Is There No Such Thing As Messiah?

Over the last few years I’ve heard of people who have come out of traditional Christian churches; sought their Hebraic roots; and zoomed in on Judaism only to deny there ever was a Messiah.  This is so sad.  I believe these are people who discovered they’d been lied to about various things in the Christian church and decided to take matters into their own hands to find the truth.  They managed to learn barely enough Hebrew to use a concordance but didn’t have sufficient Hebrew language, Scripture knowledge, or ordinary reasoning skills to critically analyze everything that fell into their hands.  They’ve rejected one set of lies and swallowed the biggest lie of all—that there never even was a Messiah.  This is a great delusion.

The lie begins with the Hebrew word mashiach (H4899; G5547 christos); it means anointed.  The qal or simplest form of the Hebrew verb mashach (H4886; G5548 chrio) means to rub, anoint with oil, or consecrate.  The niphal form is passive and means to be anointed.  Another related word is the noun mishchah (H4888; G5545 chrismatos); it is an anointing oil or consecrated portion. One kind of anointing oil was referred to as the holy oil (shemen hakodesh).  People, as well as certain things were anointed to consecrate or sanctify them for various purposes.

There were a lot of anointed people (mashiach = sg.) in the Bible; they were usually priests and kings; some of these men were also prophets. Occasionally, a person was specifically anointed as a prophet.[i] Just because there were other anointed people in the Bible doesn’t mean there is no special Mashiach. There has to be one because the Jews were looking for that person in Yeshua’s day and they are still looking for him today. We will soon consider the verses that this prophecy is based on.

The Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) is like the anointing oil. When the Spirit comes upon someone, he may prophesy, or be set apart (consecrated); the Spirit may give that person special skills or authority for a specific purpose.[ii] We see this concept not only in the Tanach but also in the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament).[iii]

Normally, a prince would not be anointed with oil until he was about to be anointed as king.  David, the 8th son of Jesse was not a prince at the time of his anointing.  In fact, he was anointed years before he began to rule.[iv] He was not only anointed with oil, but he was also anointed at the same time by the Holy Spirit in preparation for his kingship.[v] Before he was anointed, he unknowingly trained to shepherd his people; but not long after being anointed with oil and the Spirit, he began training to be a military leader.  When the time was right, he became king.

There’s not much specifically mentioned in the Tanach about “The Messiah” by using the Hebrew term HaMashiach; but, in Daniel 9:25-27 he is called “Anointed Prince” (mashiach nagiyd).  Kings were anointed with oil before ascending the throne. Since this verse emphasizes this prince was anointed, there must be something unique about this prince. I believe this prince would be anointed, most likely with the Holy Spirit.

Daniel 9:25-27 gives the timing of the Anointed Prince’s arrival and says he will be cut off, but not for himself. His arrival time has long past. Yeshua arrived at the expected time. Wise men from the east were looking for his star at the expected time; and once they found him, they eventually presented gifts to give him the honor due a king.  These wise men must have been aware of Daniel’s prophecy.  Many years later, Yeshua was anointed with the Ruach HaKodesh, and eventually killed for the people before he became king.[vi] Fortunately, Yeshua rose from the dead and he is expected to be King of kings at the appointed time.

Daniel’s Anointed Prince must be the son or descendant of a king. Based on 2 Samuel 7:12-16, he must be a descendant of David; because, David’s throne has been established forever (leolam). Hence, this Messiah Prince is referred to as the Son of David. This specific Messiah is the one that other prophets foretold things about without actually using the term mashiach.

Instead of using the term mashiach, he was given other titles based on Scripture that describe his character or what he will do. Rabbis have even debated his name.  He is known as:

  • The Suffering Servant (son of Joseph) who was to be smitten by God, and afflicted; wounded for our transgressions; bruised for our iniquities; and the chastisement for our peace was upon him. In other words, based on typology, he was destined to be a grain offering, guilt offering, sin offering, and peace offering.[vii]
  • The Branch (YHVH our Righteousness; he’s a king and a priest)[viii]
  • Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.[ix]
  • Immanu El (God with us)[x]

The prophecy in Daniel 9 of the Anointed Prince was made during the Babylonian captivity and long after the death of Hezekiah.  Some people believed the Messiah lived in Hezekiah’s day and could have been his son.  This idea is based on the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 9:6-8:  “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”  

I don’t think Hezekiah’s son or anyone else has completely fulfilled this prophecy.  Many, including myself are confident that Yeshua was the child who was born, the Son that was given.  This is alluded to in the genealogy found in Luke 3:31 where we see the name Nathan, the son of David.  This genealogy is different from Matthew’s.  Liberties were taken with genealogies by the Jews for different purposes.  This genealogy emphasizes Nathan, the son of David instead of Solomon.  The name Nathan comes from the Hebrew verb natan which means to give; I think this genealogy indicates that Yeshua was “the son that was given.”  For our purposes it gives us the connection we are looking for in “the Prince of Peace” of Isaiah 9:6.  I believe “the Prince of Peace” is “the Anointed Prince” in Daniel 9:25-26.  Based on other Messianic prophecies, I believe the prophecy of Isaiah 9:6-8 will be completely fulfilled by Yeshua at some point in the future.

The Anointed Prince is not just a descendant of David; he also has to be a descendant of Solomon.[xi]  Solomon’s son Rehoboam took the throne after Solomon’s death.  The kingdoms divided during his reign. Rehoboam was king of Judah, and Jeroboam who had been a servant of Solomon was the king of Israel.[xii]  The Davidic dynasty continued in Judah through Rehoboam.  YHVH created this split; He intended to afflict the descendants of David, but not forever.

Tracing the descendants of Rehoboam until the time of the Babylonian captivity leads to Jehoiachin.[xiii]    Jehoiachin became the king of Judah when he was 8 years old.  Three months later, he was carried off to Babylon.  Then the king of Babylon made Zedekiah king of Judah.  Previously, Zedekiah’s name was Mattaniah; he was Jehoichin’s uncle.  His name was changed to Zedekiah by King Nebuchadnezzer. With Jehoiachin gone, his brother Jeconiah (son of Jehoiakim/Eliakim) should have been king instead of Zedekiah.  Perhaps he was not old enough to rule without a co-regent; I don’t know. By the way, Jeconiah had a son named Zedekiah so let’s not get confused by that.

In Jeremiah 22:24-30 there is “the curse of Jeconiah” (also known as Coniah).  Jeremiah 22:30 says, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Write this man down as childless, A man who shall not prosper in his days; For none of his descendants shall prosper, Sitting on the throne of David, And ruling anymore in Judah.”  Woe, this is not good.  How is YHVH going to stop afflicting the descendants of David forever?  How is YHVH going to bypass this curse?  As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, adoption is the logical answer.[xiv]

Suddenly Jeremiah 23 shifts gears and says woe to the evil shepherds who are responsible for the scattering of God’s people.  Not all of the leaders of Judah had been good. Coniah was described as a despised, broken idol; he was a vessel in which there was no pleasure. Now, if YHVH doesn’t intend to afflict the descendants of David forever as mentioned in 1Kings 11:39, He’s got to do something about the curse placed on Coniah. Jeremiah 23 immediately tells us YHVH’s plan to correct the problem of the evil shepherds of Judah. YHVH intends to gather the remnant of his people and raise up a Branch of Righteousness to David. He is going to be an awesome king who will reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness. He can’t do this without being ANOINTED (MASHIACH).  He will be “The Messiah” (HaMashiach), the best of all of God’s anointed ones. He will be known as “YHVH our Righteousness.” In his days, Judah will be saved (niphal form of the verb yasha spelled yod-shin-ayin) and Israel will dwell safely.  The Anointed Prince who had been cut off, yet risen from the dead will be this Anointed King.  His name is Yeshua (means “he will save;” similar root = yod-shin-vav-ayin).

This Anointed King, the Branch of Righteousness (or YHVH Our Righteousness) could not have been any of the kings of the past: David, Solomon, Rehoboam, Abijam, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Ahaziah, Athaliah (mother of Ahaziah), Joash, Amaziah, Azariah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, Jehoahaz, Eliakim (Jehoiakim), Jehoiachin, Zedekiah (Mattaniah) or rightfully Jeconiah (Coniah). This was to be an anointed king of the FUTURE because this prophecy came AFTER the curse of Jeconiah.

First Chronicles 3:17-24 lists the genealogy of Jeconiah.  Verse 17 is the one we need to be most concerned with because the rest of it follows the descendants of Pedaiah.  We should be careful to note that Pedaiah had a son named Zerubbabel but this is not Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel.  Jeconiah’s son Assir had a son named Shealtiel, who had a son named Zerubbabel.[xv] This Zerubbabel helped build the house of God in Jerusalem.  He became the governor of Judah; he NEVER became a king. Therefore, he was not HaMashiach.  Zerubbabel was later chosen by YHVH of hosts to be like a signet ring.  This is the Zerubbabel mentioned in Matthew 1:12 which is part of the genealogy of Yeshua.

Matthew 1 gives us the genealogy of Yeshua HaMashiach.  He’s taken the liberty to lay it out in 3 sets of 14 generations for his own purposes.  As a result, he leaves out certain names in the genealogy.  This is apparent in Matthew 1:11-16 where it says, “Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon.” He left out Jehoahaz, Eliakim (Jehoiakim), and Jehoiachin between Josiah and Jehoiachin.  The text leaves these names out to show three 14-generation periods related to Israel’s history: Abraham to David (period prior to the kings); David to the Babylonian captivity (period of the kings); and the captivity in Babylon to Yeshua (period after the kings).

Yeshua would have begun his ministry about 6 months after John the Baptist began his. His ministry began with His baptism and ANOINTING by the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). His powerful ministry was marked by teaching his interpretation of Torah; healing the sick; cleansing metzorim (lepers); casting out demons; feeding thousands with bread; and more. Ultimately, he gave the people the sign of Jonah. He was in the heart of the earth for three full days and nights before his resurrection on the Day of Firstfruits.[xvi] He was seen showing infallible proofs of his resurrection over a period of forty days before his ascension. He was even seen by 500 brethren at once even though only two to three witnesses should have been sufficient. Many people who claim to have seen him after his resurrection were willing to be martyred for telling that truth. Who would die for a lie? The fulfillment of the 7th day (millennial reign of The Messiah) is expected to begin following that; this will be followed by the 8th day (age of the new heaven and earth). On earth he was a prophet, now he is High Priest, and soon he will be King of kings and Lord of lords. All three roles are that of a MASHIACH. No other mashiach has or will be anointed for all three of these roles. Yeshua is the ultimate Mashiach.

[i] See 1 Kings 19:16.

[ii] See Exodus 31:3, Numbers 11:17, 25; 27:18-20, Judges 3:10; 6:34; 14:6; 1 Samuel 10:6; Isaiah 11:2; 61:1-2; and Micah 3:8.

[iii] See Acts 4:27, 10:38; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; and Hebrews 1:9 which quotes Psalm 45:6-7.

[iv] 1 Samuel 15:1; 16:12-13; 1 Kings 1:34; 19:15-16

[v] 1 Samuel 16:13

[vi] John 1:32-34 and John 11:49-52

[vii] Isaiah 52:4-5

[viii] Zechariah 6:12-13

[ix] Isaiah 9:6

[x] Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23

[xi]  2 Samuel 7:13; 1 Kings 8:20

[xii] 1Kings 11:35-39

[xiii] Solomon’s descendants are listed in 1 Chronicles 3:10-24.

[xiv] Joseph, a descendent of David adopts Yeshua as his own son.  I have also confirmed this by Bible code.

[xv]  This Zerubbabel is mentioned in in Ezra 5:2; Nehemiah 12:1; Haggai 1:1, 12, 14; and Haggai 2:2, 23.

[xvi]  Nisan 15-17th; He was buried before the sun went down (as Nisan14th became the 15th) rose on the Day of Firstfruits after the sun went down on Saturday (as Nisan 17th became the 18th).

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Sarai Will Be Called Sarah

Today, I want to look at Genesis 16 -20 to see it in its original context and to see how it relates thematically to Jesus and His people both past, present, and future.  You may be surprised it encapsulates the New Testament from beginning to end.  This post will be longer than most because I did not want to divide it.  Our Biblical summary from Genesis will be in black and my comments will be in blue.  Having said that, let’s begin.

In Genesis 16, Abram’s wife, Sarai was barren so she took things into her own hands by giving her Egyptian servant, Hagar to Abram in order to bring about God’s promise of descendants from Abram.

Several godly women in the Bible, including Sarai were originally unable to conceive children but later conceived one or more children.  They were all shadows of the virgin, Mary who miraculously gave birth to Jesus.  God was always capable of making an unfruitful womb fruitful no matter what was causing infertility. 

Mary was engaged to a man named Joseph and was surprised when Gabriel told her she had been chosen to bear Jesus, the Messiah.  She was willing but didn’t fully understand how she could do so when she was still a virgin.  Gabriel explained to her that God planned to do this miraculously through the power of the Holy Spirit instead of through natural human means. 

Once Hagar became pregnant, she looked on Sarai with contempt.  Sarah was most likely jealous and responded to Hagar’s contempt by mistreating her.   Eventually, Hagar left because of Sarai’s harsh treatment but later, the Lord found Hagar by a spring and made her return and submit to Sarai’s authority.

When Jesus finally began His ministry, the Jewish religious leaders shared similarities with Hagar’s attitude by looking on Jesus with contempt and rejecting Him even though He had not led anyone away from Torah.  When the religious leaders saw Jesus’ miracles, they were jealous of Him, tested Him, and did not repent of their lawlessness or believe He was the Promised One.   

After Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, non-believing Jews also shared similarities with Hagar by persecuting those who believed in Jesus, the Messiah.  According to Paul, God intended non-believing Jews to become jealous of the Gentiles in order to change their attitude and to bring them to Himself (Rom. 11:11-15).

At some point during the days of the early church, believing Gentiles behaved like Hagar, the Egyptian slave woman because they left and separated themselves from the believing and non-believing Jews who descended from Sarai.  Unfortunately, the early Christian church became syncretised with paganism. 

Now the time has come for the Gentiles to come out of the syncretised church in order to return and completely submit to the terms of the marriage covenant (Torah) as Hagar returned to submit to Sarai.  At this point, not all Christians want to submit to the terms of the marriage covenant.  They must understand that Jesus never led people away from the commandments of God or established a new religion as many believe.  It is time for God’s people to keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Christ (Rev. 12:17; 14:12; 18:4).  Please note these verses say “the commandments of God,” not “the commandments of Christ.”  Obeying God’s commandments and faith are important because obedience is proof of faith.  James 2:26 says it this way, “faith without works is dead.”  As believers in Christ obey God’s commandments, I believe we will see even more non-believing Jews come to know Jesus (Yeshua) as the promised Messiah. 

God assured Hagar that He would increase her descendants.  He told Hagar that she would have a son that would be called Ishmael (which means God pays attention) because God saw her misery.   God explained that Ishmael would be blessed, be a great nation, and be the father of 12 princes.  He would also be wild, against everyone, everyone would be against him, and he would live at odds with all his kinsmen.  At that time, Hagar named God El Ro’i (God of Seeing) – the one who lives and sees.

The description of Ishmael applies to many who practice Islam but I think this can also apply to the animosity that exists between some Gentile and Jewish Messianic believers who are at odds with each other and the persecution and mockery of believers by non-believers.  Those who profess faith in Christ must stand up for their beliefs and be united throughout the world despite mockery, persecution, and possible martyrdom.  During this time we must remember that God sees what we’re going through.

Genesis 17 continues by telling us that God visited Abram and commanded him to walk in His presence and be pure-hearted.  He changed Abram’s name which means “exalted father” to Abraham which means “father of many” and promised to give the land of Canaan to his descendants.

God has promised to give His people a new name and to give them (except the descendants of Zadok and the Levites) the land of Canaan as their inheritance (Ex. 6:8; Ezek. 36:8-12; 44:15-28; Rev. 2:17).  The Lord will be the inheritance of the sons of Zadok and the Levites.  The Jews will have a portion of land assigned to them according to their tribes and the foreigners (Gentiles) will also be assigned a portion in the territory of the tribe with whom they are living (Ezek. 47:21-23; Matt. 5:5).

Jesus lived in obedience to Torah and humbled Himself even unto death.  Because of this, He was highly exalted by God and given the name that is above all names.  In fact, at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, no matter where they are, and bring glory to God the Father by confessing Jesus is Lord  because He is the King of many kings and Lord of many lords (Phil. 2:8-11; Rev. 19:16)!

The covenant of circumcision was then given to Abraham for all males in his household including both those born in his house and foreigners whom he would buy with a price.

During the millennial reign of Christ, all males including foreigners who enter the sanctuary of the Lord must be circumcised both in the heart and in the flesh (Ezek. 44:9).   Many believers do not realize this.  All believers including Gentiles are much like the foreigners who were members of Abraham’s household because they have been bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:20).  They should be circumcised in the heart and flesh because they have been made members of the household of faith (Rom. 2:28-29; 11:17).  Although physical circumcision is not required in order to be saved, Paul told us that the real Jew (or a Gentile grafted into the olive tree of Israel) is not just one outwardly but also inwardly—that circumcision is not just physical but also spiritual (Rom. 2:28-29).  Both are important.  Paul said that men should remain in the condition in which they were called but he also said what’s important is obeying God’s commandments (1 Cor. 7:18-20).  I think another reason many Gentiles are not circumcised today is because this fits the pattern of the second generation of the Exodus who were not circumcised in the wilderness.  We must not forget that they had to be circumcised prior to entering the Promised Land under Joshua’s leadership!

God changed Sarai’s name which means “mockery” to Sarah which means “princess.”

The Bride of Christ is like Sarai because she is often mocked but in the future, she will be like Sarah–she will be the Princess of the Prince of Peace during the millennial reign of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 9:5; Ezek. 34:24).

In Genesis 18, three men visited Abraham and one of them (the Lord) promised a son to Sarah and Abraham by the next year but Sarah laughed at the news because she was past the age of child-bearing.  The Lord stayed and spoke with Abraham while the other two men set out for Sodom and Gomorrah.  During their conversation, Abraham interceded for the righteous that were living in Sodom and Gomorrah when the Lord revealed His plans to destroy these cities.

During the second half of the tribulation, two witnesses will preach the need for repentance, of Jesus’ return, and the coming judgment.  Initially, people will probably laugh at these men for prophesying.  Eventually, they will hate them for the authority the witnesses will have and for destroying those who try to harm them yet the people will rejoice when these prophets are killed by the beast that comes up out of the abyss.  Meanwhile, we must emulate Abraham by interceding for the righteous people who are in Jerusalem, which is spiritually Sodom and Egypt (Rev. 11:3-10).  As I see it, the rest of the world is also spiritually like Sodom and Egypt too so we might as well intercede for all of the righteous people to be spared.

After the Lord’s two companions entered Sodom in the evening, Lot found them and convinced them to stay at his home.   He prepared a meal for them and later when it was time to sleep, the men of the town who had heard of their arrival came and surrounded Lot’s house.  These men desired to have homosexual relations with the two godly visitors.  Lot offered his virgins daughters to them but they were only interested in satisfying their homosexual desires.  They accused Lot of judging them for their sexual preferences and threatened to harm Lot worse than the two visitors because of it.  As they attempted to reach Lot, the visitors brought him into the house and struck the men with blindness so they couldn’t find Lot’s door.  They warned Lot’s family of the coming destruction and told them to get their family together and leave.  Lot’s sons-in-law did not think they were serious and refused to go.  Not long afterwards, Lot and his family came out of Sodom and Gomorrah prior to their destruction.  Lot’s wife became a pillar of salt because she looked back but Lot and his daughters were delivered.

If the pattern presented in Genesis 16-18 is any indication of what we can expect in the future, the time of Christ’s judgment is near because of the growing openness of homosexual activity in our midst today.  It is not surprising that explaining to anyone that the Bible says homosexuality is a “sin” or “immoral” is considered “judging” or “hate” and is met with anger or threats to punish them for hate-crimes or force Christians to be re-educated or to conform to the world’s definition of tolerance.  Homosexuals have become blind to the fact that Jesus is the door – the only way of salvation.  Unless they repent of their sin, they will never truly find Him.  Instead, they will share the fate of the Sodomites.  The Bible makes it clear that those who practice homosexuality will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9; Rev. 22:15).

As Lot’s family was warned to leave Sodom, God’s people have been warned to come out of Babylon the Great.  It is referred to as:

  • The great city (Rev. 11:8; 18:10)
  • Jerusalem; the city where Jesus was executed; spiritual Egypt and Sodom  (Rev. 11:8)
  • A source of economic resources (Rev. 18:11-13)

We should be particularly concerned with the spiritual aspect of this city and examine our own spiritual condition and the city we live in.  We should examine our worldviews, beliefs, and the origins of our traditions including various Christian denominational beliefs and practices that have been syncretised with ancient Babylonian idolatrous practices.   We need to do this because many Christian traditions are not necessarily Biblical.  We should not worship God using pagan idolatrous forms (1 Kings 12:26-33).  We must avoid partial obedience and forsake traditions and/or forms of worship that God has not commanded instead of justifying participation in idolatrous forms for the purpose of worshipping God (2 Chron. 33:15-17; Deut. 12:29-32, 1 Sam. 15). 

Coming out of our own smaller spiritual “Babylons” requires change that we might not be comfortable with.  In order to prepare for the coming tribulation period, we should consider changing our lifestyles so we can live within our economic means.  We also need to abandon unhealthy relationships.  Both of these may require planning, downsizing, and/or moving.  If you feel you need to move away from sinful influences, ask God to lead you to a place of purity where you can stay for a long time. 

New churches with a focus on Hebraic roots are slowly popping up in various places because people are trying to come out of churches that are synchretized with pagan traditions that are associated with the ancient mystery Babylonian religions.  Unfortunately, some of them are struggling to properly interpret the Word of God.  Before new leaders can properly lead people who desire to embrace a Torah lifestyle, they need to take time to:

  • Understand the doctrinal errors of mainline Christian denominations taught by churches, Bible schools, and/or seminaries. 
  • Understand that there are some differences in Scripture interpretation among Messianic congregations.  Try to be aware of any debates Messianic Jews have over the proper interpretation of Scripture.
  • Learn what you can about the culture and history of the Jews.
  • Be engrossed in Torah and test all interpretations of Scripture against it.
  • Know and/or be willing to learn what the Bible teaches as a whole about a particular topic.
  • Live a Torah lifestyle. 

I am very much aware that coming out of a synchretized church is very hard to do when other family members want to stay and/or don’t agree with you.  Spouses need to make a decision to remain together or go to separate churches.  When there is division in the home, you have to decide what holidays to observe and how to do so to obey God’s commandments.  Some people may need to stay where they are already worshipping so they can carefully lay a Torah foundation for others around them as long as God leads them to do so.  Your church may or may not welcome your input.  Staying where you are may temporarily be a better option if there are no Messianic groups open to receiving Gentiles in your area or if new churches embracing their Hebraic roots in your area are selectively choosing parts of Torah to embrace and other parts not to not embrace.  No matter how you look at it, unless your whole family comes out of a synchretized church at the same time, you’re in a bad situation.

Be prepared to be accused of apostasy by family and friends for choosing to leave some of your pagan- Christian traditions behind even though you are really drawing closer to God.  The sword of truth can cause painful division in families so you need to be forewarned (Matt. 10:34-36). 

Once you leave the spiritual Babylon you are in, please try not to look back as Lot’s wife did.  As you obey God’s commandments, you may be helping your family to avoid judgment as the time of the tribulation approaches.

After the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot’s daughters thought they were the only ones left alive on the earth so they had sex with their father in order to have descendants.  Each daughter had a son.  One became the father of the Moabites and the other became the father of the Ammonites.

Once Babylon the Great is destroyed, there will still be two primary groups of people left—those who served the Lord and those who did not.   Jesus will still need to deal with Israel’s enemies.

In Genesis 20, Abraham and Sarah traveled to Gerar, a Philistine city which was between Kadesh and Shur and lived there.  Once again Abraham told the people living in the area that Sarah was his sister because he was afraid they would kill him.  You would think he would have learned his lesson with the Pharaoh of Egypt but this time, Abimelech (whose name means “father of the king”), the king of Gerar took Sarah as his wife.  Fortunately, the Lord warned him in a dream that he was a dead man before he had ever touched her and commanded Abimelech to release her to the prophet, Abraham.  Abimelech was momentarily worried that God would destroy his righteous nation and quickly released Sarah to Abraham and gave him gifts of oxen, sheep, servants, and silver.  Abraham prayed for Abimelech’s wife and female servants to be healed of the infertility that resulted from taking Sarah.

Today the land of Israel is also referred to by many throughout the world as Palestine where the Palestinians are believed to be none other than the Philistines.  The Bible teaches that Israel’s enemies will form a confederacy against them to take the land (Ps. 83:1-8).  These people include the Ishmaelites, the Edomites, the Philistines, and others of the Middle East.  The primary thing they have in common is the fact they serve the god of Islam—a god unknown to their ancestors during Biblical times (Daniel 11:38).

Just as Abraham kept trying to hide the identity of Sarah from the wicked people around him, many members of the Bride of Christ may try to hide their identity from the Antichrist and his minions as the last days approach in order to avoid being killed.  Eventually, the Father of the King – our heavenly Father will take the Bride that has been gathered from throughout the earth and give her to His Son, Jesus Christ.  She will be holy, blameless, and above reproach. 

There is a river described in Ezekiel 47 that will have trees growing on its riverbanks during the seventh millennium whose leaves will have healing properties and the water of that river will heal the waters that will become contaminated during the tribulation.  This river and these trees are similar to the Tree of Life and the River of the Water of Life that will be in the New Jerusalem that is described in Revelation 22.  The leaves of the Tree of Life will be used to heal the nations.

I find it comforting to know the end from the beginning.  As life gets harder, we can focus on the fact that we who are called Sarai will one day be called Sarah.  May you be blessed!