Purpose

The purpose and intent of this site is twofold:

1. Share the Word of God as found in the Bible.

2. Comment on current events as they relate to Bible prophecy


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Keys to Understanding the Scripture



KEYS TO UNDERSTANDING THE SCRIPTURES

#1 The Two Kingdoms:  Israel and Judah
The Kingdom of Israel was a united kingdom consisting of all 12 tribes under the reigns of David and Solomon.  When Solomon died the kingdom became divided with only the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and some of the Levites in the southern kingdom containing Jerusalem and the temple.  The northern kingdom contained 10 tribes including Ephraim and Manasseh, who were given the name of Israel from their father Joseph and their grandfather Jacob.  By the legal right given by God they retained the name of Israel or the house of Israel.

The full story is found in 1 Kings 11, where the prophet Abijah told Solomon that because he had departed from God, the kingdom would be taken from him and given to another. Solomon's son, of Judah, would be given the tribe of Benjamin, but the kingdom itself would be stripped from him. When Solomon died, the kingdom was given to an Ephraimite named Jeroboam, but Solomon's son, Rehoboam, reigned over the southern House of Judah.

From this point of the divided kingdom onward, the Bible speaks of Israel and Judah as two distinct nations because they were in fact, two distinct nations.  Up to Solomon's day “Israel” meant the entire nation of all twelve tribes, but after the split in the kingdom, “Israel” was the name of the northern House of Israel, as distinct from the House of Judah to the south. Furthermore, the prophecies to Israel and to Judah are quite different, for each nation had a destiny to fulfill.

#2 The Two Blessings:  The Scepter and the Birthright
When Jacob blessed his twelve sons (Genesis 49), he gave the birthright to Joseph (or actually, Joseph's sons when Jacob adopted them in Genesis 48:13-16). With that birthright came the legal right to be called by the name which the angel gave him, the name of Israel (Genesis 48:16). Judah, on the other hand, received the Scepter. That is, the Messiah, the king of Israel, would come through his family. These things are verified by 1 Chronicles 5:1-2.

1 Chronicles 5:1-2 KJV  Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright.  (2)  For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph's.

This is why the northern ten tribes retained the name of Israel after the split in the kingdom after the death of Solomon. It was because the northern tribes included the tribes of Joseph (Ephraim and Manessah), whose right it was to the name of Israel. Judah never had that political right, although in the genealogical sense, they were Israelites, because they were descendants of Jacob-Israel.

A verse in Isaiah appears to prophecy that another group would take the name of “Israel” for themselves as a “surname”.  This could be identified as the current nation calling themselves “Israel,” thereby illegally claiming the promise of the blessing of the birthright which was given to Ephraim through Joseph, of the ten northern tribes.  Judah was never the birthright holder, for that blessing was given to Joseph then Ephraim, not to Judah.

Isaiah 44:5 KJV  One shall say, I am the LORD'S; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the LORD, and surname himself by the name of Israel.

Surname:  kānāh: A verb meaning to give a surname, a title of flattery or honor. It depicts the assigning of an honorary name to someone (Job_32:21-22); or persons calling themselves by names, e.g., Jacob (Isa_44:5).

It must be noted that Great Britain (Ephraim), through the Balfour declaration, gave the birthright blessing to the Edomite Jews who were declared the nation of Israel in 1948.  This fulfilled the prophecy given by Isaac to Esau and will remain until the return of Christ when Jerusalem will be destroyed along with the Khazarian (Magog), Edomite, and Persian terrorists who invaded the unwalled and unprotected cities and towns of Canaan during the 30’s and 40’s.

Genesis 27:40 KJV  And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.

#3 The Two Works of Christ
Leviticus states that it requires a ritual involving two doves to cleanse a leper.  Leprosy can be considered a type or symbol of one’s death-ridden sin nature.  The first dove was killed in an earthen bowl that was held over running water (14:5). The second dove was dipped in the blood of the first and let loose into an open field (14:7).

In 33 AD Jesus was killed (crucified) in a mortal earthen body.  At His return, scripture states that Jesus will be clothed with a vesture dipped in blood as was the second dove set loose in an open field (which is a type of the world).  The second appearance of Christ, with his vesture dipped in blood, not only portrays the appearance of the second dove, but also identifies Him as “Joseph”.  According to Genesis 37:31And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood.

Revelation 19:13 KJV  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

The ceremony of the Day of Atonement involved two goats.  The first goat was to be sacrificed outside the tent (or temple) and the blood of the sacrifice was to be brought into the Holy of Holies and sprinkled on the mercy seat for the atonement of the sanctuary as a covering for sin.  The second goat was to remain alive.  The priest was to lay his hands of the head of the live goat while imputing all the sins of the people onto the goat.  A different man was to take the goat and release it into the wilderness (or an uninhabited area).  In this manner the sacrificed goat covered all sin and the live second goat removed all sin for all people.

Leviticus 16:7-10 KJV  And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.  (8)  And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat.  (9)  And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD'S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering.  (10)  But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.

The first goat, a shadow and type of Jesus’ death, covered sin or imputed righteousness in the eyes of God.  The second, a type and shadow of the return of Christ, will forever remove sin and make us completely righteous before God. 

When Jesus returns, He will come as the Son of Joseph with His robe dipped in blood as the King of the Judah linage and will fulfill the birthright promise as the son of Adam through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  The second coming will also fulfill the type and shadow symbolism of the second live bird released in the field and the type and shadow symbolism of the second goat carrying the sins of the people into the uninhabited places.

The first bird and the first goat represent the dominion (scepter) work of Judah which was to bring forth the Messiah as the suffering servant and sacrificially dying to cover the sins of the people.  The second bird and the second goat is a work of Joseph (or Ephraim and Manasseh) which would save the world or remove sins as if they never happened although a complete and total removal will not take place until the second coming of Jesus Christ when the birthright promise is fulfilled.

The first appearance of Jesus was as the first dove, when He came through the line of Judah. His second appearance will be as the second dove, and this time He comes with a Joseph ministry. The first time He came of Judah to lay claim to the Scepter that Jacob had given to Judah. The second time he comes of Joseph in order to lay claim to the birthright given to Joseph.

For more information view the following link:  Birds, Goats, Two Works of Christ

#4 The Cursed Fig Tree
One additional work is needed to fulfill the prophetic promise to Joseph. That promise was to be “a fruitful bough (son).” The Hebrew word for “bough” is ben. It means a son.
The tree was planted with Jesus' death and burial. It sprouted in His resurrection. Now we have come to the time where the tree must bear fruit.

Genesis 49:22 KJV  Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:

The majority of Judah (inhabitants of Judea) in Jesus' day did not accept Him as Messiah the King. There were, of course, many individuals who did accept Him, but as a nation, He was rejected.  As a consequence, at the end of His ministry, Jesus gave a curse to a fig tree that represented the nation.

Matthew 21:19 KJV  And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.

Jesus prophesied the tree would not bear fruit when it came time for the fruit to be eaten.  This fig tree was alluded to later in chapter 24.

Matthew 24:32-33 KJV  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:  (33)  So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

Currently, many Bible students understand that Jesus was here referring to the cursed fig tree. It is widely accepted that the cursed fig tree that had withered from the roots in Jesus' day suddenly began to put forth leaves in 1947-48 when the Israeli state was created and this will be considered correct.  However (incorrectly) to their detriment, many also believe that the Jewish fig tree nation founded in 1948 is going to bear fruit, even though Jesus specifically stated in Matthew 21:19 that it would not (or never). Consequently, this is an area that deserves further investigation, so that we might understand the mind of God and know what He is doing in the world today.

For more information view the following links:  The Branches of the Fig Tree  /  The True Vine and the Branches

#5 Esau and the Birthright
Toward the end of his life, Isaac decided to bless his oldest son, Esau, before he died. He sent Esau out to find venison. Meanwhile, Rebekah heard what was happening, and she devised a plan by which to give Jacob the blessing. She and Jacob took advantage of Isaac's blindness, dressed Jacob like Esau and managed to trick Isaac into blessing him instead of Esau. Naturally, when Esau returned with the venison and found that he had been supplanted, he was furious. The story is told in Genesis 27.

Jacob sinned against Esau and would therefore have to pay restitution to him eventually in order to restore the lawful order. It was certainly God's intent to give the birthright and blessing to Jacob, but Jacob should have waited for God rather than take matters into his own hands.  So Isaac prophesied that Esau would receive the dominion at some future time. Jacob would have to give the birthright back to Esau for a period, in order to allow God to give it to Jacob in His own way and time.  The scripture found in Genesis 27:40 is given above.  It should be noted that the Scepter blessing was sold to Jacob by Esau for a bowl of soup and does not apply here.

I have written on several occasions concerning the history of the Edomites.  They were conquered by John Hyrcanus (the Maccabees) in 126 BC and were given the choice of either becoming Jews or being deported.  They chose to become Jews.  This fact can be verified by Josephus, the Jewish Encyclopedia, and practically any other encyclopedia.  The Jewish Encyclopedia, 1925 edition, Vol. 5, p. 41, says, “Edom is in modern Jewry.” From that point forward in history, there has been no nation of Edom, or Idumea. All prophecies dealing with Edom must either be spiritualized entirely, or else look to the Jews for the fulfillment of prophecy of both Judah and Edom. As can be seen, they are indeed fulfilling both sets of prophecies at the same time without contradiction.

Isaac in his blindness blessed Jacob thinking he was blessing Esau. Because Jacob lied to his father and violated the divine law to obtain the blessing, God blinded Jacob's descendants (true Israelites) in order that they too might be tricked into giving back the blessing to Esau. It was “an eye for an eye.” God's lawful judgment was absolutely just. Thus, in 1948 the true Israelites gave the blessing back to the Jews, who were only too happy to take the birthright name and surname themselves by the name of Israel.

For more information view the following links:  Edomites and Israel  /  Israel is Edom  /  The Dominion of Esau

#6 The End Results
The true Israelites had migrated from northeast Assyria into Europe to become known as the Caucasian peoples. God blinded them to their true identity over the years and removed from them the name of Israel, because He had cast them off for a time.  The outcome of the Israelites and Judahites (prior to the Babylonian captivity) were both simultaneously prophesied by Isaiah.

Isaiah 65:11-15 KJV  But ye are they that forsake the LORD, that forget my holy mountain…...  (12)  Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not.  (13)  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants (Israel) shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed:  (14)  Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.  (15)  And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name:

Israel, his servants, shall eat, shall drink, shall rejoice, and will sing for joy.  However, the Judahites will be put to the sword, will bow down to the slaughter, shall be hungry, shall be thirsty, shall be ashamed, shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall leave their name for a curse.  The prophecy to Judah was partially fulfilled by Babylon, then Rome, and finally by the wrath of God.  The prophecy to Israel (the 10 tribes) will be completely fulfilled at the return of Jesus Christ.

The Jews refused to believe that they had done anything wrong in crucifying Jesus, whom they called an imposter and a blasphemer. Even when judgment came, they simply blamed God for their misfortunes, not comprehending how God could allow these terrible things to happen to them, for they thought they were doing everything correctly in the sight of God. Thus, they became increasingly angry and bitter instead of seeking God to find the cause of their sin.

God's true servant people, the house of Israel who had been deported by Assyria 800 years earlier, were increasing in population and migrating across Asia Minor and across the Caucasus mountains into Europe, where they were known by other names, even as Isaiah had prophesied. These became known by later scholars by the general category, “Caucasians,” since many had crossed the Caucasus Mountains between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea who were actually the physical descendants of the house of Israel. The history is currently proven, since archeologists have unearthed the majority of the evidence in the past 150 years.

Through the power of God, the Gospel went first to these European Israelites, because He intended to Christianize His servant people, that they might bring the Gospel to the rest of the world. However, during the past age (33-1993 AD), the spread of the Gospel was greatly hindered by the rise of oppression in the Roman Church. Thus, it was not until quite recently that the great missionary movements began. Even so, the message has been spread by God's servant people who did not really know who they were or why God had chosen them to bring the Gospel to the rest of the world.

In 1947-48 the Church essentially returned its birthright blessing to Esau by its enthusiastic support for the Israeli state formed on Nov. 29, 1947 by the United Nations resolution. In May 1948 the British pulled out, and the Israelis seized the reins of government, declaring independence of the “State of Israel.”

This also started the fulfillment of the prophecies of the fig tree that began to put forth more leaves without any fruit. The remnant of Judah (fig tree) came back to life in a national sense. The several branches of modern Jewry (Edomites, a few Judahites with a host of Khazarians), each with its set of prophecies to be fulfilled, ushered in the time where the end was “near, even at the doors” (Matthew 24:33).  For more information view the following link:  The True Origins of Professing Jews

It is time for true Israel to be healed of his blindness and return to his inheritance, which is the birthright. According to the Jubilee law, the Israeli state should have given up the name of Israel and return it to its rightful inheritors. They obviously did not do so. Hence, they must now deal with God in His court for violation of His Law.

NOTE:  Some material for this commentary was adapted from articles written by Dr. Stephen E. Jones.

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