TIMELINE: Conception and Birth of John the Baptiser and Jesus the Messiah

Conception and Birth of John the Baptiser and Jesus the Messiah     Rev. Nov 6, 2013; Jan 7, 2014; Nov 2014; Nov 2015, Aug 29, 2017, Nov 16, 2017

John the Baptiser (Immerser):  Type of the Christian/Messianic [Believer]
–Forerunner of the Lord Messiah for the first advent
–the believing Christian and the two witnesses preparing and heralding the way for the second coming
–prophet in spirit and power of Elijah

–Not the Light, but bearing witness to the Light:  people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light

–Proclaiming Yeshua as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world
–Filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb
–No one born of woman greater than John, yet anyone born into the Kingdom of Heaven greater than John
–Gabriel’s angelic announcement to Zechariah, John’s father, on the Memorial of the Blowing of Trumpets (1st day of 7th lunar month of redemption, and a New Moon) — trumpeting the herald!
— with conception following, possibly during the Days of Awe leading up to the Day of Atonements.

–Priestly family
–Zechariah’s name means “YAH’s remembrance”
–Elisheva (Elizabeth), John’s mother, means “God of oath”
–Yochanan (John) means “YEHOVAH is gracious”

–The set (appointed) time of the Memorial of Blowing of Trumpets (now referred to as the Jewish civil New Year) is a day to remind God of His covenant and of His promises and oaths; to be reminded ourselves of the same and to repent of our waywardness, turning back to the Lord and to His Word; to proclaim the way of salvation and to exhort one another to humble ourselves and to exalt the gracious Creator and Redeemer, our Father in Heaven and Lord Jesus Christ
–a herald of God’s faithfulness and holiness
–precedes the Day of Atonements, on which Israel’s iniquity, sins, and transgressions were atoned for and cast away:  Yeshua/Jesus, the perfect sinless Lamb, becoming like unto us goats (sinful flesh) and becoming sin for us

–John’s birth at Shavuot (Feast of Weeks; wheat harvest)
–in the 3rd redemptive month, and the time of the giving of God’s law on stone tablets and of the Holy Spirit putting God’s law in our minds and hearts [of flesh]
–The Law and the Prophets were until John, but now the Kingdom of God is preached.
–I must decrease; He (Yeshua) must increase.
–typifying the birth of the Church, the Body of Christ, which bears witness to Messiah Jesus being our Passover Lamb, our Savior and Lord
–the born-again Christian filled with the Spirit of God from new birth
–prophetic ministry:  repentance unto the LORD God our Father and faith in the LORD Jesus Christ
–priestly ministry :  grace and mercy and compassion according to God’s Name
–kingly ministry:  self-control; authority in Yeshua’s name; royal priesthood in Messiah
–six months before the birth of Yeshua, meaning Savior:  “He will save His people from their sins”

–Yeshua/Jesus born during 9th Hebrew month
–A Great Miracle Happened Here!  A  mighty act of God to celebrate!
–the evening of the 24th / the morning of the 25th of the 9th month is the beginning of the 8 days of Hanukah, commemorating the rededication of the Temple altar–the acceptable approach to  God:  Jesus restores the eternal way and is greater than Temple, and He overturns Gentile kingdoms (Hag 2:18-23)
–His circumcision would have been on the last day of the Feast of Dedication (the 3rd day of the 10th month); [The 24th/25th of the 9th Hebrew lunar month in some years coincides with the 24th/25th of the 12th solar month, December, with the last and eighth day of Hanukah then coinciding with Dec 31/Jan 1, the new solar year.  The Jewish lunar calendar is adjusted for synchronization with the solar:  the sun—the greater light–rules.]
–winter, typically dark and cold; (Could not the God of nature not have caused, if needed  a pleasant, early winter night to go out to?!)  Jesus came into the darkness to defeat the powers of darkness, beginning the repossession of the Earth  and of all the nations back to Himself from Satan and those other divine beings who oppose the sovereignty of  YHVH!
–the Light (Festival of Lights) shines into darkness, and the darkness does not comprehend it
–from the beginning of winter the daylight begins to increase, “pushing back the darkness”

Yeshua was possibly conceived at the beginning of the Hebrew calendar year (1st of Aviv/Nisan, a New Moon in April), and born near the end of the  Western calendar year (12th month of December).  The first day of the Hebrew calendar is 14 days after Purim, and 14 days prior to the Passover.   Conception by the Holy Spirit as God acts on behalf of His covenant people Israel, in Spring, when kings go out to war.  He was conceived during the turn of the first season of the ‘Christian’ year, Winter/Spring, and was born at the turn of the last season, Fall/Winter.  Between these two events, book-marked by Purim and Hanukkah – two Jewish holidays established by the people celebrating God’s faithful covenantal interventions and mighty acts on their behalf – is the redemptive calendar established by YHVH to Israel from Passover through the Day of Atonements up till the Feast of Booths, and celebrated by the Church at the Lord’s Supper:  remembering His death until He comes.  This timeline shows a harmony between the Jewish and Western Christian calendars, between the lunar-solar and the solar calendars which bear witness to HIStory.

Yeshua/Jesus the Messiah/Christ:  Fulfilling the Word of God and His Set Times (either providentially, or as revealed)

Purim (not an expressly revealed set time, but providentially set by God and acknowledged by His people)
–the announcement by the angel Gabriel to the virgin Mary that she would have a son named Yeshua
–celebrated on the 14th day of the 12th and last Hebrew month (Adar; corresponding to March), thus during a full moon
–“help for deliverance from another place”
–spiritual enmity and warfare:  Seed of the woman vs. the seed of the serpent

Hanukkah (but greater) (not an expressly revealed holiday, but providentially set by God and acknowledged by His people), to restore true worship from the paganism that had come in
–In the Second Book of Maccabees (written approximately 80 BC) we are told that “on the very same date on which the Temple was profaned by foreigners, there occurred the purification of the Temple – on the 25th day of the ninth month (that is, Kislev, which generally corresponds to the month of December, the 9th month of Israel’s year’s start usually in April). Joyfully they held an eight-day celebration after the pattern of Tabernacles … remembering how a short time before, they spent the Festival of Tabernacles like beasts… Therefore, holding wreathed wands and branches bearing ripe fruit, and palm fronds, they offered songs of praise to Him Who had victoriously brought about the purification of His Place. By vote of the commonwealth they decreed a rule for the entire nation of the Jews to observe these days annually” (2 Maccabees 10:5-8 Apocrypha))

The same writer states at the opening of 2 Maccabees, “And now we ask you to celebrate the Days of Tabernacles in the Month of Kislev” (2 Maccabees 1:9).

For those believers who say that Yeshua was born during the Feast of Tabernacles, because He “tabernacled” among us, once again we see how God has gone before us:  “There is no wisdom, or understanding, or counsel against YHVH!” (Pr 21:30)

–see Haggai 2, with its several references to the 24th day of the 9th month, Chislev  (Hag 2:10,15,18-22; Lk 2:10-11; 1:46-55 )
The Lord also speaks through Haggai about what He will do from this day and forward:
He will lay the foundation of the temple:  Yeshua is the true Temple (His person and body); He is the Cornerstone, the Stone that the builders rejected. (Hag 2:18; Ps 118:22-23; Eph 2:20-22; Is 28:16; Mt 16:18; 21:42-44; Lk 20:17-18; 1Pt 2:4-8; 1Cor 3:11)
He will blessGlad tidings of great joythis day in the city of David is born Messiah the Lord!  Glory to God in the Highest!  Peace on Earth and good will towards all mankind!; This is the acceptable year of YHVH; Today, is the day of salvation.
He will shake Heaven and Earth:  the heavenly host of angels praise God at the Earth-shaking news that the God of gods, the Lord of lords, the King of kings was entering the world in such a manner to take it back for Himself, overturning the kingdoms of this  world, and the works of the devil! (Gen 3:15; Is 9:6-7; Mt 2:2; Lk 1:30-33,52; 2:9-14; Mic 5:2; Jn 8 – 10; Dan 2:36-45; 7:14; Acts 17:6-7; Rev 12:1-5; Heb 12:25-27 second coming)  It is also noteworthy that the 24th of Chislev was the Jewish date on Dec 8-9, 1917, when the Moslem Turks surrendered Jerusalem to the British forces under the leadership of Gen. Edmund Allenby during WW1, just over a month from the public proclamation on Nov 2 of the Balfour Declaration, and of the ANZAC victory in the Beer Sheva Charge on Oct 31.  These events certainly indicated in these last days that the God of Israel was very much involved in the affairs of men in the fulfilling of His covenant promises regarding the restoration of His chosen people back to the land of covenant promise, putting the Gentile kingdoms of this world on notice that their times were being numbered!
Zerubbabel would be His signet ring:  Zerubbabel appears in both lists of Yeshua’s genealogy (Mt 1; Lk 3), descended from David.

   —Birth and Circumcision on the first and the eighth day of Hanukkah
–10 lunar months / 9 solar months after Purim
–on Friday afternoon:  the second and last Adam, leading into the Sabbath eve, as the first and last day/night of the Feast
         –SabbathGod’s rest and refreshment found in His Son.
— The Shabbat/Sabbath is the 7th day of the week, bringing to completion, fulfillment of the ‘old’, that God can bring in the new.
–in winter; at a time not expected; 24th/25th of ninth Israeli month (Chislev; corresponding to December), coinciding [at times] with 24th/25th of December
–-A [truly] Great Miracle Happened Here!; The Heavens declare the glory of God, and nature speaks!:  a warmer than usual early winter night (?)
–Israel was commanded to celebrate in holidays YHVH their God and His mighty acts for their life and redemption. (Dt 16:1-17)
–Believers in Israel free-willingly celebrated and rejoiced from generation to generation His greatness and mighty acts and works. (Ps 145:4-13; 150:2)
–Surely the Body of Messiah would have even more reason to free-willingly offer to our great God and Savior family and corporate celebrations of His coming to personally bring redemption and salvation by the greatest mighty act in human history (not to diminish the crucifixion and the resurrection)! (Phlp 4:8)
–the Light of, and in, the world; the true Deliverer and Savior; the God of gods was reclaiming all that was rightfully His!

Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and the 40th day of counting the sheaves
   —Death, Burial, Resurrection, and Ascension
nature speaks:  a colder than usual spring night of betrayal and the powers of darkness (Jn 18:18)

–from the 14th day of the 1st of the months (Aviv/Nisan; corresponding to April) to Israel through to near the end of the 2nd lunar month of redemption; begins at a Full Moon

–Passover <Exodus <Coming up from crossing of Red Sea:  Thursday<Friday <Day after the Sabbath–the first day of the new week

–Jubilee:  restored liberty and inheritance:  joy in YHVH

Shavuot/ Pentecost

–in the 3rd Hebrew lunar month of redemption (Sivan; corresponding to June) (on the 50th day of counting the sheaves from the day after the first real Sabbath during the Passover week, counting seven full Sabbaths from that day of Firstfruits/Resurrection; thus always set to occur on the 1st day of the week) Lev 23:15-17

God the Father’s promise of the Holy Spirit

–John the Baptiser born:  filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb

INGATHERING:  The Good Shepherd regathering the lost sheep of the House of Israel and of the other nations
Memorial of Blowing of Trumpets
    –the set time on the 1st day of the 7th lunar month (Etanim/Tishrei; corresponding to October) of redemption; a New Moon
–John’s conception:  herald of Messiah; God is gracious to remember His covenant promises and oaths to Abraham and to David
–John’s “Elijah ministry” preparing for and preceding the Messiah’s revelation to Israel
–“Repent!  Prepare ye the way of YHVH.”:  prophetic righteousness for the remission of sins
           –“Behold!  The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”:  priestly grace
–the first resurrection at the last trumpet, following great tribulation but before God’s wrath poured out

Day of Atonements
    –set for the 10th day of the 7th Hebrew month
propitiary sin offering by (of) Jesus as a Man and High Priest unto the LORD God His Father
–scapegoat offering of Jesus bearing away upon Himself the reproach of our guilt and shame (Lev 16)
    —Jubilee:  [new] year of release proclaimed by Yeshua and secured through His redemptive death and resurrection
–The Day of YHVH
–Jubilee trumpet blown (possibly the ‘last trumpet’)

Feast of Booths (Tabernacles)
–the seventh Feast of the LORD, celebrated from the 15th – 22nd days of the 7th month of redemption
YHVH God with His people — Immanuel — on the basis of the finished work of atonement; Jesus establishing His Kingdom on the Earth after His return in great power and great glory; the Sabbath rest for the people of God
–the fruit harvest
–Jesus’ baptism (at about 30 years of age):  the fullness of God’s satisfaction  in Man, as the dove rested on His Son
–water pouring ceremony at Pool of Siloam
–transfiguration:  glorification — the fullness of God’s presence in Man
–God the Father’s testimony of His Son, through and in Whom are His people:  “This is My Son in Whom I am well pleased (have found delight)”:  Immanuel
–each child of God, and the Body of Christ corporately, is the Temple of God in the Spirit, God’s dwelling place
–Yeshua led into the wilderness by the Spirit in order to be tempted and proved:  40 days in the wilderness/desert correspond to Israel’s  40 years in the wilderness after the redemption and deliverance from Egypt at Passover, which is commemorated during Succot (Feast of Booths):  we remember His death until He comes.  Yeshua succeeds where Adam and Israel failed!  Praise to our only wise God and Savior!

I did a quick count-down and count-up and came to this: Jesus died in 30 AD (which is 40 years before the Temple’s destruction; see corroborating evidence from a hostile third party, the Talmud, an unsympathetic source: http://www.windowview.org/hmny/pgs/talmuds.30ce.html). It is widely accepted that Messiah/Christ was 33 1/2 yrs old at His death. Having begun His 3 1/2 yr public ministry when He was about 30 years old, then He was born on the 24th of Chislev/December, 5 BC, by my reckoning, being necessary that He was born before King Herod died, whose death is historically recorded as being in 4 BC.  The magi from the East could have seen His star up to a couple of years before they actually arrived in Bethlehem, Israel.

YESHUA THE ANOINTED PROPHET, PRIEST, AND KING – July 1996

Dt 17:8 – 18:22   the role of priests, kings, an prophets in Israel

Prophet
Sam 16:23   anointed that he would be the oracle of God to the people; anointed for ministry to all peoples; evangelistic, calling for repentance from sin and turning to YHVH God; spoke God’s word, God’s truth, attesting to YHVH being the living God and being holy, by the Holy Spirit

Priest
Lev 8:12   anointed that he would be holy unto YHVH; anointed for ministry to God’s people; evangelistic, ministering to and in God’s love; representatives of His grace (lovingkindness) through righteousness by means of the substitutionary sacrifices, and intercession in the name of YHVH; earnest

King
1Sam 16:13   anointed that the Spirit of YHVH might rest on him in power; anointed for ministry over God’s people to other peoples; evangelistic, being himself subject to the law of the nation; his authority for rule is the righteousness of God

Ex 19:6   Israel was called into being and chosen to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation to YHVH.  In other words, all Israel is to earnestly desire God’s presence His service, ministering His love and grace and mercy to one another, and on behalf of others, for the Lord’s sake.  The Levites were separated out from the rest of Israel, yet were representatives of all Israel before God.

Yeshua/Jesus, being a Jew, was (is) entitled to inherit the throne, the kingship, being a descendant of David’s royal line; yet Jesus also shows us His priestly heart and character by offering Himself a sacrifice as Israel’s representative to God, in order to satisfy (be a propitiation) God’s righteousness regarding the sins of the people.

Rev 1:6; 5:10; 1Pt 2:9   Christians (Jews and Gentiles) as the people of God – the Church, the Body of Messiah – become in Christ Jesus what Jesus has accomplished for God the Father for us.

The full anointing of God is in (on) Jesus.  The dove, as picturing the Holy Spirit, rested on Yeshua; Yeshua was conceived by the Holy Spirit and already filled, witnessing to His deity as the Son of God, and in Him the fullness of the Godhead dwells. (Col 2:9-10)  As Son over His own house (Heb 3:1,6), He represents all things to God for man, and to man for God (the Father and His family).  We are complete in Him in His anointing, and so partake of the measure He distributes to each believer as He wills, and corporately, as His body, filling up the full measure of Christ!

1.  Prophet:  Elijah and Elisha 
      A.  Yeshua 
      —Dt 18:15; 34:9-12; Acts 3:19-26  a prophet like Moses, from their midst, from their brethren, speaking the Word of YHVH; signs and wonders; face to face with God 
        —Jn 1:21,25  John the Baptiser was asked if he were the Prophet 
        —Jn 4:19,25-29  the Samaritans acknowledged Jesus as a prophet, the Messiah and Savior of the world       
           —Jn 7:40  many in Israel considered Yeshua to be, perhaps, the Prophet 
      —Is 61:1-3; Mt 11:4-6  character and ministry of the Messiah-Prophet 
      —Amos 3:7-8  YHVH does nothing unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets; YHVH has spoken!  Who can not but prophesy?! 
        —Jn 7:46  No man ever spoke as this Man speaks! 
        —Jn 8:25-29; Dt 18:18  Jesus spoke only that which His Father gave Him to speak 
        —Heb 1:1-2; Jn 1:1  God had spoken in diverse ways through the prophets, but now by the Son (the Prophet):  the Word of God made flesh

      B.  The Believer (Christian) 
        —2Pt 1:19  We have the more sure word of prophecy, the prophetic Word (the Bible) 
        —1Cor 12:28; 13:9-10; 14:1; Eph 4:11  gift of prophecy and the appointment of prophets; this gift and office will pass away when that which is perfect comes (the New Heavens and New Earth; there is much already given prophecy yet to be fulfilled between now and the end of the Millennial Kingdom which any believer can speak, for the LORD has spoken)

      C.  Elijah/John the Baptiser 
         —Mal 4:4-6 (Eng); Mt 17:10-13; Rev 11:1-10  herald of 1st and 2nd comings of Messiah Yeshua; also the Church’s ministry to prepare and proclaim the way of YHVH; being reconciled at all social levels, and in relationship to God and man

2.  Priest/High Priest:  Aaron and Melchizedek
     A.  Yeshua and the Priesthood 
         —Heb 7 – 10; Gen 14:18-20; Ps 110:4; Zech 6:12-13; Heb 8:1  Melchizedek royal priesthood; superiority over Aaronic priesthood; everlasting priesthood sealed by an oath; the priest on the throne; King and Priest united in holy righteousness; righteousness and judgment (“the way of YHVH”); fulfilled when Jesus returns, yet even now He is High Priest in Heaven, seated at the right hand of Majesty 
            –Priestly Functions 
             —Dt 33:9-10 (ctr Ezek 22:26)  keeping God’s word and covenant; teaching judgments and law; offering incense (prayers) and intercessory sacrifices 
             —Heb 8:3  offer both gifts and sacrifices (blood sacrifices to promote humility and purity) 
               —Is 53  bore our sicknesses, griefs, transgressions,guilt 
               —Heb 9:28  Jesus offered Himself once for sins for all people 
             —Gen 14:-18-20; Num 6:22-27  to present Messiah (bread and wine) in His death and resurrection, and to bless both God’s servants and also YHVH God Himself 
             —Lev 16; Heb 10:19-22  Aaron’s High Priesthood allowed for entry into God’s presence (in the Holy of Holies), and other Levites were subject to his office and ministry: to serve (help) him and the divine service, and the people’s needs (SERVANT) 
             —Num 16:46-48; Heb 7:25; 8:9; 9:24; Jn 17; Ex 28:30; Dt 17:8  intercession:  merciful prayers to God to withhold judgment; judgment with heart ministry of God’s light and perfection; judgment of hard cases 
             —Lev 10:10; Mt 5 – 7  teaching YHVH God’s Law; Sermon on the Mount 
             —Lev 10:19; 16:6  sympathy with, and compassion for, the people, being himself a sinner 
               —Heb 4:14-16  Yeshua tempted as we are, but without sin, is our sympathetic High Priest 
             —Lev 16  to purify the people for God to dwell in the midst of them 
               —Heb 9:14; Rev 7:13-15; Eph 5:25-27  purifying the Bride in the blood of the Lamb; to be presented spotless 
             —Mal 2:7  covenant keepers; messengers of YHVH of Hosts 
           —Lev 13; Mk 2:10-14  healing, especially for leprosy; the priest was God’s vessel to pronounce the Lord’s mercy and honor in healing the diseased 
             —Lev 24:5-9   to prepare and to eat the shewbread

      B.  Believers and Priesthood 
        —1Pt 2:9; Rev 1:6; 5:10  a nation and kingdom of priests
        —1Pt 2:5  a spiritual house; a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ 
          —Ps 51:19 (Heb); Mt 11:29  broken and contrite heart and spirit 
          —1Tim 2:1-4  all manner of prayers to be offered on behalf of all persons 
          —1Cor 11:23-32; Gen 14:18-20  present Christ in His death and resurrection 
          —1Cor 5:12 – 6:5  judgments within the congregation 
            —Dt 17:8-13; 21:5  to minister (serve), to pronounce blessings, and to decide (judge) in matters of dispute 
            —1Cor 1:1-3  Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 
          —Rom 12:1  offer our bodies a living sacrifice 
          —Heb 13:15-16  sacrifices of praise, giving thanks in His name; doing good and sharing 
          —Col 3:17  Whatever we do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. 
          —Jn 15:13  lay down our lives for our friends:  no greater love than this 
          —Dt 18:5-7; Ps 69:9; Jn 2:17  to stand and minister in the name of the Lord; earnestness is a character trait 
          –Follow Yeshua’s example to help others in their infirmities, and to intercede on their behalf for mercy with respect to sins.  Most gifts of the Holy Spirit equip us for priestly service in building up the House of God. 
          —Lev 24:5-9; Mt 12:4-5; 1Cor 10 – 11  priestly privilege and ‘duty’ to eat the shewbread

The priestly character and portion (YHVH Himself!) of the Israel of God and the Church of God will abide forever (kingdom of priests):  a theocracy with God as King as envisaged even under the Torah, and the people a nation of redeemed humanity loving God and one another, giving glory to God, praising and worshipping Him eternally! (cp Ezek 44:10-31)

3.  King:  David and Solomon 
     A.  Yeshua 
        —Gen 1:28  Adam and Eve together given rulership over God’s creation under God’s sovereignty 
        —Gen 17:15-16  YHVH promised that kings of peoples would come from the seed of Abraham and Sarah 
        —Gen 49:8-10  the sceptre to be with Judah’s descendants 
        —2Sam 7:12-16  everlasting throne promised to son of David (the Davidic Covenant) 
          —2Sam 5:1-5  David as King brings about unity of all Israel 
            —Ezek 37:21-22  one King over a united nation 
        —Dt 17:18-20  the king subject to the Law 
        —Ps 2; 24; 45  the King and Son of God; the King of Glory; the Messiah King and Bridegroom 
          —Num 24:17-19  the star out of Jacob shall have dominion 
          —Mt 2:2  Yeshua born to be King of the Jews 
          —Mt 27:11  Yeshua tried and accused as King of the Jews 
          —Mt 27:37  Yeshua crucified as King of the Jews 
          —Jn 1:49  Nathanel acknowledged that the King of Israel is to be the Son of God 
        —Is 11:1-5  character and qualities of the anointed King Messiah 
        —Is 41;2; Rev 1:5; 17:14,18; 19:16  Jesus is, and will return as, King of kings and Lord of lords 
        —Jer 23:5-6  rule in righteousness and justice; YHVH our Righteousness 
        —1Cor 15:24-28  Even Jesus, the Son of God, will yield up all rule to God the Father at the end of the Millennial Kingdom, when death, the last enemy, is destroyed

        B.  Born-Again Believers 
        —1Cor 4:8; Lk 22:29-30  not yet time for believers to rule 
          —Gal 5:23  self-control; we are to exercise self-rule/governance as evidence of Holy Spirit’s lordship in our lives 
            —Pr 16:32  Better is he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. 
        —1Tim3:1-7  ruling one’s own household a qualifier for ruling in God’s house 
        —Jn 17:9,20  intercessory prayer and spheres of influence 
        —Mk 16:17-18  disciples have authority in Jesus’ name over demons, poisons, sickness 
        —Rev 5:10; 20:4  We will rule with Messiah for 1000 years after His return in great power and glory. 
        —Lk 22:24-30  Priest (servant)/King nature and character:  not to exercise lordship over others; and he would be great, let him be as the younger/least; and he who leads, as one who serves and is servant of all.

The Time of the Lord Yeshua’s Second Coming

(Updated Aug 7, 2014)

Just as the birth, death, and resurrection of the promised and prophesied Messiah and Savior occurred at the appointed time and in the fullness of time, so, too, will be His return as Lord of every man. (Gal 4:4; Eph 1:9-10)

On the human side, we are plainly told by the Lord Jesus that we can not know precisely when the time will be. (Acts 1:7; Mt 24:36; Mk 13:32)

On God’s part, there is a time which He has set, and which no one or any thing can alter or prevent.  He is YHVH, the Lord God of history, and of its times and seasons. (Mk 13:32; Rev 9:15)  

At the same time, the Lord Himself does give us, as does the Holy Spirit through the apostles, signs of the end, or signs of the time which will prepare those who are His to be watching, working, praying:  birth pangs (labor pains) indicate nearness, and are more frequent and more intense and increasingly difficult to bear:  Mt 24; Mk 13; Lk 21; 1Thes 2; 1Thes 5:4-5  A growing expectation of Christ/Messiah to come will see the appearance of many false messiahs and prophets, just as at His first coming. (Mt 24:21-18)
That day should not overtake believers as a thief in the night, for we are sons of light and of the day.

The Lord Yeshua also used parables towards preparing us, and the Holy Spirit gives life to His words, especially in their season:  the fig tree blossoming (Mt 24:32; Mk 13:28; Lk 21:29)
He also states the necessary response of His people, which will correspond with His own sovereign grace which brings forth such a response:
–Israel:  Mt 23:39  Blessed is He who comes in the Name of Yehovah!  Blessed is Jesus/Yeshua!
–Church:  Rev 22:20  Come, Lord Jesus!

His timing includes the salvation from among all peoples and nations:
Rom 11:25-26  all Israel to be saved when the fullness of Gentiles are brought in to the Messianic olive tree

The question is always asked, “Why isn’t there peace if the Messiah has already come?”  The Tenach (Old Testament) is clear that there would not be peace at/during this time:  Ps 2:2,9; 110:1; Dan 9:26   In the New Testament, Yeshua confirms the Word of God about this present lack of peace:  Mt 10:34

The prophet Daniel writes of 70 weeks (7’s) which YHVH has determined for Israel in order to bring to fulfillment His purposes, which are clearly stated. (9:24-27)  We have already considered in our previous study (http://streamsinthenegev.com/school-of-fish/eclectic-course-menu/time-of-messiah-yeshuas-first-coming/) 7 plus 62 of these “weeks” of years = 483 years, which brought us to Yeshua’s crucifixion (His “cutting off”) after the 62 weeks (not 69 uninterrupted weeks!).  When is the 70th week, and is this gap between the 69th week and the 70th biblically prophetic?  Think of examples of sports clocks, penalty box, work week:  real time vs playing or working time.  “Time-out” is the present situation for Israel.
Lev 23:9-24   The indeterminate specific starting date (not the day) between Passover/Unleavened Bread and the beginning for counting the sheaves; the prescribed days and weeks from First-Fruits (resurrection life/day after the Sabbath) up to Shavuot/Pentecost in the third month, and, consequently, the indeterminate yet seasonal length of time till the first day of the seventh month.  Provision also made for the poor and stranger to benefit from the harvest (i.e., spiritually poor Israelis and also Gentiles in the prophetic application).
Lk 21:24   Jerusalem to be trampled underfoot by Gentiles until the time of Gentiles fulfilled
Eph 1:9-10   mystery of fullness of dispensation of times
Rom 2:4; 2Pt 3:9   goodness and long-suffering of God lead to repentance unto life; that is, the time is not ‘fixed’ from a merely human standpoint:  in setting the appointed time, God has built in an indeterminate flexibility, so that for us, the Lord’s return may seem either too soon, or else later than we want!

The 70th “week of Daniel” apparently begins with the confirming of a specific covenant by the antichrist with the nation of Israel.  During this week of 7 years – midway, 3 1/2 yrs, 1260 days, ‘time, times, and a half’ (Dan 9:27; 7:25; 12:1,7; Rev 12:6,14) – the covenant is broken by the antichrist, and the abomination which brings desolation takes place.
Dan 9:27, 11:31; 12:1,11-12   –70
th
week and the abomination in the middle of it; great tribulation
Mt 24:15-16,21-22,29-31   Jesus, the Son of Man, coming on clouds of Heaven with power and great glory; after great tribulation

“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly!’  Amen.  Even so, come, Lord Jesus!  The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you all.” (Rev 22:20-21

Time of Messiah Yeshua’s First Coming

(Updated Aug 7, 2014)

The New Testament writers understood the Scriptures through their faith in the glorified and exalted Yeshua – who died and rose again and ascended into Heaven to the right hand of the Father – by the Holy Spirit who was their – and is our – Teacher.

Our reliance is on the record of the Bible.  Other books and teachings are useful and helpful to the extent that they enlighten God’s Word to us and direct us to see for ourselves the sufficiency of the Biblical record.

It is vital to apprehend the truth that all of the prophecies regarding the coming Messiah converged upon and in the person of Yeshua of Nazareth at that time in human history when He came into the world, and during the course of His life, ministry, death and resurrection.  NO OTHER PERSON (OR ANY OTHER THING OR ENTITY) MEETS, NOR CAN MEET, ALL OF THE PROPHETIC QUALIFICATIONS PERTAINING TO THE MESSIAH, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD, THE KING OF ISRAEL AND OF THE JEWS!  YEHOVAH God is the Lord of history:  He determines and sets the appointed times and seasons for the carrying out of His sovereign will.

Gal 4:4   In the fullness of time God sent His Son.  (The precise dates of His birth, death, and coming again are not completely clear, partly because of calendar discrepancies.)
Lk 12:54-56   Jesus called the people hypocrites for their ability to discern the signs for the weather, but not the signs of the time.
Lk 19:44; Dan 9:24-27   Jesus wept over Jerusalem for its impending destruction because she did not know the time of her visitation.
Acts 2:36   The apostle Peter preached that the whole House of Israel should know that God has made Yeshua/Jesus, whom we crucified, both Lord and Messiah.

EXPECTANCY around the time of His birth
Mt 2:1-8  Wise men from the East; chief priests and scribes of the Jews; Herod the king:  all were aware that the Messiah was due

Lk 2:25   Simeon was waiting for the consolation of Israel through the birth of Yeshua and the salvation of the Lord.
Lk 2:36   Anna was looking, along with others, for the redemption in Jerusalem.
Acts 5:34-42   references to false messiahs/christs during that period
Lk 1 – 2   the angel Gabriel’s announcements to Elizabeth and Zechariah, to Mary and Joseph; and the angel of the Lord telling the shepherds in the fields around Bethlehem
Lk 1:26 – 2:40 (Is 7:14; 9:6)   A young virgin did give birth – a sign to the House of David – and was spoken against (both Mary and Jesus), and was called by divine names.

EXPECTANCY during Yeshua’s ministry
Lk 3:15; Jn 1:19-27   The question arose as to whether John was the Messiah, and, if not, then why was he baptizing?
Jn 1:35-51   Andrew and Nathanel, when chosen by Jesus to be His disciples, recognized in Him the One of whom Moses and the Prophets wrote – the Son of God and King of Israel.
Jn 4:25   The Samaritan woman knew that Messiah should come.
Lk 7:19-22 (Is 35:5-6; 61:1)   John the Baptiser wanted to make sure if Yeshua really was the Messiah as he had been given to think, or was there someone else?  Jesus answered the inquiry by demonstrating the power of His anointing to do the signs and miracles and works of YHVH’s Anointed One.
Lk 22:67; Jn 10:22-24   The elders and the chief priests and the scribes asked Jesus to tell them if, in fact, He was the Messiah. 

EXPECTANCY surrounding His death
Lk 23:34-43   mocking, but also saving faith

PROPHESIED BY GOD to entire human race through both Jewish and Gentile voices, and also by angelic voices:  Moses, Balaam, Jacob (Israel), Daniel, magi
Gen 1:1-5; Jn 8:22   The Light of the world is Christ:  pre-existing, not created
Gen 1:14-18; Jn 9:45   The sun was made and appeared on the 4
th day of creation; Jesus the Son (Sun of Righteousness) came into the world in 4th
1000-year day.
Mt 2:1-11   The star of the child born to be King of the Jews was observed and recognized
Gen 49:8-12   the sceptre and law-giver with Judah until Shiloh comes
Num 24:15-19   Star out of Jacob; out of Jacob one shall have dominion
Dan 9:24-27   The  death of Messiah was to be before the destruction of the second Temple, which occurred in 70AD
–70 7’s:  days (Sabbaths); weeks (7 days each); years (Sabbatic and Jubilee)  [NoteGen 29:27-30 Jacob served Laban a “week” = 7 years]
–*7 + 62 weeks = 69 weeks = 483 years “counted” from the time of “the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem” until His being “cut off”/death

     *Different assumptions of chronology and dating cause discrepancies in determining the dates.  It is clear from Scripture that the first of the seven weeks began with the decree of Cyrus, King of Persia, followed by a break of about 13 years before the decree was re-affirmed by Darius, and building of the Temple re-started, and of the city. (see Is 44:28 and Hag 1; 2:18; Ezra 6:1-4; Neh 2:1-8)  With the break in the building project, the actual time from the initial decree by Cyrus would be closer to 500 years.

2Chr 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-4; 4:12; Hag 1:4   Cyrus gave the decree, which He claimed was from YHVH.  He proclaimed a Jubilee, and the end of the first of the 7 “weeks”/49 years marked the beginning of the next Jubilee.   

Is 44:28; 45:1-13   Prophecies about Cyrus, the LORD’s anointed, before he was born!  Cyrus would make the decree for the building of Jerusalem and for laying the foundation of the Temple, and proclaim liberty for the captivity of Israel.    

Ezra 6:1-14; Neh 2:1-8; Haggai   a halt in the work, but Cyrus’ decree was confirmed by Artaxerxes
–The first 7 sevens, or 49 years, coincides with Nehemiah’s work to restore Jerusalem and the Temple service.  There was a notable spiritual revival, which saw the cleansing of the Temple and the restoration of the Temple order and service. (Neh 7:1; 12:44; 13:9)  After a ‘time-out’ of about 13 years, the ‘clock’ begins again for 62 more weeks.  So the time of Yeshua’s final week and ‘cutting off’ (death) is after the 62 weeks, and not 69 uninterrupted weeks!

–7 x 7 = 49 years

    7 x 62 = 434 years (400 yrs before birth of Jesus + His death in His 34th year of human life)
7 x 69 = 483 years + ~13 years of interrupted building of the Temple

–The 70th “week of Daniel” is sometime after the death of Messiah, and also after the destruction of the second Temple and also of Jerusalem, and is ‘clocked’ from the confirming of a covenant by the antichrist with Israel back in the Land in the last days at the time of the end.

REPENTANCE LEADS TO CONVERSION: LIFE-CHANGING/CHARACTER-CHANGING

(Eve of formal appointment as Elder)

Does anyone here tonight want to be changed from what you are and the way you now are – even as a believer – because of hearing the Word of God to you?

Is anyone here tonight a changed/different (hopefully better!) person since believing in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior than what you were before believing the gospel of God?

These two questions – with their positive answers – give a basis for continual hope and growth in the life of any person and Christian – old or young, male or female, wise or simple, Jew or Gentile, . . . .

Ps 19:8 (7 Eng)   The Law of YHVH is perfect, converting/returning/restoring the soul.
Acts 3:19   Repent ye, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out when the times of 
refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
Rev 3:19-22   Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous, therefore, and repent!

God as Creator, Judge, Lawgiver, Savior:  It is the commandment of YHVH God throughout the whole of the Bible that all persons everywhere should repent (turn back) from evil and to do good, to repent and believe the good news of God that His Son Yeshua the Messiah is the Savior from sin and uncleanness and evil.  It is the promise of God that all who do so will be changed and walk in newness of life by the grace and power of God the Holy Spirit.  In the goodness and longsuffering of God towards us, He brings us to act with our own will to return (turn back; repent) to Him (Hos 12:7 [6 Eng]; Mt 3:2-3), and in continuing to walk in His way, He works with us to sanctify us, changing us into the likeness of His Son, who is the exact image of the invisible God.

In other words, true repentance leads to genuine Godliness.  We are converted!  True repentance is directed unto God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 20:21)  It includes a sorrow and a regret over our own sin first, and, afterwards, over the sins of our family or of our people. (Gen 6:7; 2Cor 7:10)  The Holy Spirit will bring us to see that sin of whatsoever kind is first of all against God Himself (Ps 51:5 [4 Eng]), and that in His love for us He sent Yeshua to die on the cross for our atonement and reconciliation (1Jn 4:9-10)There is brokenness of heart and contrition of spirit; then we are comforted by the Spirit of God. (Zec 12:10)  As we continue in faith that, in Messiah, God completely forgives us and justifies us and accepts into fellowship with Himself, we are free to love Him and to obey Him – even to confess our sins – with all our heart and soul.  We will become different persons(1Sam 10:6)our attitudes towards life and people will change; our motives will switch from self-interest and –honor to God’s interests and honor.

If the heart and the will are sincere, then there will be fruits of repentance (Mt 3:8): –conviction of our own sinfulness, and hence humility before God and man –the fear of YHVH, recognizing that it is God who forgives and who has power and authority to both kill our bodies and to cast our souls into hell (Mt 10:28) –repentance from dead works, i.e., works apart from faith in, and fear of, God (Acts 26:30; Heb 6:1; 1Thes 1:9) –a heart, and passionate love, for Jesus, and for all who do the will of God His Father (SS 1:2-4; Mt 10:37-38; 12:50)

For us living in Israel among Jews and Moslems, it is a reproach to be considered as converting to another religion —  meaning to believe in the Lord Jesus and be baptized in His Name.  They want us to feel guilty or ashamed for changing our faith and religion.  But, brothers and sisters, anyone who has previously not personally believed that Yeshua/Jesus is the Messiah/Christ and the Son of the Living God the Father has changed his faith and, necessarily, his religion, too – that is, his way and conduct of life now based upon his/her personal faith in Jesus and His finished work on the cross for our redemption and salvation!  We have turned back to the one true God in His way, and not to simply another faith or religion of this world.

It is also true that God loves us and accepts us as we are when we come to Him in faith, and trust in His mercy towards us; yet He continually calls us to repentance and to change our ways of thinking and doing, even when we think our intentions have been good. (Rev 2:3; Is 55:7-9; Mt 7:21)  Ought not each husband and wife, father and mother want to let God, by His word and Spirit, work with us through living faith to make us more like His own pattern to us in these tremendous positions of responsibility and privilege? (1Jn 3:2)  Ought not children want to know God the Father in such a way that they would want to truly and righteously honor their fathers and mothers, and all others in authority over them in the Lord?  Ought not every believer want to become worshippers of God in Spirit and truth, freed from all forms of idolatry and offenses?  Ought not our own congregation – which properly belongs to Yeshua – repent in all areas not in accord with the Spirit and the Word and the blood, that together we can indeed both give and leave a testimony of the Presence of God in our midst, and of much good fruit unto Him in His name?

Let’s consider briefly together several changes both required of us and also promised to us by the Lord, and which are impossible for man to do naturally or by his own efforts only, but which, in cooperation with God, are possible and worthy of our attention:
Jn 3:3  We all must be born again by the Holy Spirit form Heaven!

Mt 18:3-4; 11:25-30  We all must humble ourselves and become like a child  – “a lamb of the first year” —  
in order to hear and receive from God, and also to know Him.
Mt 5:3-12; Gal 5:22-23; Rom 8:29; 2Cor 3:18; 1Jn 3:2  the character and the fruit of God formed in us, and being expressed outwardly: 
from glory to glory Ezek 36:26  God gives us a new heart and a new Spirit.
Lev 16:16,30; Is 1:18; Ezek 36:25; Jn 3:11  God makes us clean from all our defilement from sin and sins, and baptizes us in holiness and purifying fire
.
2Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15; Col 3:9-10  We become a new creation in Messiah, who makes all things new, and must put off the old man and put on the new man created in the image of God
.
Mt 7:17; 12:33  We must become a good tree which will produce good fruit
.
2Cor 11:2; Lev 21:13  We must become a chaste virgin
to marry our great High Priest and King of Glory.
Gal 2:20  Not I, but Christ lives in me
!
Mt 13:11-17; Ps 32:2-6a (Heb)  Jesus will heal
us – physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually.
–He forgives.
–He does not condemn.
–The love of God draws out our loving obedience and trust.

Let each of us individually, and all of us together, allow God to be glorified in Himself through us His people and children.  May the Holy Spirit help us to know that repentance is a good thing – not bitter for long – and that we would learn to rejoice in repentance, for it transforms us and sanctifies us, bringing us closer to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, and to one another:  joy is fulfilled!  Amen.

BETROTHED TO YESHUA – 2 Mar 1991

2Cor 11:2   Engaged to the Lord
2Pt 1:4       Promises of God to escape worldly corruption and to partake of divine nature
Gen 24:50-58   Rebecca’s betrothal (engagement) to Isaac

When any person – whether Jew or Gentile – is born-again through repentance and faith in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, he enters into a new, covenantal relationship with God as Father, who gives him/her the Holy Spirit, and the believer knows that he is joined to the Lord.

God gives us His great and precious promises not only to realize them in the world to come, but also to affect our lives here today:  that we would set them before us and allow the living hope of them to work in us to transform and cleanse our souls and our lives.  These promises are not for any particular individual alone, but rather to all members of the Church, the Body of Christ.

One of these wonderful promises God gives to those in Messiah is to become His Bride!  We become engaged to the Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God, when we believe on Him as Savior and Lord.  This is a profound mystery:  the union of Messiah and the Church (all Christians collectively), of which Adam and Eve – the first man and wife (woman) – are a type.

I am convinced that one reason in God’s wisdom for leaving us in this world after we have believed the gospel and been saved is in order that our love for our Man, the Lord Jesus, becomes ‘hot’, so that on the wedding day we are truly prepared to be His holy bride and wife.  The Holy Spirit works in our lives that we would love Him whole-heartedly – He who is love and who is perfect.

Let’s consider briefly some pre-marital counseling.  (This same counsel will help also in our present relationships of husband and wife.):

As I already said, the Holy Spirit works with us so that we will be a suitable helpmate for our husband-to-be, the King, the Lord Jesus; in other words, He teaches us to be a good wife and worthy Queen!  Before our conversion, we did not appreciate nor love Jesus – nor, for that matter, God and His people.  Even afterwards, we may think and say and do things which indicate still a lack of proper honor or love towards Him.  But the Spirit works to increase our knowledge of Him so that we will be willing – no, yearning – to be with Him!  We must, therefore. . .

spend time together with Him who would be our husband during the period of engagement.
   –by reading the Scriptures, which all speak of Him and of His Kingdom, and by meditating on His word
   –through prayer, being in communion (fellowship) and communication with God for the glory of His Son Jesus
   —fellowship with others who know Him and love Him – with other family members and friends – this Man who takes common sinners and brings us into His royal house (Ps 45)

growing in personal knowledge of one another’s character traitsWe learn more of what God is like as we walk with Jesus, and we learn more about ourselves.  We learn what He likes and what He does not.  By taking hold of this great promise, we allow ourselves to become more and more the ‘woman’ He wants – even though He took us ‘as we were’.  The Man and His woman identify more with one another and become more compatible.  He has eyes for you only, and His bride has eyes and heart only for Him.

–the third aspect is that we recognize that there are mutual responsibilities in becoming the wife of the King of Glory.  He is the Head of the house, yet He gives us to manage many of His affairs – in accord with His will and pleasure (Pr 31).  He has so loved us and gives us so much about which to feel good and secure that we want to do only what pleases Him and what becomes Him (is worthy of Him).  It is in Him, my Husband, that I find my true and whole identity:  my whole self (1Cor 11:3).

God has created male and female together in His image and after His likeness, and it is in the marriage relationship – of the woman being [re]-joined to the man – that we become one flesh, and, in Christ, one spirit also.

When we agree to receive Christ as He is presented in the gospel, there are three results from these three aspects (spending time together; personal knowledge of one another; mutual responsibilities) of building and developing our personal relationship in preparation for a happy and enduring marriage:

  1. We must send away all other lovers who have any claims on us.  Our husband will have no other competitors or partners.  He is jealous for His holy name and for His bride.  The names of the “baalim” must be taken out of Israel’s mouth and then YHVH marries her (Hos 2:16-20 Eng; 18-22Heb).

Some will love father or mother or sons or daughters more than they will love their spouse; some love their work or their       ministry more than they love their spouse; some love their books or their sport or their food and drink more; some love themselves more than they love their spouse.  Yeshua loves His bride as He loves Himself.

The Holy Spirit works to bring us to where the first and great commandment will be true in us:  to love the Lord our God with  all our heart, soul, mind, and strength – and to where our heart’s desire is that our Lord, our Husband, should come for us quickly.

2.  We must like His law as well as His love.  Messiah will not be Husband where He will not also be Master or Lord.  We are to be as daughters of Sarah and know our husband as having authority over us in the Lord.  He (Jesus) is the perfect one, and as we give Him His place to rule over us, then our desire grows for Him, even as YHVH God spoke to Eve concerning her relationship with her    husband Adam.

3.  We must take our Christ/our husband for better and for worse – with His cross      and with His crown to suffer for Him as well as to reign with Him – to identify with Him in His shame as well as in His glory.

To summarize:  there are three aspects to building a marital relationship:
1.  shared time together
2.  personal knowledge of one another’s character traits
3.  mutual responsibilities.

From these will be three results to assure a good marriage and household peace:

      1.  We will allow no one and no thing to interfere with or separate us from or trouble us in our love and faithfulness towards our  spouse;
2.  We will accept his authority as well as His love;
3.  We accept and stand with him in good times and in bad, in prosperity and in hardship.

What response do we find in our own souls towards Messiah Yeshua when we hear of Him from God’s servants?  Is it ‘hot’ enough that we will do whatever He asks or requires of us?  Would we rather die for Him than live without Him?  Are we exhorting and encouraging one another in His claims upon us and and upon our lives?  Are we telling others of the glad tidings – of our Savior and Beloved Jesus who desires us with His whole heart?!

What is your reply to the telling of God’s Word concerning Christ by Hi servants to the question put to Rebecca, when she was asked concerning taking Isaac for a husband?:

Will you go with this man?” (Gen 24:58)

Blessed is the soul who believes the promise of God to take Messiah’s hand in marriage! (Ps 33:12):
   “Blessed is the nation whose God is YHVH, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance!”

SOVEREIGNTY AND WISDOM OF GOD – 8 Apr 1989

It is joy to speak of Him who is perfect and harmless, and also of His Kingdom.  It is amazing, given the state of the world, the rampant unbelief in any particular god (or belief in every kind of god), and the widespread rejection, in truth, of the LORD God and His Anointed, that most people, when asked, think that God is too good to send people to hell at all, not to mention forever!  So we heard last week from Olavi.  This only confirms the Scripture that says even God’s enemies will praise Him.  What sovereign wisdom He has o accomplish this!

As a Jew growing up, my own concept of God – if there were One – was that there was only one, and that He was (is) all-knowing, all-powerful, all-wise, and that He had to be good.  After coming to faith in the truth of Jesus Christ, I only began to see the truth and wonderfulness of these vague and abstract concepts, and also in learning repentance to see the wisdom of sin being sin – not only that God declares it sin or sinful, but also His wisdom as to why it is necessarily so.

We (speaking of my wife Randi and myself) have been astounded in our relatively brief Christian lives (which, until you enter into the Kingdom of God, one doesn’t even notice) at the number and variety of those who profess faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, yet say and do things completely contrary to the teachings of Scripture concerning such faith.  We have met professing believers who say that they hate God, who place their circumstances outside the instruction and wisdom of Scripture, who question everything which the Bible teaches or which the Lord does, presuming themselves in His place and doing – can you hear the serpent? – things differently or better!  The antichrist spirit in the old nature is present in every fallen man, and except for God’s mercy and grace towards us who are redeemed in Christ, we would remain His adversaries.

Apart from knowing in both our minds and hearts that Jesus is not only the Savior, but that He is also the Son of God, THE Messiah or Christ (which is to say The Anointed Prophet, High Priest, and King, whom God the Father has appointed, that He is the LORD and Lord of lords, etc., then our commitment and devotion to Him will certainly be less than single-eyed.  God has called each one of us to be His witnesses of the risen Savior and Lord, who was crucified on account of our sin, and who is waiting to come back.  We proclaim this, in fact, every time we partake of the Lord’s Supper.  His word abides forever and all the promises of God – from both the Old and New Covenants – are “yea” and “amen” in Christ Jesus.  We are each charged by God to be ambassadors not of Israel or of the United States or of Rumania or even of any particular church affiliation, but rather to be ambassadors of Christ and of His Kingdom, which is both heavenly and earthly, and which is both present and future.

How can we be effective and faithful ambassadors and missionaries when so apparently uncertain about God’s sovereignty and wisdom in each and every matter of what we call life and living – whatever the pursuit or vocation or culture, and in the reconciliation God has made Jesus Christ to be in His death and resurrection between persons who are otherwise unlike or inconsistent?  Brothers, sisters, friends, we have a God who is worthy of the name!

I want us to consider several passages of the Bible concerning God’s sovereignty and wisdom in four particulars, and to briefly elaborate on them:

Prov. 3:19-20 – Creation and Nature
There is order, stability, harmony of nature when God gives even relative peace; but confusion, unpredictability, disruption as man destroys his environs and as God intervenes with advancing judgments.

God is the true ecologist:  no waste, all things purposeful, each in its place and time.

What a wonderful thing to anticipate that day when the sons of God will be revealed and when Israel will receive her King, the Lord Jesus Christ, for then the curse upon creation since the entry of sin will be removed, and we shall see this present earth respond to the presence of her Maker!  All that is called ‘nature’ – plants, animals, inanimate things, people, seasons, the land and waters – will, shall we say, break forth in praise!  How amazing and powerful and delicate we find creation now.  What truths are spoken – some expressly, others concealed – in Scripture about God’s handiworks; how scientists continue to find only more marvelous discoveries of the eternal power and Godhead.  The Godhead speaks of the triune God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; therefore how much God has communicated concerning Himself through His creation!  It is tragic that we have allowed what is called ‘science’ to separate true knowledge from the God of all truth.  No wonder the educational system has reached the low level of today, or that our children suffer so much from being obliged to pursue the things of this world – a world and an age (generation) which reject the Father and the Son and the Spirit of Holiness.

In Messiah Jesus and the New Covenant we are a new creation, and indeed look forward to the new heavens and new earth, the Kingdom of the Father, where God will be all and in all.  It is good to give thanks unto the LORD, the Creator and Redeemer, and for all the works of His Hands and of His Spirit – the God of resurrection.

Rom. 11:25-36 – Israel’s Salvation
The re-establishment of Israel is a sign of God’s faithfulness to His Word, as well as of soon-coming judgement and the return of the Lord.  What is occurring today in Israel is also in accord with the Scriptures, and a furthering of prophetic history leading to these events and the end of the age, when satan, man, and the world will have had their day ended, and the everlasting Kingdom of God will begin.

Historians, politicians, diplomats, academics are unable to understand Israel or the Jews (or the Arabs and Palestinians either) when it comes to grappling not only with the current situation but also historically.  This is to be expected by us whose minds have been renewed, since we are taught that the natural mind can not nor will not subject itself to the law of God and His sovereign authority and wisdom.

Paul the apostle, at the close of his teaching concerning the Jews and Israel in this portion of his letter to the Roman believers, breaks out into a burst of praise and adoration at the wisdom and knowledge of God—not only that God will use Israel for the benefit of the gospel amongst Gentiles, and in due time (even now) return His attention to the Jewish people, but also for the manner in which He is going to bring it about.  Again I say, we are to be ambassadors of Christ and of the New Covenant.  The love and righteousness of God will not permit us to take a simplistic position when God desires that all should repent and believe and so be saved.  He tells Israel that is not for their righteousness – in fact Israel is unrighteous – but rather for His holy Name’s sake that He will fulfill His covenant promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  He says to the Palestinian, “Esau I have hated.”  The Word of the Lord has been spoken concerning each people, and He will fulfill it at the coming of Jesus in great power and glory.

This brings us to the Assembly (Church)—Eph. 3: 3-12.
God’s wisdom in dealing with earthly and national issues is beyond our capacity to comprehend, and this humbles us.  Yet the spiritual realm is even further beyond our capacity to lay hold of.  And that God can reconcile each as well as maintain their distinctions, who can not just fall down and worship Him and the Lamb!?

God’s eternal purpose through Christ Jesus our Lord is the Church, where He takes out from each nation an elect people and priesthood, and making them one body.  It is a high calling, and higher than Israel as Israel is seeking after.  It is the Church where we who are in Messiah have our position and responsibility and into which, through the preaching of the gospel, we seek to both bring in others through saving faith and baptism, and to build up one another in love.  While we maybe either Jew or Gentile, or male or female as God has sovereignly and naturally made us, yet the Assembly itself – which is both the Body of

Messiah and the Bride of the Lamb (combining both male and female aspects) – is neither Jewish nor Greek but rather a new and spiritual man, which we are commanded to put on, having taken off the old which is but natural and carnal.  Our relationship and unity are based upon who and what we are in Messiah, not on what or who we were before.

How could anyone think of anything more wise or wonderful?!  For gentiles are brought near to God in the Church and enter into New Covenant promises, which are better than those of the former covenant, which is passing away.  And Jews in Messiah are carried beyond O.T. promises to the remnant nation of Israel and also inherit New Covenant hopes and blessings – even now through the Spirit by faith.

1 Cor. 1: 17-25 – the Gospel
A brief illustration to show the simple purity of the wisdom of God which is to the world foolishness, but to us the power of God, that while the world continues to do what seems right in its own eyes, but whose ways lead to death, we continue to preach the good news of the crucified Son of God/ Son of Man, whom death could not hold and who therefore rose in power from among the dead, and whose Name is exalted above every name – both now and forever – in the heavens, on the earth, or in Sheol and Hell!:

The other day in Jerusalem we were in the Old City, and most of the Arab shops were closed on strike.  A few stood outside their closed doors and invited likely tourists inside and closed the door behind them.  This happened to us, and while I remained outside with Evan, I asked the assistant who stayed at the door about the strike and for how long he thought it would continue.  Then I asked if he was Muslim or Christian, and he answered Muslim.  I said that I was a Jew.  After a moment’s hesitation (I think due to surprise), he said “very nice to meet you”, and we shook hands.  Then I said that I am also a Christian.  He expressed the usual wonder and confusion as to how I could be both.  I said that I was born a Jew just as he was born an Arab.  But when I realized that Jesus is the Messiah after growing up being taught that He isn’t, then I became a Christian by faith.  I explained that Jesus is the One God sent for peace and that when He returns, then there will come peace here.  Then he asked if I didn’t believe in the current negotiations.  I said, “As a human being, I appreciate the need to consider each side.  But God has shown that Jesus is His Way to true peace, that anything else that may come out of these current negotiations will be temporary at most, a false peace, and will only bring judgment because God has given His covenant.”  The man responded that Muslims have another way.  I told him that Jesus is the Son, and no one greater is coming after Him.  God gave the Land of Israel (Canaan) to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and to their descendants, but only when they accept Jesus will this be fulfilled.  To Ishmael and to Esau, the LORD gave a lot of other land, again to be fully realized only when they come to terms with the Lord.  But in the New Covenant through Jesus Christ, God has given me more than a piece of land, and to him, this Muslim Arab, God also offers much more than a small piece of this land – and forever.  I said that Yassir Arafat is not going to give his life for him, and Itzhak Shamir is not going to die for me, but that Jesus Christ has died for both him and me, and is risen from the dead, offering us eternal life through the forgiveness of sins.  God does not take a sword and hold it over someone’s head and say, “Believe or die!”  This is neither free will nor love.  When the time came to go, I told him to consider these things.

The sovereign and wise God has made peace through the blood of the everlasting covenant, the blood of the Son of God, even of God Himself.  This is true for the nation of Israel as it is for each one of us individually who has received that peace which is not as the world gives, but is that peace with God and of God which surpasses all understanding.

God is working to remove every doubt concerning Himself which allows sin to separate us from Him and from our fellow man.  This will end for us in Christ at the first resurrection and following the judgments of our works as believers.  He will continue this more fully with those who, in His mercy, enter the millenial kingdom on earth, in preparation for the new heavens and new earth where righteousness dwells.

Who has believed our report?  Remarkably few, when looked at in its totality however many uncountable multitudes there will be, praise the LORD!  Yet for that one pearl of great price, our Lord Jesus Christ became poor and bought us with a price, and has enriched us immeasurably.  He has become wisdom and the Sovereign Lord to us.