INTIFADA – 13 Feb 2011

As the events in the Middle East take on some historic proportions, I am reminded of the beginning of the first Palestinian intifada (uprising) which began in 1987 here in Israel.  It brought such an earthquake of change in the whole perception of the conflict here, and its consequences world-wide, that I had to seek the Lord for His answer in the Scriptures.  And the Holy Spirit led me to Gen. 27:40b specifically, but within the whole context of the conflict of the “two nations” born to Isaac and to Rebecca.  When I perceived the significance of the prophetic word here spoken by Isaac to Esau, it was both exciting and fearful.  I asked an Arab brother what this verse means in Arabic, and particularly the Hebrew word tarid (which is the same root word for rebel and for dictator), translated as “become restless” (NKJV; NASB), or “shall have the dominion” (KJV) in English.  He looked in his Bible, and told me “intifada“! 

The time had come for these events spoken of nearly 4000 years ago to openly and aggressively begin to come to pass in our generation!  Those who think or feel or believe that they are unjustly or unnecessarily under the yoke of another ‘family’ member, of another religious moral code, of a political form of government — the time will come when they will do all in their power to shake and throw off the ones holding the reins of control, the reigns of power.  We have seen it in the two Palestinian uprisings; we see it in Islam seeking to overthrow Jewish-Christian-Western supremacy over their people and cultures; we see it in lawless agitators stirring up the multitude to overthrow normative rules of law and order, especially in those countries where the few elite have abused those rules to subvert whole nations under their military, political, or religious dictatorships; we see it in the overthrow of all moral restraint with respect to normative marriage and families, the feminist movement, the homosexual agenda to make that which is sinful and unnatural to be accepted as equal with God-blessed and natural.

Intifada is something that we as believers need to be concerned about within ourselves.  Are we continuing in rightful and whole-hearted submission to the Lord Jesus and to His word, or are we casting off restraint to do what seems right in our own eyes, or to what ‘feels good’, to what satisfies the fleshly or soulish pleasures, the lust of the flesh? (Tit 3:1-8)  There are those who express themselves publicly as having “No Fear”:  when we cease to fear God, we cast off restraint, not keeping the law!  This is the very word written in Proverbs:  “Without a vision, the people become unruly; but happy is he who keeps the Law.” (see also Lk 12:42-46; Ex 32:23-25)

The Scriptures are clear that in the last days, lawlessness will increase.  Intifada does not stop at overthrow of those keeping unbounded liberty in check; it takes on a violence which takes away any sense of peace and security, and produces fearfulness and anxiety,  and a vexation of righteous souls. (Gen 19:4-9)

Ps 2:2-3   The kings of the Earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against YHVH and His Anointed One (His Messiah/Christ):  ‘Let us break their bonds in pieces, and cast away their cords from us!’

2Thes 2:6-12   And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.  For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only that which now restrains will do so until it is taken out of the way.  And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.  The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all  may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness

2Tim 3:1-5, 12-15   But know this, that in the last days perilous times will comeFor men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.  And from such people turn away!  . . . Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Messiah Yeshua will suffer persecution.  But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.  But you (we) must continue in the things which you (we) have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you (we) have learned, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you (us) wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Cancer is a fearful and dreaded scourge in our generation, and begins hidden within the body before it erupts in a destructive and lethal manner if it has not been diagnosed and subjugated in time.  T. Austin Sparks has written with great insight, “What is cancer?  Well, I cannot answer all the research on that matter , but I can tell you what is known:  that cancer exists because of the loss of one central governing and regulating authority.  It is something that has broken away from authority and ignores controlling and regulating authority in the organism, and becomes an authority in itself, becomes some thing that is something in itself, and has absolutely refused that central authority regulating and governing within the organism.  It has taken things into its own hands.  It is cancer, the great scourge!” (taken from “The Second Man…The Last Adam”)

These are the end times of the last days.  Even our bodies are fomenting an intifada, the deadly revolt of sin overthrowing what God has fearfully and wonderfully made.

When will true believers in the Anointed One of YHVH God begin to earnestly seek the only one who is a truly benign Dictator; (Ps 2:8-9; Rev 2:25-29)  the only one who is truly a King whose throne is established by righteousness and justice (judgment); (Ps 45:6-7; Heb 1:8-9)  the only one who is truly a good Shepherd to His countrymen (Ezek 34:20-31; Jn 10:7-16), and a good Father to His people? (2Cor 6:14 – 7:1); the only one whose yoke is easy and His burden light; the only one who heals all of our diseases and sinfulness; the only one who is holy, holy, holy?!  Even so, Come, Lord Yeshua! (see 2Tim 4:8)

Still Living in The Days of The Bible – Part 2 – 5 Jan 2009

I write this unexpected Part Two of our living today in Bible times.  I do so at some risk of what reactions you have, spoken or otherwise, but I hope that for the most part it is for building up of our faith in our God and Redeemer, and to prepare us for even worse to come before the far better ‘end of the Lord, who is very compassionate and merciful.’ (James 5:9-11)

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war in the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Messiah, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your (our) obedience is fulfilled.” (2Cor 10:4-6)

Yeshua reigns!  What a relief in days of trouble, and in the day of evil, to hold fast to what we have:  the name of the LORD, Yeshua, and the blood of the Lamb!  These words that we read from the apostle Paul, and are reminded of from the written words of the apostle John, were written in Bible days a little less than 2000 years ago for us today.  Surely we are living in both exciting and troublous Bible times!

Throughout Bible days – and Jesus promises to be with us all the days through the end of the age – there have been those within Israel and within the Church who would make the truth of the written word irrelevant.  It is to the Jews and to Christians – whether Jew or Gentile – that the Word of God has come and to whom He has entrusted it/them.  Therefore, we who know the truth of Messiah are more accountable before the Lord than other people:  we are in covenant relationship with Him through the shed blood of the Son of God for us.

How can we make irrelevant the Bible?  Jesus says that when we make our traditions or the explanations of our interpreters and commentators of greater value than the written Scriptures, we make void God’s word.  By our politics, we can make God’s word void; by so-called knowledge, we can make God’s word irrelevant; by thinking that the future can be changed from what has been planned from before the creation, we dismiss what God says.  By being party to accepting additions or deletions, we say that the Scriptures are irrelevant — dead.  The philosophy of Nietzsche that ‘God is dead’ is that which simply makes God irrelevant.  If God and His Word are rendered irrelevant – by our own understanding versus the revelation of Jesus Christ – then we will be more open to deception by the spirit of antichrist, who plays with the truth just enough to make his lie and evil intent seem plausibly worth accepting, hoping if possible to deceive even the elect.  Yet his perverse pleasure is to have those who are called by the name of the Lord dishonor Him and ourselves through believing the false prophets rather than the plain truth of the Spirit of YHVH:  “and so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which [we] do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as moved by the Holy Spirit”. (2Pt 1:19-21)

I am sobered by the times we live in when the words of Jesus pierce through them with end-from-the-beginning clarity of what has never yet been fulfilled:  “For then, there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be like it.  And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved, but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” (Mt 24:21-22)  These words Yeshua received from His Father – and, praise God, now our Father, too — to speak to us.  God loves us, and so tells us what He knows is good and needful for us to know about His thoughts and ways.  We should be under no illusion, nor deluded, to think that this war will bring peace to Israelis or to Palestinians.  It will not –wars are determined till the end — but we are to act in the present as best we can to carry out our proper duties.  This is true as we pray for and give any counsel to unbelievers.  How much more so for us.

The Spirit of God tells His people to come out from Babylon – the ‘good country’, the material comfort, the alternative and counterfeit ‘promised land’ which the world offers.  Babylon represents a place of freedom and potential and worldly glory, whereas Egypt represents slavery and bondage.  In the Old Testament, YHVH spoke through the prophet Jeremiah to the physically exiled Israelis in Babylon to physically “flee from the midst of Babylon, and everyone save his life!  Do not be cut off in her iniquity, for this is the time of YHVH’s vengeance. . .YHVH has taken out our righteousness.  Come and let us declare in Zion the work of YHVH our God.” (Jer 51:6-10)  In the New Testament, John heard a voice from heaven saying, “Come out of [Babylon], My people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.  For her sins have reached to Heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. . . . Therefore her plagues will come in one day. . .for strong is YHVH God who judges her!” (Rev 18:4-8)

If the sons of Issachar knew what Israel should do because they understood the times; if Daniel, through reading the Bible, understood the times and knew what to do; should not we — in the fuller light of history and with the whole Bible in our possession, and with the Holy Spirit dwelling within us and leading us into all truth — be discerning the times and knowing what to do?  Are we making the Scriptures irrelevant so long as we prefer to stay with our hearts and maybe our bodies, too, in Babylon!?  Messiah the Lord teaches us like this to pray:  Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. . .lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (the evil one/the evil day); for Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever.  Amen.

To return to the issue of putting things in proportion which I wrote about in Part 1:  when one considers how many thousands of Palestinians were killed by the Jordanian government military in 1970 (just to take one example, which a Bedouin today mentioned to me as he praised Israel), and the world let it be, the fact that till now, however terrible it is, that the heavy Israeli attacks on Hamas have resulted in ‘only’ about 500 deaths and many wounded, testifies to the general policy of Israel to minimize the deaths of both enemy forces and civilians caught up in the battle zone.  This is in direct contrast to Islamic jihadist (holy war) policy and efforts.  Yet the world, including many Jewish and Christian people, jump on Israel as barbaric and disproportionate in its response to determined threats to her existence.  War is not hell; Hell is hell.  But war is terrible.  Wars and fights come from lust and covetousness: wanting what someone else has, even if you have to murder to get it from them. (Ja 4:1-2)  This has been the spirit of Islam before there was a religion called Islam! (Ps 83; Obadiah)

WE have been GIVEN the KINGDOM OF GOD.  We need covet nothing of anyone:  in Messiah we have been given an eternal inheritance of all that God has!  Let us fight the good fight of faith, while being, insofar as is possible on our part, at peace with all men, doing good to all, especially to those of the household of faith.  If you want war to cease, let us first examine our own hearts, confess our sin and repent, and then let us look for, long for, love, hasten Yeshua’s appearing, fulfilling our obedience to Him and His Word with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.  Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Still Living in The Days of The Bible – Part 1 – 4 Jan 2009

My words may pass away, but the Word of the LORD will never pass away!  Many of us have a tendency to add to or take away from the Word of God, rather than considering the whole counsel of God in the tension and reality of life it speaks to us.  We don’t necessarily intend to do that, and only those without godly fear would willfully do so with eyes opened.

When you hear people say – or perhaps when you say yourself – “in the days of the Bible”, what is meant by that?  If we really believe that the Scriptures have been written for us living at the end of the age, and that the Word of God abides forever, and that God will fulfill all that is written in the whole of the Old and New Testaments, then isn’t it true that we are living in the days of the Bible?!

You have received a number of e-mails from me recently and over the years.  For those who look at only one and come to any conclusions – whether positively or negatively – I would say, as I began this ‘letter’, that my words may pass away.  On the other hand, if you consider my letters together over time, a clearer and fuller picture would be discernible that otherwise can not be covered in any one or two letters, and, I sincerely hope, there would be a general consistency in the spirit of truth, even if not in every detail.  So, too, and much more so, with the Bible, which is truth both in spirit and in details!

Why am I concerning myself with this?  Most of the news media you see and hear focus on the perceived disproportion of Gazans being killed or injured versus the number of Israelis being killed or injured. (By the way, as I was now speaking with a friend on the phone, we are only about 1/2 hour drive away from the awful war going on!)  Just as in the last war in Lebanon against another terrorist organization, Hezbollah, the attention is also focused on the disproportionate weaponry being used by the two sides.  Believe me when I say, it’s scary enough to have a tree fall on your house during a storm, not to mention larger rockets, or even tons of bombs falling from airplanes in the sky.  As Yeshua advised, before going to war, consider first your enemy and his weaponry, and whether you think you can defeat them or not.  Is not the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ the same God as YHVH, God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob?

The size of armor and weaponry is not to be our only concern:  look at Joshua and the people marching around Jericho and the priests blowing trumpets; look at Goliath, versus David with his slingshot.  What are we going to do in ‘our Bible days’ when the Lord Jesus Himself directs the seventh angel to pour out his bowl of God’s wrath upon His enemies with great hail from heaven, each weighing about  one talent (62 lbs or 30 kg)!?  And at what force?!  The reaction of the people (revealed to us in advance by the Holy Spirit in the love of our Father) targeted by God is to blaspheme Him! (Rev 16:17-21)

In earlier days of the Bible, the Assyrian king Sennacherib taunted the Jews in Israel that no God of the nations had yet succeeded to defeat him.  With this taunt and blasphemy, the righteous King Hezekiah cried out to the one true sovereign God, YHVH, God of Israel, who sent the prophet Isaiah to encourage and comfort the King and the people, assuring them that Sennacherib and his forces would not succeed.  I am not writing this here simply to say that this situation in Gaza is similar, although I think it is the attitude of these Islamic jihadists to taunt and blaspheme the God and the people of Israel and of the Christians, but rather to go on to the outcome of the encounter in those days (2Kg 19:35):  the Angel of YHVH went out on a certain night into the camp of the Assyrians, and killed 185,000!  Was this proportionate?!  Because this figure staggers our imagination and even offends our sensitivities, some Bible translators and commentators try to ‘defend’ the inspiration of Scripture and the character of our God by saying that this number is obviously an error which mistakenly got in and stayed in our Bibles.

In even earlier days of the Bible, the same Angel of YHVH killed all the first-born in Egypt, from Pharaoh’s household to the slaves’, plus animals.  Was God disproportionate in expressing what was in His heart, given the objectives He had in mind?  Pharaoh and his army were then thrown into the sea and all drowned.

Sometime later in Bible times, when the Jews who had not returned from exile at the command of Cyrus to return and rebuild Jerusalem were in danger of being exterminated through the irrational hatred of Haman in Persia (Iran), we read about the second decree by King Ahasueras that allowed the Jews to defend themselves.  On the set day, the Jews killed 500 men in the capital.  Queen Esther then requested that the Jews be allowed to do again the next day more of what they had done on the first.  They hung all of Haman’s sons (all of whom were, by the way, descendants of Amalek, himself a descendant of Esau/Edom), and killed 300 more men.  All this was in the capital city.  Around the rest of the kingdom, a total of 75,000 of their enemies were killed, those who had determined in their own hearts and minds that the Jews should be wiped out. (Esther 9:1-16)  Was this disproportionate to the threat that they had faced?  Would the threat have been removed had they not ‘finished the job’ on the second?  Is not the Lord going to finish His strange work of  judgment in order to remove all things which offend from entering into His Kingdom?  Our own flesh struggles with the magnitude of evil and the necessary righteous judgments of God to put it away.  Maybe that is why Joshua and the Israelis in their ‘Bible days’ stopped all the killing which God had commanded them to do:  they just couldn’t understand it or take it any more.

How many babies were killed in Bethlehem by Herod’s hateful self-serving command surrounding the birth of Yeshua?  What was the reaction – beyond the grief of ‘Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more”?  How did they respond towards God, who allowed such a thing connected with the promised Messiah and Savior?!  Certainly we know that the love of God is not self-serving!

Were the six million Jews who were scientifically and calculatedly slaughtered during the Holocaust an overkill to effect a shameful and guilty conscious on the Christianized West especially, opening the way for the world’s representatives through the United Nations to vote in the establishment of the State of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people?

Is God being too heavy-handed when he prophetically warns us that two-thirds of the people of all the land (earth?) will die in order that the remaining third will be refined and tested and purified to each call on the name of YHVH as their God?! (Zech 13:8-9; Mt 24:21-22; Rev)

It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God!  God is a consuming fire!

Yet for all the suffering and tragedy connected with each of the above events, we celebrate our God and Savior, and what He has done to bring righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit through these events and judgments!

It is a God-given, thus moral, responsibility and authority for a government to protect the general welfare of her citizenry, even by force when required.  It is our responsibility as believers to pray that our leaders not only act wisely and prudently, but even more that they be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.  Then, the lives of the people may be more quiet and peaceable, appreciative of godliness and reverence, both towards the one true God, and towards our fellow-man.  (Rom 12:17-21 – 13:1-7: 1Tim 2:1-6).

Please, do not misunderstand this one ‘article’ to think that I am hard-hearted toward what is going on in Gaza, both against a real enemy, and against those innocently trapped in a deplorable situation, not to mention against our own soldiers and sons risking their lives to defeat their enemies and defend their country – and from a higher perspective, though they may not recognize it, to free people to receive true and real life from the living God of the living.  Without Jesus, no one will enjoy life!

How the world and those who are of it evaluate and judge this war is one thing; let us be careful how we do, and be extremely careful that we do not find ourselves judging God.  His Word judges us. (Heb 4:11-13). 

ZEPHANIAH (640 BC)

1:2-3   warning by YHVH through the prophet of coming global destruction against man and animals
1:4-13   warning of God against Judah – against the remnant group within Israel
   1:6 (Heb 10:38-39)   warning of judgment against those amongst God’s people who “turn back from following YHVH. . . .”
   1:7 (Rev 8:1)   command to be silent before the Sovereign YHVH because the Day of YHVH is near
   1:12 (Rev 3:15-17)   At that time God will judge those who are complacent, who say in their heart, “YHVH will do neither good nor bad”.
1:14-18   the great Day of YHVH
   1:14 (Mt 24:36-44; Ja 5:7-8; Rev 22:20)   near and coming quickly
   1:15 (Amos 5:18-20;  Lk 21:22-28; Rev 6:12-17)   a day of wrath and anguish, of trouble and ruin, darkness, gloom, clouds, blackness
   1:16 (Rev 8:13)   a day of trumpet and battle cry
   1:17 (2Thes 2:11)   God will bring distress and blindness on man because they have sinned against YHVH
   1:18 (Mt 3:11; Heb 12:25-29)   the world will be consumed in the fire of God’s jealousy

2:1-3 (Ezek 36:27; Mt 5:5)   gather together and seek God’s mercy; Seek YHVH, you meek of the land!
2:4-15 (Is ch.14 – ch. 21)   judgments against the nations

3:1-8   righteous judgment against Jerusalem – her rulers, prophets, priests who sin without shame against YHVH and His righteousness; [there is no fear of God]
3:9   afterwards the restoration of the remnant, and of a pure language that they may all call upon the Name of YHVH, and serve Him in unity
3:10   Gentiles will worship YHVH God in Jerusalem
3:11   Jerusalem will be purged of the proud and rebellious forever!
3:12 (Mt 5:5)   The meek and humble will be delivered
3:13 (Rev 14:1-5; 1Jn 2:22; Jn 1:47; Lk 2:68-75)   The remnant of Israel will do no wrong, speak no lies, will have no deceit in their mouths, and will live in peace and security without fear.
3:14-20   God will make Jerusalem and Israel a praise unto Him and among all the peoples of the Earth before their eyes.

ZECHARIAH (520 BC)

1:1-6   repent and believe the Word of YHVH; brings self-judgment of God’s righteousness

2:12-17 [8-13 Eng]   God’s judgment against nations who have plundered Israel will be evidence that YHVH of Hosts has sent YHVH of Hosts!; many gentiles will be joined to Him in that day; He will inherit Judah and Jerusalem, and come out from His holy dwelling.

3:1 (Num 25:10-13)   Joshua the High Priest is a descendant of Phineas, with whom God covenanted an everlasting priesthood.
3:3 (Jude 23)   Even the High Priest was clothed in filthy garments, whose iniquity needed to be purged and removed before pure garments could be placed upon him.
3:8-10   Joshua and his friends are a “sign of things to come”; YHVH says He will bring His servant, the Branch (tzemach/Plant), who will bring cleansing to the land in one day and bring peace and security under the vine and fig tree in that day.

4:1-3   lampstand:  seven lights, seven channels two olive trees
4:10 (Rev 4:5; 5:6)   the eyes of YHVH which range throughout the Earth
4:11-14 (Rev 11:4)   the two servants (witnesses) of the Lord of all the Earth

5:1-4 (Jn 10:8; 1Cor 12:3; 16:22)   the Law (both tablets) will condemn all who oppose YHVH, and will root out lawlessness
5:5-11 (Rev 17:17-18)   lawlessness restrained until released and manifested in God’s time

6:1-5 (ctr. Rev 2:1)   four chariots (four winds of heaven) of God’s judgment throughout the Earth
6:11-13 (Jn 2:18-22; Gen 14:18; Ps 110:4; Ezek ch. 40 – ch. 44)    Yeshua (Ezra 2:2) the High Priest fulfills the covenant promise to Phineas and the sons of Zadok;  Yeshua the Messiah is the fulfillment of the anointed Priest-King after the order of Melchizedek, transcending both Aaron and David.

7:12 (2Pt 1:21)   Israel would not heed the prophetic word of God and fell into apostasy, just as in the last days in which we live

8:19   fast days turned into occasions of joy and gladness after Messiah comes:  for us now; for Israel in the Millennial Kingdom
8:20-23   Many nations, with the Jews, will seek YHVH in Jerusalem because He will be there!  Millennial blessings upon Jerusalem and her inhabitants

10:6-9   redemption and ingathering of the whole house of Israel

11:15-17   contemporary warning against apostasy with the false prophet of the future

12:3,4,6,8,9   on that day:  Armageddon and salvation; YHVH is the God of Israel who strengthens His people
12:7   YHVH will save the dwelling of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not be greater than that of Judah:  equality in the Father’s house; no place for pride of election
12:10-12 (Jn 19:37; Rom 11:26-27; Rev 1:7)   Israel looks upon YHVH whom they pierced, and will afflict their souls:  Israel’s national Day of Atonements; the full remnant of Israel will be saved.

Ch. 13   encouragement of future repentance of Israel and their purification:  millennial kingdom will be established upon the blood of atonement, the finished and accepted sacrifice of Messiah Yeshua for Israel’s sin, both personal and as a people, as a nation

14:2-3   all nations to come against Jerusalem, and YHVH will fight them
14:5 (Jude 14)   the Lord and all His holy ones will come to battle
14:6-7 (Mt 24:36,42)   a unique day known only to YHVH
14:8 (Ezek 47:9)   living waters flowing out from Jerusalem
14:9   YHVH will be King over the whole Earth; YHVH will be one and His Name one.
14:12   plague to destroy all those nations who fought against Jerusalem
14:16-19   All surviving nations must come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, YHVH of Hosts, to celebrate the Feast of Booths.  Any nation not doing so will be punished by YHVH.
14:20-21 (Jn 2:16)   EVERYTHING will be HOLY TO YHVH in Jerusalem, in the land, in the House of YHVH of Hosts!

OBADIAH (~840 or 587 BC)

Edom is Esau, who always has acted with hatred and murderous bitterness towards his brother Jacob/Israel (Gen 27:41).  Edom represents those nations and people acting in the flesh against YHVH God’s sovereignty and choice.

Edom’s spirit:

Unbrotherliness
v. 10   Edom’s violence against his brother Jacob
           —Gen 27:39-41   intifada; Esau’s murderous grudge against his brother, Jacob
           —Gen 33   Jacob/Israel meets Esau, and seeks favor in his eyes; not true reconciliation, especially regarding the land
           —Num 20:14-21   Edom refused to give his brother Israel (the people) passage on their way to Canaan, the Promised Land of Inheritance
           —Ezek 35 – 36:5   YHVH God against Seir and Edom because of their perpetual hatred against the children of Israel

Aloofness
v. 11   Edom stood by while Jerusalem was invaded
v. 12   Edom gazed and rejoiced over the sons of Judah in the day of his captivity, the day of their destruction, and spoke proudly in the day of distress

Agressiveness
v. 13   Edom actively participated in the sacking of Jerusalem in the day of their calamity while gazing at their affliction
v. 14   Edom helped set up roadblocks to prevent the escape of their brothers in the day of distress

v. 15   Edom will be destroyed on the Day of YHVH

v. 17   But the remnant of the house of Jacob will be holy and will possess their possessions

v. 21 (Ezek 48:35; Joel 4:21 [3:21Eng])   The Kingdom will be YHVH’s!

NAHUM (664 – 612 BC)

1:2-3   YHVH is a jealous and avenging God who, though not quickly, will punish the guilty
1:6 (Rev 6:17)   no one can endure His wrath
1:9   evil will be brought to an end by YHVH God
1:11 (Nah 3:18; Ezek 38:17; Mic 5:4-5 [5-6 Eng]; 2Thes 2:3-4)   the Assyrian (antichrist?); the one who plots evil against YHVH and counsels wickedness

2:1 [1:15 Eng] (Lk 1:73-75)   millennial blessing of celebration without fear  

MICAH (742 – 687 BC)

1:2   a prophetic call for all peoples and the Earth to hear YHVH witness against them from His holy Temple
1:3   YHVH goes out from His place and comes down to the Land of Israel and to the Earth
1:4   earthquakes at His visitation
1:5   because of the sins of His people
1:6   judgment and destruction because of idolatry and sin
1:8   weeping and mourning from those who serve the Lord

2:1   woe to those who plan evil
2:3   YHVH plans disaster against them; the proud will be abased
2:4   in that day. . .the land will be divided
2:6 (2Tim 4:2-4)   the people of God do not want to hear His prophets
2:11 (1Tim 4:1-2)   they believe in lies and doctrines of demons
2:12-13   YHVH will gather and save His remnant of Israel and He will break through and go out before them

3:1   judgment against haters of good and lovers of evil
3:4 (Is 53:3; Jn 16:7-11)   YHVH will not answer their cries and will hide His face from them

4:1-8 (Is 2:3-5; Hos 2:20 [18 Eng]; Rev 14:1-5)   In the last days, the Millennial reign of Messiah will restore the kingdom to Jerusalem and to Israel.  YHVH will be acknowledged as God; gentiles will come to the house of the God of Jacob; God’s Law will be in force; no more war; peace and security
4:11-13   Armageddon; God’s plan

5:1 [2 Eng]   the Ruler over Israel will be born (first coming of Yeshua) in Bethlehem, and His goings forth are from of old, from everlasting
5:2-3 [3-4 Eng](Mt 24:8)   Israel will be given up until the time that she who is in labor has given birth, and the rest of His [the Messiah who will be the Ruler] brethren shall return to the children of Israel
5:4 [5 Eng](Nah 3:18)   the Assyrian (the antichrist?)
5:9-13 [10-14 Eng]   in that day (second coming of Christ), YHVH will remove all idolatry from Israel
5:14 [15 Eng]   YHVH will take vengeance in anger against all those nations that have not obeyed Him

6:1-16   YHVH’s justification for judging Israel as a nation

7:4b-7 (Mt 10:34-37)   tribulation and anguish of soul; hope for those who trust in God for salvation
7:8-17   Israel will rise again to glory; her judgments are righteous; her enemies will see and be covered with shame, those who questioned the faithfulness and power of YHVH God of Israel.
7:18-20 (Lk 1:68-75)   There is no God like YHVH; He will fulfill His oath to our fathers from long ago

MALACHI (433 BC)

2:7-8 (Rev 2:1)   The priest is the messenger of YHVH of Hosts, and is reproved for false teaching of God’s Law and ways.
2:14-16 (Mk 10:2-12)   Marriage is given for the purpose of giving God children; God hates divorce as being betrayal to a covenant oath of fidelity.  (What is an infidel?)

3:1   The messenger (John the Baptizer) was sent to prepare the first coming of the Lord.
3:2 (Mt 3:11; Lk 21:26; Rev 6:17)   Who can stand when the Lord appears to purge and cleanse?!
3:3 (Ezek 44)   The Levites will be purified to offer sacrifices in righteousness unto YHVH, as in times past.
3:6-7 (Gen 28:15)   YHVH does not change, which ensures Jacob’s survival and inheritance; return to YHVH and He will return to you
3:16-18 (Mt 25:31-46; Rev 22:10-11)   Those who fear the LORD will speak with each other, and YHVH listens and hears.  He will write their names in a scroll of remembrance.  The distinction between the righteous and the wicked, those who serve God and those who do not will be manifest in that day.

3:19-20 [4:1-2 Eng]   The Day of YHVH is surely coming:  bad news for the arrogant and evil-doer; good news of healing for those who fear His Name.
3:22 [4:4 Eng](Lk 16:29-31)  Remember the Law of Moses (not the oral law!):  for Israel’s conviction of sin, and testimony of sacrifices for sin in God’s love and compassion, and the promise of one coming greater than Moses
3:23-24 [4:5-6 Eng](Mk 9:11-12; Lk 1:17; Jn 1:21; Rev 11:1-13)   Elijah coming before the second coming.  He will restore family and historic bonds of love amongst God’s people.  Israel, the land, and the Earth are under the curse until Israel’s national repentance.

JONAH (760 BC)

Where was Jonah born?. . . . . . . . . . . . . in Gat-HaHepher (winepress of the digging)
Where is Gat-HaHefer?. . . . . . . . . . . . . .in lower Galilee, near to and north-east of Nazareth, in the portion of the Tribe of Zebulon (Josh 19:13; 2Kg 14:25)
What did the Pharisees insist when Nicodemus tried to defend Yeshua against illegal condemnation?. . . . . . .John 7:52

What book from the Bible is read in the synagogues on the Day of Atonements?. . . . . . . . .Jonah!
What did Yeshua answer to the Scribes, Pharisees, Sadducess, and to the people who demanded to see a sign from Him?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Mt 12:38-41; 16:1-4; Lk 11:29-32; Jonah 1:16 [17 Eng]
       —What are some of the different aspects of this “sign of the prophet Jonah”?
        –both Jonah and Jesus grew up in an obscure village in Galilee
        —3 days and 3 nights in death before being brought forth out from the fish and out from the earth
           –Israel also to be afflicted for two days and on the third day to be revived (Hos 6:1-2)
        —preaching repentance in mercy to gentiles, even to enemies:  evangelism and missionary calling to be a light for the nations (Is 49:6)
        —sovereignty of God of Israel over all nations and peoples—for the Jews and for the gentiles
           –“God has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained.  He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31)
           –both Jonah and Israel will obey YHVH, even if against their own will and
        –all of us will learn what Jonah knew, but did not live by as God’s prophetic witness:  that YHVH is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness, a God who relents from sending calamity (4:2)YHVH even cares about the animals. (4:11)

Not our will but God’s will be done; His kingdom come; His Name be sanctified!  (Ezek 36:22-23; Mt 6:9-10; 26:36-44)

Nineveh did repent at the preaching of Jonah – from the greatest to the least – an entire city!  Many years later (~140 years), Nineveh was judged and destroyed by the Medes and Babylonians, as prophesied by Nahum and Zephaniah.

Messiah Yeshua — greater than Jonah — is here!