Posted on

The Feasts

Feasts:  Proclaiming the First and Second Coming

One of the first things God the Father did while establishing the culture of Israel was to place seven significant events into the Jewish calendar (Leviticus 23).  These events were called feasts.  However some of these feasts were actually not feasts but fasts.  The list of feasts/events are broken up into two categories, the spring feasts and the fall feasts as follows:  Spring Feasts – The Passover (Erev Pasach), The Feast of Unleavened Bread (Pesach), The Feast of the First Fruits (Omer), The Feast of Pentecost (Shavuot).  Fall Feasts – The Day of Trumpets (Yom Teruah), The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), and the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkoth).  In the following sections there are descriptions of each feast and their significance as it pertains to Jesus’ first and second coming.

The 4 Spring Feasts (Point to Jesus’ First Coming):

  1. The Passover (Erev Pesach):  Starts the annual Jewish feast calendar.  Points towards the sacrificial lamb of the original Passover as well as the Ultimate Passover Lamb, Jesus, the lamb who was slain for the salvation of the world.
  1. The Feast of Unleavened Bread / Passover Meal (Pesach):  The unleavened bread, a type of sinless Jesus, is eaten.  Now we take this bread to remember Jesus.  At the Last Supper, Jesus took this bread and redefined its meaning for the new Jewish believers.  He said, “Do this now in remembrance of ME.”
  1. Feast of First Fruits (Omer): This was the day they were to wave the sheaf from a barley plant from the first / spring harvest. Jesus was the first fruits of the resurrection, (1 Cor 15:20, 23, 2 Tim 2:6-8). Significance of Feasts – Joel Richardson
  1. The Feast of Pentecost (Shavuot): This day celebrated the first of the wheat harvest with the offering of two wave loaves of leavened bread (Lev 23:17, 20). This feast foreshadowed the first major outpouring of the Holy Spirit, resulting in three thousand souls being added to the Church in one day (Acts 2:41). This early outpouring of the Holy Spirit will also be followed by another greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit near the end of time (Joel 2:28-29) to empower the proclamation of the Gospel of the Kingdom before the return of Jesus.  Shavu’ot, the Festival of Weeks, is the second of the three major festivals with both historical and agricultural significance (the other two are Passover and Sukkot). Agriculturally, it commemorates the time when the first fruits were harvested and brought to the Temple, and is known as Hag ha-Bikkurim (the Festival of the First Fruits). Historically, it celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, and is also known as Hag Matan Torateinu (the Festival of the Giving of Our Torah).  http://www.jewfaq.org/holidayc.htm

The 3 Fall Feasts (Point to Jesus’ Second Coming):

The Day of Trumpets (Yom Teruah) – a call to repent. Preceded by 30 days of repentance and followed by 10 days of repentance.  Better known as Rosh Hashannah (the new year) in modern Judaism. But Yom Teruah isn’t really the ‘Jewish New Year,’ in fact, it falls on the first day of Etanim, (also known traditionally as Tishri) which is the seventh month in YHVH’s calendar. The real ‘new year’ is in Aviv (also known traditionally as Nisan) when Pesakh/Passover occurs.  Yom Teruah begins a ten-day period leading up to the holiest day of YHVH’s calendar, Yom Kippur — the “Day Of Atonement.” These ten days are called the ‘Days of Awe’ in modern Judaism. In fact, modern Judaism also includes the preceding month of Elul also as a time to prepare for the upcoming Fall moedim (appointed times). The sounding of the shofar on Yom Teruah is a wake-up blast — a reminder that the time is near for the Day of Atonement. It is time to teshuvah (repent, turn back to YHVH). Traditionally, these ten days are ones of heart searching and self examination — the shofar warns us we need to examine our lives and make amends with all those we have wronged in the previous year, and to ask forgiveness for any vows we may have broken. So a main theme of the Fall Holy Days is repentance.  In non-Messianic traditional Judaism it is believed that YHVH records our names in the Book of Life during the Fall festivals. Hence, a common greeting you might hear before and during Yom Teruah is “May you be inscribed (in the book of life).” Another popular greeting is ‘L’shana Tova’ which is a wish for a good new year. Traditional foods on Yom Teruah are ‘sweet’ – apples dipped in honey (and sweet dishes made with apples, honey, raisins, figs, sweetened carrots, and pomegranates, etc. are served). The traditional challah bread is made sweeter and shaped in a circle, symbolizing completeness and never-ending sweetness. The rabbinic idea of this ‘sweetness’ was to bring a sense of optimism to the festival, since the themes of repentance and atonement might have made this season a somber time of remorse alone. Since there are many trumpets mentioned in Scripture, it is unwise to assume every mention of a trumpet necessarily refers to Yom Teruah, especially when making eschatological predictions regarding the Holy Days, as we are also commanded to sound the trumpet on Yom Kippur (Lev 25:9) to signify the Jubilee year.  http://www.lightofmashiach.org/yomteruah.html

Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur): This day, a complete fast, is the holiest day of the Biblical calendar. It is a day of repentance. Through repentance, reconciliation with God takes place. This is also the day that the corporate sins of the Jewish nation were laid upon a scapegoat that was cast outside of the camp into the wilderness. Atonement prophetically speaks of the day when the Jews mourn and repent concerning their rejection of Jesus who is foreshadowed in the scapegoat. Thus, the Day of Atonement also points to the day when all Israel will be saved (Romans 11) as they return to the LORD forevermore.  (Paul G’s notes:  The “mourning” that occurs throughout all of Israel in the Scriptures is this.)

Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkoth): An eight-day celebratory feast coinciding with the final harvest of the year. For seven days the people moved out of their homes and lived in shelters called “Sukkah.” It was decorated with branches cut from palm, willow and other trees. This last feast prophetically speaks of the future celebration regarding the final harvest of mankind at the end of the age and the commencement of the Millennium. Today we eat in a Sukkah looking forward to the day when God will dwell on earth with us. But even during the Millennium, we will continue to keep this festival (Zech 14) to celebrate the fact that God dwells with man and is our covering (Sukkah) through Jesus the Messiah.

The Festival of Sukkot begins on Tishri 15, the fifth day after Yom Kippur. It is quite a drastic transition, from one of the most solemn holidays in our year to one of the most joyous. Sukkot is so unreservedly joyful that it is commonly referred to in Jewish prayer and literature as Z’man Simchateinu , the Season of our Rejoicing.  

In honor of the holiday’s historical significance, we are commanded to dwell in temporary shelters, as our ancestors did in the wilderness. The temporary shelter is referred to as a sukkah (which is the singular form of the plural word “sukkot”). Like the word sukkot, it can be pronounced like Sue-KAH, or to rhyme with Book-a.

The sukkah is great fun for the children. Building the sukkah each year satisfies the common childhood fantasy of building a fort, and dwelling in the sukkah satisfies a child’s desire to camp out in the backyard. The commandment to “dwell” in a sukkah can be fulfilled by simply eating all of one’s meals there; however, if the weather, climate, and one’s health permit, one should spend as much time in the sukkah as possible, including sleeping in it.

Many Americans, upon seeing a decorated sukkah for the first time, remark on how much the sukkah (and the holiday generally) reminds them of Thanksgiving. This may not be entirely coincidental: I was taught that our American pilgrims, who originated the Thanksgiving holiday, borrowed the idea from Sukkot. The pilgrims were deeply religious people, living their lives in accordance with the Bible. When they were trying to find a way to express their thanks for their survival and for the harvest, they looked to the Bible for an appropriate way of celebrating and found the fall harvest festival of Sukkot. This is not the standard story taught in public schools today (that a Thanksgiving holiday is an ancient English pagan custom that the Pilgrims brought over), but that story doesn’t fit with the Pilgrims’ strict biblical views.

http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday5.htm

Summarizes the Feasts, In Order

Joel Richardson’s Article on the Feasts
Judaism 101 Site

Posted on

End Times Essentials: The Covenants

Covenantal Basics

When studying the biblical covenants, one must be aware of the nature of these covenants, whether they be conditional or whether they are unconditional.  Whether a covenant is conditional or unconditional matters when it comes to studies of the end times.  Many incorrect conclusions are drawn by various parts of the Church today based upon a faulty understanding of the covenants.  One faulty conclusion that many denominations hold to is called fulfillment theology or replacement theology.  T

The Noahic Covenant

2400BC? – Eternity

Genesis 9:8-17
The Noahic Covenant applies to all of humanity and all living creatures and the earth. God promises to never again destroy the earth with a flood and then God sets a rainbow as a sign of this covenant. This covenant is not conditional, it is everlasting.

The Abraham Covenant

Genesis 12:2, 3, 6

2“I will make you into a great nation,
    and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
    and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
    and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
    will be blessed through you.”

6 “To your offspring I will give this land.”

Genesis 13:14-16

14 The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. 15 All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. 16 I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. 17 Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”

Genesis 15:5-21He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

He also said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.”

But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?”

So the Lord said to him, “Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.”

10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half.11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.

12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13 Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”

17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi[e] of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates— 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites,Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”

In the previous passages, note that these promises were unconditional and not based on any action by Abraham.  The covenant was cut by God Himself and will be fulfilled by the faithfulness of God Himself.  

1943 BC? – Eternity

Genesis 12-17
The Abrahamic covenant has 3 distinct parts
He will be given Land
He will be made into a Great Nation
This Nation will be a blessing to all nations.

The Mosaic Covenant

In a way, the Abrahamic covenant can be contrasted with the Mosaic covenant.

Exodus 19-24

This covenant is conditional

The Davidic Covenant

The New (Jesus) Covenant

Posted on

End Times Essentials: The Kingdom Part 2

The New Testament Concept of “The Kingdom”

  1. NT emphasizes spiritual transformation with future allusions to the coming military conquest of Jesus.
  2. Jesus is adding another layer of the understanding of the concept of “kingdom” to the Jews:
    a. The Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5-7 adds another deeper layer to the Kingdom of God. Moses speaks of a prophet who comes after him whom they must listen to: Deut. 18:18 – I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. 19 I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name. “
    b. Jesus adds another layer to the concept of kingdom by saying it is a spiritual thing!  John 3:3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
    c. After casting out demons, Jesus said, “If I cast out demons by the Spirit of God [and He did], then the kingdom of heaven has come to you” (Matt. 12:28; Luke 11:20). The kingdom is here, He said, and the proof is in the exorcisms. The power of God is invading the domain of evil, expelling the powers of evil. People being liberated from the inside out, this is kingdom.
    d. Luke 17:20-37 – Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ (not a physical establishment of the kingdom, like the kingdom of Israel of old) because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”22 Then he said to his disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. 23 People will tell you, ‘There he is!’ or ‘Here he is!’ Do not go running off after them. 24 For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. 25 But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. 26 “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 People were eating, drinking…”
    e. Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
    f. Mark 10:14 – “He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
    g. Mark 10:23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
    h. Matthew 21:31 – Jesus *said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.
    i. Matthew 21:43 – To the Pharisees: 43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.”
    j. John 18:36 – Jesus said (to Pilate), “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders (not a physical kingdom right now). But now my kingdom is from another place.”
    k. Colossians 1:13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
    l. In reference to the final physical “end of the age” kingdom: “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near (fusion of spiritual and physical!). “Truly I tell you, this generation (the generation that sees the signs previously mentioned) will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” – Luke 21:25-32
    Go spread the kingdom!! We bring the kingdom!!

Jesus’ Concept of the Kingdom Upon His Return

  1. Jesus connects the two concepts, the spiritual kingdom and the physical kingdom! Isaiah 52-54. www.faithalone.org/journal/2003ii/lopez.pdf
  2. The Mystery of the Father from the beginning is finally revealed! Fusing the heavenly realm with the physical realm!!!
    1. Ephesians 1:9-10 – “With all wisdom and understanding, He made known (revealed) to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.”
    2. Acts 3:21 – “Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.”
    3. Revelation 11:15 – The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.”

 

Posted on

End Times Essentials: Begin at the Beginning Part 2

Second Prophecy – Genesis 12 – The Lineage of Abraham is Blessed

Genesis 12 – God told Abram: “Leave your country, your family, and your father’s home for a land that I will show you.  I’ll make you a great nation and bless you.  I’ll make you famous; you’ll be a blessing.  I’ll bless those who bless you; those who curse you I’ll curse.  All the families of the Earth will be blessed through you.”

God prophesies over Abraham that all families of the Earth will be blessed through him.  The line of the Seed narrows down when God chooses Abraham’s family as the ones to whom The Seed will come through.

At this point, let us remember that the whole earth is under the original curse because Adam allowed sin to enter the world.  I think it would be important to note that those who come against Abraham’s descendants are under a “double curse” of sorts, because not only does the original curse pertain to them (Genesis 3:16-19), but also if they decide to curse Israel, they will be cursed again, according to Genesis 12.

Read part 3 of Begin at the Beginning here:

End Times Essentials: Begin at the Beginning Part 3 »

 

Posted on

End Times Essentials: Begin at the Beginning Part 1

Prophecy in the Pentateuch

The Pentateuch is the first five books of the Bible.  The Jewish people call it the Torah and in it is found the initial revelation of God to mankind, also commonly called The Law.  When studying Scriptures relating to prophecy, one needs to take careful note that the Messianic prophecies in these first five books lay the prophetic foundation for the rest of Scripture.  If we have an understanding of these foundational prophetic Scriptures and their prophetic direction, it lays a solid foundation for our understanding of prophetic Scripture, which results in clear conclusions regarding the end of the age.

Think of a large ship.  If a ship is trying to sail from NYC to London, the rudder needs to be set on a certain trajectory.  If the rudder is slightly off, the destination could potentially be off by hundreds of miles.  In a similar way, a bow hunter needs to aim his bow precisely in order to hit his target.  If the trajectory is off even slightly, the hunter will not hit his target.  So many people come to the wrong conclusions concerning prophetic Scripture because their “prophetic bow” is pointing their “prophetic arrows” in the wrong direction!  So let’s take a look at the prophecies that lay the foundation and aim the trajectory for the rest of the prophecies in Scripture.  The first prophecy, the “grandpappy of all prophecies,” if you will, is Genesis 3:15, also known to scholars as “the protoevangelium” or, “the first gospel.”  It is the first “prophetic arrow” and it is “fired” by none other than the Father Himself.  He uses no other human or angelic vessel to deliver this initial prophetic message.  He Himself sets the trajectory for His plan to redeem mankind!

First Prophecy, Genesis 3:15 – 

“And I will put enmity (war)
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed (satan’s offspring) and her seed;
He (Jesus) shall bruise you (satan) on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

In this article, we are going to focus on the phrase “her seed.”

One of the main points of the whole Old Testament is God revealing the lineage of “The Seed,” Jesus.  The Old Testament is following the story of one family (Israel) that will produce the promised “Seed!”  One of the big questions that new believers have when reading through the Bible is, “Why are the lineages and genealogies so important?”  The answer is because these lineages track the origin of “The Seed,” Jesus!

Genesis 3:15 declares that the seed of promise comes through Eve.  Upon reading this, one unfamiliar with that question would ask “which line of offspring would this ‘Seed’ come through?”  Which line of descendants?  Genesis goes on to show us how God chooses a specific line of Eve’s descendants starting with Abel (and then Seth) to carry a special blessing that will bring redemption for all mankind.  We also see that the “her” in “her seed” jointly speaks of Eve, Israel, and then the Virgin Mary who is specifically chosen to birth Jesus. 

The lineage of the Seed starts very broad and then narrows down as time goes on.  To say it differently, The Seed could have come through any branch of the family tree that started with Adam and Eve.  The lineage starts with Abel, then transfers to Seth after Abel’s death, then Noah, then Shem, then Abraham, then Isaac, then Jacob, then Judah, then trickles down through David to Jesus.  Jesus comes and allows Himself to die and be planted so there could be a harvest.  Jesus was THE Seed, meant to produce a worldwide harvest.  John 12:23 – “Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” After Jesus, the seed of the Gospel of God’s blessing, favor, and sonship is scattered and spreads throughout the world through His Church!

Also, I propose that wherever the lineage of The Seed is found in Scripture, there is the evidence of the  “anti-seed” and the “enmity” that is prophesied about by the Lord as well.  The word “enmity” is used elsewhere in Scripture to connote a “bloodfeud” between various parties (Numbers 35:21-22, Ezekiel 25:15, Ezekiel 35:5).  More about that thought can be found here:  Seed of Promise, Seed of Satan: The Middle East Conflict

Part 2 of the series on Begin at the Beginning is found here:

End Times Essentials: Begin at the Beginning Part 2

 

 

Posted on

End Times Essentials: Rules for Studying End Times

Most of these solid principles have been drawn from the first chapter of Joel Richardson’s book, Mideast Beast, which is recommended reading and a link to it can be found here: Mideast Beast Book.

  1. Build doctrine on full council of Scripture.   Build on themes that are repeated and consistent.  25 verses of support outweighs 1 verse that apparently says the contrary.  One can always find a solitary verse that supports your presupposition, however we must ask ourselves, “What does God say about this topic throughout all of Scripture, across all the books of the Bible?”
  2. Context, Context, Context – The Bible is a Jewish, Mid-Eastern book with an eastern worldview.  It revolves around events that occur roughly throughout the area of the world now known as the Middle East.  More specifically, it revolves around Jerusalem, the seat of Jesus’ future kingdom.  In contrast, Jesus’ end times plan does not center around the United States.
  3. Read prophetic literature as prophetic literature, not as a technical manual, a proverb, a narrative, etc.  Familiarize yourself with Hebrew idioms, hyperbole (exaggeration), and the concept of dual fulfillment.
    1. Idiom – An idiom is an expression that is used within a language.  In the United States, “it is raining cats and dogs” means “it is raining extremely hard.”  Within the Hebrew language there are many idioms such as:  “flowing with milk and honey” = fertile, “hard forehead” = stubborn, “asleep” (in some contexts) = passed on
    2. Hyperbole – A hyperbole is an exaggeration that is not meant to be taken literally.  For example in the English language we say, “I am so hungry I can eat a horse.”
      1. “The whole world is following (Jesus)” said the Pharisees.  – To the Pharisees, it seemed that the whole world around them was following Jesus.  However, they could have also been speaking prophetically without knowing it!
      2. “Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth…” Daniel 2:39 – The third kingdom in this dream was Greece and they did not rule the entire globe.  However, they did rule the entire region of the Middle East of that day.
    3. Dual fulfillment – Dual fulfillment concerns present and future application of prophecy, both a short-term and long-term fulfillment.
      1. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called  Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.  He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this”  Isaiah 9:6-7.  The concept of dual fulfillment is seen in this passage because “a child is born” happens in the ancient times around 4BC and “the government will be on His shoulders” has not happened yet!  The time periods are different, but it is in the same verse!!  Also, this verse also pertains to a child that was literally born in the time period of Isaiah, but ALSO refers to Jesus.  This is dual fulfillment.
    4. In Eastern writings, we must use the context and also consider which part of a prophecy has already happened in history in original context, happened during Jesus’ first coming, or will happen at Jesus’ second coming.
  4. Zoom out and recognize the big story of Scripture.  Scripture is Messiah-centric, and revolves around the coming Messiah, the Day of the Lord, and His coming kingdom.
    Primary emphases of biblical prophecy:

    1. Immediate historical context
    2. First coming of Jesus
    3. Second coming of Jesus/the Day of the Lord
  5. Generally, start with what is clear and easy to understand and THEN move to what is symbolic and harder to understand.  Books such as Revelation heavily lean on the information contained in the books that come before it.  Therefore Revelation is not the ideal place to start your journey in studying eschatology.  If you do choose to study Revelation first, study the many Old Testament and New Testament references that are found within Revelation!  Go back and read prophetic passages beginning in Genesis 3:15 and go from there!

These rules for studying eschatology were inspired by a chapter in Joel Richardson’s book, The Mideast Beast.

Tools for Studying

-Understanding the Chronology of Old Testament Books – It helps to understand the order the books of the Old Testament were written historically.  When reading the prophets, be aware of whether they were before the Assyrian/Babylonian exile, during the exile, or after the exile.  Also know if the prophets are speaking to Israel (captive by Assyrians), Judah (captive by Babylonians), or foreign nations.

Chronology of OT Books »

Overview of Old Testament Events – Events that happened chronologically through the Old Testament.

Panorama of OT Major Events »

 

 

Posted on

End Times Essentials: The Kingdom Part 1

The Kingdom
“The Kingdom” is a concept that is essential to build the “outline of the puzzle” for Jesus’ end time plan. You can start filling in the rest of the picture after you have the pieces of the “border.”

The Kingdom Manifest:  Represented by Mountains
Definition: God’s desires manifesting in the physical realm IS the kingdom.
The Kingdom of God has come in waves and is still coming. It comes in terms of the significant mountains that are highlighted within the Bible:

  1. Mount Moriah – covenant with Abraham when he was willing to sacrifice Isaac.
  2. Mount Sinai – Most monumental event in Israel’s history – Mosaic/moral law – Revelation of God through the absolute moral law. Focus on moral law with allusions towards heart transformation. After this there was a focus on building the physical kingdom of Israel (a time of taking the land that God promised to them).
      • Why did God reveal the Moral Law as the first major revelation of Himself?  The author of this article has been a special education teacher for the past 11 years.  In the past, I have presented myself two different ways at the start of different school years to students who don’t know me at all: first, as a nice guy, super relational and understanding. Second, as a firm, yet loving teacher, laying down the rules and every nuance of the rules, including detailed consequences and rewards. The second way works out much, much better in the end.  Both children and adults want to know where the boundary lines are located in whatever environment they are in and when working under someone.
      • As the school year progresses, I give a lot of favor to the kids who “get it”, aka grasp the spirit/heart behind what atmosphere I want in my classroom.  I feel this is similar to how God favored David and Solomon so tremendously, because they “got it” in a way that almost no other did.  They had a culture that revolved around the presence of God and they prospered on their thrones.  They mirrored God’s eternal plan for the planet and didn’t even know it!  One day a Jewish King, Jesus, will come to reign and the presence of God will shine throughout the earth!
  3. Mount Zion – David and Solomon – foreshadows Jesus’ future reign.  Israel under David and Solomon was the height of the physical kingdom of Israel in history with God’s presence at the center. David’s heart and vision is ahead of His time in that He combines the physical kingdom and spiritual kingdom. Under David and Solomon’s kingdoms we get a glimpse into what the world will look like under Jesus’ future rule! Jesus is the SECOND DAVID (conquering king) and SECOND SOLOMON (peace-time reigning king that all nations stream to (Isaiah 2:1-5, Zechariah 8:20-23, I Kings 4:29-34, Jeremiah 23:5-8).
  4. Sermon on the Mount – Jesus is like a “second Moses” in this passage because here He reveals the deeper heart and attitudes behind the Law. Adds another layer of depth to the concept of kingdom.  Jesus teaches that the kingdom starts in people’s hearts and spreads outward from them to influence their surroundings.
  5. Mount Calvary – Jesus dies to cleanse us and provide access to the Father and opens the door to release the power of the Spirit onto the Church (both Jew and Gentile).
  6. Mount of Olives (Ascension) – Jesus promises power to live out the Law with the right heart inclined towards God as well as the power to do miracles. Tells disciples to divert their focus towards spreading His spiritual kingdom, and away from the physical kingdom of Israel (for now).
  7. NOW! – Kingdom is currently spreading throughout all corners the world and all parts of society, culture, government, etc. through Jesus manifesting His glory through the Church!
  8. Mount of Olives (Second Coming of Christ) – The Ultimate Culmination of the Kingdom of God – At the time of the end of the Gentiles coming to Him, He unites the spiritual kingdom with the physical kingdom and establishes His physical throne in Jerusalem and all the rest of Israel is saved.

The Jewish Concept of “The Kingdom”

  1. OT emphasis is primarily military salvation with allusions to spiritual salvation, heart transformation, etc.
  2. The height of Israel’s kingdom was David’s rule flowing into Solomon’s rule. That time period was the standard for “the kingdom” and the Golden Age of Israel’s historical reign as world power.
  3. OT view of the kingdom is seen here – Battle between Abijah, king of Judah, and Jeroboam, king of Israel. Abijah is following the Lord and says to Jeroboam and his armies: 2 Chronicles 13:8 “And now you plan to resist the kingdom of the LORD, which is in the hands of David’s descendants.”
  4. David says: “He has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel.” – I Chron. 28
  5. In the time period context of when Jesus appeared on the scene, the emphasis of the Jewish populace was on the physical kingdom of Israel. The period of the Maccabees set the context of Jesus’ first coming.  The history of the Maccabean Revolt is interesting and worth studying in order to immerse yourself into understanding the Jewish zeal for a reestablished physical kingdom Israel free from outside control.  The history of Hanukkah is also linked to the Maccabean Revolt.
    a. History of the Maccabean Revolt
    b. Jesus had to refocus apostles after the resurrection because they were like the rest of Israel who were focused primarily on the physical kingdom of Israel.   Jesus also was just talking to his disciples for the previous 40 days concerning His future kingdom, so maybe they anticipated it to come shortly after His resurrection.  6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:6-8