The Original Marriage Covenant

Several years ago when I began to study Torah from a Messianic Jewish perspective, I heard someone give a sermon from a portion of Deuteronomy.  The speaker said this Torah portion contained the marriage agreement between God and Israel.

My first thought was “what is he talking about?”  Instead of outright rejecting this idea or getting hostile about it, I decided to explore this idea some more and eventually I accepted this concept as truth considering the fact that God’s people accepted the terms of His relationship with them—the Ten Commandments.

Earlier this year, I decided to see if I could find the pattern of the Jewish wedding tradition in the Torah and was intrigued by what I found.

Quite some time ago I wrote about the historical Jewish wedding tradition.  I challenged you to compare it to the original marriage covenant God made with His people on Mount Sinai.  Did you give it a try?

Let’s see how we compare:

1.  Traditionally the Jewish father chose the bride and sent a friend or servant to come to terms with her parents.

  • In Deuteronomy 4:37, Moses explained to the second generation in the wilderness, “And because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them; and He brought you out of Egypt with His Presence, with His mighty power.”  God used Moses to bring God’s chosen people to Himself.

2.  A written marriage contract called a ketubah was drawn up complete with promises of support for the bride and expectations for the bride.   A bride’s price (mohar) was agreed upon.

  • God gave Moses the ketubah — the Ten Commandments, rulings, and promises for His people in Exodus 20-23 and the blessings and curses in Leviticus 26.   Exodus 24:5-8 says, “Then he sent young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord. 6 And Moses took half the blood and put it in basins, and half the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has said we will do, and be obedient.” 8 And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, “This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words.”  The blood of these sacrifices was a shadow of the bride price of the new marriage covenant.
  • In Exodus 29:20-21, God commanded Moses concerning the consecration of Aaron and his sons for the inauguration of the ministry of the priesthood, “Then you shall kill the ram, and take some of its blood and put it on the tip of the right ear of Aaron and on the tip of the right ear of his sons, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar.”  This was an even clearer shadow of the bride price of the new marriage covenant.

3.  If the bride agreed to the covenant, the bridegroom would pour a glass of wine and if she drank it, it meant she had accepted his proposal of her own free will.

  • The mixed multitude that came out of Egypt agreed to the terms of the marriage covenant by saying, “All the words which the Lord has said we will do.”  Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up the mountain, saw God, and ate and drank. (Exodus 24:3, 9-11)

4.  At this point a groom and bride were considered legally married but did not have sexual relations.  They continued to live separately.  Gifts were given to the bride.

  • Exodus 24:12 indicates that Moses was to come up the mountain to receive the stone tablets with the law and commandments on them.
  • It wasn’t until around the 24th of Iyar in the second year the children were in the wilderness, God took some of His Spirit from Moses and gave it to 70 elders chosen by Moses (Numbers 11:16-29).

5.  Prior to the betrothal, the bride and groom commonly performed a ritual immersion symbolic of ritual cleansing.

  •  Recall that in Exodus 19:14-15, the people were sanctified and washed their clothes and had to remain clean by not coming near their wives.

6.  The groom promised to prepare a place (bridal chamber) for his bride and to come back and get his bride after the bridal chamber met the father’s approval.

  •  In Exodus 24:13-14 as Moses and Joshua were approaching the mountain of God, Moses asked the elders to wait for them until they came back to them.  Moses received the plans for the Tabernacle and its furnishings from God.  These plans were given according to the pattern of what was in heaven (Hebrews 8:5).  Moses is a type of Jesus. 

7.  The bride waited for the groom to return.

  • Exodus 24:16-18 says, “Now the glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17 The sight of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel. 18 So Moses went into the midst of the cloud and went up into the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.”   While Moses was gone, the people waited for him to return.  Again we see that Moses is a type of Jesus.

8.  The groom came like a thief in the night preceded by his friends who blew shofars (horns of kosher animals) to announce his coming.  (Matt 25:6, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

  •  Exodus 32:1 relates what had been happening in Moses’ absence:  “Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.””  Exodus 32:15-18 continues:  “And Moses turned and went down from the mountain, and the two tablets of the Testimony were in his hand. The tablets were written on both sides; on the one side and on the other they were written. 16 Now the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God engraved on the tablets. 17 And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, “There is a noise of war in the camp.” 18 But he said: “It is not the noise of the shout of victory, Nor the noise of the cry of defeat, But the sound of singing I hear.”   The people had decided that Moses wasn’t coming back and had been having a celebration with the golden calf they had made.  Although the blowing of the shofar [teruah] is not exactly shouting [rea], the root of both words are the same [rua].  They weren’t expecting Moses and Joshua who are both types of Jesus–Moses of Jesus’ first coming and Joshua of His second coming.

9.  Vows and promises were finalized with a ceremony including a shared cup of wine.

  • Exodus 32:19-21 describes a strange cup the children of Israel had to drink:  “So it was, as soon as he came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing. So Moses’ anger became hot, and he cast the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. 20 Then he took the calf which they had made, burned it in the fire, and ground it to powder; and he scattered it on the water and made the children of Israel drink it.”   I have often wondered why Moses made them drink water mixed with gold powder.  The only reason I can come up with is because it was part of the pattern of the Jewish marriage custom.

 10.  The bride and groom entered the bridal chamber and consummated the marriage.  The groom then notified the best man that the wedding had been consummated.  The blood stained sheet was presented indicating the bride’s purity and the blood covenant.  The guests then celebrated seven days after which the marriage supper began.

  • After the sin of the golden calf, Moses received grace from the Lord, the covenant was renewed, and new tablets were made.  After the Tabernacle and its furnishings were built and erected, Aaron and his sons were consecrated, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle.  The command to consecrate Aaron and his sons was given in Exodus 29 but the description of it actually being carried out is in Leviticus 8 and 9.  This consecration ceremony shows us the time of the actual consummation of the original marriage covenant.  Aaron and his sons were not allowed to leave the tent of meeting but to stay at its door for a seven day period.  The consecration ceremony was performed according to God’s commandments.
  • Leviticus 9:22-24 tells us what happened on the eighth day, “Then Aaron lifted his hand toward the people, blessed them, and came down from offering the sin offering, the burnt offering, and peace offerings. 23 And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of meeting, and came out and blessed the people. Then the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people, 24 and fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.”  Aaron, his sons, and their families were supposed to eat their appropriate priestly portions but didn’t because of the death of Nadab and Abihu.  

This is probably not what you expected but a pattern does exist here.

Do you know how Jesus fulfills these wedding traditions for the New Covenant?

Come back next time to see how your assessment compares to mine.

Advertisements

The Ultimate Sukkah

During the Feast of Tabernacles I have been pondering various things.  As I discovered the reason why there will be sacrifices during Christ’s millennial reign, I decided to explore the fuller pattern which led me to the ultimate sukkah.  I won’t begin to share all of it with you but I can tell you that there is a progression that has been taking place over the millenniums.  This is seen in many patterns.

This pattern originated with Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden.  It was a place where God came and walked among them and it would not surprise me if God told me it was in the shape of a square.  Eventually, Sin came into the Garden of Eden and hid God’s face from man.  Man had to be exiled from the Garden of Eden but God planned to correct this problem.  Exile was a common feature in this pattern followed by times of God dwelling with His people.

In the time of the Exodus, God’s people dwelled in tents (sukkot) around the Tabernacle in the wilderness.  At that time, God’s Spirit only dwelt within a few people known as prophets and God’s Spirit came to dwell among the others within the Tabernacle.  In order to fellowship and worship God, people had to make sure they were ritually clean (tahor) before they could come to the Tabernacle and bring their offerings.  

Since Jesus’ death and resurrection, God’s Spirit dwells within all believers—within the “tent” of their bodies (2 Peter 1:13-14).  Galatians 5:25-26 commands us not only to live in the Spirit but also to walk in the Spirit.  We assume this means we must produce the fruit of the Spirit instead of the deeds of the flesh but I think it also has a deeper significance that is more evident in the future.  Meanwhile Paul has reminded us to purify or separate ourselves from anything that can defile our flesh or spirit and be holy (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1).  This involves avoiding sin which defiles our spirit and following the dietary laws to prevent the defilement of our flesh (Lev.11:43-45).

First Corinthians 15:51-54 tells us we’ll be changed at the sound of the shofar and made imperishable.  We don’t know exactly how we will be made different in preparation for Jesus’ millennial reign.  It’s hard to say for sure if God’s Spirit will still be within the bodies of believers but Ezekiel 43:4-9 explains the Lord’s Spirit will fill the temple (Ezekiel’s) and He will dwell there forever.  This is “forever” in the sense that He will dwell there until heaven and earth pass away. 

When Jesus’ millennial reign is over and the New Jerusalem comes down to the new earth, the nations of those who are saved will walk in the light of the New Jerusalem  which is also known as the Bride (Rev. 21:9).  Remember, believers are living stones which are being used to build a spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5).  The light that fills the New Jerusalem is the glory of the Lamb and God.  In addition, the kings of the earth will bring their glory and honor into it (Rev 21:24-25).  I believe their glory is a result of being separate from that which is unclean and a result of the production of the fruit of the Spirit in their lives.

The Most Holy Place of the original Sukkah in the wilderness (the Tent of Meeting) represents the New Jerusalem where Spirit-filled believers will walk in the light or glory of the Messiah whereas previously, men’s sukkot remained outside the Tabernacle/Temple area.  The New Jerusalem (the Bride of Christ) is where people can dwell in complete unity with Jesus (the Light)–He in us and we in Him, in complete intimacy.  Do you see how deep this concept is?  Even now, individual believers are sukkot for the Spirit of the Lord but not on the same level of what is coming in the future. 

Lastly, because God’s angels guard the gates of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:12, the New Jerusalem also represents the Bridal Chamber outside which the friend of the groom stands while the marriage is consummated in the historical Jewish wedding tradition.

Today we can’t fully see God’s glory that was seen by the people in the Tabernacle.  We can only see His awesomeness in His creation including His children.  As you spend time in a sukkah during the Feast of Tabernacles, ponder the light of God’s glory which is seen in this world God created.  Imagine the glory of Jesus that was seen by those who watched Him perform miracles among them and by those who sat under His teaching.  When you imagine the New Jerusalem, know that God’s glory exceeds that while enhancing it at the same time.  When you step outside your sukkah, let God’s glory be reflected by you as you produce the fruit of the Spirit for God’s world to see.

What to Expect When Jesus Reigns in Jerusalem

Now that we’ve discussed the basics of what’s going to happen when Messiah returns, let’s turn our attention to what we can expect after Christ’s return because people have a lot of false assumptions about that.

Most Christians believe that when Jesus comes back, we’re all going to live “happily ever after” in heaven but that is not exactly the case.  We may find that we will have some adjusting to do.  Let’s begin by exploring some of these things.

First of all, we aren’t going to live in heaven when Jesus returns.  I can already hear you crying, “heresy!”  Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s not what the Bible really teaches.  People who’ve died may be with Jesus now because “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” but many people will be dwelling all over the earth during His millennial reign (2 Cor. 5:8).

Right now the average life span of people living all over the world is very short compared to those who lived prior to Noah but during the millennium, people will live long lives.  People will die, marriage will still take place, and children will be born (Ezekiel 44:22 and 25; Isaiah 65:20).  It’s probably safe to say that those who will die during the millennium will be like those who perished during the wilderness wanderings.  Hebrews 9:27 makes it clear that man only dies once so those who die during the millennium will be people who were alive when Jesus returned but eventually rebelled and died according to the Torah.  The second death is the lake of fire.  There will be many like Elijah who never died.  Once there is a new heaven and earth, there will be no marriage and we will be like the angels in heaven (Matt. 22:30).

In Biblical times, plants, herbs, and essential oils/resins were known for their healing properties.  Currently pharmaceutical companies produce tons of medicines that generate tons of money for the companies that produce them.  Today many people are beginning to learn more about natural remedies.  According to Ezekiel 47:1-11, there will be healing waters and trees with different kinds of fruit each month and leaves with healing properties during the millennium.  Revelation 22:1-2 tells us that in the New Jerusalem a pure river of living water will proceed from the throne of God and of the Lamb.  The tree of life which will be between the river and the main street will bear twelve fruits, a different fruit each month.  The leaves of this tree will be for the healing of the nations.

During Christ’s reign, we will obey and live according to the Torah.  Originally, Moses taught Torah to God’s people but it wasn’t and still isn’t always obeyed.  Even when it was, it wasn’t always with the correct attitude.  Unfortunately, many Christians today have the idea that Torah has been abolished despite what Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-19 and despite what Paul said in Romans 3:31.  When Jesus reigns, He will rule the nations of the earth with a rod of iron and the Torah will be the law of the world (Ps. 2:9; Rev. 2:27, 12:5, 19:15).  Why do you think He will have to do that?  Does that sound like someone ruling in blissful love, tough love, or harsh judgment?

Many will be shocked to find out that men will have to be physically circumcised.  Circumcision of both the heart and flesh has been required by God since the time of Abraham but physical circumcision was neglected during the time of the wilderness wanderings.  It was eventually performed on the second generation of the Exodus once the people were ready to enter the Promised Land (Joshua 5:1-7).  This is the pattern for the future.  Most Christians understand that physical circumcision is not necessary in order to be saved but they fail to understand it is still an everlasting requirement for both Jews and Gentiles who are of the household of God (Genesis 17:9-14).  Many Gentiles have not been circumcised because they have misunderstood the cultural and historical issues of Paul’s time and therefore misinterpreted Paul’s writings on the subject.  Ezekiel 44:9 explains that circumcision of the heart and the flesh will be required in order to enter the temple therefore many males will need to undergo circumcision when the millennium begins if they do not do so before then.  Doing so has always been God’s symbol or outward sign of what should have already taken place in the heart.

Another thing we should expect is that the temple will need to be cleansed and rededicated just like the temple built under Ezra’s leadership.  This temple had to be cleansed and rededicated because of the abomination that Antiochus Epiphanes IV had brought into the temple.  That temple was destroyed in 70 C.E. Some day the temple that Ezekiel described will be built.  This temple will also have an abomination of desolation brought into it which will require it to be cleansed and rededicated.

Ezekiel 44:23 says that the Levitical priests, the sons of Zadok will teach people the concepts of clean versus unclean and holy versus common during the millennium.  This is because most are unfamiliar with these concepts.  We need to study and teach Torah now to those who will listen.  We can practice the dietary laws today not only for health reasons but because they’ve not been abolished despite what many people teach.  Peter eventually understood the meaning of the vision he received and we need to accept that interpretation.  We need to obey Torah’s other commands too since they also have hidden spiritual significance.  By the time there is a new heaven and earth, we’ll know what is expected of us, what it all means, and there will be no further need to teach Torah because it will come naturally.

Since we will be learning to obey Torah during Jesus’ millennial reign, sins will still be committed inadvertently.  That is why Ezekiel 45 and 46 tell us offerings will be performed.  Are you shocked or angry to hear this?  Many Christians respond that way because they’ve been told that Jesus fulfilled the types of the sacrifices.  Well, I’m sorry but the Bible teaches that the sacrifices will still be performed during the millennium! Some suspect the reason will be to look back on the atoning work of Christ on the cross whereas prior to Christ, the offerings were unknowingly looking ahead to Jesus death and resurrection.  I agree with this concept but we should also understand that the sacrifices are also a shadow of the time when the wicked will be thrown into the lake of fire and the offerings will be brought as a visual reminder to us of this sober fact.  A final reason for the sacrifices to take place in the millennium is because it fits the pattern:

  • Moses; sacrifices performed in the outer court of the Tabernacle and Solomon’s Temple; sacrifices ceased during Babylonian exile.
  • Ezra; sacrifices performed at the second temple; sacrifices ceased under Antiochus Epiphanes IV.
  • Jesus’ first coming; sacrifices were still performed at the second temple after Jesus death and resurrection; sacrifices ceased when the temple was destroyed in 70 C.E.
  • Jesus’ second coming; sacrifices will be performed at the millennial temple; sacrifices will cease and not be performed on the new heaven and earth because there will be no temple in the New Jerusalem. Instead, God and the Lamb are the Temple on the new heaven and earth (Rev. 21:22).

Ezekiel 45 and 46 also show us that the Feasts of the Lord, Sabbaths, and New Moons will be observed during Christ’s reign in Jerusalem. These can and should be celebrated now because a careful reading of Acts shows they’ve not been abolished. Even Colossians 2:17 encourages us not to let people give us a hard time about celebrating them because they are a shadow of things that are coming. They are God’s plan of:

  • Redemption and salvation.
  • Dwelling with His people.
  • The coming of the new heaven and earth.

We must understand that only the wicked who will die when Christ returns will be those living in Jerusalem on the Feast of Trumpets and those who will not escape the Battle of Armageddon on the Day of Atonement. The rest of the nations will still have people living in them because not everyone will go to the Battle of Armageddon and not everyone will die in the massive earthquake. This is why God’s people will need to be judges (Ezekiel 44:24, Rev. 20:6) and why there will be a countless number of people at the end of the millennium who will be deceived by Satan when he is released from the abyss and will join him for the Battle of Gog (Revelation 20:7-9). Once those people die their first death, the second resurrection (the resurrection of the wicked) will take place followed by the Great White Throne Judgment. After that, the wicked finally be cast into the lake of fire.

In Revelation 21:1-4, John sums things up nicely: “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (NKJV)

Aren’t you really thrilled with the final outcome of God’s plans for His people?

Does reading some of this information make you angry, shocked, or confused?

It should because we’ve been fed a lie for centuries by pastors and teachers who’ve accepted and passed on incorrect teachings to their congregations and students.

This is not completely their fault. The way the information is scattered throughout the Bible doesn’t help but perhaps that was to keep people from fully understanding God’s plan. Using a Bible software program can speed the process of intensively studying the Bible and help to sort things out. It’s also useful to find and study the patterns found in Scripture.

Did you notice how many patterns we’ve look at today?

Go back and note how much history repeats itself. This should move you to read and study the Bible yourself to find out what else you’ve been taught isn’t completely correct.

Should we stand up and start correcting these false teachings?

If you do, be warned that you will be met with resistance. Not many want to hear the truth. After all, consider what happened to Martin Luther and the rest of the Reformers.

No matter what your response to what you’ve learned today, may your name be written in the Book of Life and may you be blessed as you seek Truth.

Historical Pattern of the Future Part 3

Today we’ll look at what is coming in the future in order to see how it fulfills the original pattern we discussed earlier.

  1. Babylon is present day Iraq.  Iraq has received a fatal blow but has survived.  Is this the mortal head wound of the Beast that was healed?  Only time will tell for sure.
  2. Medo-Persia is present day Iran.  Iran is currently suspected of being a nuclear threat to the world despite claims of only developing nuclear energy.  Will this cause a “goat” to fly from the west to completely destroy the “ram” as described in Daniel 8?
  3. The ancient Greek Empire passed to Alexander’s generals:  Seleucus, Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Cassander.  In the future it will be represented by 4 different kings.
  4. Divided Kingdom:   Jesus implied in Matthew 24:15 there would be someone besides Antiochus Epiphanes IV that would come in the future to set up an abomination of desolation.  Therefore, according to Daniel 8:21-23, near the end of the reign of the 4 kings who will control the land of the Ancient Greek Empire and when evildoers will have become as evil as possible, an arrogant king will arise in the northern kingdom and destroy the mighty and the holy ones.  Many assume this came near the end of the fall of Rome but Daniel shows us it is for the end of days.  In Revelation 13, this arrogant king is known as the Beast of Sea and in Revelation 17, this king is described as the Scarlet Beast.  He will probably come from the territory of the former Seleucid dynasty.  He will probably be the Caliph of a revived Islamic Caliphate.   He’s also referred to as the two-horned Beast of the Earth which is comparable to the two-horned ram of Daniel 8.  The identity of the king of the south remains to be seen although the southern kingdom was Egypt in the past.
  5. The False Prophet (Little Horn) will cause man to forsake God’s commandments and worship the image of the Beast or face martyrdom (Rev. 13:11-18).
  6. The Harlot Mystery Babylon the Great (from the West) will ride the Beast (from the Middle East).  Consider the myth of Europa riding the Greek bull, Zeus.  Europe takes her name from Europa and geographically speaking, the Harlot rides the Beast of the Middle East.  Currently the West is trying to ride, tame, or control the beast of the Middle East.  The Harlot may be the Roman Catholic Church attempting to lead Catholic and Protestant churches into a worldwide interfaith movement which will coooperate with the coming political and economic New World Order.  Regardless of who she is, this is where God’s people reside and His children are commanded to come out of her–to be set apart, consecrated and holy to Him.  Some people believe the Beast is really the New World Order but it doesn’t make sense for the political and economic aspects of the NWO to destroy the interfaith religious system that has been encouraging its people to cooperate with its formation in the first place.
  7. Christians will continue to be persecuted but will not always be protected from martyrdom.
  8. The Scarlet Beast will join with 10 kings (Islamic Caliphate) for 1 hour and will separate from (or throw off) the Harlot Babylon the Great  in order to destroy her.  You see, it makes more sense for us to believe that Eastern powers (Scarlet Beast)  intend to deceive Western powers (Babylon the Great) through cooperation until they are sure they are able to completely destroy them.
  9. Jesus, the Messiah will defeat the Scarlet Beast and the 10 Kings (revived Islamic Caliphate) at the Battle of Armageddon.  The Beast and its False Prophet will be thrown into the lake of fire.
  10. Messiah’s Kingdom will reign 1000 years (Rev. 19:11-20:6).
  11. Satan, who will be chained and cast into the abyss at the beginning of Christ’s millennial reign will be released and arise from the abyss in order to deceive the nations and gather Gog’s armies for the Battle of Gog and Magog.
  12. John prophesied that the coming of Gog’s armies to Jerusalem will be at the end of the millennium in Revelation 20:9.   Many assume this battle must take place prior to Christ’s return.  In Ezekiel 37, the dry bones lived (the dead were resurrected) and the two houses of Israel were combined.  Ezekiel 38:8b explains:  “In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely.”  According to our pattern, this battle must take place here.
  13. Israel’s enemies will be defeated. They will be eaten by birds of prey and wild animals (Ezekiel 39:4).  It seems their will be two feasts for birds–one in Revelation after the Battle of Armageddon and one in Ezekiel after the Battle of Gog and Magog.  The Great White Throne Judgment will take place and the dead will be judged according to their deeds.  The Lake of Fire is the 2nd death.
  14. Only the righteous (one flock) will enter the New Jerusalem when new heaven and earth come down.

Will you be able to recognize the False Prophet and the Beast of Revelation when they arise?  How do you know?

Will men like the Maccabees be armed and ready to rise up to fight against the False Prophet and Beast of Revelation?  Surely there will be some who will carry out great exploits.

Will their strategies be wise or foolish?  What will you do?

Historical Pattern of the Future Part 2

Today we continue looking at the historical pattern of the future through the eyes of the past.  If we look carefully, we can see how it parallels with the original pattern I wrote about earlier.

  1. Babylon: King Nebuchadnezzar ruled over the exiles from Judah.
  2. Medo-Persia:  Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom was divided and given to the Medes (King Darius) and the Persians (King Cyrus).
  3. Ancient Greece: Alexander the Great was the next conqueror yet his territory was given to his 4 generals when he died.
  4. Divided Kingdom:  The Northern kingdom was  Assyria (Seleucids) and The Southern kingdom was  Egypt (Ptolemies).
  5. Northern Kingdom: The Seleucid Antiochus Epiphanes IV caused Jews to forsake Torah and commit idolatry.  Eventually he came to an end when Rome came to power. 
  6. Rome ruled during Jesus’ lifetime.
  7. Messiah’s Kingdom Established:  Jesus returned to the Father.  Christians survived persecution and Christianity began to spread throughout the region.
  8. Kingdom of Rome Divided:  Eastern Rome was known as the  Byzantine Empire from which the Arab Caliphate arose.  Western Rome gave rise to 10 Germanic Tribes.
  9. Crusaders from Western Rome briefly ruled over the East in Palestine in the midst of the Arabs.
  10. Christian believers were spread throughout the world.
  11. Adolf Hitler arose among the 10 Germanic tribes in the West and was responsible for the Holocaust.
  12. Daniel prophesied that the Leopard, Bear, and Lion’s lives would be prolonged for a time and a season. 
  13. Germany was defeated.  Hitler died.   Some of Hitler’s men were convicted and punished for war crimes.
  14. Only Jews returned to Israel; Israel became recognized as a nation in 1948.

Antiochus IV Epiphanes and Adolf Hitler seemed to fulfill the prophecy of the little horn and the 11th horn but they only give us a graphic picture of what is coming in the future. 

Come back next time to see how the future 3rd parallel of this pattern must unfold…

Historical Pattern of the Future Part 1

I would like to present a basic pattern of the latter days based on the past. Today, I will list only the primary pattern. The next time, I will show how history has fulfilled this pattern and I will show how the future will probably be fulfilled according to this pattern.

  1. Judges: Various leaders called judges ruled the children of Israel after they settled in the Promised Land.
  2. Saul–Ishbosheth: Saul became the first king of Israel (1 Samuel 11:15).  Upon his death, Saul’s son Ishbosheth ruled over Israel for 2 years (2 Samuel 2:10).
  3. David –> Solomon: Saul first ruled over Judah (2 Samuel 2:4) and then later ruled over all of Israel after the death of Ishbosheth (2 Samuel 5:3).  Solomon ruled as king after his father’s death (1 Kings 1:39).
  4. Divided Kingdom:   After the death of Solomon, Israel divided into the Northern Kingdom known as Israel or Ephraim and the Southern Kingdom known as Judah.
  5. Northern Kingdom:   Under the leaderships of King Ahab and Jezebel, the children of the house of Israel forsook God’s covenant, tore down His altars, and killed God’s prophets.
  6. Southern Kingdom:  Meanwhile, Jehoshaphat reigned in Judah. 
  7. God made sure Elijah survived Jezebel’s persecution.
  8. New Rulers: Elijah anointed Hazael as king over Syria, Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel, and Elisha as prophet in his place.
  9. Outside Ruler Steps In: Elisha killed those who escaped the sword of Jehu.
  10. A remnant of 7000 had not bowed to or kissed Baal.
  11. New Threat Arises:  Ben-Hadad, the king of Syria and 32 other kings made war against Samaria.
  12. Ben-Hadad escaped. A prophet told Ahab the Syrians were to come back in a year.
  13. Threat Extinguished:  The Syrians were defeated but Ahab let Ben-Hadad go. Ahab was condemned and later died in battle. His blood was licked up by dogs. (1 Kings 20:1-22:40)
  14. Jehoshaphat, king of Judah made peace with the king of Israel and banished the wicked from the Land (1 Kings 22:44-47).

Initially, what we want to see in this pattern is the rise and fall of various leaders or kings because it will help us clearly see what else fit the same pattern in the recent past and help us to see what events are unfolding before our eyes in the present and near future.

Similarities Between Joseph and Jesus

After speaking with a Jewish person you may be surprised to find out the Jews are expecting two Messiah’s but they don’t all realize their Messiahs are really one and the same.

At the end of Jesus’ first time dwelling on the earth, He was the “Suffering Servant.”  Not only was Jesus the adoptive son of Joseph the carpenter, He was also very much like the son of Joseph who was the son of Israel (Jacob).

Let’s see just how much Jesus and Joseph were alike:

Joseph was dearly loved by Isaac (Jacob) and Jesus was dearly loved by His heavenly father.

Joseph was rejected by his brothers and Jesus was rejected by His brothers — both His immediate family and the House of Judah.

Joseph was stripped of his coat prior to being thrown in a pit.  Jesus was stripped of His clothes prior to His crucifixion.

Joseph was thrown into a pit by his brothers but he came out of this pit alive.  Jesus was placed into a grave but came out of the grave three days later.

Joseph’s brothers decided not to kill him themselves.  Instead, they turned him over to the Ishmaelites after Judah suggested they sell him for 20 shekels of silver.  The Jews did not kill Jesus themselves after He had been sold to them by Judas (or Judah in Hebrew) for 30 silver coins because they coerced the Romans to do it for them.

Joseph was falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife while Jesus was falsely accused by the high priests and elders.  Joseph suffered in prison for his supposed crime and Jesus also suffered while in custody.

Joseph was imprisoned (punished) with two men.  One was given back his life and the other was put to death.  Jesus was crucified with two men.  One was told he would be with Jesus in paradise (given back his life) but unfortunately, the other man suffered eternal punishment (eternal death) because he failed to repent.

Joseph’s brothers did not recognize him when they came to him for food in Egypt.  Many of Jesus’ brothers did not recognize Him during His first advent.  They only came to him for what they could get from him.

Joseph’s brothers were afraid when they found out Joseph was their brother.  Jesus’ brothers will mourn when they look on Jesus who they pierced (Zech. 12:10).

Joseph provided grain to all of Egypt and the surrounding areas during the famine.  Jesus fed 5000 people in Mark 6 and 4000 people in Mark 8 when they were in places having a small supply of food.

Joseph provided land for his brothers in Goshen and brought them to Egypt.  Jesus will provide land for Israel when He returns and brings them to Israel from the four corners of the earth.

Joseph had equal power to Pharaoh.  Jesus has full power and authority of the Father.  He is the Word, the living Torah.

Joseph saved Israel’s physical life when they came to him in Egypt.  Jesus will save Israel’s physical life again but will also give them spiritual life (gives them eternal life) when they cry out to Him and turn to Him with all of their hearts.

Joseph experienced a separation from his brothers in Egypt while they were in Canaan.  Jesus is now separated from his people while He is in heaven and they are on earth.  In this sense, both Joseph and Jesus were/are Nazirites.

After his period of separation, Joseph experienced fellowship with his brothers in Egypt and Goshen while he ruled in Egypt.  When Jesus is no longer physically separated from His people, He will rule and dwell with His people in Jerusalem.

Joseph gave his brothers and father possession of land in the best part of the land of Egypt, in the land of Ramses. Jesus will give His brothers possession of Israel, the Promised Land.

The second Messiah is the son of David.  Jesus is often called the son of David in the New Testament because that’s the role the Jews wanted him to perform.  The title was correct but the timing was off.  When Jesus returns, He will carry out two roles:

  • the conquering King (Son of David)
  • the blood avenger (Kinsman Redeemer)

During this time, Israel will experience a salvation similar to the Exodus from Egypt.

These parallels show us how the Torah reveals the Messiah to God’s people.  I find these similarities absolutely amazing. How about you?