Ezekiel 37 records a vision of the valley full of dry bones. After Ezekiel prophesied,
they were joined and raised to become a mighty army. However, there is an important sequence which is often missed.
When Ezekiel prophesied, the bones came together bone to bone, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. First, they had to come together in relationships, (bone to bone = pairs). The tendons and muscles joined the bones together. This is the work of the elders: to build a church with a network of relationships.
Then Ezekiel prophesied again. The breath (spirit) came into them and they stood up and became a mighty army. The Holy Spirit came in the fullness of power.
We often think the solution is for the Holy Spirit to come in power and revive the body of Christ. That is getting the order wrong. Before the Spirit can come in power, the bones must be joined together bone to bone, by tendons and muscles. In other words, the structure of the church must be corrected first. The correct leadership pattern must be established and the members must be joined together in a network of relationships. Only then can the Holy Spirit come in power.
Jesus was making the same point when he said, “you can’t put new wine into old wineskins”. The individual bones can only become a might army empowered by the Spirit, if they are joined together, bone to bone.
Notice also that both stages of the process were marked by the prophetic voice. The body will not be joined together, the Spirit will not be released in power, the church will not become a mighty army until the prophetic ministry is established in the church.
The real problem is that the church is dislocated and disjointed. The body will have to be joined together again before the life of God can flow through it.