Sunday, December 28, 2014

Surprising Insights on the Gospel from "Christmas" Prophecies Taken In Context

It cracks me up how hypocritical we are in the Church, yet, it is so sad!  Hypocritical that is, about properly interpreting the scriptures (i.e. exegeting the scriptures) only when it suits our denominational interests.  Don't get me wrong.  I think and believe that there are many godly people out there who delight in Yhwh's word, and seek to follow Him and live in obedience to the scriptures... but our entire theological outlook is all discombobulated, that's a good word for it!

The other morning I was reading in the book of Isaiah, chapters 7-11, and it was a good refresher, having forgotten a number of good verses that are found in this section of chapters.  In chapters seven and nine, these contain some very famous and well known Messianic prophecies oft quoted by Protestants and Christians around Christmas time.

Is. 7: 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give youf a sign. Look! the virging is with child and she is about to give birth to a son, and she shall call his name ‘God with us.’ 

Is. 9:For a child has been born for us;
a son has been given to us.
And the dominion will be on his shoulder,
and his name is called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His dominion will grow continually,
and to peace there will be no endh
oni the throne of David and overj his kingdom,
to establish itk and sustain it
with justice and righteousness
now and forever.
The zeal of Yahweh of hosts will do this.

These Messianic prophecies, foretelling the coming of Messiah Yeshua are indeedi incredible and powerful prophecies fulfilled by (and to be fulfilled) Yeshua the Messiah.  These are oft quoted, laminated, put on posters, web pages, books, Sunday school materials... but then we don't look into the context of which the verse is foiund... or we do, and miss the context, because we miss the distinction of the two houses of Israel!

And this is one reason why Protestant Christians' theology is so messed up!  This is why so many believe there will be a Pre-Trib Rapture, is because they see the Church as being separate from the Jews (or/and, having replace the Jews in God's plan, a sublte form of anti-semitism), never mind that the Church began as being completely Jewish, but then being overwhelmed later by the mass number of Gentile believers.  And contrary to the clear teaching in the Newer Testament (Brit Chadashah), that the Gentile believers are ingrafted into the tree of Israel, and their root supports us, the Gentile Church!  In fact, Rabbi Paul uses some rather strong language to warn us against having such arrogant thoughts as replacing the Jewish church (Rom. 11:17-24)!

But when one begins to read the passages in Isaiah, keeping in mind the eventual dispersion of the ten northern tribes of Israel (circa 722 B.C.), and noting that most of the prophets, in the Tanakh (Old Testament), are prophesying during the time shortly before, or shortly after (relatively speaking), the dispersion of the ten tribes into the nations, where they no longer kept Torah and were mixed with the Gentile inhabitants wherever they went, thus fulfilling Yhwh's promise to Abraham:

Gen. 17:5 Your name shall no longer be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I will make you the father of a multitude of nations. And I will make you exceedinglyf fruitful. I will make you a nation, and kings shall go out from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you, and between your offspring after you, throughout their generations as an everlasting covenant to be as God for you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land in which you are living as an alien,g all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting property. And I will be to them as God.”

Many times, we see the beginning of chapter 9 quoted ":The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; light has shined on those who lived in a land of darkness."  But the verse is often cut off from the preceding verse, alienating it from its context, or, not having the context left or explained.  "In former times hec treated the land of Zebulun and Naphtali with contempt, but in the future he will honor the way of the sea beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations."

Zebulun and Naphtali were tribal regions in northern Israel, which along with the other eight northern tribes, were eventually conquered by Assyria and deported to Gimera, in Assyria, coming to be known as Gimeroi, or Cimmerians, later on as they begin their migrations.  The ten northern tribes were given into the hands of the king of Assyria by Yhwh, because they did not keep His word.  (If you have not begun, the migration of the "lost tribes" of Israel makes a fascinating study, and believe it or not, there is quite a bit of info about it!*)

This is what makes the Messianic prophecies in Isaiah 9:6-7 so powerful!  We westerners in the Church do not fully understand the meaning of all that we read, and thus end up neglecting much of the theological import.  The verses speaking of the rule of Messiah, and of the increase of His government, but that's where we stop.  But the verse continues... 

oni the throne of David and overj his kingdom,
to establish itk and sustain it
with justice and righteousness
now and forever.
The zeal of Yahweh of hosts will do this.

These prophecies foretell the coming rule of the Messiah ruling on the "throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and sustain it (David's kingdom), the restoration and fullness of the kingdom of all Israel... not just the Jews (the southern tribe, Judah).

In Isaiah ch. 10, it contains some prophecies yet to be realized for the restoration of both houses of Israel (the house of the northern ten tribes, called Israel, and the house of Judah), which has significant import for us to know and understand today.  

20 And this shall happen: on that day, the remnant of Israel and the survivorsq of the house of Jacob will not continue to lean on the one who struck it
but will lean on Yahweh, the holy one of Israel, in truth.
21 A remnant will return—
the remnant of Jacob—to the mighty God.
22 For though your people Israel was like the sand of the sea,
only a remnant of it will return.
Annihilation is determined,
overflowing with righteousness.
23 For the Lord Yahweh of hosts is about to make a complete destruction
and a determined end in the midst of all the earth.

Rough times are upon us, and the are foretold in the pages of scripture.  I don't want you to be on the wrong side, or supporting the wrong group.  False teachers abound today, wolves in sheeps' clothing!  Knowing Yahweh's word is all that will protect you and guide you into coming kingdom of the Real New Age.  Yeshua already told us that the supposed "New Age" being brought about by the "rulers" of this world will be like "the days of Noah" (Mt. 24:37).  So we see it is not a "new" age being brought about, but an old one, which existed before the Flood.

Yeshua said to the Jews who had believed in him, "if you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth ad the truth will set you free." (John 8:32)

* scriptures posted from, Lexham English Bible.
*some interesting resources I've found in researching on the "lost tribes" are:  Joseph Dumond, his website; also Jewish geneological researcher Yair Davidy and his site  

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