Vallley of Dry Bones

Uranda   January 4, 1954

I have chosen a text which, in times past, we have considered—the Thirty-Seventh Chapter of Ezekiel:

The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD,
and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,
And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley;
and, lo, they were very dry.
And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live?
And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.
Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them,
O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.
Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones;
Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:
And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin,
and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise,
and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.
And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them,
and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.
Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind,
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath,
and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
So I prophesied as he commanded me,
and the breath came into them, and they lived,
and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

“The hand of the LORD was upon me.” Isn’t that a good state to be in: to have a consciousness and awareness of the fact that the hand of the LORD is upon me? “And carried me out in the spirit of the LORD.” Have you ever been carried out in the spirit of the LORD into new fields of vision, understanding, and comprehension? Have you ever been carried out of the state where you were into a new state?

Human beings reading these words ordinarily think of some strange phenomenon in which an individual, a man was perhaps standing here and suddenly he shoots off up into the air and goes somewhere else. I don’t think of it that way at all. “The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones”—in the midst of the valley which was full of bones. What is this valley. To me it is the valley of the world, of human beings. And when we look out into that world pattern, in the world situation it is rather dry, and it reminds us of a valley of dry bones, because human beings are rattling around this way and that, accomplishing what? Are there the proper relationships? Do we see the true body of mankind. The answer is, No.

And the LORD “caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.” What does this dryness signify? A lack of livingness, a lack of life. And in the world as it is we see a tremendous lack of life. “And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live?” How many times have you asked that question of yourself? Did you ever sit in your car, parked at the curb of a busy street an watch people go by—all kinds and shapes and colors, people going this way and that, some appearing to have a goal and others acting aimlessly—and did you ever ask yourself, “Can the world be saved? Can all this mass of humanity be healed of their limitations? Can they be drawn into a pattern of the Divine Design? Can they begin to live in any true sense? “And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered”—and here is the perfect answer—“O Lord GOD, thou knowest”—Thou knowest the answer. “Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them…”

Now before we go further let us remember what the word prophesy means. So many people imagine that prophesy means primarily foretelling future events. That may be included in some cases, but that is not the true meaning of prophesy. To prophesy mean to let the Word of the LORD be spoken on earth, about any subject, any thing, whatever it may be—and action comes in the realm of prophesy also. A prophet is one who allows the words of the LORD and the actions of the LORD to be given expression on earth. A true prophet is any individual who allows his lips to form and express the Word of the LORD in relationship to any subject, any thing whatsoever it may be—past present or future. So, when the LORD commanded Ezekiel and said, “Prophesy upon these bones”, we recognize immediately that he was instructed to let the Word of the LORD come through his lips so that that Word would have meaning to the dry bones. And “he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.” Now there we have a perfect illustration of the meaning of prophesy.

“O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live.” When we look at the world situation with human vision, human feelings and attitudes, realizing the chaos that is everywhere present, the suffering and the misery, the limitations of every sort, it seems to the human mind that this is indeed an impossible task. But it is no more impossible than the human concept of gathering dry bones together in a very dry valley and causing them to live. In fact, every human being upon the face of the earth who has not yet come into the body of formation Divinely designed, so that he or she has begun to live in the Divine sense, is one of these dry bones in the dry valley of the world pattern.

“Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live”—and this reminds us of another statement: Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I create all things new. “And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. So I prophesied as I was commanded”—even as I have done, and you are here. “I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.”

Here we see the beginning cycles of the healing ministry which we share—the gathering together of the bones to form the skeleton of the body of mankind, the body of Christ, or the Christ Spirit, on earth. But that body begins to take form before there is breath in the body—and so it has been. And when we look back along the way, as far as your own participation in this Program is concerned, do you find that this statement is true? “So I prophesied as I was commanded, and as I prophesied, there was a noise.” Did you ever hear a noise, of ideas, and concepts, and reactions, and rebellions, and questionings, and wonderings, and trying, pushing, pulling—all kinds of things? “A noise, and behold a shaking.” Now did any of you ever feel shaken? Did you? Did you ever find a shaking in the process of your being gathered together? Did you ever find your old patterns of idea and concept shaken? Did you ever find yourself shaken? I do not think there is one here who can answer, “No.” And so, there was a noise and there was a shaking, and the bones came together. Witness—here you are!

“And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above:”—or on the outside—“but there was no breath in them.” And we are reminded of the statement in the story of creation, “The LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground.” But he was an inert form—and the LORD breathed the breath of life into man’s nostrils, and man became a living Soul. He was therefore, before that point, a dead soul; he was a soul but not a living Soul. So, in our own experience there has been a gathering together of the bones, and the sinews have appeared, and the skin above, or on the outside. The forming has been working out exactly as the picture is portrayed here. But, there is one thing yet which is needed and that is the breath of life, that you may, in the full, complete sense be living Souls; or, in the unified pattern, a living Soul, in the sense of the body of mankind.

We recall that we have used the illustration before, of many members of one body, and the same portrayal is used here—many members of one body, the body of mankind which becomes, in the final analysis, the One Christ Body. And the Christ is a Spirit. The Christ Spirit when it fills the body causes that body to be the Christ Body. But until the Christ Spirit is in the body, controlling all the members of the body, it is only a potential not an accomplished fact as the Body of Christ. And here, the statement is, “but there was no breath in them”—the Breath of Life.

“Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind”—and the wind; the air is a symbol of the Spirit, as you will recall; and the wind is air in action. Therefore wind symbolizes Spirit in action. “Prophesy unto the wind.” That is, let the Word of the LORD be expressed to the Spirit, in control of the Spirit. And is that not what is needed in our lives here, in the beginning of this new year, that the Spirit may be in action in us, working through us on earth?

“Then he said unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.” Many people—an exceeding great multitude. And they stood up upon their feet—they became upright as noble men and women—and they lived; and living is not dying. Living signifies that the pattern has been changed, the cycle has been changed, no more moving in the wrong direction, but in a controlled pattern of the Spirit, moving toward the fulfilment of the goal established by the Divine Design. As we live and serve here on Sunrise Ranch, or in whatsoever place is required of us—as Kathy and I journey into the field in this year—what is the burden of our realization

We see with our eyes how responding ones everywhere are being drawn into groups, bone to his bone; how sinews are being formed; multitudes of people of every church, every group, every color on the face of the earth; people are being drawn together in a realization that there is and must be something more than that which has been. But in spite of all of this, in spite of the revivals, in spite of the urgings to attend church, in spite of all the efforts at social betterment, human progress, it is not yet a living thing. It has not been caused to feel the controlled action of the Breath of the Spirit of God. We see the coming together of bone to bone, the development of the sinews and the skin appearing above, and this is taking place all over the world at this present time. It is being promoted by every earnest, sincere endeavour which motivates human beings of every race and color and creed—they are all having a part, one way or another. But we know that in that pattern, while it is a part of the Program, that in and of itself is not enough. The first part of the prophesy is in action on a global scale now—but what of the second part of the prophesy?

“When I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me”—now He says unto us—“Prophesy unto the wind”—unto the Spirit in Action, not the Spirit of God in some static state far away—“Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great” multitude.

It is not required of us that we do that which others have done. If we simply repeat in action that which others are doing, what is our excuse for living, for being here? It is not that we are to simply do what they do, achieve what they have achieved and are achieving. If cannot add something to that Program, if we cannot increase it in some fashion, then we are of no value.

So, we begin to see here in graphic portrayal that to which we are called in service in the earth in this present time—that in this valley of the world where the dry bones are coming together, the sinews are being established, and the skin is appearing above—that which results may not be merely a dead body to again decompose, not merely the same old round reaching the same old ceiling, ending in the same old futility; but that there may be the actual manifestation of the second step of the prophesy, that there may be such an outpouring of the Spirit of God in action in the valley of the world that the Breath, the Four Winds, the four aspects of the Spirit in action may appear in and through the body of mankind, and that that body of mankind may live; that men an women everywhere may stand up upon their feet, revealing more and more that nobility of Being which is of God, of the Divine Design; revealing that full stature in Christ, that grace of life and function by which all may come to know what it means to be a part, not only of the body of mankind but of the Living Body of Christ on earth.

For the body of mankind as it is in the world is in fact a dead or dying body, a body subject to death. It is slain, but the victory of the Living Christ, the victory of the resurrection and the life remains to be made manifest in this body of mankind which extends over the face of the whole earth. This step beyond, which was signified in its beginning essences in what is called the Day of Pentecost—as the Master put it, “And ye shall receive power, after that the holy spirit is come upon you.” Man has not yet received that power. Man, in the sense of mankind, is subject to all of these ills—the threats of war and destruction, the threats of disease of every sort. But “ye shall receive power, after that the holy spirit is come upon you” said our LORD on earth.

And here we have the Word of the prophesy: “Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath”—the Spirit of God in action—and “I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them”—not merely upon them, not merely round about as a breeze that blows, but the breath came into them, and being in them permitted the Spirit in action in them, an action which the flesh should share, an action which the mind should share, an action which the whole man or woman should share—the Spirit of God in action shared by all that we are. And as soon as we begin to realize this, and recognize that it is the Pattern of the Divine Design for our living service on earth in this new year, we find that we need not proceed blindly as if uncertain of the goal or the purpose, but we can move wisely, with understanding and comprehension letting this prophecy be fulfilled in us, because we share the prophecy, because we ourselves let the Word of the Lord be spoken on earth, because we ourselves let the action of the Lord appear, and because by reason of that the Spirit on earth is a controlled expression.

The wind, yes—but the wind, Spirit in action under control, coming from the four winds to accomplish something. I am the resurrection and the life, the victory of the Living Christ—the victory over death, the victory in life, the Spirit of the Living Christ rising above the limitations of this world. And so it is in us, through us, for us, and for all who will share it in this day and in this hour, and in the days of this new year that we may move forward in confidence to know and to share the Victory. So let it be, now and always.

So is it established, and so shall it be accomplished, and no man can alter or change it except for himself; for the fulfilment is sure and certain for the body of mankind, for all who let themselves share in the forming of the new body of mankind, even as it is written “Behold, I make all things new.” And this new body of mankind is being formed out of the valley of dry bones, that in season it may appear a living, breathing, vibrant form for the expression of the Spirit of the Living Christ on earth, to the Glory of God. And then shall it be, according to the promise, that heaven and earth are One; and in the recreation it shall be as in the beginning when the Lord GOD created the heaven and the earth, and they were One. And God saw that which He had made and it was good. So shall it be, and now is it taking form. And in this time of our living it is being accomplished.

We thank God, therefore, for the privilege of sharing in the Angels’ Song—Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. In this new year, may the joy and heavenly prosperity of divine riches be upon you, and be made manifest through you, that you may know the joy of this new year. As one who reveals the Shekinah of our King, the evidence of the presence of the One Who Dwells, that that evidence may be made manifest on earth here and now, so is it established and so shall it be accomplished—and no one can alter or change it except for himself. And in this, I have prophesied as the LORD my KING hath commanded me. AUM-en.

© Emissaries of Divine Light