The Bible Answers Short Questions From Our Readers
Plain Truth Staff
Is the Book of Mormon the prophesied "stick of Joseph" mentioned in Ezekiel 37? And does the "stick of Judah" really represent the Bible as some claim?
Here is a vital, yet little understood, prophecy. Is the "stick of Joseph" the Book of Mormon? Some believe this to be the interpretation of Ezekiel 37, but is it true? What is this chapter speaking about? The truth is, this chapter is speaking neither about the Book of Mormon nor the Bible. It is a prophecy concerning NATIONS — not books! It is a prophecy for the near future — of the house of Israel being once again united to the House of Judah after Christ returns. Notice the plain statements of scripture! Begin with the 15th verse. The illustration of the two sticks shows two houses, or nations, Israel and Judah, being once more UNITED, under Christ, in the land of Palestine. Notice the proof in verse 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." Contrary to the fantastic notions taught by one religious group, the 16th verse does not refer to the Book of Mormon or the Bible. It is referring to nations! This prophecy has puzzled many who fail to understand that after the death of King Solomon, the twelve tribes of Israel split into two nations. Under Jeroboam, king of Israel, were the ten tribes of the "House of Israel," led by Joseph's son Ephraim, and under Rehoboam, king of Judah, were two tribes called the "House of Judah." This history is found in I Kings 12:16-21. We find these two nations constantly at war against each other, according to the record of II Kings 16:5-6 and elsewhere. Later in history the "House of Israel" itself became subdivided into lesser nations. See Ezekiel 2:3, in the margin, where we read, according to the original Hebrew text: "Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to rebellious nations that have rebelled against me." Judah — the Jews — and Israel — the democracies of Northwest Europe and the English-speaking world — are pictured in this prophecy as two separate peoples or nations which God will join together once again at the second coming of Christ to form one nation as they were long ago. These two "houses" or nations are thus plainly interpreted BY BIBLE to be the "stick of Judah" (under the leadership of the tribe of Judah) and the "stick of Joseph" (under the leadership of the descendants' of Joseph — the English-speaking This vital prophecy is picturing a momentous change in international relations and world government!
Why don't you have prayer on your program as is done on other religious broadcasts?
There is no other broadcast like "The WORLD TOMORROW." It is unique and different from others in many ways. There are no pleas for money. The literature is paid for in advance so that it may be sent free to those requesting it. The reason why Mr. Armstrong does not pray on the broadcast is because the Bible forbids it! Notice the teaching of Jesus Christ: "And WHEN thou prayest, thou shalt NOT be as the hypocrites are, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men ..." (Matt. 6:5). Many of the people listening to "The WORLD TOMORROW" broadcast are unconverted. They are not interested in hearing a flowery prayer and sentimental words. We do not pray to be heard by the man on the streets. Instead, we follow Christ's instructions: "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret..." (Matt. 6:6). Jesus Christ said to pray privately — NOT on the street corners or over the air. Our prayers are for God to hear, not the world!
I have no one to talk to about spiritual matters, and this makes me very lonely at times. How can I overcome this loneliness?
When you begin to feel alone, and in need of Divine help, just think of the thousands of others who have the same feeling — then go to God in prayer and ask Him to relieve them of their distress and loneliness. Get your mind on their problems and you will soon forget your own! Your natural loneliness can be dispelled to a considerable degree by adequate daily communion with God. God speaks to us daily if we study our Bible daily. We talk to God when we pray. If we follow the examples of Daniel and David, we will pray to God three times daily (Dan. 6:10 and Psa. 55:17). When we pray and study we are communing with our spiritual Father, who is personally interested in our happiness. You should ask God to supply your needs and to make it possible, in His own time, for you to meet others who love His ways. Ask Him, also, to give you peace of mind so that you will be able to serve Him wholeheartedly. When we look at life from a standpoint of spiritual fellowship, we find those who are without God have much more reason to be lonely than do those who are without human friends in Christ. People can give us only physical company and little encouragement, but God can give us everything we have need of. Remember, our fellowship is first of all with God.