuse the people used then is being resurrected now. Their road to captivity was paved with their excesses. It can happen again, for the same reason.

The Lord told Ezekiel the reason Israel came into being was to be a light to the heathen (Gentiles). They failed. Israel became disobedient. They rebelled against His judgments which were actually the things God set out for them to do and be prosperous in. His coaching was ignored. The School Master viewed His student body as disobedient misanthropes.

1. Refused My Judgments (His corrective criticism)
2. Walked not in His statutes (His Laws and His way of living and being)
3. Practiced wickedness (twisted living)
4. Were disobedient more than the nations (who were pagan and lived by natural law)

Therefore (Based on their choices) God will intervene with more drastic judgments.

"I will do among you what I have never done, and the like of which I will never do again, because of all your abominations."

The Lord is going to make an example of His own people. They would not be an example of righteousness to a pagan world, so He is making them an example of what happens to people who do not obey Him. Once the pagan nations see what happened to Israel, they will know there is a God in heaven.

God declares His intentions and further states He will never do such again to His people. Cannibalizing children because of the horrendous famine is almost unconscionable. Cannibalization is found in pagan societies, so now, if they wish to follow the pagans rather than God-so be it.

Look around and tell me what is going on in the world right now. The so-called "Christian nations" are following after pagan ways. Surveys prove there is no difference between "Churchers" and the world--in attitude and activity. Much of what is acceptable fare in the church community would fall under Paul's observation, "Brethren, these things ought not to be named among you."

Verse 10 is for those who survived the famine, pestilence and sword.

"All of you who remain I will scatter to all the winds"

God cleanses His land by causing Diaspora. In other words, if they like pagan ways, go live among them! Paul's many trips proved this happened as he sought synagogues and Jewish enclaves among the heathen lands of the Gentiles. Their cultures were often rife with immorality and dark mysticism. This scattering weakened the blood lines of the original 12 tribes who were commanded not to take pagan wives. Alas, like Samson who dallied with Delilah only to be abandoned to the misery of sightless remembrance, like him pagan Israel now must cry out, "give me another chance."

Declaration and Meaning:

The Lord gives the interpretation of the cutting and dispersion of Ezekiel's hair. His rendering of the three weapons of mass destruction are clear and concise.

Ezekiel 5:11-12:
11'Therefore, as I live,' says the Lord GOD, 'surely, because you have defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable things and with all your abominations, therefore I will also diminish you; My eye will not spare, nor will I have any pity. 12 One-third of you shall die of the pestilence, and be consumed with famine in your midst; and one-third shall fall by the sword all around you; and I will scatter another third to all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them.

The question rises like a monster in the sea of religious activity to query: "What abominations are practiced presently in the sanctuaries of the world?" Most of Europe's houses of worship have become museums or tourist attractions. Many of the houses of worship in other parts of the world minister to their congregations according to cultural standards with little regard for ministering to God. Smoke and mirrors, rock bands and light shows coupled with paucity sermons are an abomination. (Recently, the Houston Chronicle did an article entitled, "Rock star celebrity, Joel Osteen.")

The gate keepers of the Temple cast Jesus out as the chief priest and his henchmen called for His crucifixion. The gate keepers of this day determine what is preached, who will preach, what materials their congregation will be subjected to and what is appropriate doctrine to believe. Just how different is that from the Romanism the Reformers cried out against?

Just how many Isaiah's, Jeremiah's and Ezekiel's have you heard lately? When was the last time you heard a sermon of exposition in Jeremiah 5? When have you listened to a detailed account of the first five Chapters in Ezekiel?

(I have considered writing a book entitled: "Sermons you never hear on Sunday because they are bad for the offering." But, it would be over a thousand pages and incorporate a thousand illustrations and who would read it?)

God sent out His judgments in Thirds. Are there prophets today that walk in that power? The answer is YES!

(Although I was not present on this occasion, reliable witnesses declare that Clayt Sonmore , my good friend, did something similar under the Spirit over 40 years ago in Colombia. Addressing that nation's congress, he openly declared, "Unless this nation breaks its 500 year Concordat with Rome, 1/3 of this nation will be taken away." Then he proceeded to tell them, to prove his prophecy, "the largest earthquake that has shaken this nation will occur tomorrow before the wheels of my aircraft touch down in Minneapolis." It happened just as he said. Although they half-heartedly agreed to break away, they did not. They did invite him to return and "explain things more clearly." Clayt was a prominent businessman, but he came to work with them for eleven months following that earthquake. They did not keep their promise. The next portion of history shows the communist militia group FARC now controls 1/3 of the territory of Colombia. Even though peace agreements are currently afoot, they have maintained their strongholds for over 30 years.

Where are the prophets?

Satisfied with Justice

Ezekiel 5:13-17:
13'Thus shall My anger be spent, and I will cause My fury to rest upon them, and I will be avenged; and they shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it in My zeal, when I have spent My fury upon them. 14 Moreover I will make you a waste and a reproach among the nations that are all around you, in the sight of all who pass by.

15'So it shall be a reproach, a taunt, a lesson, and an astonishment to the nations that are all around you, when I execute judgments among you in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I, the LORD, have spoken. 16 When I send against them the terrible arrows of famine which shall be for destruction, which I will send to destroy you, I will increase the famine upon you and cut off your supply of bread. 17 So I will send against you famine and wild beasts, and they will bereave you. Pestilence and blood shall pass through you, and I will bring the sword against you. I, the LORD, have spoken.'"

How many pulpits remain who could righteously call for repentance using this for a text? Most modern pulpits would deny these passages apply to any modern nation today. They would most likely preach such a text in historical setting and then emphasize that we live in the day of Grace and such is not ours. The same platform would declare it unchristian to do what Jeremiah did to Paschur and Hananiah (prophesying their death and defamation due to their treatment of the prophet). Who in your congregation is afraid of the man of God? In light of Ezekiel's prophecy, "who is afraid FOR their pastor?" (Look into Peter and Ananias and Sapphira.)

In our day, when we are told we must remember, "God does not do that sort of thing anymore." Tell that to Colombia.

In our day, we are reminded we must get along with other views and blend in with changing times, not to expect such intervention into the political and religious scene. God is pictured as having no such agenda for the modern church, yet it is Jesus who threatened to remove the candlestick of the newly formed churches.

We are told we must "go along" to "get along" or be asked to exit the closest door. So, thousands of saints long to hear the words of the true prophet, as the prophets stand in silent solitude waiting outside the gates!

As the old evangelist, C.B. Jackson, once said, "Excuse me, but you know it's so."

Until Next month,

Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.

From the Mailbag:

Brenda R., W Va. (Commenting on broadcast)

I heard your heartfelt message about Jeremiah, and it touched my heart. You had such an anointing that everything just flowed.

…the Lord has put you on my heart to pray for every day, and I always remember you.

It may later than we know. The Lord gave me a scripture recently that I want to pass on to you, Zephaniah1:14-16.

There are so many that don't want to hear the word of God. I am afraid they will be shut off completely-just like that wedding guest that was thrown out. He wasn't dressed in the Word and if you don't have the Word I am afraid for you because Jesus is the Living Word! Anyway the scripture "I will give men for your life" came to mind. The Lord Bless you for preaching from your heart. Don't even worry about being 81. Age is nothing to Jesus. Remember Abraham and Sarah. He will give you the dew of your youth.

Roni, H., Minnesota (Commenting on our books and Newsletters)

Thank you for your writings. I look forward to your teachings and writings. They are the NOW message. Thank you for your obedience and sacrifice. In His Wonderful Name… RH

Robin, S, Maryland (commenting on the robbery of missionaries Larry and Marla Johnson)

Bro Oliver,

It is a New Year and a New Day in the Lord. God's Word is Fresh and Hot of the Press from Heaven. I have just consulted the Lord on this matter. These are TERRITORIAL demonic forces as outlined in Mark 5:1-20.

I confront them with the WORD of God!

A Few Prayer bullets:

I eject every unprofitable tenant lurking in the village of Achiotes by fire in Jesus Name! Thou Goliath waging war against The Mission of God in Achiotes, your time is up BE BOUND NOW with Hot chains and Fetters of The Almighty God In Jesus name.

Evil environmental strongholds, diabolical territorial spirits, I break your yokes with the Mighty Hammer of God in Jesus Name Designers of Grave Clothes, This mission is not your candidate, return to your senders and carry you own evil load and be consumed with the Fire of God in Jesus name.

Oh Great Physician By all Power for which you are Known to be Almighty God, Arise and declare total healing in these children that have been shot. In Jesus name.

Surround Larry and Marla with your Angels Day and Night in Jesus name. May the Blood of Jesus Cover Larry and Marla and the mission to include every pastor, staff member and congregants seeking your word in Jesus Name. Surround Larry and Marla and this mission with Holy Walls of Fire Now in Jesus name;

I will continue to pray and remain a watchman!

(Zadok Comment: thank you, Lord, for letting us associate with prayer warriors like Robin and others who are scattered all over the globe. This was a response to the Special messages that were sent to those who attended the Zadok Conf. in Atlanta.)

Caroline J., At large email (Commenting on the You Tube broadcasts)

Hello there. I just wanted to write and let you know how blessed I have been to hear you share the wonderful revelatory truths of God's perfect Words. I am so touched by the Spirit of God so many times while listening to you speak. I weep and am so full of joy because of God's great and perfect love He has for me and all people. He's an amazing God. May God continue to use you mightily to bring people to a place of humble submission before Him and may they come to an understanding of God's incredible love for them. joy and peace.

Missionary Alert, Alert, Alert:

Last month we advised you that the compound of Missionaries Larry and Marla Johnson was invaded Dec. 27 by six armed thugs who broke through a gate and entered the compound, tying up the young couple who manned the unit in their absence. Many items were stolen.

We have this update from Larry Johnson:
Things are settling down a bit. Last week as I drove into town, out of nowhere a young bull came charging down a side street and hit the side of my truck. Just some minor damage done. A few days later, a check was cashed for about $450 from our Guatemalan bank account. Some checks were taken from the middle of the check book, so we did not notice them being taken.

No news on the truck that was stolen, but at the end of the month, I should get reimbursed for it from the insurance company. All of our accounts have been secured now. We calculated that about $2,500 cash was stolen.

Did I tell you that Marla's computer, 1 of 4 that was stolen fell off the truck down the road as the robbers were leaving it had our main ministry and personal information on it. We still lost a lot of information that we are now trying to recover. Lots of photos and videos are gone. Almost all the information on all the churches that have been built is gone. But PTL! 2 computers and a laptop have now been donated so we are working on recovering information and doing the day to day ministry stuff because it has not stopped. There were 2 microwaves donated also. Someone paid for installation of an alarm system, so if anything happens now within minutes a security company will be at the house to check on things.

Our workers are doing great, God has healed them quickly, even later this morning they will be getting married. We have put together a list of all things that were stolen, believing the Lord to restore all the things that were taken and we are beginning to see that take place.

Our continued prayer: That the thugs will be apprehended. That the compound will be safely secured. That local volunteers will assist the missionaries and protect their interest. That organizations worldwide may know this information and prayer groups be alerted to pray for these missionaries who have planted over 400 churches in 30 yrs of ministry.

Larry and Marla Johnson contact information:

Prayer Focus:

From: Reverend Brian Mason

And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
St. Matthew 21:22

Can you enter with boldness the throne room of the Most High and pray for His Kingdom to grow both through lost souls being saved and those who are saved hungering and thirsting to become more like our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? This is prayer for growth throughout the world with no tribes or nations excluded. For the remnant, that true body of the Lord Jesus Christ called the church whether ones or twos or small groups will take up the call to pray according to His Word. The unchangeable Word of the Antioch line which is at the centre of His will. The above verse St. Matthew 21:22 requires believing in order to receive. This is praying in the Holy Ghost which follows from being baptised with the Holy Ghost. Prayer which is in line with God's will brings answer for He is bound both by His covenant promises and His divine character.

2017 is the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's stand against the heresies of the Church of Rome, that anti-christ from the pit of hell for hell is a real place which Jesus spoke about. These heresies have been overlooked by much of what was Protestant, who have been deceived by evil spirits sent by Satan. Was not being a Protestant to make a protest against the heresies of the Church of Rome and to stand for the truths of God's Word? Bible truth which never changes, for the unchanging God is looking for faith which believes for a return to the Protestant Bible-based truths of justification by faith alone, by grace alone and in Christ alone. No compromise here with anything additional to what the Bible says for the Bible does not just contain the Word of God it is the Word of God.

Can prayer be made based on the atoning blood of the Lord Jesus Christ which shall touch the throne of the Lord God Almighty Himself? Yes there is that confidence for it is prayer in the Holy Ghost knowing that the power to overcome the false gospel of the most powerful 'church' on earth is through the name of Jesus and His blood. Will you pray along with me to see come into being another human impossibility? That which breaks the ties of those Protestant denominations and churches which have compromised themselves with the Church of Rome and for them to return to their Protestant faith based on the Word of God alone. Furthermore to move God to open the hearts and minds of the millions of lost and hell-bound sinners who are held in the grips of Satan because the gospel of redemption which relies on the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ alone is not accepted as the only way to God, hearts which need to be opened to God's truth which is His Word and not that of the thoughts of men.

Reverend Brian Mason
Bible College Wales
Rhos on Sea

Missions Report:

Introduction to the Palant's Ministry as submitted by Matthew Palant:
Website: and
Email: Matthew:

Matthew and Shany are full time missionaries who currently live in Reynosa, Mexico. Matthew was born and raised in Florida. Shany was born in Puebla, Mexico, and studied Early Childhood education. When she received her teaching degree in Mexico, she was presented a job opportunity in Florida which she accepted and later met Matthew at church. They have been married for 6 years and have been serving God together since. For the first four years of their marriage, they worked full time jobs and would extend their given vacation time to travel to Mexico, Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique. They began working in rural Kenya in January of 2011. They started visiting churches and building relationships with the nationals.

As time went on, they ended up in a region in Kenya, where the churches and the people of the villages were struggling, lacked Biblical foundation and really needed encouragement. That became their focus. They continued building relationships and now have a network of 10 churches which they have brought together and unified. They bring these pastors together monthly for a teaching to equip and empower them to grow in their relationship with Christ and come to a place of maturity where they can lead others and help to develop them to walk in their destiny in the Kingdom of God.

In March of 2016, while their local pastors were doing evangelism, they came across a man from an unreached village. They had been believing God for an open door to get into the unreached villages. This man gave his life to Christ and welcomed the team to come to the unreached villages. They received permission from the village chief and went. All that came from this particular village was about 50 people, and all gave their lives to Jesus. Then there was a boy who was lame, that received healing and ran for the first time (he was unable to walk straight previously). The village chief heard what had taken place and then opened up 9 more villages that do not have churches, 8 of which are unreached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They will be visiting these villages in February of 2017.

They also have started 2 primary schools in rural Kenya called Hope Academy. Shany was walking through one of the villages in 2014, and asked one of the children if they could have anything in the world, what would it be. And the child responded a school. That ignited a vision inside of her to bring schools and education to this rural community. Their schools are very primitive, meeting in mud structures that are rented, while they are believing God to purchase land and build concrete structures for these children.

In 2015, the Lord spoke to both Matthew and Shany separately in the same worship service through a vision. In the vision, Matthew saw the flag of Mexico and the flag of Kenya. When he inquired of the Lord as to the meaning of this, the Lord said, I am sending you to Mexico not to start a ministry but to help a ministry that is already established. Shany was on her knees in worship when Jesus came up behind her and laid the flag of Mexico over her back and said "I am sending you back to your Nation." They both prayed and asked the Lord for the direction. Later that same day, Matthew received a text message from someone he had not spoken to in about 9 months. In that message, he was asked to fast, pray and seek the Lord as to what He might be saying about Mexico. They quit their jobs, gave everything away and moved to Reynosa.

In Reynosa, they visit the brothels, prison, refugee center and garbage dump. They love the people in these places, serve them food, encourage them, and have Bible studies with them to build them up in the Word. They are serving with a ministry there, and a part of their leadership team which is standing, praying, and believing God for Revival in Mexico. They serve and partner with this ministry in any capacity needed. They are now leading a team of themselves plus 3 missionaries, and 2 more will be joining the team in Mexico when Matthew and Shany return from Africa in late March.

In addition to their daily activities ministering to the people in the places listed above, they have also partnered with 8 local pastors and their churches. Most of these pastors desired to quit and give up since the city of Reynosa is dangerous and has many challenges. But as they have partnered with these pastors, they have been fed, strengthened, encouraged and re-ignited to continue running the race they are in. We are standing and believing that Reynosa will become a City that is after God's heart and the violence, corruption and "other" things that take place in the City will be turned from and the Name of Jesus will be magnified.

Kingdom Living Ministry is recognized by the IRS as a non-profit organization.

May God continue to bless you and encourage you as we all continue being faithful with what the Lord who called us to do.

Matthew & Shany Palant

From Larry and Marla Johnston in Guatemala:

Contact Information:

It has been a very busy year. Just to recap some of the highlightws of what the Lord has done this year in Flames of Fire Ministry....

It was only possible with the help, both physical, spiritual and financial, of our precious friends and partners-YOU!
  • We built 7 new churches in villages
  • We built 9 homes for the feeding center families.
  • We had the privilege to do medical clinics that were a platform to lead many people to the Lord as well as meet physical needs.
  • We presented in Honduras a motorcycle to a supervisor, he is over around 20 churches and now has transportation to travel to the villages.
  • In June we started the VOH Guatemala bible school with a fresh group of students eager to learn and serve the Lord.
  • We made a trip to Kenya Africa in August to do pilot bible school classes and minister in village churches.
  • We held 6 pastors conferences this year in Guatemala and Honduras, it is often the only training that they have.
  • The Christmas in the Village project provided over 300 families with food and toys for all the kids, 700 children total.
  • Many adults as well as children have accepted Christ this year.
  • Chickens for Eggs Project was a huge success as we began to given laying hens as a means of constantly producing eggs for food for the villagers.

This year has had it's challenges, the very last one for the year was on December 27th, the ministry center was robbed.

We rehearse the faithfulness of the Lord, we were arrested at gunpoint for preaching the gospel in Mexico, arrested in Honduras and put in jail, threats on our lives too many to count, in perils in the mountains, perils in rivers, poison dinner invitations by warlocks and so much more that there isn't room to tell it all here. We remain unmoved, steadfast and our faith and faces are set like flint to the will of God in 2017. The word of the Lord came to us before the robbery and said that the first part of 2017 would have struggles and we would have to fight with our faith, but then it would get easier and the remainder of the year would be an ushering year. That as an usher stands at the door and ushers the people into the sanctuary of God that the remainder of 2017 would usher in the plans, will, and desires of God. As John the Baptist prepared the way of the Lord so would 2017 prepare the way for the will of God to manifest. So that is where our faith is set, that God wins and His will be done.

Many have asked what was taken. Almost all of the electronics was taken-3 computers complete with monitors and keyboards etc., they also took personal items such as tv's micowaves, smart phones, surveillence system (just a little ironic wouldn't you say?), food from the feeding center, random toys and goods and somewhere around $2000 in cash from the feeding center, and the blue truck to take it away in.

Our faith is set that the enemy does not win, God will have his way in this situation and restoration will be made in the spirit. We ask that you join your prayers with ours for God to move on the hearts of the perpetrators and that they recognize their sin and repent #1, and secondly that it not slow down the ministry in any way!

From Chamroeun Mau,President,Shade of Grace Community, Inc:

On New Year day it was a new page of Shade of Grace Community in Cambodia, we get 54 of youth and 1 father come to get Baptize in Jro Lorng Bopatta river in Battambang Provice.

Thanks to the Lord Jesus that He bless my people can understand His loved and thanks to you that keep pray for me.

I will take another week extra to walk with my church's leaders and teach them to know how to growth new born. Please continue to pray for me that I can do all things in His Power and His Name.

Thank you very much. May Grace, fill you.

I slept at home one night already, thank you for your prayers to be safe and peaceful on my trip.

Last two week my low back feel like uncomfortable and my two legs feel weak, the airline has provide me with wheel chair but with God's blessed He switched my seat with other lady to the better seat (Elite class) that I can sleep well without pain on the plane.

(God is good and always good). Thank you thank you and many Thanks.

Contact information:
          Shade of Grace
          7602 Mellowgrove Court
          Spring, TX 77379-4079.


Paperback volumes may still be ordered through our website.

To see the currently available books from Amazon, click on the cover images below.

The Sons of Zadok HR The Regal Pair Solomon's Secret Called to be Saints

Consumed By His Fire Double Grace En Punto A Study in Isaiah

The Road to Captivity Study Guide - The Sons of Zadok Study Guide - Called to be Saints Study Guide - The Road To Captivity

In Spanish:

Called to be Saints El Secreto de Salomon Los Hijos de Sadoc

In German:

Die Sohn Zadoks

To see the currently available books from Barnes & Noble, click on the cover images below.

Sons of Zadok Double Grace HR The Regal Pair Consumed By His Fire

Called to be Saints Solomon's Secret En Punto A Study in Isaiah

The Road to Captivity

In Spanish:

Called to be Saints El Secreto de Salomon Los Hijos Sadoc

In German:

Die Sohn Zadoks

Ministry contact information!

          Zadok Publications
          P.O. Box 132874
          The Woodlands, Texas 77393

          (936) 230-3543

          On The Web:

Zadok Publications● P. O. Box 132874● The Woodlands, Texas 77393
Phone: (936)
230-3543 ●

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