Endtime Prophets

A Critique of David Wilkerson's
2003 River of Life Vision

by James Sundquist

The original article being quoted from came from Wilkerson's website. Only those portions that are being commented on are included. (Sundquist's comments are in black and Wilkerson's in red.

Introduction:

When I read Dave Wilkerson's recent vision, published in his January 2003 Newsletter entitled: "River of Life," it really grieved my spirit.

I have been a great admirer of Dave Wilkerson over the years, receive his newsletter, and have attended his church in NYC. But his recent prophecy is one more spin on the Church replacing Israel and it sounds more like a Prophecy from the Kansas City Prophets (Third Wave) and Toronto Blessing people, and Nicky Gumbel's ALPHA COURSE*, than it sounds like Dave Wilkerson. This particular prophecy is indeed false. For Dave Wilkerson's vision interpretation of Ezekiel to apply to the Church, then the Church would have to have been exiled from the land for their sin by the Lord as precisely spelled out in Ezekiel 39:21-29. But the Lord exiled the Israelites for their disobedience. He did not exile the Church to bring them back to their land. This is an impossible rendering!!

"A time is coming when unprecedented numbers will be revived from spiritual death." 'Hear ye therefore: a river of life is coming!' "

The title of this vision alone struck me as baffling because the River of Life is what flows out of our innermost being simply by being a Christian, as promised by the Lord himself. But this is not the river that Ezekiel sees in his vision. Dave Wilkerson misappropriates this river to apply to the Church. Ezekiel's vision of a river is a literal river which does not even presently exist yet until the Lord creates this river in Israel in the future when he returns. And even then, it is not the same river as the river referred to in the familiar lyrics, "I've Got a River of Life Flowing out of Me." This river of life is not coming, it is already here inside every Christian. It has been here for two thousand years. The river Ezekiel refers to will flow from Jerusalem west to the Mediterranean and east to the Dead Sea which will become fresh water and contain real fish (nothing lives in it now)! The description of this yet future literal river is in both Ezekiel Chapter 47 and Zechariah Chapter 14.

Now since the river that Ezekiel is referring to comes literally out of Jerusalem, it would be appropriate to address the question whether Jerusalem itself is the New Jerusalem or figurative reference to the Church as Wilkerson's vision would imply. If the river of life that Dave Wilkerson is referring to which he quotes from Ezekiel is the Church, then the City from which it flows would also have to be figurative and refer to the Church.

I just read the post on a website on Israel that asserts that there is only one Jerusalem....and it is the New Jerusalem, or the Jerusalem from above. This is an astounding statement. If the Jerusalem and the New Jerusalem are one and the same, it presents colossal Biblical contradictions and insurmountable questions and problems. Here they are:

  • 1. We are to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. We are not asked to pray for the peace of the New Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem is not at war...it is a city being prepared by the Lord himself as a virgin bride, pure and undefiled (Rev 21). The New Jerusalem doesn't need peace. It is already at peace!!

  • 2. Jerusalem is a burdensome stone, but the New Jerusalem is not!

      Zec 12:3 "And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone (NIV renders this 'immovable rock') for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.&qout;

      Zec 12:6 ..."and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, [even] in Jerusalem."

    Jerusalem is immovable. The New Jerusalem is movable. It is seen coming in the future from Heaven to the earth (Revelation Chapter 21). Whereas the Old Jerusalem is immovable!

    • 1. Jesus wept for Jerusalem, not the New Jerusalem...why would you weep for the New Jerusalem?

    • 2. All of the cities of Israel are being restored from ruins, including Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem was not nor ever will be in ruins!

    • 3. All of the armies of all of the nations of the world are going to surround Jerusalem, not the New Jerusalem! Armies from surrounding nations such as Edom which is literal will be surrounding a literal Jerusalem.

    • 4. The Antichrist is going to defile the temple. This temple can only be in Jerusalem. If the Old Jerusalem and the New Jerusalem are one and the same, then the AntiChrist can defile the New Jerusalem. God forbid this! So how did the AntiChrist get into the Temple in the New Jerusalem to commit the Abomination of Desolation, spoken of by the Prophet Daniel and confirmed by Jesus Christ? The answer is he did not and he never will!

    • 5. The New Jerusalem will not be trodden under the feet of Gentiles until the fullness of Gentiles has come in. Something and someone impure will and has already entered the Old Jerusalem as it has been trodden under foot by the Gentiles. But nothing impure will ever enter the New Jerusalem.

      • Zephaniah 3:14-15 "Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, [even] the LORD, [is] in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more."

      • Isa 62:1 For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp [that] burneth.

      • Isa 62:6 -7 "I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, [which] shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence, And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

    Again, this does not refer to the New Jerusalem. There is no "until." The New Jerusalem was never UNRIGHTEOUS. So the vigil continues for the present Terra Firma Jerusalem. And this vigil certainly is more necessary than ever, since only a small percentage of Jerusalem and Israel fear the Lord, and in fact very few there believe Jesus is the Messiah....yet!

    The Old Jerusalem can't be the New Jerusalem. How would God take away punishment from the New Jerusalem? He would have had to punish her in the first place. And if the New Jerusalem is the Church then God would be turning back their punishment on her enemies. And since when did the Church receive judgments according to Scripture?

    So it is impossible that Jerusalem and the New Jerusalem are one and the same. Finally, the author of that message quotes Paul in stating correctly that we seek the Jerusalem from above. But by his own argument, then there must be a DIFFERENT Jerusalem which is ABOVE. Then the one which is above must be distinct from the one which is on the ground right next to the Mount of Olives which Jesus Christ will descend to when he returns. SHALOM!

    Now Wilkerson's idea of Ezekiel's river being the spiritual revival in the Church in the Last Days is backwards...the Scripture really states that unprecedented numbers will fall away from the faith! The revival will take place with the Jews, not the Church!

    There are massive problems with assigning Ezekial's vision of the dry bones to the Church rather than the whole house of Israel coming back from the dead. Firstly, the bones in Ezekial 37 were very dry...that is LONG dead. Dave Wilkerson and Replacement Theology followers would imply that Ezekiel's vision has the Church in the grave for two thousands years (totally dead the entire time). They imply that the Church suddenly will be revived in the Last Days. But the Church is not dead NOW (though it might be small in number due to the Great Falling Away).

    Secondly, the dry bones in Ezekiel would have already been buried in Ezekiel's time. But the Church did not yet even exist until Pentecost, several hundred years later. This model of the Church being Israel sets up a bizarre scenario of something dead coming back from life that never existed (yet). When Lazarus came back to life, at least there was a real physical body to revive!

    "False prophets will spread doctrines of death. 'Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived' (2 Timothy 3:13). Even now, spiritual death has spread throughout the apostate church." and "The truth is, he has planned something much better for his people in these last days."

    Well, 2 Timothy 3:13 is a strange Scripture for Dave Wilkerson to use, since his vision is itself an incorrect interpretation. Wilkerson says that Jesus has something better for his people in the Last Days. Something better than the Early Church and the Apostles experienced? Actually, those who are Christians will be killed and are already by the millions by Muslims thinking they are honoring Allah. Now if you are a Jew, the Time of Jacob's Trouble will be a time of great refining. In either case, I would not call this good in the sense of what Dave Wilkerson is describing. Now the good will certainly come AFTER the Last Days when the Millenium is set up and when we have glorified bodies. But to suggest good is coming like a flood on Christians is just another spin on the Prosperity Doctrine. And to suggest that somehow the early Church missed out on something "better" we are going to get is a reproach to all of those Christian martyrs and persecuted Church of the early church.

    II Thessalonians 2:3 "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;"

    "In the Old Testament, salt is a symbol of rebellion and barrenness."

    Well that was true with Lot's wife...but it symbolized a lot of other good things too. Here are some examples:
    • Lev 2:13 And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.

    • Num 18:19 All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer unto the LORD, have I given thee, and thy sons and thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: it [is] a covenant of salt for ever before the LORD unto thee and to thy seed with thee.

    • Ki 2:20 And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought [it] to him.

    • 2Ki 2:21 And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren [land].

    • 2Ch 13:5 Ought ye not to know that the LORD God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, [even] to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt?

    • Ezr 6:9 And that which they have need of, both young bullocks, and rams, and lambs, for the burnt offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the appointment of the priests which [are] at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail:

    • Eze 43:24 And thou shalt offer them before the LORD, and the priests shall cast salt upon them, and they shall offer them up [for] a burnt offering unto the LORD.

    In the NT it could refer to something good or bad depending on the context. We are the salt of the earth...that is good. But in James it talks about a spring with fresh water mixed with salt that you can't drink...this is bad.

    James 3:12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so [can] no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
    I don't know if anything breaks my heart more than great men of God breaking ranks and professing false teaching or collosal ignorance of Scriptures...particularly when multitudes now drink in and repeat visions like this.

    Dave Wilkerson's vision is an attempt to virtually misappropriate the land from the Jews and give it to the Church. His examples taken from Ezekiel Chapters 40-47 are about Israel, NOT the Church. It divides the land into portions for the Twelve Tribes of Israel with duties broken down even to some of the Levite clans such as the Levite clan of Zadok who will yet minister in a yet future Temple in Jerusalem.

    Zechariah 12:12-14 also records how even each clan of the Twelve Tribes of Israel will mourn for the one they have pierced. Which clan is ANY Gentile Christian in? Answer: NONE! These chapters are the continuity of Ezekiel 37-39 which also is about Israel not the Church.

    The Manifest Sons of God and the rest of the Replacement Theology followers think that the Church is going to take over the world before the Lord returns and won't be happy until they have all of Israel too, calling themselves the true Jews. But Revelation has a great warning to these people who call themselves Jews when they are not.

    It is not an accident that Islam has the same replacement theology as mainline Christianity with respect to Israel and her land. Islam believes just like most of the Church that it has replaced the Jews regarding who has title to the Land. This is one of Satan's biggest and most masterful lies and has enslaved hundreds of millions of Muslims and Christians alike.

    • Rev 2:9 "I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and [I know] the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but [are] the synagogue of Satan."

    • Rev 3:9 "Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee."

    One does not have to guess where the members of the synagogue of Satan are destined!

    The Lord does not appreciate anyone masquerading as Jews, even Christians, thinking they can misappropriate blessings such as the Land God promised to the Jews!


    A time is coming when unprecedented numbers will be revived from spiritual death."

    David Wilkerson's vision has also been the common mantra in many major camps in BOTH Mainline Christian Denominations and Charismatic Churches....it is not really new; it is also known as Dominion Theology...they decided upon themselves to render Ezekiel's dry bones vision as not being Israel at all, but the Church. That is also where they get the idea of a great revival going to happen and Joel's Army (the Church) will take over the world for Jesus. I have spent years studying those passages and read them over and over and over, imagining trying to replace "Israel" with the "Church" in those passages and a host of others in Joel 3:2, Isaiah, Psalm 83, Zechariah, Daniel etc. Besides being a false prophecy, it is an abomination to the Lord.

    Eze 36:17 "Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman."
    The Church did not defile the land of Israel (prior the the Crusades) when Ezekiel wrote this in reference to the Jews defiling the Land of Israel prior to their eviction to Babylon.
    Eze 36:19 "And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them."
    The Lord did not scatter the Church for defiling the Land. The Church was indeed scattered during the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. by the Roman Legions, but not because they defiled the Land. If anything, the early Church was pure and undefiled. Besides this, it is the wrong time frame that Ezekiel was referring to....Ezekiel is referring to the defiling of the Land that caused the Lord to bring in the Babylonians to scatter and take the Jews captive (the Assyrians had already done it to the Northern Kingdom).
    Eze 36:24 "For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land."
    So since it was the real literal Jews who defiled the land and were dispersed, it has to be them that are regathered. You can't regather what you never scattered. The Church was not scattered into all of the countries in the earth and regathered to their own land. This is historically and Biblically impossible!!!
    Eze 36:28 "And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.&qout;
    The Lord did not give the land to the fathers of the Church.
    Jer 50:19-20 "And I will bring Israel again to his habitation, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied upon mount Ephraim and Gilead. In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and [there shall be] none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.

    Micah7:14 "Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily [in] the wood, in the midst of Carmel: let them feed [in] Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old.&qout;
    The Church did not dwell in Bashan and Gilead which are all on the East Bank of the Jordan AS IN THE DAYS OF OLD. And Mount Ephraim is on the literal West Bank of the Jordan. It is the sins of Judah that shall no longer be found. This cannot refer to the Church. The Church did not even yet exist at this time, so how could its guilt be removed? How could there be remnant of something which had not existed yet (the Church)?

    Speaking of the East Bank of the Jordan.....

    Everyone is talking about Israel occupying the West Bank. How do you occupy what already belongs to you? Why is no one talking about who is occupying the East Bank of the Jordan which was also given to Israel alone as a permanent possession? Are we to exclude the Tribes of Manasseh, Gad, and Reuben from their rightful inheritance? Don't both Ezekiel (Chapters 40-46) and Revelation (Chapter 14) confirm ALL Twelve Tribes of Israel securing their rightful inheritance of land? And yes it will be a greater Israel than even today or even during the reign of King Solomon. Greater Israel will include major tracts of land on the EAST BANK (parts of present-day Jordan and Syria).
    Isa 61:7 "For your shame [ye shall have] double; and [for] confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them."
    The Church was not shamed nor did it receive a double shame. The land belonging to these tribes has already been surrendered to the enemies of the Lord. So we are now being asked to carve up and trade the land belonging to the Tribes of Naphtali, Issachar, Ephraim, Benjamin, and Judah for peace (Judea and Sumaria)?

    The Biblical Year of Jubilee requires property to be given back to its original owner. If the deeds to these properties are permanently surrendered to the Palestinians, how will it be possible to ever return property to their rightful owners?

    We have surrendered Hebron, the birthplace of the Patriarchs, Shechem the burial place of Joseph, and Bethlehem, the birthplace of King David, and Jesus our Messiah?

    We are being asked to surrender to 1967 Borders, why don't we go all the way back to the borders promised by God to Abraham, which is from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates?

    In the end the Lord will secure his final borders, even if he does not have one person on the earth who will be in his army when he returns. But woe to them by whom it comes! We have the privilege of being in the Armies of Heaven. But whichever nation who supports a Palestinian State** is in direct support of the Final Solution for the Jews.

    In the final analysis, there are going to be two armies, those that surround Jerusalem who had divided up the Lord's land (See Psalm 83, Zechariah 12:3, Joel 3:2), whom the Lord will cut to pieces, and the Lord's Army. I invite you today to decide whose army you are going to be in. Not to choose is to choose!!
    Joel 3:1-2 "For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and [for] my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land."
    Whose Land? Israel's land that God gave them...he did not give the land to the Church. And since when was the Church led into captivity for its sins and defiling the land (of Israel)? How do you restore someone from captivity who was never in captivity?
    Amos 9:11-12 "In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this."
    For the Church to be Israel it would have to also be David's tent that had fallen and would some day in the future be raised up again. The Church was never in ruins in order to be built again. The Church was never guilty as in the days of Old. Israel is even going to possess Edom. Well guess where Edom is? It is on the East Bank of the Jordan too! (see above paragraph on the East Bank).
    Eze 36:38 "As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I [am] the LORD."
    Since when did the Church EVER have solemn feasts....only Israel had them!
    Zec 14:16 &qout;And it shall come to pass, [that] every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles."
    And the Feast of Tabernacles is a Jewish Feast not a Christian or Church Feast!
    Eze 36:37 "Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet [for] this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do [it] for them; I will increase them with men like a flock" ( NIV renders this: 'Once again I will yield to their plea' as he did in Egypt.)
    The Church never issued a first plea for there to be a once again plea.
    Eze 37:19 "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."
    The Church was never either the Kingdom of Ephraim or Judah to have been one stick in the first place, let alone be rejoined to be one stick again. The proper Hebrew rendering of "fellows" is clans. Clans were subdivisions of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Example: Bethlehem Ephrathah was a clan in the Tribe of Judah from which David and Jesus Christ descended. The Church never belonged nor descended from a clan.

    In another passage on clans referring to the Last Days:
    Zechariah 12-13 (NIV) " The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives, the clan of the house of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei and their wives,"
    Now imagine substituting the Church for clans in these passages, that is if the Church is Israel, then its Tribes must be the Church and its Clans must be the Church. This would render the above passages:
    Zechariah 12-13 "The land will mourn, each CHURCH by itself, with their wives by themselves: the CHURCH of the house of David and their wives, the CHURCH of the house of Nathan and their wives, the CHURCH of the house of Levi and their wives, the CHURCH of Shimei and their wives,"
    Of course this rendering and interpretation is impossible. No, the clans of the Twelve Tribes of Israel really are the clans of Israel...they are not the CHURCH.
    Eze 37:22 "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:"
    Once again, when was the Church two nations? When was the Church two Kingdoms? When was the Church divided into two kingdoms?
    Eze 39:23 "And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword."
    The Church never went into captivity for their iniquity.
    Amos 9:14-15 "And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit [them]; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them and I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God."
    So once again if the Church is Israel, when was the Church uprooted from the land that the Lord gave the Church? Answer: NEVER!

    AND
    Eze 39:28 "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."
    AND
    Zec 8:11-13 "But now I [will] not [be] unto the residue of this people as in the former days, (NIV renders this "I will NOT deal with the remnant of this people as I did in the past") saith the LORD of hosts. For the seed [shall be] prosperous; the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these [things]. And it shall come to pass, [that] as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, [but] let your hands be strong."
    So it is abundantly obvious that the Lord regathers back into their own land the very same people he sent into captivity which is the Whole House of Israel...NOT THE CHURCH!!! The Church was not a curse among the heathen!

    Even if you attempt to spiritualize Israel, you still have to grapple with who is being regathered to a figurative land that is resettled ruins. The Lord hid his face from a figurative Israel. If he is going to resettled the towns as they were before, then the previous towns were not literal either, but figurative! Then the livestock, goods, and plunder would all have to be figurative too! Men will be regularly employed to bury figurative human bones to cleanse the land as described in Ezekiel Chapter 39?
    Ezekiel 44:22 "They must not marry widows or divorced women; they may marry only virgins of Israelite descent or widows of priests."
    Now imagine trying to make this passage figurative rather than its plain and obvious literal meaning. To be a widow to not marry, someone must have literally died. How do you have descent figuratively? Yes we are spiritually married, but we don't marry figurative virgins. These instructions are so precise! And what about the priests in this passage. Yes the Church is going to be priests and kings to rule and reign with Christ. But the priests we, as the Church, are going to be will be non-mortal priests of the Lord. We will be like angels not given to marriage as Christ clearly explained to us. The priests in Ezekiel's vision of the future of Israel will be mortal Levite priests and will literally marry. The Church is not a priesthood of Levite Priests.
    Eze 44:15 "But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord GOD:"
    Once again, which tribe is any individual Christian from (other than a Jewish believer)? How is a gentile Christian a Levite? How could any of the Church be the "sons of Zadok?" To suggest that the Church is Israel would then require you to render the Levite sons of Zadok as the Church or part of the Church. But this passage specifically sets aside only LITERAL descendants of Zadok who HAD NOT GONE ASTRAY to be able to minister in the sanctuary.
    Eze 45:8 "In the land shall be his possession in Israel: and my princes shall no more oppress my people; and [the rest of] the land shall they give to the house of Israel according to their tribes."
    So, the boundaries of the land are distributed according to the tribes of Israel. So, if the Church is Israel, which of the Twelve Tribes do each of us belong to in order to secure our parcel of land? Is the land figurative too? Is each part of the land measured out in cubits and allotted to each tribe figuratively? Ezekiel 47 and 48 go into precise detail in describing the boundaries of Greater Israel EXACTLY (including the East Bank of the Jordan) in the manner that was laid out to Abraham in the first place in Genesis! Is one description of the boundaries literal and the other figurative? Is the Great Sea figurative? The Hethlon road, Lebo Hamath, Zedad, Berothat, Sibraim, DAMASCUS (note that Damascus would be utterly destroyed and cease to be a city)
    Isa 17:1 "The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from [being] a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap."),
    Eastern sea, Tamar, Wadi River, Meribah Kadesh, and Egypt could not be figurative regarding the future division of the land as to its boundaries. If you are going to state that Israel is figurative for the Church, then the land must be figurative. If Israel is figurative and is therefore the Church, then who is Egypt? Who is Damascus? Who is Edom? Who are all of the nations in Psalm 83 that SURROUND Israel? The Lord is going to destroy a figurative Damascus from being a city? You can't pick and choose which parts of these passages in Ezekiel are literal and figurative.
    Eze 47:12 "And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine."
    If the Church is Israel, then the leaves for medicine must be for the Church. But the Church will not need leaves for healing in glorified bodies that don't need healing! So, no Israel is not the Church.
    Eze 47:13 "Thus saith the Lord GOD; This [shall be] the border, whereby ye shall inherit the land according to the twelve tribes of Israel: Joseph [shall have two] portions."
    Joseph could not refer to the Church. And guess where one of these two portions are? It must be the half tribe of Manasseh which is ON THE EAST BANK of the Jordan!
    Eze 47:14 "And ye shall inherit it, one as well as another: [concerning] the which I lifted up mine hand to give it unto your fathers: and this land shall fall unto you for inheritance."
    The Lord even compares the distribution of the Land in the Future to Israel to the distribution he gave to Israel in the first place to Abraham by an EVERLASTING Covenant. Same land, same tribes!

    So, I hope you see the colossal problems with trying to substitute the Church for Israel and trying to render Ezekiel's vision of dry bones, the land of Israel, the River in Israel, and Jerusalem, as referring to the Church. No, Israel is Israel, the Land is the Land, The River is the River, Jerusalem is Jerusalem, and the Church is the Church, and the New Jerusalem is the New Jerusalem!

    James Sundquist
    Rock Salt Publishing
    © 20 Jun 2003
    email: rock DOT salt AT verizon DOT net
    (this email address has been coded to prevent spam mail
    remove all spaces, add @ sign and dots, etc.
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