Ezekiel, chapters 35-38

“Like the flock of holy ones, like the flock of Jerusalem during her festivals, the cities that were in ruins will become full of flocks of people; and they will have to know that I am Jehovah.”
~Ezekiel 36:38

God prophesied that in the last days, the knowledge of his truth would become abundant. (Dan. 12:4)
Although the observation of holidays as mandated by Mosaic Law was ended with the institution of the Christian congregation, Christians still gather together in large cities to praise and learn about God, following a similar pattern to that in ancient Israel. (Gal. 3:24,25)
If you have not done so already, I invite you to attend one of the remaining free regional conventions programmed for this year nearest to where you live. The talks, videos and interviews given encourage us to never give up.

Ezekiel, chapters 18-20

“‘As surely as I am alive,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, ‘I will not respond to your inquiry.’”
~Ezekiel 20:31

Some people pray to God: “God, if you exist, please do [such and such]…”
But in the past, Jehovah has refused to answer the prayers of his own people because their form of worship has been offensive to him.
The Jews were prostrating themselves before stone and wooden idols and offering sacrifices to other gods. (Ez. 20:28-30)
By their actions, they were rejecting the laws that Jehovah had given them for their own benefit. (Ez. 20:13)
Jehovah refused to go along with their charade form of worship and his silence was the only answer their prayers received.
Today, God continues to try to teach us right from wrong for our own benefit. (Is. 48:17,18)
If we listen to his Word and act accordingly, praying in accordance with his will, we will be able to perceive how and when he answers our prayers. (Jas. 2:26; 1 John 5:14)

Ezekiel, chapters 6-10

“[…] Do not let your eye feel sorry, and do not feel any compassion.”
~Ezekiel 9:5

Is it cruel on God’s part to destroy the wicked?
Jesus said God executes justice “speedily.” (Luke 18:7,8)
But when Ezekiel prophesied about Jerusalem’s destruction, five years had yet to pass before its fulfillment.
Since the days of Moses, Jehovah had sent one prophet after another to warn his people of what would happen should they stray from true worship. (Jer. 7:25)
Still, the people as a whole were not destroyed.
Jehovah examined them individually and figuratively marked those who would survive Babylon’s invasion.
Furthermore, the religious leaders most responsible for corrupting Jehovah’s worship would be the first to be executed. (Eze. 9:6)
This teaches us that being a nominal Christian or getting baptized is not enough to receive the “mark” of salvation.
Jehovah and Jesus will closely examine who among us truly has faith by our acts of worship. (Jas. 2:24)

Jeremiah, chapters 1-4

“Why have these, my people, said, ‘We roam freely.
We will come to you no more’?”
~Jeremiah 2:31(b)

God was asking his People why they had forsaken him and turned to worshipping material idols. (Jer. 2:11)
Although God gives us freedom of choice, to assert that freedom to pursue “what is useless” would be to waste the precious gifts of life, time and energy he has given us.
Today’s equivalent of useless idols may not necessarily be a stone, ceramic or wood sculpture one kneels to.
It may be selfish conduct that is in direct conflict with God’s norms, or maybe even a vain hobby that consumes valuable time we could otherwise be using to help others. (Eph. 5:15,16,18; Php. 3:19)
Or perhaps we are obsessed with achieving something like a social status that is beyond our means of living and which forces us to spend so much time at work, we end up neglecting family life, sacrificing Bible study or meditation time. (1 Tim. 6:9,10)
Whatever internal or external “god” may be rivaling our one True God, if we let our worship be derailed, we will reap the bitter consequences of that choice. (Jer. 2:19)

Isaiah, chapters 63-66

“But you are among those forsaking Jehovah, {…}
Those setting a table for the god of Good Luck,
And those filling up cups of mixed wine for the god of Destiny.”
~Isaiah 65:11

What is luck?
Some dictionaries define it as a force that operates for good or ill, or chance considered as a force that causes good or bad to happen.
Is the belief in a supernatural force that affects our circumstances in line with God’s way of thinking, as outlined in the Bible?
In ancient times, Luck and Destiny were pagan gods.
Their worshippers traditionally celebrated a party for them on the last day of the last month of the year, where they feasted and drank wine in their honor. (Insight on the Scriptures, vol. I, “God of Luck”)
For a dedicated servant of Jehovah to request a favor, or blessing, from a force other than Jehovah himself, is a form of betrayal. (De. 10:20; Luke 4:8)
The reliance on luck through customs or charms is a superstitious form of Spiritism, a belief that encompasses the practices used to invoke forces or spirits other than Jehovah (demons).
This belief is in direct conflict with true worship. (De. 18:10,11; Is. 8:19,20; Gal. 5:19-21)
Although it seems inoffensive and even polite to wish someone “good luck,” those pleasing Jehovah adjust their thinking to his point of view and take into account his feelings on the matter, knowing all blessings come from him alone in due time. (Is. 65:16,17,24)

Isaiah, chapters 52-57

“[…] All your sons will be taught by Jehovah,
And the peace of your sons will be abundant.”
~Isaiah 54:13

One of the identifying markers of true worship is the peacefulness of those who practice it.
Jesus said: “By this all will know that you are my disciples—if you have love among yourselves.” (John 13:35)
Isaiah himself prophesied that in the last days, God’s people would be made up of peace-lovers from different ends of the earth. (Is. 2:2,4)
But is an international brotherhood of peace really something attainable in these divided times we are living?
Jesus also stated: “The things impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)
If we love God and want to follow in Christ’s footsteps, we will not only practice a form of worship free of promoting hatred or war, but will ‘clothe ourselves’ with love in the manner in which we speak and treat those around us on a daily basis. (Col. 3:12-15)

Isaiah, Chapters 17-23

“Jehovah will strike Egypt, striking and healing it; and they will return to Jehovah, and he will respond to their entreaties and heal them.”
~Isaiah 19:22

In this prophetic context, Egypt represents the nations of the earth in general. (Re. 11:8)
God will strike them on his judgment day. (Re. 16:14,16)
Throughout the earth, individuals set apart for salvation will then be “healed” in every sense of the word: spiritually, morally, physically, mentally and emotionally. (Re. 22:1,2)
Who will be their deliverer? None other than God’s own son.
(Is. 19:20; He. 2:9,10,14)
In the mean time, there is ‘an altar in the midst of Egypt’ and a ‘pillar on its boundary’ in the sense that God’s servants can be found throughout the nations and yet conduct themselves differently than most of the world around them. (Is. 19:19; Joh. 17:15,16)
God’s servants worship him united and peacefully, regardless of their national origin. (Is. 19:23)

If you would like more details on the minor and major fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecies, you can find it in the online book “Isaiah’s Prophecies” Volume 1 & Volume 2.