ONE NATION DIVIDED: THE VOICE OF THE FOREBODING PROPHETS
When Yahweh declared the kingdom would be torn from Solomon,
He raised up an adversary from within the nation. Jeroboam of the tribe of
Ephraim, a mighty man of valor, had been appointed, with Solomon’s approval,
supervisor over the labor force drafted from the house of Joseph. Solomon had
observed Jeroboam’s competent leadership and industriousness. Jeroboam,
however, being also observant, noticed how Solomon exalted the tribe of
However, while Solomon remained alive and ruled over Israel,
Yahweh sent the prophet Ahijah to Jeroboam declaring, “I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten
tribes to thee” (1 Kings 11:31b KJV). The reason Ahijah gives for this
judgment against Solomon is that
When word of this prophetic prediction reached the ears of Solomon,
he sought to kill Jeroboam who fled to
This requirement included that all cultic worship of Yahweh be
performed only in the
Jeroboam’s failure to worship Yahweh in the
After the death of Solomon, his son Rehoboam takes the throne.
He travels to Shechem, the ancient center of covenant renewal under Joshua,
These elders are aware of the harshness of Solomon’s yoke upon
the northern tribes. Solomon had apparently disregarded their warnings against
his injustice. From their point of view, Solomon had not served the people as
was his obligation according to Yahweh’s Law. He had arrogantly abused his
power, doing what was right in his own eyes, rather than implementing what was
right in the eyes of Yahweh his Elohim and King. As a result of his allowing
the worship and service of foreign elohim in
Unfortunately, Rehoboam’s heart proves to be fashioned after that of his father Solomon. Having consulted the elder advisers of his father, he seeks the advice of the young men who had grown up with him. They counsel him saying,
Thus you should speak to them, My small finger, it is thicker than my father’s waist. And now my father, he laded a heavy yoke on you; yet I, I shall add to your yoke. My father; he flogged you with whips; yet I, I shall flog you with scorpions. (1 Kings 12:10b-11 CV)
These young men have grown up in the court of Solomon and have
learned well the ways of Solomon. They have become accustomed to special favor
and advantage. They perceive statesmen as belonging to a superior social class.
Statesmanship to them means ruling with an iron fist. Subjects of the king must
learn to fear the power wielded by his hand. This is a generation weaned away
from Yahweh’s Law. Like Solomon, this generation is arrogant, placing its
confidence in its own wisdom, political ingenuity, and royal clout. In the eyes
of this generation, the king is not a shepherd serving the welfare of the
sheep. The sheep serve the welfare of the whims of the king. Once again,
Rehoboam, continuing the policy of his father, follows the
advice of the young men of his own generation. He determines to be even
stronger than his father.
The inspired writer explains, “The king did not hearken to the people, for the circumstance had come
from Yahweh, that he might carry out His word that Yahweh had spoken to
Jeroboam son of Nebat by means of Ahijah the Shilonite” (1 Kings 12:15 CV).
The ten tribes of the north secede and crown Jeroboam king. The house of David
is now divided.
Rehoboam returns to
Jeroboam is now established as king over the ten northern tribes, as promised by Yahweh. If he remains faithful to Yahweh, keeping His statutes, judgments, and instruction, his house and kingdom will remain secure throughout the Mosaic Eon. Jeroboam’s success depends on his trust in Yahweh’s covenantal word of promise. He need only love Yahweh his Elohim with all his heart, soul, and intensity (Deut. 6:5). But Jeroboam’s heart is not committed to Yahweh. It harbors within it disastrous suspicions of Yahweh’s trustworthiness:
Jeroboam said in his heart, Now the kingdom may well
return to the house of David. If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the
House of Yahweh in
In his heart, Jeroboam fears the very presence of Yahweh indwelling the Solomonic Temple.
Yahweh has declared all cultic worship and service will take place
only at this
So the king took counsel and made two calves of gold
and said to the people, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are
The verdict against this action of Jeroboam is clear and devastating: “This matter came to be a sin; the people went before the one as far as Dan” (1 Kings 12:30 CV). The sin refers to the breaking of the second word of the Sinatic Covenant: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image . . . Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them . . .” (Ex. 20:4-5a KJV). Jeroboam does not introduce new gods. He manufactures images meant to represent Yahweh Elohim of Israel, thereby introducing unauthorized ways to worship Yahweh.
The sin of Jeroboam is only the beginning of his rebellious
activity. He had directed his people away from the worship and service of Yahweh
at the divinely designated
In response to these alterations, the Aaronic and Levitical
priests flee the Northern Kingdom of Jeroboam, leaving their suburbs and
possessions and taking up residence in the Southern Kingdom of Judah, “for Jeroboam and his sons had cast them off
from executing the priest's office unto the Lord
[Yahweh]” (2 Chr. 11:14b KJV). Following
their example, many in the Northern Kingdom whose hearts belong to Yahweh leave
Rehoboam’s kingdom is strengthened. For three years
This lawless condition is corrected under the reign of his
grandson Asa who “did that which was good
and right in the eyes of the Lord
[Yahweh] his God [Elohim]” (2 Chr. 14:2 KJV). The faithfulness of
Asa not only delivers the people of
And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the
strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they
fell to him out of
As the Northern Kingdom sank deeper into faithlessness, many
who sought after Yahweh migrated to the
The climactic turning point in the history of the
Ahab son of Omri did what was evil in the eyes of Yahweh, worse than all who had been before him. So it came to pass (as if it was lightly esteemed by him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat) that he took as wife Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians. Then he went to serve Baal and worshiped him. (1 Kings 16:30-31 CV)
Ahab then proceeds to build a sanctuary for Baal in
Jezebel takes it upon herself to persecute the prophets of
O Yahweh Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and
Thereupon, the fire of Yahweh falls from heaven upon the sacrifice, devouring it and everything around it. For the present, the people turn back to Yahweh, falling on their faces while declaring, “Yahweh, He is the One Elohim” (1 Kings 18:39b CV). The prophets of Baal are then slain at the command of Elijah.
In spite of this mighty manifestation of the powerful hand of
Yahweh, the people of
Elijah the prophet of Yahweh is discouraged to the point of
seeking death, but Yahweh the Elohim of Elijah and
Elijah’s problem is revealed in his response:
I have been zealous, yea zealous for Yahweh Elohim of
hosts; for the sons of
Elijah does not fear the threat of death at the hands of those
seeking his life. He has already begged Yahweh to take his life. It is the
Elijah is told to go forth and stand before Yahweh on the
mount of the cave. “And behold, Yahweh
was passing by, and a great and steadfast wind was ripping apart the mountains
and was breaking up the crags before Yahweh; yet Yahweh was not in the wind”
(1 Kings 19:11b CV). This is followed by a great earthquake, yet Yahweh is not
in the earthquake. After the earthquake is a blazing fire, yet again, Yahweh is
not to be found in the fire. Finally, there is “the sound of a gentle stillness” (1 Kings 19:12b CV). As Elijah
hears this stillness, Yahweh again asks Elijah what he is doing in
Thereupon, Yahweh assigns him a new task, sending him back to
There is a faithful remnant of Abelites actively cultivating
the characteristics of Abel. There will always be a faithful remnant through
whom Yahweh will fulfill His promises to
The Northern Kingdom of Israel continues in the ways of
Jeroboam and Ahab. Yahweh continues to send His prophets. Finally, Yahweh sends
the prophets Amos and Hosea with a message of judgment.
Hosea declares the
Hosea, however, promises that although these people will
become “not My people,” that is,
gentiles, Yahweh would not forget or completely abandon them. The impending
separation from the land, suspension of cultic life, and termination of
covenantal relationship will be used to prepare these people for restoration. Though
And I will betroth you to Me for the eon,
And I will betroth you to Me in righteousness,
And in judgment, and in kindness, and in compassions.
And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness;
Then you shall know that I am Ieue [Yahweh]. (Hosea 2:19-20 CV)
Whereas they will be called Lo-Ammi, not My people (gentiles), Yahweh would once again call them Ammi, My people. Alluding to the Abrahamic Covenant, Hosea declares,
Yet the number of the sons of
In that day will I raise up the fallen booth [tabernacle, house] of David,
And I will dike with stones its breaches,
And its demolished places will I raise,
And I will build it as in the days of the eon [the days of the reign of David and Solomon],
That they may tenant the remnant of
And all the nations over whom My name is called, (averring is Ieue [Yahweh], the Doer of this).
(Amos 9:11-12 CV)
James quotes this passage from Amos to justify Yahweh’s
visitation of the nations to obtain for Himself a people for His name (Acts
This is why Jesus declares to the Samaritan woman, “salvation is of the Jews” (Jn. 4:22b CV).
The designation Jew refers to the
kingdom of Judah, which, though later also sent into captivity among the
nations, is not to be absorbed into the nations, is not to be called not My people, is not to lose its
identity as the people of Yahweh. The
James understood Yahweh’s acceptance of the nations to be
demonstrated in the visions given to Cornelius and Peter. In the vision given
to Cornelius, he is told, “Your prayers
and your alms ascended for a memorial in front of God” (Acts 10:4b CV). In
the vision given to Peter, after he is commanded to sacrifice and eat unclean
animals, he is told, “What God cleanses,
do not you count contaminating!” (Acts 10:15b CV). James, then, supports
this recent revelation from Yahweh by quoting from Amos. The acceptance of the
nations as clean rather than unclean is interpreted as the fulfillment of
Yahweh’s promise to the
This interpretation of James is confirmed by Paul when he
quotes, in chapter 9 of his Letter to the Romans, from Hosea 1:10-11 to
establish Yahweh’s prior intention of calling and saving “not only out of the Jews [the Southern Kingdom of Judah], but out of the nations [the
The hope of the Northern Kingdom of Israel was to be rooted in
the promise made to Abram: “And make you
will I into a great nation, and bless you will I and make your name great, and
become must you a blessing. . . . And blest in you and in your seed are all the
families of the ground” (Gen. 12:2-3 CV). The nation referred to here is
The hope of the people of the
I will make for you a great name, . . . And I will provide a place for My people Israel; . . . Moreover Yahweh tells you [David] that Yahweh shall establish a royal house for you: When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, then I will raise up your seed after you that shall come forth from your internal parts; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for the eon. (2 Samuel 7:9b-13 CV)
The place referred to here is that spoken of by Jesus: “I am going to make ready a place for you” (Jn. 14:2b CV). That place was to be located in the Celestial Realm (Heb. 11:13-16 NGEINT, CV).
The house built by the son of David was to be the Ecclesia,
the called-out faithful ones, “on this
rock will I be building My ecclesia, . . .” (Matt. 16:18b CV). Peter
referred to this house as “living stones
. . . a spiritual house” (1 Pe. 2:5 CV). The writer of Hebrews
referred to the house as the “more
perfect tabernacle not made by hands, that is, not of this creation” (Heb. CV). Paul referred to this house
when he wrote, “So that, if anyone is in
Christ, there is a new creation: the primitive passed by. Lo! there has come
new!” (2 Cor. CV).
In his Letter to the Ephesians, he referred to this house as a “building, being connected together, . . .
growing into a holy temple in the Lord” (Eph. CV). This
The kingdom referred to in 2 Samuel, chapter 7, is that spoken
of by Jesus: “And I am covenanting a
covenant with you, according as My Father covenanted a kingdom to Me, . . . And
you will be seated on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of
Beginning in 734 BC and reaching its climax in 722 BC, Assyria
gained control of
Then the king of Assyria marched up against the whole
land; he came up to
The people of the
Over the years, these Lo-Ammi people multiplied and continued to migrate, introducing the inhabitants of these geographical locations to the One Living Elohim. Through trade, war, and travel, the Greeks became acquainted with the one living God of these scattered people, eventually influencing the great Greek philosophers who began questioning the viability of the pantheon gods of Greek culture and contributing to the rise of Greek science. The influence of these scattered members of the Northern Kingdom of Israel (along with the Jews of the diaspora) was to prepare the nations for the Gospel of the Uncircumcision committed to and proclaimed by the Apostle Paul.
The reign of Hoshea over the Northern Kingdom of Israel (732-722
B.C.) was to mark the last decade of the history of the
For I know that after my death you shall bring ruin, yea ruin on yourselves; you will withdraw from the way that I enjoined on you, and the evil visitation will befall you in the latter days, for you shall do the thing that is evil in the eyes of Yahweh so as to provoke Him to vexation by the work of your hands. (Deuteronomy 31:29 CV)
The writer of Second Kings explains this evil visitation as
feared other elohim . . . walked in the statutes of the nations . . . built for themselves high-places in all their cities, . . . serving the idol clods of which Yahweh had said to them, You must not do this thing. (2 Kings 17:7‑12 CV)
They had rejected the overtures of Yahweh’s prophets sent to plead with them to return to Yahweh (2 Kings 17:13-14).
The inspired writer, summarizing their history, states regrettably,
They forsook all instructions of Yahweh their Elohim;
they made molten images for themselves—two calves—and made an Asherah pole, and
they bowed themselves down to all the host of the heavens, and they served
Baal. They caused their sons and their daughters to pass through fire and
divined by divinations; they practiced augury and sold themselves to do what
was evil in the eyes of Yahweh to provoke Him to vexation. So Yahweh showed
Himself exceedingly angered with
This writer then concludes, “So
Aside from Hezekiah and Josiah, the kings of
He did what was upright in the eyes of Yahweh according
to all that his father David had done. It was he who took away the high-places
and broke down the monuments; he also cut down the Asherah pole and pounded to
pieces the serpent of copper that Moses had made; for until those days the sons
of Israel had been fuming incense to it, . . . In Yahweh Elohim of Israel he
trusted; and after him there was none like him among all the kings of
With his death in 686 B.C., the final decline of
But Yahweh will do more! He promises a greater salvation! This
salvation becomes the dominant theme of the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel,
Joel, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, and the writer of the Book of
Daniel. It is this theme which now becomes the subject of analysis. It is this
theme which points to and necessitates the Greek Scriptures. The purpose of the
Greek Scriptures is to record the fulfillment of this greater salvation. Thus,
the Greek Scriptures complete the Hebrew Scriptures, forming one complete
literary work. In accord with this purpose, the prologue of the Gospel of John
builds a bridge connecting the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. The logos, the word
in the beginning, is the covenantal word of Yahweh heard at
Having made it clear in Isaiah, chapters 1-39, that the
Then said Isaiah to Hezekiah, Hear the word of the Lord [Yahweh] of hosts: Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the Lord. And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon. (Isaiah 39:5-7 KJV)
Isaiah then opens the 40th chapter with Yahweh’s declaration
of future hope: “Comfort ye, comfort ye
my people, saith your God [Elohim].
Speak ye comfortably to
Isaiah continues Yahweh’s word of comfort:
The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord [Yahweh], make straight in the desert a highway for our God [Elohim]. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord [Yahweh] shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord [Yahweh] hath spoken it. (Isaiah 40:3-5 KJV)
This prophecy is declared fulfilled by John the Baptist
according to the Greek Scriptures: “In
those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of
Thus, this prophecy points beyond the return of the Judean
According to Isaiah, it refers to the new Jerusalem of
Yahweh’s new heavens and new earth (Isa. 65:17-25); it refers to the birth of a
new nation (Isa. 66:5-13). This new Jerusalem is contrasted with the
Isaiah continues his word of comfort by describing Yahweh as coming “with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold his reward is with him, and his WORK before him” (Isa. 40:10 KJV my emphasis). The writer of the Gospel of John quotes Jesus as declaring, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his WORK” (Jn. 4:34 KJV my emphasis); “My Father worketh hitherto, and I WORK” (Jn. 5:17 KJV); “I must WORK the works of him that sent me, while it is day” (Jn. 9:4 KJV my emphasis). The writer’s last reference to works has Jesus testifying, “I have glorified thee [the Father, Yahweh] on the earth: I have finished the WORK which thou gavest me to do” (Jn. 17:4 KJV my emphasis). This writer clearly understands Jesus as the strong arm of Yahweh Who rules for Him, carrying out the work assigned Him by His Father, Yahweh. The same writer has Jesus say, “Now I have a testimony greater than John's [the Baptist]. For the works which the Father has given Me that I should be perfecting them, the works themselves which I am doing are testifying concerning Me that the Father has commissioned Me” (Jn. CV). Yahweh has assigned, commissioned, His son Jesus to finish His work.
The writer of the Gospel of Matthew understands Jesus to be the shepherd of Yahweh’s flock, “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd” (Matt. 9:36 KJV). Jesus knew He was the true and ultimate shepherd of Israel, as the writer of the Gospel of Matthew makes clear, “Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad” (Matt. 26:31 KJV). Here Jesus quotes Zechariah 13:7 as referring to Himself. Jesus as Yahweh’s chosen shepherd feeds Yahweh’s flock, and after His resurrection, He commissions His disciples to carry on His shepherd duty as He commands Peter to “Feed my sheep” (Jn. 21:16 KJV).
The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews calls Jesus “that great shepherd of the sheep” (Heb. 13:20 KJV). After His resurrection, Jesus continues as Yahweh’s chosen shepherd. He carries on this role from His position at the right hand of the Father. He would complete His work at His promised appearing at the end of the then present Mosaic Eon. At this appearing, He would come with His reward (Isa. 40:10), as Peter attributes to Jesus the role of the rewarder of Isaiah 40:10: “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away” (1 Pe. 5:4 KJV). Earlier in this epistle, Peter indicates this appearing as being near at hand: “But the end of all things is at hand” (1 Pe. 4:7 KJV). The “all things” refers to the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. Peter, as well as all the other writers contributing to the Greek Scriptures, understands he is living in the last days, and, in agreement with all the other writers, suggests at no time a delay or postponement of this ultimate appearing which will consummate all that is written in the Law and the Prophets.
In chapter 42, Isaiah continues his word of comfort, the much more of Yahweh:
Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my Spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. . . . I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. (Isaiah 42:1, 6-7 KJV)
Once again, the writers of the Greek Scriptures clearly identify this “servant” as Jesus. Matthew records, “Now, being baptized, Jesus straightway stepped up from the water, and lo! opened up to Him were the heavens, and He perceived the spirit of God descending as if a dove, and coming on Him. And lo! a voice out of the heavens, saying, ‘This is My Son, the Beloved, in Whom I delight’” (Matt. -17 CV; see also Mk. 1:10-11; Lk. 3:21-22; Jn. 1:32-33). Luke writes concerning the covenant of Isaiah 42:6, “And I [Jesus] am covenanting a covenant with you, according as My Father covenanted a kingdom to Me” (Lk. CV). The Greek writers, thus, attribute the comfort of Isaiah 42:1-7 as occurring in their own time. From their point of view, Isaiah is writing concerning the first 70 years of the first century a.d. (approximately from the birth of Jesus to the year 70 a.d.).
In verse 9 of chapter 42, Isaiah declares, “Behold, the former things are come to pass,
and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them”
(KJV). Paul alludes to this passage in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “So that, if anyone is in Christ, there is a
new creation: the primitive things passed by. Lo! There has come new things!”
(my translation). Paul interpreted Isaiah 42:9 as being presently fulfilled in
his own present time. “In Christ”
refers to the new community, the new
Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her
pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? who
hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or
shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as
The writer of the Book of Revelation symbolically expounds on this prophecy:
And a great sign was seen in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon underneath her feet, and on her head a wreath of twelve stars. And, being pregnant, she is crying, travailing and tormented to be bringing forth. . . . And she brought forth a son, a male, who is about to be shepherding all the nations with an iron club. And her child is snatched away to God and to His throne. (Revelation 12:1-2, 5 CV)
The male child is not only referring to Jesus Himself, but to
His Church, His Body, consisting of all those in Christ making up the new creation, the new nation, the new
Israel of God, the Israel of the new covenant. The
During that present time, the time of the Apostles of Christ, this New Man is shepherding the nations with an iron club. The image of the iron club is positive. It represents Christ’s discipline of members of His Body coming out of the nations into His light and life. This is the role of Christ’s Ecclesia until the appearing of Christ with His reward at the consummation of the Mosaic Eon when the elect, holy Israel of Yahweh would be removed from the terrestrial realm to the Celestial Realm promised by Jesus: “for I am going to make ready a place for all of you. And if I should be going and making ready a place for all of you, I am coming again, and I will be taking all of you along to Myself, that where I am, all of you also may be” (Jn. 14:2b-3 my translation). Jesus did not fail to fulfill this promise (to His faithful followers of His generation) before the end of the first century a.d.
How can this be?! The language of Isaiah, as well as all the prophets, is metaphorical. Isaiah 51:6 declares,
Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth as a garment shall decay, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner. Yet My salvation for the eon shall come, and My righteousness shall not be abolished. (my translation)
Isaiah is not contemplating the physical destruction of the
physical heavens and earth. He is not contemplating the physical decay or death
of humanity. The heavens and the earth refer metaphorically to Yahweh’s
The establishment of Yahweh’s New Covenant through Jesus the Messiah does away with, puts an end to, the arrangement of the Mosaic Covenant. Thus, all Israelites remaining under the old covenant are metaphorically decaying, dying, even as the old covenant is metaphorically decaying, being abolished. Yahweh’s salvation provided by the New Covenant comes for the remainder of the Mosaic Eon. It offers the life of the New Covenant and a place in the Celestial Realm at the end of the Mosaic Eon. From about 30 a.d. to 70 a.d. the Gospel of Christ proclaimed a new heavens and new earth, a new arrangement with Yahweh and His elect people, a new life based upon the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant rather than the old Mosaic Covenant. It called for faith in Jesus the Christ and faithfulness to the end of the Mosaic Eon.
With the destruction of the
In order to understand the prophecies of Isaiah, it is
important to keep in mind that he writes “concerning
The writers of the Greek Scriptures make clear this Branch is
Jesus the Christ. Therefore, Isaiah
writes concerning the generation dwelling in
This testimony of Jesus confirms the timeframe spoken of by the prophets—that period of time represented by the contemporary generation of Jesus the Messiah. The Hebrew Scriptures do not concern themselves with what occurs beyond this historical period in time. When Jesus testifies, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil” (Matt. KJV), He is confirming the record of Luke 16:16a. The testimony of the Law and the Prophets concludes with the work of John the Baptist and Jesus. The Hebrew Scriptures do not depict events which follow the consummation of the Parousia of the Christ. The Law and the Prophets are fulfilled by Jesus the Christ and His Apostles, His Ecclesia, His Body, during the 70 years of the generation Jesus refers to four times in the Gospel of Matthew as “this generation” (see Matt. 11:16; 12:42; 23:36; 24:34). This conclusion is firmly established as legitimate, scriptural, with the following judgment of Jesus:
Serpents! Progeny [generation] of vipers! How may you be fleeing from the judging of Gehenna? Therefore, lo! I am dispatching to you prophets and wise men and scribes. Of them, some you will be killing and crucifying, and of them, some you will be scourging in your synagogues and persecuting from city to city, so that on you should be coming all the just blood shed on the earth, from the blood of just Abel until the blood of Zechariah, . . . Verily, I am saying to you: All these things will be arriving on this generation. (Matthew 23:33-36 CV)
In Isaiah 2:2-5, the prophet writes about the future
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's [Yahweh’s] house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. (Isaiah 2:2 KJV)
This is metaphoric language describing the Celestial Jerusalem Paul designates as “mother of us all” (Gal. CV). Paul is referring to Jews and, also, gentiles, those called out of the nations and, by faith in Christ, entering into the new, Celestial Jerusalem established by the New Covenant of the Christ, thereby fulfilling the last line of Isaiah 2:2. Isaiah elaborates on this theme:
And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord [Yahweh], to the house of the God [Elohim] of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord [Yahweh] from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:3 KJV)
And he [Yahweh]
shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they [those believing the Gospel] shall beat
their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall
not lift up sword against nation [believers
from among the nations, including
The word of the Gospel of Christ went forth first to the Jews in the land, then to gentiles in the land, then to Jews outside the land among the nations, and finally to non-Jews among the nations. This faithful community marched in a spiritual exodus, engaging in a spiritual warfare (swords into plowshares, to plant the seed of the Gospel; spears into pruninghooks, to prune the new Israel) in contradistinction to Israel’s exodus out of Egypt and her military campaigns in the course of her conquest of the Promised Land.
The new exodus led Yahweh’s people out of the old Mosaic Covenant into the new requirements of the way of Yahweh revealed in the New Covenant. The spiritual warfare consisted of the wielding of the sword of the word. The enemy consisted of those terrestrial Jews opposed to the word of Yahweh revealed through Christ and His faithful community. These Jews loved the terrestrial by clinging to the way of the Mosaic Covenant which Yahweh was in the process of abolishing through the fulfillment of all that the Law and the Prophets proclaimed. The conquering of the enemy would result in the entrance into the Celestial Realm and, therein into the Celestial Jerusalem, the place Jesus had prepared for His faithful community, His faithful nation.
The faithful ones out of the nations together with the faithful ones out of the Judean nation waged a war apart from the sword. They conquered in the name and power of their God. They conquered by fulfilling the requirements of Yahweh’s Law through the power of the spirit of Yahweh poured out upon them through Jesus the Christ, the Only-Begotten Son of Yahweh. This is the exposition of Isaiah revealed to and recorded by the writers of the Greek Scriptures.
Isaiah continues to prophesy concerning the future
In chapter 4, verses 3-4 Isaiah states,
And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy [saint], even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: When the Lord [Yahweh] shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. (KJV)
At the beginning of the ministry of John the Baptist, he
announces, “Now already the ax also is
lying at the root of the trees. Every tree, then, which is not producing ideal
fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire” (Lk. 3:9 CV). The day of Yahweh
was at hand. In the ministry of the Baptist, Yahweh had already begun laying
the ax to the root of those trees not producing ideal fruit. Judgment was a
certainty. It had already come upon their generation. The Baptist was calling
The ministry of Jesus would continue to reveal the already begun process of Yahweh’s judgment. Jesus, also, calls the nation to repentance. Yahweh’s judgment would be meted out through Jesus His Only-Begotten Son. The curse of the law—covenantal death—would be executed.
Only those identified in the
Christ would be able to endure the coming washing, purging of the covenantal
filth accrued by
These faithful ones are designated saints, holy ones, a designation used by the writers of the Greek Scriptures (on the basis of their understanding of Isaiah 4:3-4 and Daniel 7:18, 21, 25, 27) to refer to circumcised, Jewish faithful ones. These saints, holy ones, have their names written in the Lamb’s book of new covenantal life, “they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Rev. 21:27c KJV). Isaiah writes of those future, faithful, circumcised Jews, identified with the Branch of Yahweh, who escape the judgment of Yahweh proclaimed by John the Baptist and Jesus as having already begun.
Isaiah continues his theme of the restoration and glory of the
And the Lord [Yahweh] will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defense [a spread covering]. (Isaiah 4:5 KJV)
As Yahweh protected, delivered, and guided Israel to the Promised
Land under Moses, so also Yahweh would protect, deliver, and guide the new Israel
under the Branch, Jesus the Christ,
to the new Celestial Jerusalem, the place prepared by Jesus the Christ in the Celestial Realm for
His newly formed Ecclesia, His newly created Celestial people, His newly built
Celestial Jerusalem. Moses, during a period of 40 years, beginning from the
However, unlike Moses whose death prevented him from leading his people into the land, Jesus would lead His people into the actual possession of the promised allotment in the Celestial Realm, having gone ahead into the Celestial Realm (after His death, resurrection, and ascension) to prepare that place for His people. At the end of that 40-year period, during which He and His Ecclesia would engage in spiritual warfare with and final conquest over His enemies, He would return to physically transport them into their reward, their Celestial Allotment. Isaiah understood the time of the Branch, the Messiah, the Christ, the suffering Servant of Yahweh (a period which would later be revealed to consist of 70 years) to be the final days of the Mosaic Eon, the last generation of the Mosaic Age, the last days during which all in the Law and the Prophets would be fulfilled.
Isaiah concludes this prophecy presently under analysis by declaring,
And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain. (Isaiah 4:6 KJV)
According to the writer of the Gospel of John, that tabernacle
is the word made flesh, Jesus the
Christ, “And the word became flesh and
tabernacles among us” (Jn. 1:14 CV). The glory of Yahweh tabernacled in
Jesus the Christ. That Tabernacle,
according to the Greek Scriptures, through the obedience unto death, a
crucifixion death, became transformed into a
Concerning the glory of this Tabernacle, the Branch, Isaiah writes,
For A Child hath been born to us, A Son, hath been given to us, And the dominion [government] is upon his shoulder,—And his Name hath been called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God [EL], Father of Futurity [progress], Prince of Prosperity [Peace]. Of the increase of dominion [government] and of prosperity, There shall be no end—Upon the throne of David and Upon his kingdom, By establishing it and By sustaining it, With justice and With righteousness—From henceforth, Even unto times age-abiding [eonian]: The jealousy of Yahweh of hosts will perform this! (Isaiah 9:6-7 EB)
The Branch is said to be a “Son”
According to the Book of Acts, Peter, quoting Psalms 16:8-11 and attributing it to David, claims the resurrected Jesus the Nazarene, the Messiah, has ascended the throne of David: “Being, then, inherently, a prophet, and having perceived that God [Yahweh] swears to him [David] with an oath, out of the fruit of his loin to seat One on his throne, perceiving this before, he [David] speaks concerning the resurrection of the Christ, . . .” (Acts 2:30-31a CV). Peter testifies that Jesus has been resurrected by Yahweh in order to ascend to the seat of David. Thus, Jesus, roused by Yahweh His Father, ascends to the right hand of Yahweh His Father and proceeds to sit upon the throne of David His father in accord with the intended authorization of Yahweh His Elohim, His Father.
Paul agrees with Peter when he writes, “at the same time giving thanks to the Father, Who makes you competent
for a part of the allotment of the saints, in light, Who rescues us out of the
jurisdiction of Darkness, and transported us into the kingdom of the Son of His
love, . . .” (Col. 1:12-13 CV). This is the same kingdom Jesus refers to
when He declares to His Apostles, “And I
am covenanting a covenant with you, according as My Father covenanted a kingdom
to Me, that you may be eating and drinking at My table in My kingdom. And you
will be seated on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of
Speaking in different languages, Peter explains the meaning of
this to those in the
The writer of the Book of Revelation affirms this perception of Jesus Christ as the son of David then presently reigning and initiating the reestablishment of David’s kingdom by engaging in spiritual warfare against His enemies. Writing to the saints of his generation, before the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 a.d., the writer of Revelation indicates the time of the Parousia of Jesus is near, “Blessed is he who is reading and those who are hearing the word of this prophecy, and who are keeping that which is written in it, for the era is near” (Rev. 1:3 my translation). He refers to his writing as “this prophecy.” It concerns the faithful followers of the Christ in their participation in the sufferings of the Christ necessary to establish His kingdom. The addressees are said to be “made a kingdom and priests to His [Jesus’] God and Father” (Rev. 1:6 CV). The writer is a “joint-participant in the affliction and kingdom and endurance in Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:9 CV).
Thus, this prophecy, the Book of Revelation, is not still future from our point in time. Its concern is the near future of the Ecclesia of Christ being then built and the Ecclesia’s involvement in establishing Christ’s kingdom in His spiritual warfare against the enemies of His kingdom. This prophecy, therefore, had to be written a short time after the outpouring of the spirit at the Pentecost of Acts, chapter 2. The prophecy is meant to encourage the faithful ones to be faithful to the end of the age, during which, Jesus the Christ, like His father David, is assigned the role of kingly conqueror over the enemies of Yahweh together with His people who are in the process of completing the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets.
John, the writer of Revelation, symbolically describes this role as follows:
And I perceived heaven open, and lo! a white horse. And He Who is sitting on it is called “Faithful and True,” and in righteousness is He judging and battling. . . . He is clothed in a cloak dipped in blood, and His name is called “The Word of God.” And the armies in heaven, dressed in cambric, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. And out of His mouth a sharp blade is issuing, that with it He should be smiting the nations. And He will be shepherding them with an iron club. . . . He has a name written: “King of kings and Lord of lords.” (Revelation 19:11-16 CV)
Heaven is metaphorically the place of Christ and His Ecclesia
(Rev. 12:1-5) in contrast to
Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords goes forth judging and battling. He is followed by his army of faithful ones. This army and its king all ride white horses, symbolic of the cleansing brought about as a result of being washed in the shed blood of Christ (see Rev. 7:14). The weapons are twofold: a sharp sword out of Christ’s mouth and an iron club. The sharp sword of Christ is the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ which judges or redeems those struck down by its blow. The iron club is the discipline of the Gospel of Christ in its instruction in righteousness and truth which leads the redeemed sheep in the way of Yahweh. The conquering of the enemy is described in chapter 19, verse 15b: “And He is treading the wine trough of the fury of the indignation of God, the Almighty.” Thus, Christ and His saints, the circumcised faithful Jews, shepherd the nations, those uncircumcised faithful non-Jews: “And to the one who is conquering and keeping My acts until the consummation, to him will I be giving authority over the nations; and he shall be shepherding them with an iron club, . . .” (Rev. 2:26-27a CV).
This is also the testimony of Paul who distinguishes the saints (circumcised faithful Jews) from the faithful non-Jews (see Eph. 1:1-12 which addresses first the saints, circumcised faithful Jews [saints, faithful ones, our, us, we, those in the heavens], and, finally, after presenting the advantages of the saints, verse 13 addresses the faithful non-Jews, the nations [you also, those on the earth]). In Ephesians 1:10 (CV), Paul speaks of “the administration of the complement of the eras,” the purpose of which is to “head up the all in the Christ.” This specific “all,” designated as “the all” in the Greek text, is then identified metaphorically by Paul as both “the ones in the heavens” (the saints, the circumcised faithful Jews) and “the ones upon the earth” (faithful non-Jews, the nations).
Isaiah again takes up the theme of the Son, the Branch in chapter 11. Metaphor after metaphor flows from the pen of Isaiah, like a swiftly flowing river, in order to depict the righteousness and faithfulness of the ministry, the rule, of the Branch out of the root of Jesse. In the day of this son of David, the wolf will feed with the lamb, the leopard will rest with the goat; the calf and the young lion and the yearling will dwell peacefully together while being led by a little child; the cow and bear will feed together while their young relax together; a lion will eat straw like an ox; a weaning child will play with a cobra (Isa. 11:6-8). All these pictures are metaphoric images of the harmony, peace, and unity characterizing the wide variety of human beings making up the members of the Christ’s Body, the Christ’s Ecclesia, the Christ’s righteous community, the Born-From-Above Israel of Yahweh.
Isaiah declares, “They
shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full
of the knowledge of the Lord [Yahweh], as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:9
KJV). Only in Yahweh’s mountain,
The Apostles were commissioned by Jesus the Messiah to preach
the Gospel to the entire creation (Mk. 16:15); to all the nations (Lk. 24:47);
before the nations, kings, and the sons of
In chapter 55 of Isaiah, writing about the eonian covenant and the sure mercies of David which Yahweh would provide His people in the day of the Branch, the Holy One of Israel, he quotes Yahweh as saying,
so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11 KJV)
The Gospel of God, the Gospel of the Kingdom, the Gospel of
Christ, the Gospel of the Circumcision, the Gospel of the Uncircumcision are
the word of Yahweh. That word was given to the Apostles of Christ to proclaim
to the world (the whole inhabited household of
Yahweh’s word did not return to Him void. It accomplished His purpose, prospering in the process. Jesus testified after His resurrection,
These are My words, which I speak to you, still being with you, for all must be fulfilled that is written in the law of Moses and the prophets and psalms concerning Me. (Luke 24:44 CV)
The Apostles, Saints, and faithful Gentiles were faithful to the end of that age and were not disappointed as to the Parousia of Christ their faithful and righteous King.
Isaiah goes on to declare that in the day of the Branch,
there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign [standard] of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek . . . the Lord [Yahweh] shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, . . . (Isaiah 11:10-11a KJV)
Again, Isaiah composes in metaphoric pictures the salvation of
Yahweh in the day of the Branch, the Root of Jesse, the Messiah, Jesus the Christ. Yahweh will set up a
standard by which He will guide the nations back toward Him. This ensign, or
standard, in the Greek Scriptures becomes Jesus the Christ and the Gospel sent out to
As a result of this standard, Yahweh will assemble the outcasts
Metaphorically, Isaiah describes this gathering of Yahweh as coming from “the four corners of the earth” (Isa. ), referring to the four corners of a garment to indicate the whole, complete garment. Isaiah knows very well the earth does not have four corners in a literal sense. According to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus alludes to this text in Isaiah when, speaking metaphorically, He prophesies,
Now immediately after the affliction of those days the
sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not be giving her beams, and the stars
shall be falling from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And
then shall appear the sign of the Son of Mankind in heaven, and then all the
tribes of the land shall grieve, and they shall see the Son of Mankind coming
on the clouds of heaven with power and much glory. And He shall be dispatching
His messengers with a loud sounding trumpet, and they shall be assembling His
chosen from the four winds, from the extremities of the heavens to their
extremities [referring to the boundaries
Jesus is speaking metaphorically of the last events culminating in the consummation of His Parousia.
The darkening of the sun metaphorically refers to
The metaphor of the weeds being cast into a furnace of fire
refers to those unfaithful Jews who reject the good news of the New Covenant
and remain loyal to the old Mosaic Covenant. Being cast into this metaphorical
furnace of fire occurs at the conclusion of the Mosaic Eon when Yahweh executes
the judicial sentence of the Mosaic Covenant and the curse of the law against the
disloyal subjects of Yahweh who rebel against Him in their rebellion against
It is at this revelation of the true sons of the Kingdom of Yahweh that the remaining members of the remnant of calloused Israel, represented by the blind and calloused Saul of Tarsus, will have their eyes opened and their callousness removed, resulting in the salvation of “all Israel” (Rom. 11:25-28 CV). This is the significance of the meaning of Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 1:12-16:
Grateful am I to Him Who invigorates me, Christ Jesus, our Lord, for He deems me faithful, assigning me a service, I, who formerly was a calumniator and a persecutor and an outrager: but I was shown mercy, seeing that I did it being ignorant, in unbelief. Yet the grace of our Lord overwhelmed, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all welcome, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, foremost of whom am I. But therefore was I shown mercy, that in me, the foremost, Jesus Christ should be displaying all His patience, for a pattern of those who are about to be believing on Him for life eonian. (CV)
The salvation of Saul of Tarsus on the road to
As Jesus spoke metaphorically in His depiction of the assembling of His chosen ones from the four winds, so also Paul wrote metaphorically in describing this same historical event which would occur at the conclusion of the, then, present eon,
for the Lord Himself will be descending from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the Chief Messenger, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ shall be rising first. Thereupon we, the living who are surviving, shall at the same time be snatched away together with them in clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And thus shall we always be together with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 CV)
Paul clearly understood this event as occurring in the lifetime of the, then, present saints. This, he could, with certainty, conclude on the basis of the conclusion drawn by Jesus after specifically elaborating on the various signs preceding the consummation of His Parousia and the consummation of that present age as recorded in Matthew: “Verily, I am saying to you that by no means may this generation be passing by till all these things should be occurring” (Matt. 24:34 CV).
In the days of the Branch, Isaiah prophesied a second exodus
(Isa. ). Yahweh would
recover the remnant of His people. Isaiah prophesies Yahweh will “destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea”
(Isa. KJV). This is
metaphoric language meaning Yahweh will provide an accessible way for His
people to return to Him from the regions of
The evangel, the Gospel, is Yahweh’s means of creating a “highway for the remnant of his people”
(Isa. 11:16a KJV). The Gospel removes all obstacles from the path leading to
the New Jerusalem, the New Zion of Yahweh, paving a wide highway for easy
access to Yahweh’s covenantal presence. As well as paving a new highway from
Before proceeding to Isaiah chapter 49, Isaiah’s oracle
concerning the future destruction of
The Medes are called Yahweh’s “sanctified ones . . . my mighty ones for mine anger” in verse 3 of
chapter 13. Yahweh has appointed and consecrated the Medes to execute His
What is interesting is the metaphoric language used by Isaiah
to describe the destruction of
For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. . . . Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord [Yahweh] of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger. (Isaiah 13:10, 13 KJV)
This description is not literal. It is not to be understood as referring to the objective behavior of these physical bodies. The stars, the sun, and the moon are metaphoric references to great political, military, and religious authorities. Such language is used to describe great political, military, religious, and economic upheaval in society. To “shake the heavens” and remove the earth out of her place describe cataclysmic upheavals in the organization of society, during which authorities fall from power and prestige and those who had been in subjection rise up to take their place.
In the present case, the Medes would rise up against the Babylonians and remove them from political power and prestige. The Babylonian Empire would be destroyed and replaced by the Medo-Persian Empire. The political, religious, and economic “heavens and earth,” order, would be created anew, thus, creating a new heavens and earth, metaphorically speaking.
In verse 19 of chapter 13 of Isaiah, the overthrow of
The metaphoric language used by Isaiah in verses 10 and 13 is also used by Joel: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord [Yahweh] come” (Joel 2:31 KJV). Peter quotes this passage in Acts, chapter 2, when explaining the meaning of the pouring out of Yahweh’s spirit during the Feast of Pentecost following the death and resurrection of Jesus. He, also, understands this language to be metaphoric, rather than natural upheaval.
When Jesus uses this same metaphoric language of the prophets (Matt. 24:29-31), the Greek Scriptures emphatically confirm the interpretation of this language as referring to cataclysmic covenantal reorganization, the creation of a new covenant, the creation of a new heavens and earth. The Israel of Yahweh—the Christ and His Ecclesia—replaces the conquered and judged Israel of The Adversary in the metaphoric new heavens of Yahweh’s commissioning and engineering, while the Israel according to the flesh, the nation of Judah, is subjugated under Christ’s footstool upon the metaphoric earth of Yahweh’s commissioning and engineering, making this nation covenantally no different than any other nation in the eon following the Mosaic Eon, which happens to be our own present age.
One last divergence is necessary. The passage of Isaiah 14, verses
12-20, has been mistakenly interpreted as referring to Satan. The Hebrew text
more accurately reads, “How you are
fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn!” (v. 12, RSV). Isaiah is
referring to the king of
According to Isaiah 44:28 and 45:1, Cyrus, the king of the
Medo-Persian Empire, is declared to be Yahweh’s shepherd, Yahweh’s anointed one,
in order for him to become Yahweh’s instrument in returning the Judean captives
in Babylon to their homeland. In 49:6, Isaiah takes up the subject of a servant
far greater than Cyrus. The task of this greater servant exceeds, both in scope
and purpose, the ultimate salvation of
This commission, according to the Greek Scriptures, is achieved by Christ through His commissioned Apostles, especially the Apostle Paul, as Luke records in Acts 13:44-47, wherein Paul applies the text of Isaiah 49:6 to both himself and Barnabas:
Now on the coming sabbath almost the entire city was gathered to hear the word of the Lord. Yet the Jews, perceiving the throngs, are filled with jealousy, and they contradicted the things spoken by Paul, blaspheming. Being bold, both Paul and Barnabas said, “To you first was it necessary that the word of God be spoken. Yet, since, in fact, you are thrusting it away, and are judging yourselves not worthy of eonian life, lo! we are turning to the nations. For thus the Lord has directed us: I have appointed Thee for a light of the nations; for Thee to be for salvation as far as the limits of the earth.” (Acts 13:44-47 CV)
Paul and Barnabas are in Christ, and, so, members of His Body. They are members of The Christ (see 1 Cor. ; 2 Cor. ) and, as such, are, together, the commissioned servant of Isaiah 49:6. This Servant, The Christ, the Anointed Body, would carry this salvation to the ends of the earth during that last generation of the Mosaic Eon. All that which is written in the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms concerning the Christ would be fulfilled by the faithful members of Christ’s Ecclesia (Lk. 24:44-49 CV) in the period during which Christ promised, “I am with you all the days till the conclusion of the eon! Amen!” (Matt. 28:20b CV). The word of Yahweh did not return to Him void. It accomplished its goal in its allotted time.
The 50th chapter of Isaiah begins with a very significant
Yahweh asks, “or which
of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you?” (50:1b KJV). Again, the
question is ironical. Yahweh has never been in debt to anyone. He has never had
any need to sell what is His because of lack of wealth or power.
Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst. I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering. (Isaiah 50:2-3 KJV)
Yahweh can and will redeem His people consisting,
metaphorically, of mother and children. The figurative mother represents an earlier generation, and the figurative children represent a later or younger
generation. Thus, prophetically and metaphorically, the mother and children are
to be conceived as one whole entity, one whole people, one whole nation, the
elect of Yahweh. This is precisely the image taken up and used by John in the Book
of Revelation, chapter 12. He sees a great sign in the heaven of his vision, “a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon
underneath her feet, and on her head a wreath of twelve stars” (Rev. 12:1
CV). The Woman is pregnant and about to give birth. A great dragon is seen
waiting to devour her child (vs. 3-4). The Woman is figuratively the
At the coming of John the Baptist and Jesus, the Woman becomes pregnant, being inseminated with the Gospel of the Kingdom. After the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ, she gives birth to a male child, a son (Rev. 12:5 CV; see also Isa. 66:8). The child is snatched away to Yahweh and His throne (Rev. 12:5). Historically, this took place at the Feast of Pentecost of Acts, chapter 2. The Woman, mother Israel (the Southern Kingdom of Judah), the elect of Yahweh, though still ignorant and blind in unbelief, as illustrated in the person of Saul of Tarsus, flees into the wilderness where she is protected by Yahweh until the time set by Him to open her eyes and deliver her from unbelief, according to the pattern revealed in the salvation of Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus (1 Tim. 1:12-16). This would take place during the process of Christ’s Approach/Arrival Parousia (approximately 64-70 a.d.) as described in Matthew 13:36‑43 and Romans 8:18-28.
Replacing the Woman is her male child, her son, who is snatched up to the throne of Yahweh in heaven. The son, the Ecclesia of the Christ, is now clothed with the sun of the New Covenant established by Jesus the Christ. The light, the glory, the life of the Mosaic Covenant is now superseded by the light, the glory, the life of the New Covenant.
The Mosaic Covenant now begins to function as an
administration of death. It begins to execute Yahweh’s judgment of covenantal
The Woman’s son, Christ and His Body, His Ecclesia, now
located metaphorically in heaven, manifests the light, the glory, and the life
of Yahweh’s New Covenant upon
Thus, the enemy of the
Christ is the
For they are not all
Jesus refers to these enemies (who though descended biologically from Abraham are spiritually, covenantally, not his seed, not his children) when He declares, “You are of your father, the Adversary, and the desires of your father you are wanting to do” (Jn. 8:44a CV). What did these children of the Adversary (Cain) desire to do that characterized them as not being children of Abraham? Jesus answers this question, “Yet now you are seeking to kill Me, a Man Who has spoken to you the truth which I heard from God. This Abraham does not do. Yet you are doing the works of your father” (Jn. -41a CV). This characterizes them as children of Cain, the one who sought and achieved the murder of his innocent brother Abel.
Satan, appointed by Yahweh as Accuser, Prosecutor of Yahweh’s people (Yahweh’s elect) and defense attorney representing Yahweh’s enemies, is first associated in the Hebrew Scriptures with Cain, his first client. As such, Satan is referred to as The Adversary, and Cain is metaphorically designated as his seed. All those of the seed of Adam choosing to oppose Yahweh with full knowledge of the significance of this act are characterized as the sons of Cain, sons of the wicked one (1 Jn. 5:18-19 CV; Matt. 13:19 CV), sons of The Adversary. When Jesus refers to the Adversary as “a man-killer from the beginning” (Jn. 8:44b CV), He is referring to Cain the metaphorical son of both The Adversary (Satan) and the serpent of Genesis 3. Knowing the truth of Yahweh Elohim, Cain defiantly shed the blood of his innocent brother.
When Yahweh comes to redeem, He clothes the heavens with
blackness, and makes sackcloth their covering (Isa. 50:3 KJV). He removes the
The nation of
And I perceived a star fallen out of heaven into the earth. And to him was given the key of the well of the submerged chaos. And he opens the well of the submerged chaos, and fumes ascended out of the well as the smoke of a large furnace, and the sun and the air are darkened by the fumes of the well. (Revelation 9:1-2 CV)
This kingdom is a kingdom of covenantal darkness, death, and pollution. It is the object of Yahweh’s wrath. It is the enemy of Yahweh and His Christ.
Cain and his sons assemble under the banner of The Adversary (Satan) for open warfare against Abel and his sons under the banner of Jesus the Christ. Yahweh abandons this corrupt nation, giving it over to the power and authority of The Adversary commissioned by Yahweh Himself to lead the sons of Cain into destruction and death, primarily covenantal death, but also, for many, physical death. The role of The Adversary is to defend, equip, and lead these malignant ones into the destruction and death prepared for them by Yahweh. The Adversary faithfully carries out his assignment.
As Yahweh sets this corrupt nation free to go its own way, to
do that which is good in its own eyes, to do what is evil in the eyes of
Yahweh, so also does He provide a highway of redemption for those accounted as
the seed of Abraham, the children of the promise: “have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I
make the rivers a wilderness” (Isa. 50:2b KJV). Jesus the Christ manifests His power through the proclamation of the
Gospel which paves a highway made accessible to the entire inhabited world of
Closing in on the final chapters of Isaiah, we read in chapter 61,
The Spirit of the Lord [Yahweh] God [Elohim] is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, . . . (Isaiah 61:1-2a KJV)
When Jesus comes to
The passage in Isaiah 61 goes on to read,
and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called Trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. (Isaiah 61:2b-3 KJV)
This passage was later incorporated into Jesus’ sermon on the
Mount recorded in Matthew, chapters 5-7. In
Isaiah 61:4-9 describes metaphorically the accomplishments of
the Gospel of Christ after His death and resurrection. The wastes of a bygone
age will be rebuilt, the desolations of former times will be raised up, ruined
cities will be repaired, strangers will stand and shepherd the flocks of
All these things were fulfilled spiritually (see Isa. 55:1-2) according to the terms of the New Covenant (see Isa. 55:3b). There was a literal fulfillment, but not in the terrestrial terms of the terrestrial promises concerned with the terrestrial land and the terrestrial kingdom. An example of such a unique literal fulfillment is found in Revelation 1:5-6 where John affirms that Christ has made His faithful ones “a kingdom and priests to His God and Father” (CV). The literal fulfillment had to do with celestial terms of celestial promises concerned with a literal celestial place, celestial city, celestial temple not made with hands; thus, a literal celestial allotment in a literal celestial kingdom that would have no end. All the writings of the Greek Scriptures record nuances of this unique, literal, celestial fulfillment.
Another indication of the prophets having been fulfilled in the first century is Isaiah’s prophecy concerning a new eonian covenant and the sure mercies of David: “and I [Yahweh] will make an everlasting [Heb. = Olam, eonian] covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David” (Isa. 55:3b KJV). Paul, entering the synagogue in Antioch of Pisidia, stood up and testified,
Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience . . . we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. (Acts 13:16b, 32-34 KJV)
Paul confirms the fulfillment of Isaiah 55:3 by the
proclamation of the Gospel of Christ. The promise that Yahweh made to the
Speaking of the Branch, the Christ, the Son of David, Isaiah writes,
Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee, because of the Lord [Yahweh] thy God [Elohim], and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee. (Isaiah 55:4-5 KJV)
The Branch, the Messiah, the Son of David, the beneficiary of
the sure mercies of David, is given for a witness to the people (the
Yet now, in Christ Jesus, you, who once were far off, are become near by the blood of Christ. For He is our Peace, Who makes both one, and razes the central wall of the barrier (the enmity in His flesh), nullifying the law of precepts in decrees, that He should be creating the two, in Himself, into one new humanity [corporate, national man], making peace; and should be reconciling both in one body to God through the cross, killing the enmity in it. And, coming, He brings the evangel of peace to you, those afar, and peace to those near, for through Him we both have had the access, in one spirit, to the Father. (Ephesians 2:13-18 CV modified)
Isaiah, next, enthusiastically exclaims,
The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the Lord [Yahweh], The Zion of the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 60:14 KJV)
This city descends out of the metaphoric, new covenantal heaven from God. It is not presented as future for us today. It is depicted as already present for the Saints who had been recently endowed with power from above, that is, the metaphoric heaven where Christ is at that time on the seat of David at the right hand of His Father Yahweh.
The Apostle John, shortly after experiencing the outpouring of
Yahweh’s spirit at Pentecost, came to be in spirit in the
These Saints are presented in prophetic image as the new holy
Being “His peoples” began
to occur at the Pentecost of Acts, chapter 2. At that time, as a result of the
pouring out of Yahweh’s spirit according to the authority given to Jesus the Christ by Yahweh His Father, the
holy city, the new Jerusalem descended out of the heaven, this spirit anointing
the faithful community. This anointing made this community a spiritual
community, the new Israel of Yahweh! It became THE CHRIST, “For even as the body is one and has many members, yet all the members
of the one body, being many, are one body, thus also is the Christ” (1 Cor.
12:12 CV). It became the new spiritual, heavenly
In the new, heavenly
As for “the former things” which have “passed away,” Paul makes clear that these things refer to the old, Mosaic Covenant, the creation at Sinai:
So that, if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation. The primitive things passed away. Behold! New things have come! (2 Corinthians 5:17 my translation)
This passage alludes to Isaiah, chapter 42. Isaiah, prophesying concerning the time of the Branch, the Messiah, the Christ, writes,
I the Lord [Yahweh] . . . will . . . give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; . . . Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: . . . (Isaiah 42:6-9 KJV)
Isaiah understands the former things to refer to the conditions of the Mosaic Covenant in contrast to the new covenant Yahweh will make with His people through the Christ. Paul seals this interpretation when he testifies that Yahweh, through Christ, has made His Apostles “competent dispensers of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the spirit, for the letter is killing, yet the spirit is vivifying” (2 Cor. 3:6 CV). The letter refers to the old, Mosaic Covenant (the former or primitive things). The spirit refers to the New Covenant of Christ (the new things).
Continuing his description of the future restoration of
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord [Yahweh] is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. (Isaiah 60:1-2 KJV)
When Jesus arrives to publicly present Himself before His people, which occurs at His presentation before John the Baptist to participate in John’s baptism, He immediately departs into the wilderness where He triumphantly overcomes the strategies of The Adversary acting as the prosecuting attorney for the sons of Cain. After the execution of the Baptist, upon the initiation of the ministry of Jesus, the writer of the Gospel of Matthew quotes Isaiah 9:1-2, which also alludes to the passage quoted above: “The people sitting in darkness perceived a great light, And to those sitting in the province and shadow of death, light arises for them” (Matt. 4:16 CV).
Thus, the Greek Scriptures understand Jesus to be the light
and glory of Yahweh to arise and shine upon
Returning to the 60th chapter of Isaiah, the text continues
its metaphorical description of
The prophet Isaiah is therefore providing the reader with a view of the land as seen through the eyes of Yahweh. In the past, Yahweh had viewed the land and the people through the spectacles of the Mosaic Covenant. In the present time of the kingship of Jesus the Christ, the Son of David, Yahweh views the land and the people through the spectacles of the New Covenant associated with Jesus the Christ.
Verse 18b of Isaiah 60 informs the reader that the walls of the new Jerusalem are to be called “Salvation.” Only within the walls of the new Jerusalem is there to be experienced Yahweh’s salvation. Thus, only in Christ is there salvation—peace, security, righteousness, life.
Verse 19 of Isaiah 60 adds, “The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord [Yahweh] shall be unto thee an everlasting [eonian] light, and thy God [Elohim] thy glory” (KJV). The light of the sun and the light of the moon are metaphors depicting the function of the Mosaic Law. In Christ, in the new Jerusalem, the Mosaic Law, the old covenant will no longer be a source of light for the New Israel of Yahweh. The New Covenant would be the new source of light.
The New Covenant is a spiritual covenant not made by hands, but created by Yahweh through and in Jesus the Christ. Its light is the very spirit of Yahweh and His Christ. This light would serve to illuminate and instruct the people of Yahweh during the last days of the Mosaic Eon. This is the reason for characterizing it as “an eonian light.” This characterization reveals (highlights) only its function during the last days of the Mosaic Eon, as Christ and His army of righteous ones engage in spiritual warfare against the enemies of Yahweh and Christ (see 1 Cor. 15:20-28). The age would end when the victory of Yahweh’s Christ was completed. Yahweh’s glory would be manifested in this holy city, in this holy people, the Saints of the Most High (see Daniel , 27 KJV).
In verse 20 of Isaiah 60, the prophecy takes up the subject of the new covenant which it had implied in verse 19. The text now refers to “thy” sun and “thy” moon. The sun and moon of verse 19 no longer provide light for the new community of Saints, rather, “Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord [Yahweh] shall be thine everlasting [eonian] light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended” (KJV). This new sun and moon refers to the new light of the New Covenant manifested by the spirit of Yahweh and His Christ dwelling within the Saints and illuminating out from and over them:
For we are not heralding ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, . . . for the God Who says that, out of darkness light shall be shining, is He Who shines in our hearts, with a view to the illumination of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:5-6 CV)
Under the light of the Mosaic Covenant, the people of Yahweh bore the mourning caused by the continual counting up of their sins by the law. Under the light of the New Covenant, the blood of Christ is continually available for the cleansing of the Saints from their sins. The Saints of the New Covenant had the pardon of sins and the justification from all which they could not be justified in the Law of Moses (see Acts 13:39 CV). Under the light of the New Covenant, sin was no longer being counted up, the light of the Mosaic Covenant no longer having authority to focus its beam over the New Jerusalem, the New Israel of Yahweh, the New People of Yahweh, the Saints of the Most High, the Ecclesia of Christ. Thus, the days of mourning were over for the faithful ones under the New Covenant.
Verses 21-22 of Isaiah 60 conclude,
Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit [tenant, CV; possess, EB] the land for ever [for the eon, Heb. = olam], the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation. (KJV)
Isaiah here refers to the New People, the New Nation, the New Israel of Yahweh. They are all to be righteous, and, as such, Saints of the Most High. They are righteous ones because they are in Christ. They are the ones “planted together in the likeness of His [Christ’s] death” (Rom. 6:5 CV). They are the ones “entombed together with Him [the Branch, the Christ] through baptism into death, that, even as Christ was roused from among the dead through the glory of the Father, thus we also should be walking in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4 CV).
Yahweh has planted them; they are the spiritual House, the
Yahweh will hasten this work during the era or season He has predetermined. He will hasten this work, for it will be marvelously achieved in a relatively short period of time:
Who hath heard such a thing? . . . Shall the earth be
made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon
When would be the era or season of this work, and who would be the humble faithful ones?
When Jesus informs His disciples how difficult it will be for
a rich man to enter the
The answer Jesus gives to this question is prophetically significant; for it interprets the time and people of Isaiah 60:21-22.
Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me,
in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory,
ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of
The “regeneration” begins with the outpouring of the spirit of Yahweh at Pentecost upon the small band of about one hundred twenty people (see Acts 1:15) who had followed Jesus. At this time, Jesus had ascended to His Father and had sat down upon the throne of David, the throne of “His glory” (Matt. 19:28), from which throne He was given the authority to pour out the spirit of Yahweh in fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32a (see Acts 2:12-33).
At this time, the Twelve Apostles of Jesus the Christ, the Son of David, the promised King of Israel, are anointed princes over the twelve tribes of Israel, authorizing them to judge the people of Yahweh, giving these princes jurisdiction in all practical questions of covenantal law. James, the brother of Jesus, is given authority to preside as Regent over the official assemblies of the people during the physical absence of Jesus. In exchange for having forsaken houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, wife, children, or lands for the sake of the name of Jesus, thus, for the sake of the Davidic Kingdom now being reestablished, these faithful ones of Jesus the Christ, the Son of David, are promised, first, in the then present last days of the Mosaic Eon, the power (a taste of, Heb. 6:4-5) of the life of the New Covenant which would be perfected, completed, in the age to come. Second, they are promised the reception of a hundred times such earthly possessions and relationships as a result of their association with the spiritual possessions and relationships of the New Jerusalem, the New Covenant, the New Israel of Yahweh having just begun to be marvelously brought about, hastened, by the hands of Yahweh.
This framework of time is verified by Mark’s account of Jesus’ response. According to Mark, Jesus answers that anyone forsaking all “on My account and on account of the evangel” would be getting back “a hundredfold now, in this era, . . . with persecutions, and in the coming eon, life eonian” (Mk. 10:30 CV). Note the immediate fulfillment of Isaiah 60:22a (KJV), “A little one shall become a thousand,” as recorded in Acts 2:41, “Those indeed, then, who welcomed his [Peter’s] word, were baptized, and there were added in that day about three thousand souls” (CV). The account continues,
Now on every soul came fear, yet many miracles and
signs occurred through the apostles in
All things are possible with Yahweh. The time, the season, the era of Isaiah 60:21-22 had come.
Yahweh had begun hastening the prophesied work of His hands. All
would be completed within a period of about 40 years. Notice the progression
recorded in Acts: “Now many of those who
heard the word, believed, and the number of men became about five thousand”
(4:4 CV); “there were added of those
believing the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, . . .” (5:14 CV); “Now in these days, the disciples
multiplying, . . .” (6:1 CV); “And
the word of God grew, and the number of the disciples in
During this most holy era or season, Yahweh’s hands began the work of constructing a new creation:
For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and
the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and
rejoice for ever [perpetually] in
that which I create: for, behold, I create
Yahweh is not going to physically recreate the old heavens and
earth. The language is metaphorical. It is an allusion to Deuteronomy 4:32-40. There,
Yahweh distinguished between the “former
days” (Deut. 4:32 CV) and the present day at Sinai where Yahweh had begun a
new work, a new creation, a new heavens and earth in which Israel was
covenantally placed above the nations.
During the era or season of the Branch, Yahweh is again
creating a new heavens and earth. He is again establishing a covenant with
After Christ’s resurrection from the dead, Yahweh no longer
minded, recognized, acknowledged, the Mosaic Covenant as a covenant offering
life. The Mosaic Covenant was in the process of administering its telos, its end, its goal—the covenantal
This new creation, according to verse 18 of Isaiah 65, is
In this new Jerusalem, metaphorically occupying a place in the metaphoric new heavens, “There shall be thenceforward, no more, A suckling [child] of a few days, or an elder Who filleth not up his days,—But, a youth a hundred years old, may die, Yea a sinner a hundred years old, shall be accursed” (Isa. 65:20 EB). Once again, this language is metaphorical. In this new heavenly city, covenantal death will have been abolished. The New Covenant is a covenant of life. Its end, its telos, in contrast to the old Mosaic Covenant, is life. All those participating in it have covenantal life and power in the midst of the covenantal death of the Mosaic Covenant. The only possibility of death comes from removing oneself from under the New Covenant (exiting the New Jerusalem in order to reenter the old Jerusalem, abandoning Jesus the Messiah in order to return to Moses, Heb. 6:4-6) in order to return to the domain of the Mosaic Covenant. Such an act is apostasy, the unpardonable sin, and identifies the sinner as accursed. Returning to the Mosaic Covenant places the sinner under the curse of the law—covenantal and/or physical death—which the Mosaic Covenant was then presently in the process of undergoing.
The people of this new Jerusalem “shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord [Yahweh], and their offspring with them” (Isa. 65:23 KJV). Paul declares in 1 Cor. 15:10 that Yahweh’s grace bestowed upon him for the ministry “was not in vain” (KJV); in 15:14 he announces that if Christ has not risen from the dead, the preaching of the Gospel and the faith in that Gospel is in “vain” (KJV); he concludes this chapter, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (15:58 KJV). This profitable labor is the labor of Isaiah 65:23. It would not return to Yahweh void. It would not be vain labor. It would accomplish its task and be rewarded.
These people are the people of Yahweh; those people who Yahweh
is accounting as Abraham’s seed: “not all
those out of
The offspring referred to by Isaiah are the spiritual offspring of the Saints (the circumcised faithful Jews) who proclaim the Gospel of Christ. Those believing this Gospel are their offspring, as described by Paul: “For if you should be having ten thousand escorts in Christ, nevertheless not many fathers, for in Christ Jesus, through the evangel, I begot you” (1 Cor. 4:15 CV). Paul actually understood the intention of Isaiah 65:23 as referring to the likes of himself and the faithful ones of his own contemporary generation, a seed like no other seed before it, a blessed seed of Yahweh, the promised seed of Abraham, the seed of Christ Jesus Who is THE SEED of Abraham: “Now to Abraham the promises were declared, and to his Seed. He is not saying ‘And to seeds,’ as of many, but as of One: And to ‘your Seed,’ which is Christ” (Gal. 3:16 CV). That Seed (Christ together with those in Him), that offspring, was completed and rewarded its allotment in the Celestial Realm before the end of the first century a.d.
No generation thereafter has had the possibility of becoming Abraham’s seed. That seed was an elect seed blessed with Yahweh’s offer of salvation, the promises made to Abraham, through the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ. That Gospel has been preached by those authorized to proclaim it. That proclamation fulfilled its purpose. It did not return to Yahweh void. Jesus the Christ remained with His Apostles to the end of that eon, the Mosaic Eon, guaranteeing the successful fulfillment of their proclamation to that elect generation.
The Book of Isaiah ends with a last word concerning judgment and dishonor for the sons of Cain, the nation of the Adversary, and salvation and glory for the sons of Abel, the nation of Yahweh:
For, behold, the Lord [Yahweh] will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many. (Isaiah 66:15-16 KJV)
Of this judgment, John the Baptist declares, “Yet already the ax is lying at the root of
the trees” (Matt. 3:10a CV). Yahweh had already begun to judge His people
in accord with Isaiah 66:15-16. The Baptist, speaking of the Branch who was to
come after him, adds, “For I, indeed, am
baptizing you in water for repentance, yet He Who is coming after me is
stronger than I, . . . He will be baptizing you in holy spirit and fire, . . . He
will be scouring His threshing floor, and will be gathering His grain into His
barn, yet the chaff will He be burning up with unextinguished fire” (Matt.
3:11-12 CV). Both Isaiah and John the Baptist speak metaphorically. Fire
signifies judgment, primarily covenantal judgment, but also, in relation to the
Jesus gathering His grain into His barn refers to His
gathering them together in order for them to enter into the Celestial
Jerusalem. Christ’s Ecclesia during the time of its construction, its spiritual
growth and spiritual warfare, is figuratively represented as the new heavenly
The writer of Hebrews informs his readers that Abraham “waited for the city having foundations, whose Artificer and Architect is God” (Heb. 11:10 CV). Abraham and the faithful elect before Jesus Christ all died in faith not being requited with the promises (Heb. 11:13a). They were strangers and expatriates on the earth (Heb. 11:13b) “seeking for a country of their own. And, if, indeed, they remembered that from which they came out, they might have had occasion to go back. Yet now they are craving a better [country], that is, a celestial [Greek, epouraniou]; wherefore God is not ashamed of them, to be invoked as their God, for He makes ready for them a city” (Heb. 11:14b-16 CV). The city Yahweh makes ready is the Celestial Jerusalem which the new Jerusalem descending out of the new heaven (Greek, ouranou, see Rev. 21:2) is to become at its completion, its maturity; at the conclusion of its assigned work as Yahweh’s instrument by which He is to accomplish the salvation prophesied in the Law and the Prophets.
At that time, all the faithful ones would receive the promise
of Yahweh together: “And these all
[Abraham and the faithful ones who had lived prior to Jesus Christ], being testified to through faith, are not
requited with the promise of God concerning us (the looking forward is to
something better), that, apart from us, they may not be perfected” (Heb.
11:39-40 CV). The
At the end of the Mosaic Eon, Jesus the Christ would gather together the Born-From-Above Israel of Yahweh and openly manifest His glory
through them. Having accomplished this, the remaining circumcised-in-heart Jews
(represented by Saul of Tarsus), having their eyes opened to Christ’s glory,
flee the Israel of The Adversary, turning to Jesus the Messiah, the True and
Living Son of David, Son of Yahweh. This will leave the rebellious sons of Cain
in Judea and Jerusalem to suffer the judgment of Yahweh administered through the
Roman military force of Titus (the chaff burning up with unextinguished
[unquenchable, NASB] fire, Matt. 3:12b CV). This incineration of the
Peter describes the significance of this event:
Now the day of the Lord will be arriving as a thief, in which the heavens shall be passing by with a booming noise, yet the elements shall be dissolved by combustion, and the earth and the works in it shall be found. At these all, then, dissolving, to what manner of men must you belong in holy behavior and devoutness, hoping for and hurrying the presence of God's day, because of which the heavens, being on fire, will be dissolved, and the elements decompose by combustion! Yet we, according to His promises, are hoping for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness is dwelling. (2 Peter 3:10-13 CV)
“The heavens shall be
passing” refers to the Mosaic system represented by the
“The earth and the works
in it” refers to the contaminated service of the priests and princes
belonging to the
Thus, the destruction of the heavens and earth (the heavens
and earth representing the creative work of Yahweh at Mount Sinai) terminates
the Mosaic System of Worship and Service
The new heavenly
This Celestial Jerusalem represents the completed Ecclesia of
Christ, the completed spiritual Body of the
Christ, His Spiritual Complement/Wife. In this
Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead first reigns on the throne of David, metaphorically set in the new heavens created and generated by Yahweh, on the basis of the New Covenant established by Jesus’ shed blood. This New Covenant is made with the New Israel of Yahweh during the last days of the Mosaic Covenant. It makes possible the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. It empowers the New Israel of Yahweh with His spirit, enabling the new people in the midst of great affliction and persecution to keep His law with all the heart, soul, and mind. It enables this nation to obediently function as a kingdom of priests serving the nations on behalf of Yahweh.
At the successful completion of the New Nation’s service, the New Covenant in Christ’s blood is terminated. It was necessary while those in Christ lived in relation to (rather than under, “But law we are standing in its proper place,” see Rom. 6:14; 3:31 NGEINT, my translation) the Mosaic Covenant and in relation to the heavens and earth of the Mosaic Eon which was in the process of being replaced by the creation and generation of the new heavens and earth initiated by the New Covenant. At the time of the completion of the New Nation’s service, the work of the resurrected last Adam, David’s son, is completed. The kingdom of Israel, the restored Kingdom of David, has fulfilled its purpose in relation to the promises made to Abraham. The nations (faithful Gentiles) have been blessed and incorporated into the Born-From-Above Israel of Yahweh, making them “fellow-citizens of the saints” (Eph. 2:19 CV).
In Christ, as the Second Adam, the transformation of the
Israel of Yahweh into One New Man, no longer distinguishing between Jew or
Greek, slave or free, male and female (Gal. 3:28), is completed, perfected. The
enemies of Yahweh and Christ have been conquered. Christ, the Son of Yahweh,
then turns the kingdom over to His God and Father (1 Cor. ). He and His Ecclesia, His Body, enter
However, before the establishment of the Celestial Jerusalem,
there is the necessity of the new heavenly
These circumcised faithful Jews will bring as an offering to Yahweh the Jews and non-Jews faithfully receiving the Gospel of Christ proclaimed to them:
And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering
unto the Lord [Yahweh] out of all nations upon horses,
and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my
Here again, Isaiah paints a metaphoric picture of the evangelization among the nations by the Born-From-Above Israel of Yahweh commissioned with the Gospel of the Circumcision and the Gospel of the Uncircumcision (Gal. 2:7-8). This evangelization among the nations will gather “all your brethren,” that is, both Jews and non-Jews. These gathered, harvested faithful ones will be offered up to Yahweh even as the Israelites under the Mosaic Covenant brought the grain offering to the House of Yahweh.
From Yahweh’s New Israel, He would take some for priests and
others for Levites, thus, making this nation a kingdom of priests,
substantiating Isaiah’s statement in 61:6a, “But
ye shall be named The priests of the Lord
[Yahweh]” (KJV). These passages are alluded to in Romans 15:16 where Paul
applies these passages to himself: “for
me to be the minister of Christ Jesus for the nations, acting as a priest of
the evangel of God, that the approach present of the nations may be becoming
well received, having been hallowed by holy spirit” (CV). Paul, being a
circumcised faithful Jew, is counted among the Saints. He has been appointed
the Apostle to the Uncircumcision, and, as such, has the authority to act as a Priest in the presentation of the
faithful non-Jews (Messianic Gentiles) as an offering to Yahweh in His
spiritual House, the
Paul announces, “yet now
I am going to
Finally, the Book of Isaiah concludes with Yahweh’s blessing
and Yahweh’s cursing. The seed of Abraham, the spiritual Born-From-Above Israel of Yahweh, will remain before Yahweh. This
holy seed will never see corruption. The name of this New Man (the new
national, corporate, Born-From-Above
For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord [Yahweh], so shall your seed and your name remain. (Isaiah 66:22 KJV)
Yahweh began making this new heavens and new earth at Pentecost with the outpouring of His spirit. This new creation was completed at the consummation of the Parousia of Christ Jesus, occurring about 70 a.d., at which time the new present eon began. This new creation has continued generating historically throughout the past 2,000 years and still continues toward its goal of perfecting the remaining portion of the human race dwelling on the new earth. Its goal having been attained, the present eon will end and a new eon will begin “to the only, and wise God, through Christ Jesus, be glory for the eons of the eons. Amen”! (Rom. 16:27 CV); “to the only God, our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, might and authority . . . for all the eons. Amen!” (Jude v. 25 CV); “God, being rich in mercy, . . . vivifies us together in Christ . . . and rouses us together and seats us together among the celestials, in Christ Jesus, that, in the oncoming eons, He should be displaying the transcendent riches of His grace in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:4-7 CV).
Before being removed from the earth to the celestial place
prepared by Christ, the Saints, the holy seed of Abraham, the spiritual Israel
of Yahweh, “shall go forth, and look upon
the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm
shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an
abhorring unto all flesh” (Isa. 66:24 KJV). This metaphoric picture refers
figuratively to the valley of the sons of Hinnom located just outside the
southeastern wall of
Jeremiah indicates that this valley of the sons of Hinnom had
been the place in which
The worm that would not die and the fire that would not be
quenched figuratively allude to the fire of Gehenna
that never stopped burning. This is the metaphoric picture painted by Isaiah in
his final description of the ultimate covenantal curse upon the Israel of The
Adversary, the Cainish Israel, the Israel of the flesh whose entire history
(beginning with his breaking of the Sinatic Covenant as the result of
worshiping the golden calf to his final covenantal destruction in 70 a.d. signified by the final destruction
of the Temple of Yahweh made with hands) had been characterized as defiant
rebellion against Yahweh. This
The prophet Jeremiah also proclaims the judgment of Yahweh
against the Southern Kingdom of Judah. He announces that Yahweh has given
And I said after she [
And yet for all this her treacherous sister
The sins of the Northern Kingdom of Israel had resulted in a
bill of divorce. Yahweh had put her away. She had been made Lo-Ammi, not My people.
However, Yahweh, in the distant future, would show
Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say,
Return, thou backsliding
Yahweh, at that future time (the last days of the Mosaic Eon),
will call upon the children of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, dwelling among
the nations, to acknowledge their iniquity and their transgression against
Yahweh (Jer. ). At
their turning back to Yahweh, they would be led back to
This new relationship is not to be based upon the Mosaic
And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land [the New Israel of Yahweh], in those days, saith the Lord, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the Lord: neither shall it come to mind; neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more. (Jeremiah 3:15-16 KJV)
This new marital relationship, new Zion, new pardon of sins, and new pastors according to Yahweh’s heart would no longer rely on the Ark of the Covenant representing the covenant entered into at Sinai. The Sinatic Covenant would not come to mind, it would not be remembered; it would be abolished in terms of its function as provider of covenantal life, covenantal relationship with Yahweh.
At the ministerial arrival of John the Baptist and Jesus, the sheep had no caring shepherd to whom they belonged. Their hireling shepherds had forsaken the needs of the sheep in exchange for the securing of their own welfare. Jesus, perceiving this condition of the people, “was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things” (Mk. 6:34 KJV). His Apostles and disciples continued His work as shepherd after His resurrection and departure, being commissioned by Jesus and empowered by the holy spirit.
At that future time,
Such is the teaching of Jesus when He says to the Jews who had just believed Him, “If ever you should be remaining in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will be making you free” (Jn. 8:31b-32 CV). These Jews are shocked. They respond, “The seed of Abraham are we, and we have never been slaves of anyone. How are you saying that ‘You shall be becoming free?’” (Jn. 8:33 CV). These Jews are ignorant of the nature of the Mosaic Covenant. They do not realize that the children of Abraham, having entered into the covenant contracted at Sinai and having broken that covenant very shortly thereafter, became slaves under a covenant which became a ministry of death.
In counting up their sins and holding them responsible for their sins, they became slaves of sin. As a result, a second covenant became necessary. As slaves, they needed to be made free. They needed to become sons in Yahweh’s household, rather than slaves. Jesus responds to their shocked reply, “Everyone who is producing the sin counted up by the law is a slave of this covenantal sin. Now this slave is not remaining in the household of Yahweh for the eon. The Son is remaining in Yahweh’s household for the eon. If ever, then, the Son should be making all of you slaves free, you will be really free” (Jn. -36 my translation).
Thus, to become a free son
of Abraham, a member of the Promised Seed of Abraham, one had to be delivered
out from under the Sinatic Covenant (see Gal. 3:15-18). Thus, the nations, the
uncircumcised, are declared to be gathered into this new Jerusalem to take
their place before the throne of Yahweh (Jer. 3:17). This is possible because
the promise given to Abraham was given to him before he entered into the
Covenant of Circumcision (see
According to Jeremiah ,
the time of the deliverance of the Northern Kingdom of Israel will be when the
In verse 9 of Jeremiah, chapter 17, the word “heart” is preceded by the definite
article. The heart in this verse refers back to verse 1, “The sin of
Yahweh searches (probes) each heart (no article before heart)
in order to give each Israelite man according to the fruit produced by the
attitude, character, bent, leaning of his heart.
In spite of this sinful condition of
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord [Yahweh], that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. (Jeremiah 23:5 KJV)
Jesus claimed He was the King, the righteous Branch of David’s
seed, promised in the Law and the Prophets: “And
I am covenanting a covenant with you, according as My Father covenanted a
kingdom to Me” (Lk.
CV). Jesus, after His resurrection, sat down on the throne of David. His
Apostles were seated on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of
Peter confirms the seating of Jesus the Christ upon the throne of David when, after quoting the words of David in Psalm 16:8, he explains,
Being, then, inherently, a prophet, and having perceived that God swears to him with an oath, out of the fruit of his loin to seat One on his throne, perceiving this before, he speaks concerning the resurrection of the Christ, . . . (Acts 2:30-31a CV)
Jesus the Christ at that time had already begun to rule on the throne of David.
Paul concurs with Peter’s interpretation when, speaking to the
And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. (Acts 13:32-34 KJV)
The “sure mercies of David” are associated with the son promised to David in 2 Samuel 7:12b-15: “I will set up thy seed after thee, . . . I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever [for the eon]. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. . . . my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul . . .” (KJV) and the pardon of David’s sins which according to the law deserved the death penalty. According to the Greek Scriptures, Jesus is the ultimate son of David promised in this passage.
Paul then concludes, “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:38-39 KJV). The “sure mercies of David” are associated with Yahweh’s merciful forgiveness of David’s sins in relation to Bathsheba and her husband Uriah. Jesus the Messiah, according to Paul, at the time of the preaching of the Gospel of Christ, was the administrator of such mercies. Identification with Him through faithful commitment resulted in the forgiveness of sins and a justification not possible under the Mosaic Law.
Jeremiah writes, “In his
Jesus accomplishes this by the cleansing of the nations as revealed to Peter in his vision of the unclean animals. Peter is told “Sacrifice and eat!” (Acts 10:13 CV). Repeated, he responds, “Far be it from me, Lord, for I never ate anything contaminating and unclean!” (Acts 10:14 CV). He is then told, “What God cleanses, do not you count contaminating!” (Acts 10:15b CV). This vision is immediately followed by the messenger from Cornelius, a God-fearing non-Jew. Peter is sent to preach the Gospel to Cornelius. As he is in the process of proclaiming, the holy spirit is poured out on those hearing his words. Peter and the faithful circumcised Jews with him conclude, “on the nations also the gratuity of the holy spirit has been poured out” (Acts 10:45b CV).
Peter later reports to the Saints (Messianic Jews) in
These events substantiated what the spirit of Yahweh had already begun earlier as a result of the persecution arising after the stoning of Stephen. Some of the Saints dispersed from Jerusalem at that time, arriving at Antioch in Syria, proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah to the Greeks (uncircumcised gentiles), and a vast number believed (Acts 11:19-21). The text explains, “And the hand of the Lord was with them” (Acts 11:21a CV). This incident had been puzzling to the Saints, even as the incident with Cornelius was to be puzzling to and unexpected by Peter and the circumcised Saints accompanying him. Yahweh’s hand had been at work authorizing the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus the Christ to the nations, to the surprise of His faithful circumcised community of Saints.
By cleansing the nations, Yahweh opened the Highway of salvation to the Northern
Kingdom of Israel which He had earlier declared Lo-Ammi, not My people (thus, made gentiles), and had scattered
among the nations at the hands of the Assyrians. Jesus the Messiah, the Son of
Yahweh, the Son of David, was in the process of restoring the divided kingdom
of His father David. In His (Jesus’) days,
Jeremiah again writes of the future day of the Branch, the One
Whose name is “The Lord Our Righteousness,” Jesus the Christ: “For, lo, the
days come, saith the Lord
[Yahweh], that I will bring again the
captivity of my people
We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it. (Jeremiah 30:5-7 KJV)
This prophecy alludes to Genesis, chapter 34. Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, by Leah, is seized by and forced to lay with Shechem, son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land. Shechem, however, is in love with Dinah and desires to marry her. His father, Hamor, approaches Jacob seeking Dinah as a bride for his son. Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, hearing of the humiliation of their sister, Jacob’s daughter, become indignant. The name of their father has been dishonored. Intermarriage with a Canaanite people is covenantally forbidden. Their anger is thus enraged.
Deceitfully, they inform Hamor and Shechem of the one condition necessary for such a marriage to take place: All the males of their city must be circumcised. This condition is accepted by the governing elite of the city. In accord with the agreement, every male residing in the city is circumcised.
While in this condition, Simeon and Levi enter the city and slay with the sword every male, taking as plunder their flocks, herds, wives, children, and all their wealth. Upon hearing of this evil deed, Jacob lamentably responds,
You trouble me to make me stink among all the dwellers of the land, among the Canaanite and among the Perizzite. And I am death-doomed, outnumbered . . . (Genesis 34:30 CV)
Simeon and Levi answer Jacob, “As with a prostitute may he deal with our sister?” (Gen. 34:31 CV). Yahweh, however, protects Jacob and his household. He is not destroyed by the remaining inhabitants of the land. Neither does Yahweh at that time judge Simeon and Levi.
But Yahweh has not forgotten that evil deed which brought
trouble to Jacob. Through Jeremiah, Yahweh reveals a future judgment upon a
deceitful and murderous
Note the significant elements in this affair regarding Dinah,
Simeon, and Levi: deceit, circumcision, murder, and prostitution. These four
elements characterize the events that take place during the days of Jesus and
His contemporaries. The
They then seek to force the nations coming to Jesus, as a result of the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ, to be circumcised in order to undermine the citizens of the new heavenly Jerusalem and their gracious mission to the nations: “And some [pseudo messianic Jews], coming down from Judea, taught the brethren that, ‘If you should not be circumcised after the custom of Moses, you can not be saved’” (Acts 15:1 CV); “some who are disturbing you want also to distort the evangel of Christ” (Gal. 1:7b CV); “Yet, it was because of the false brethren who were smuggled in . . . to spy out our freedom which we have in Christ Jesus, that they shall be enslaving us— . . .” (Gal. 2:4 CV). These metaphorical sons of Simeon and Levi perceive the Ecclesia of Christ as prostituting the Law of Moses. Such prostitution was considered blasphemy against Yahweh and His covenant. According to the Law of Moses, such blasphemy demanded death. Thus, these false brethren deceitfully identify with the Gospel of Christ openly while secretly intending to destroy the Gospel by undermining its intent and purpose.
This time of Jacob’s
trouble is equivalent to “the abomination
of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet” (Matt. 24:15 KJV). It refers
to the last years of the war of the Jews against
Jacob is to be saved out of this time of trouble caused by the
For I am not willing for you to be ignorant of this
secret, brethren, . . . that callousness, in part, on [the] Israel has come, until the complement of the nations may be
entering. And thus all
The Israel of Romans 11:25 consists of those like Saul of
Tarsus, who are temporarily blind and ignorant (calloused), but will have their
eyes opened (like Saul on the road to Damascus) when the glory of Christ
(during His Approach/Parousia) is revealed in His Saints, His Ecclesia, His
covenantal Body (see Romans 8:18-25; Matt. 13:36-43) during the time of Jacob’s trouble. This occurs
simultaneously with the contrasting revelation of the
This event would complete the salvation of all the
Ephraim now becomes the subject of Jeremiah’s interest. Rachel
is heard weeping for her children: “Thus
saith the Lord [Yahweh]; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and
bitter weeping; Rahel [Rachel] weeping
for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were
not” (Jer. 31:15 KJV). Rachel is the mother of Joseph and Benjamin. Joseph
was sold into slavery by his brothers. Yahweh raised him to the second highest
Rachel weeps for her children. She weeps for Ephraim who had
been declared Lo-Ammi, not My people,
and who had not returned from captivity among the nations. She also weeps for
Benjamin who had become associated with the
In the passage under consideration, it is Ephraim whom Yahweh
considers. Yahweh comforts Rachel: “Refrain
thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be
rewarded, saith the Lord; and
they shall come again from the land of the enemy” (Jer. 31:16 KJV).
Rachel’s bitter weeping before Yahweh (her importune intercession) on behalf of
her children will not be in vain. Yahweh will redeem them from among the enemy.
Yahweh, however, now focuses His attention on Rachel’s son Ephraim, the
Northern Kingdom of Israel,
Yahweh hears the voice of Ephraim coming to Him from the future, the latter days of the Righteous Branch of the seed of David, the king who would unite the divided kingdom of David:
I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the Lord [Yahweh] my God [Elohim]. (Jeremiah 31:18 KJV)
In the future time of the King, the Righteous Branch of the seed of David, Ephraim would be bemoaning his Lo-Ammi condition. As a son not accustomed to the yoke and labor of slavery (while a son of Yahweh under the Mosaic Covenant in contrast to the yoke and slavery among the nations), Ephraim, over the course of the Mosaic Eon, has a change of heart, resulting in a repentant spirit and an acknowledgment of his sin against Yahweh his Elohim. At that time, Yahweh will call to him. That call will turn him to confront the voice and presence of Yahweh his Elohim in the face of Jesus the Christ metaphorically beheld in the Gospel of Christ, the Gospel of the Uncircumcision.
This is the significance of Paul’s experience in
These people are the sons of Ephraim, the sons of the Northern Kingdom of Israel whom Yahweh had made Lo-Ammi, not My people. They had been made unclean. They had been made gentiles; their circumcision had been reversed. Over the advancing years of the Mosaic Eon, their condition of circumcision gradually vanished, leaving only the shameful condition of uncircumcision. Paul had been commissioned with the Gospel of the Uncircumcision (Gal. 2:7).
Jesus, during His preresurrection ministry, also spoke of
these sons of Ephraim: “And other sheep
have I which are not of this fold. Those also I must be leading, and they will
be hearing My voice, and there will be one flock, one Shepherd” (Jn. CV). Confirming the fact that
the nations will be hearing the voice of Jesus, Paul declares to the Jews in
therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more
be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle [account the authentic children of Abraham, the
According to Ezekiel, this one flock and one shepherd would come about when Yahweh would “make with them a covenant of peace” (Ezk. 34:25). No such covenant existed until the New Covenant consecrated by the blood of Jesus the Christ and proclaimed and administered by His Apostles.
How is Ephraim to respond to this call of Yahweh? Jesus and Paul have already answered this question for us. The nations will hear; they will obey. Ephraim, over the remaining years of the Mosaic Eon, had become aware, through suffering, that he had been punished for his sins, and thus, his heart had been prepared for the call of Yahweh. He had developed a yearning for Yahweh’s mercy. Jeremiah now has Ephraim answer:
Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth. (Jeremiah 31:19 KJV)
After many years of captivity and slavery, after much dishonorable suffering as a rebellious son, Ephraim repents. After being instructed by his humiliating circumstances, as a physical demonstration of remorse, he smites himself upon his thigh, in the ancient Near East, a gesture of pain and lament. He becomes ashamed and humiliated.
He now understands the error originating in his youthful ways. He has begun to see through the eyes of Yahweh his Elohim. He now understands that his departure from Yahweh had corrupted his heart, turning it into an instrument of deceitful suggestions and illusions, culminating in his shameful and dishonorable condition of slavery. He now regrets his apostasy from Yahweh his Elohim. He realizes his only hope is in the compassion and mercy of Yahweh. He yearns for the renewal of Yahweh’s mercy, making possible his restoration to honorable sonship with Yahweh’s accompanying covenantal love.
Yahweh responds tenderly, as a loving father who has patiently awaited the long absence of a wayward son, “Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child?” (Jer. 31:20a KJV). These are rhetorical questions, demanding an affirmative answer. Yahweh’s affection for Ephraim had never ceased. Yahweh had chastised him out of love. His purpose was to discipline him in order to make him wise, in order to correct his heart, mind, and behavior. To that end, Yahweh, according to Jeremiah’s prophecy, would be successful.
Yahweh continues His affectionate lament: “for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels [heart] are troubled [yearn] for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord” (Jer. 31:20 KJV). This mercy began to be extended to Ephraim when the spirit of Yahweh directed the persecuted and scattered disciples of Jesus Christ to proclaim the Gospel to the Greeks. It was further affirmed when Yahweh sent Peter to Cornelius and poured out His spirit on these believing non-Jews, these members of the nations, these gentiles, these people “not My people,” as Moses had prophesied, “I shall make them [Judah, the Jews] jealous with a non-people [Ephraim, the believing Gentiles]” (Deut. 32:21b CV).
Moses, in this passage, ultimately refers to Judah, the
Southern Kingdom of David.
In Romans 9:24b-26, again justifying Yahweh’s mercy to Ephraim, Paul declares that Yahweh is not only calling a people for His name out of the Jews (Judah),
but out of the nations also. As He is saying in Hosea also:
I shall be calling those who are not My people
And she who is not beloved “Beloved,”
“And it shall be, in the place where it was declared
to them, ‘Not My people are you,’”
There they shall be called “sons of the living God.” (CV)
He quotes Hosea who is referring to
And the sons of
Thus, Yahweh finalizes the sending of His mercy to Ephraim by commissioning Paul with the Gospel of the Uncircumcision.
Jeremiah now changes his use of analogy. Ephraim had been depicted as a wayward and repenting son. Jeremiah continues by depicting Ephraim as a “backsliding daughter” (Jer. 31:22 KJV) who has been cleansed and transformed into a “virgin” (v. 21). The received mercy sent to Ephraim cleanses her covenantally. She is now considered a “virgin,” a pure woman presentable for marriage. She had died to the Mosaic Covenant and been resurrected to a new covenant relationship with Yahweh. She is to follow the new guideposts or highway marks on the highway returning her to Yahweh. She is to set her heart on Yahweh’s Law as revitalized under the instruction of New Covenant exposition (Jer. 31:21).
Ephraim had been a “backsliding daughter.” But that had now changed. Yahweh had created a “new thing” (Jer. 31:22 KJV) in the land to which she is returning. This new thing is the New Covenant consecrated with the shed blood of Jesus the Christ. This New Covenant had turned Yahweh’s mercy back to Ephraim, opening the highway back to Yahweh’s loving presence.
As a result, “A woman
shall compass [embrace] a man”
(Jer. 31:22 KJV). Ephraim, now called “O
The daughters of Ephraim, together with the daughters of
And I [Yahweh]
will cause the captivity of
Jeremiah refers here to the generation of the daughters of
Just how Yahweh would accomplish this cleansing, this
purifying, is the subject of Jeremiah 31:31-34. Yahweh reveals He intends to
make a new covenant. This covenant will be made with the house of
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord [Yahweh], that I will make a new covenant with the house of
This new covenant is new
only in relation to the previous, old, Mosaic Covenant made with Israel at
Sinai: “not according to the covenant
that I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to
bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I
was a husband unto them, saith the Lord”
(Jer. 31:32 KJV). The Sinatic Covenant is metaphorically a contract of marriage
between Yahweh and
The marriage, metaphorically, is not consummated. Moses,
returning from the presence of Yahweh on the heights of
With the victory of Christ and His Bride over the enemies of Yahweh, Christ leads His Bride to her place with Him in the Celestial Realm. Together, Christ and His Bride consummate their metaphorical marriage, the two becoming THE Body, the two becoming covenantally one new creation. The Body of Christ, consisting of Christ and His Ecclesia, being perfected by physical resurrection/metamorphosis, completes its covenantal resurrection in Christ, making it the Israel of Yahweh.
In the Celestial Realm, the New Covenant marriage between
Unlike the old, Sinatic Covenant written on stone tablets, the New Davidic Covenant is to be written upon the heart of each member of the covenantal community: “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; . . .” (Jer. 31:33 KJV). The Law of Yahweh would no longer be an objective code of rules which each individual member of the covenantal community had to write upon his own heart and decipher in relation to all circumstances demanding judgment. Under the New Covenant, Yahweh’s Law would be a subjective code written upon the heart by the spirit of Yahweh.
This subjective law written upon the heart becomes a mirror allowing each individual to perceive each situation through the eyes of Yahweh. Thus, each individual is enabled, empowered, to apply Yahweh’s written, objective law to each situation, subjectively producing a righteous judgment resulting in a righteous response, both mentally and behaviorally. Under such a condition, such a man begins to learn how to skillfully use good and evil to produce righteous, just, results in all the circumstances of daily life.
The advantage of the members of the faithful community in Christ (the Ecclesia of Christ, the Born-From-Above Israel, of the Greek Scriptures, the faithful seed of Abraham now residing in the Celestial Realm) over men and women today resides in the fact that the spirit of Yahweh dwelt within each member of Christ’s Ecclesia. The spirit, power, energy of Yahweh allowed them to participate in the resurrection life of the Christ, while still in the mortal body under the affect of The Law of Sin and Death activated by Adam and passed down genetically to every human generated in association with Adam’s sperm. Romans, chapters 6-8, cannot be understood without an awareness and an understanding of this Law of Sin and Death associated with the original offense, deviation, of Adam and residing, dwelling, within the members of the mortal body of Adamic man (thus, a genetic law containing and administering an encoded message of biological death and psychological illusion).
Being empowered by this covenantal spirit, each individual began an internship during which he became trained, experienced, in the use and application of this new mind in Christ: “Put off . . . the old humanity which is corrupted in accord with its seductive desires, . . . be rejuvenated in the spirit of your mind . . . to put on the new humanity . . . created in righteousness” (Eph. 4:22-24 CV). The only requirement was faithfulness to the end, either of one’s life or the Mosaic Eon. This New Covenant could not be broken because it was made between Yahweh and His Christ. In Christ was the life of the New Covenant. Outside of Christ was the death of the old Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant. To remain in Christ, one simply had to remain faithful to Christ to the end. To abandon, leave, apostatize from the Christ, meant choosing to return, for whatever reason, to the old Mosaic Covenant for life.
Thus, faithfulness was not a gift from Yahweh. The salvation, the life of the New Covenant was Yahweh’s gift. Its only condition was coming into and remaining in Christ:
For to the interest of this grace [Yahweh’s favor in Christ], through faith, are you saved [out from the death of the old covenant into the life of the New Covenant], and this [salvation, not faith] is not out of you [your works, deeds]; but out of the faithfulness of Christ. It is God’s gift [by which one is allowed to approach the presence of God and remain in that presence], not out of works [of the objective Mosaic Law], lest anyone should be boasting. For His achievement [new creation] are we [the faithful ones of that generation] being created in Christ Jesus for good works [the fulfilling of the subjective Law of Yahweh produced by the active power of Yahweh’s spirit dwelling within], which God made ready beforehand, in order that we [not us today] should be walking in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10 my translation)
Thus, the one condition required is faith—faith in the Gospel
of Christ (the key allowing entrance into Christ) and faithfulness to Christ to
the end (the key allowing entrance into the
Walking in the spiritual fulfillment of the subjective Law of Yahweh written upon the heart is participating in the resurrection life of Christ in accord with the power of “The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.” This law supersedes, overpowers, overwhelms “The Law of Sin and Death,” thus freeing the faithful one in Christ to worship and serve the Law of Yahweh rather than worship and serve the Law of Sin dwelling in the members of the mortal body (see Rom. 8:1-4, 21-23; 6:12-14). Again, the foregoing applied only to the faithful ones who were contemporaries with Christ and His Apostles.
The writer of Hebrews, contrasting the Chief Priesthood of Christ with the Aaronic Priesthood, states concerning the Aaronic Priesthood, “there being those who offer approach presents according to the law who, by an example and shadow, are offering the divine service of the celestials, . . .” (Heb. 8:4b-5a CV). The Aaronic Priesthood offered the divine service of the terrestrial realm according to the copy of the celestial model. Concerning Christ, however, the writer of Hebrews exclaims, “Yet now He has happened upon a more excellent ministry, in as much as He is the Mediator, also, of a better covenant, which has been instituted on better promises. For if that first one [the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant] were unblamable, no place would have been sought for a second” (Heb. 8:6-7 CV). He then quotes Jeremiah 31:31-34, the passage in Jeremiah under present consideration.
The purpose of the writer of Hebrews in quoting Jeremiah
31:31-34 is to establish the necessity of a second covenant. From his
perspective, the old Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant is inferior, requiring a second
and better covenant. Christ is the Mediator of a second, a better covenant.
Jeremiah prophesied that Yahweh would make a new covenant with the house of
The new covenant of Jeremiah, according to the writer of Hebrews, has already arrived. It has already been put into effect. It is presently operating, replacing the old Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant presently growing old and decrepit (metaphorically, covenantally in the days of its conclusion) and nearing its disappearance (metaphoric, covenantal consummation, death, telos, end). Paul and Timothy, as well as others, were ministers of this New Covenant. Paul refers to himself and Timothy as “dispensers of a new covenant” (2 Cor. 3:6a CV). The old Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant passed away in 70 a.d. It will never be resurrected. It was inferior and temporal. It is a thing only of the past. The New Covenant mediated by Christ was a better covenant having better promises. It administered eonian life during the last days of the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant. It administered better promises experienced by the Ecclesia of Christ while still in this terrestrial realm. It fulfilled the ultimate promise, making a reality the promise of celestial life in the celestial city “whose Artificer and Architect is God [Yahweh]” (Heb. 11:10b).
The New Covenant has completed its terrestrial purpose. There
is no further need for another covenant with
In the days of Jesus and His Apostles, the new covenant of
Jeremiah 31:31-34 arrived in
In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord [Yahweh], the iniquity of
Clearly, this is the significance of Peter’s exhortation: “Repent and be baptized each of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the pardon of your sins, . . . For to you is the promise and to your children, and to all those afar, whosoever the Lord our God should be calling to Him” (Acts -39 CV). Peter concludes, “Be saved from this crooked generation!” (Acts 2:40b CV). The text then records, “there were added in that day about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41b CV). The word of Yahweh’s salvation did not fail “in those days.” The word of Yahweh’s salvation succeeded in its purpose “in that time.”
Ezekiel, unlike Jeremiah, is taken captive and carried away to
Ezekiel, thus, is given the prophetic task of declaring the
coming devastation of
In chapters 8 to 11 of Ezekiel, the prophet is taken “in the visions of Elohim” (8:3 KJV
The reformation under King Josiah had removed all such
impurity from the
This idolatrous image (Ezk. 8:3b KJV) provokes the jealousy of
Yahweh. Ezekiel, beholding this abomination, notes also that “the glory of the God of
Since an idolatrous image of Baal or Asherah had been erected
Ezekiel is then introduced in vision to another abomination
even greater than the previous ones: “So
I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable
beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round
about” (Ezk. 8:10 KJV). In this tomb-like chamber, the walls are a
decorated mural depicting images of creatures associated with the idolatrous
worship system of the nations, especially the mortuary deities of the Egyptians
featured in their tombs and their temples. The “idols of the house of
In this secret chamber, Ezekiel also beholds 70 elders of the
Yahweh then explains to Ezekiel, “Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of
The abominations continue to pile up and increase the
defilement. Yahweh again says to Ezekiel, “Turn
thee yet again, and thou
shalt see greater abominations that they do” (Ezk. 8:13 KJV). What does he
behold this time? At the northern gate of the
Yahweh speaks again to Ezekiel, “Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt
see greater abominations than these” (8:15 KJV). Ezekiel is then taken to
the inner court of the priests, between the porch of the
They have turned their backs to Yahweh, indicating their
departure from the terms and conditions of covenantal cultic worship and
service of Yahweh. Such idolatrous worship on the part of the priests existed
previously under the kings of
This astrological worship was forbidden by Moses:
Guard yourselves lest you should lift up your eyes toward the heavens, and you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the hosts of the heavens, and be induced to bow yourself down to them and serve them, which Yahweh your Elohim has appointed to all other peoples beneath the entire heavens. (Deuteronomy 4:19 CV)
Under King Zedekiah, the last king of
he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord [Yahweh] his God [Elohim],
and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet . . . and hardened his heart
from turning unto the Lord God of
“The abomination of
desolation” spoken of by Daniel refers to the pollution of the House of
Yahweh. Such also is the subject of the section in Ezekiel under consideration
(Ezekiel, chapters 8-11). The pollution of the
The abominations of the house of Judah result in a spread of
social, economic, political, and cultic violence throughout the land (Ezk.
8:17). This syncretistic worship puts “the
branch to My nose” (8:17b
Chapters 9-11 of Ezekiel depict the progressive movement of the departure of the glory of Yahweh and the divine orchestration of the celestial ministers commissioned by Yahweh to carry out metaphysically His judgment upon Israel through His terrestrial instrument, the Chaldeans (Ezk. 9:1-2). However, before the judgment is inflicted and before the glory of Yahweh completely departs, Yahweh commissions the chief of His celestial ministers to set a mark upon the foreheads of those of His people who “sigh and that cry for [because of] all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof” (Ezk. 9:4b KJV).
These are the members of the faithful remnant who had experienced and agonized over the national apostasy without being able to avert it. Yahweh’s judgment is always righteous, just. He would now display His flawless justice even in the course of displaying His just act of retribution upon the faithlessly rebellious among His elect nation. The righteous would be protected from the harm of Yahweh’s indignation in accord with His covenantal faithfulness. This same imagery is used in the Book of Revelation in association with Yahweh’s final indignation upon the unfaithful of the elect nation and His protective seal upon the forehead of the faithful among the elect nation (see Rev. 7:3; 9:4; 14:1; 22:4).
The glory of Yahweh is now seen by Ezekiel removing first to “the threshold of the house” (9:3), then
back over the cherubim (10:18), onward to the door of the east gate (10:19),
and finally, “the glory of the Lord [Yahweh] went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which
is on the east side of the city” (11:23 KJV). The glory of Yahweh departs
With the arrival of Jesus, the glory of Yahweh dwells within
the body of Jesus. When the Jews ask Jesus for a sign of His authority, He
responds, “Raze this temple, and in three
days I will raise it up” (Jn. 2:19b CV). John explains, “Yet He said it concerning the temple of His
body” (Jn. 2:21 CV). The Jews think Jesus is referring to the
Toward the end of His ministry, Jesus, coming out of the sanctuary (thus, the glory of Yahweh in Jesus departing for the last time from the vicinity of the Temple made with hands), in response to the admiration of the buildings of the sanctuary expressed by His disciples, declares, “Are you not observing all these? Verily, I am saying to you, Under no circumstances may a stone here be left on a stone, which shall not be demolished” (Matt. 24:2 CV). The Jews would demolish, tear down, destroy the body of Jesus, Yahweh’s Temple not made with hands which Yahweh would rouse and Jesus would raise; but, Yahweh, through Jesus as the conquering Davidic King, would demolish, tear down, destroy, the old covenantal body of the Jew, Israel’s Temple made with hands, covenantally decreeing its reconstruction to be an endeavor never again necessary.
The furious anger of Yahweh’s judgment against the house of
And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: that they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. (Ezekiel 11:19-20 KJV)
This did not occur under Ezra and Nehemiah.
This promise alludes to the new covenant of Jeremiah 31:31-34.
The giving of a new spirit, a new heart, could only occur as a result of the
establishment of a new covenant. This new covenant would be established when
Yahweh would begin building His new spiritual
Yahweh’s judgment had disturbed Ezekiel, but was shown to be
Yahweh responds, “ye
shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in
But some Judahites may claim it is impossible to keep the requirements of Yahweh’s covenant. If this is the case, Yahweh is proven unjust. Yahweh, however, is vindicated by Moses himself, the very man all Israelite souls venerate as just and holy. Moses declares,
For this instruction that I am enjoining on you today, it is neither too difficult for you, nor is it too far off. It is neither in the heavens for you to say: Who shall ascend to the heavens for us and take it for us and announce it to us that we may obey it? Nor is it across the sea for you to say: Who shall cross across the sea for us and take it for us and announce it to us that we may obey it? For the word is exceedingly near to you, in your mouth and in your heart, to obey it. (Deuteronomy 30:11-14 CV)
Moses declares each Israelite has a choice. To obey Yahweh’s Law is to choose covenantal life with its concrete terrestrial blessings. To choose to disobey is to choose covenantal death with its concrete terrestrial curses.
Moses exhorts, “Now
choose life that you may live, you and your seed, . . .” (Deut. 30:19b CV).
They had not needed to ascend into the heavens to bring Yahweh’s Law down to
earth. Moses himself ascended and descended the heights of
Yahweh then proceeds to describe the just man. The just man loves Yahweh’s Law and seeks to fulfill its moral requirements; its ceremonial requirements; festival requirements; its social, economic, and political requirements (Ezk. 18:5-9). Justness does not require perfection. The law provided the just means to deal with committed sins. Yahweh always looks at the heart. The soul which writes Yahweh’s Law on its heart is just in Yahweh’s eyes. As long as this law is written on the heart, so long will that soul be counted righteous and not be numbered among the sinning souls.
The father will not be condemned for the sins of his sons. The sons will not be condemned for the sins of their fathers: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him” (Ezk. 18:20 KJV).
However, if the wicked soul turns from his sinful ways and returns to obeying the Law of Yahweh, committing himself to lawfulness, he will live (Ezk. 18:21). His transgressions will be forgiven (Ezk. 18:22). In the coming judgment proclaimed by Ezekiel, he will be protected. He will receive the mark of the righteous soul. This called for a new heart, that is, a turning away from lawlessness by writing Yahweh’s Law on one’s heart, and a new spirit, that is, committing oneself to the love of Yahweh’s Law (see Ezk. 18:31). Such a love for Yahweh’s Law written upon the heart is counted by Yahweh as righteousness, such is the man after Yahweh’s own heart. The soul that sins is the lawless soul upon whose heart is not engraven Yahweh’s Law. Such a soul may be camouflaged with an outer cloak resembling righteous behavior, covenantal orthodoxy. Yahweh reads the heart. He recognizes the deceitful heart which is desperately wicked and justly awards each soul according to the ways of its heart and the fruit of its conduct (Jer. 17:9).
Conversely, if the righteous soul turns from his righteous ways to lawlessness, blotting out the Law of Yahweh written in his heart, so as to love lawlessness, so as to love the ways of sinfulness, so as to create in himself a new heart and a new spirit of lawlessness, committing himself to the ways of a deceitful and desperately wicked heart, he will die (Ezk. 18:26). His righteousness will be forgotten, annulled. In the coming judgment proclaimed by Ezekiel, he will be destroyed. His mark of righteousness will be removed.
But the house of
Yahweh holds each man responsible for the ways of his heart and the deeds of his conduct. He condemns no soul on the basis of predestination. He awards no soul on the basis of election. Both the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures testify to this twofold truth. Yahweh’s elect must always demonstrate faithfulness to the end in order to receive the blessings and the promises. To be a member of the elect community does not guarantee the blessings, the promises, or the salvations.
The elect has no choice in becoming a participant in the elect community. That is Yahweh’s choice alone. However, the elect soul does have a choice within that election, that elect community, to faithfully obey Yahweh or unfaithfully disobey Yahweh. His choice will determine his salvation or his condemnation.
Therefore I will judge you, O house of
Does Yahweh speak the truth here? Do these Israelites actually have the possibility of choosing as here indicated? Yahweh does not lie; Yahweh does not participate in mental gymnastics or theological absurdities; Yahweh is not here speaking ironically. Yahweh means what He says, and what He says is neither mysterious nor beyond our common understanding. The soul that sins, the soul that transgresses, can make itself a new heart and a new spirit. Yahweh does not take pleasure in the death of the dying.
Mankind is not totally depraved according to Yahweh the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, and Jesus; according to Yahweh the Elohim of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. As it is written, “let God be true, but every man a liar, . . .” (Rom. 3:4 KJV); “the judgments of the Lord [Yahweh] are true and righteous altogether” (Ps. 19:9b KJV); “that thou [Yahweh] mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest” (Ps. 51:4b KJV).
The judgment against
sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. (Ezekiel 36:25-28 KJV)
When would all this take place? Certainly not at her return
Yahweh will give her a new heart and a new spirit only when He offers her a new covenant. This will not take place until Yahweh will
set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; . . . and he shall be their shepherd. . . . And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods. . . . there shall be showers of blessing. (Ezekiel 34:23-26 KJV)
This takes us forward in time to the birth of Jesus the son of David,
Fear not, Miriam, for you found favor with God. . . . you shall be conceiving and . . . bringing forth a Son, and you shall be calling His name Jesus. He shall be great, and Son of the Most High shall He be called. And the Lord God shall be giving Him the throne of David, His father, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for the eons. And of His kingdom there shall be no consummation [telos, end]. (Lk. 1:30-33 CV)
This messenger from Yahweh also declares to Joseph, “Joseph, son of David, . . . accept Miriam, your wife, . . . she shall be bringing forth a Son, and you shall be calling His name Jesus, for He shall be saving His people from their sins” (Matt. -21 CV).
Jesus is the one shepherd. He feeds the sheep of Yahweh. He
sheds His blood which becomes the consecrating blood of the New Covenant which
Yahweh contracts with Him, the house of
Jesus continues to feed His sheep, appointing His Twelve
Apostles to the seats of authority over each of the tribes of
His people dwell safely under the covenantal protection of
Yahweh and the covenantal promises assured them in relation to the hardships
and dangers of warfare. They dwell safely in the wilderness and the woods,
symbolically representing the uncleanness and defilement of the earthly
At His kingly inauguration, Jesus the Messiah pours out the spirit of promise from the Father, commencing the operation of the New Covenant, creating in the Ecclesia of Christ Jesus a new heart and a new spirit. The authentic members of this Ecclesia walk in Yahweh’s statutes, keeping His judgments through the enabling power of the Law of Christ, The Law of the Spirit of Life:
Consequently, now, there is no condemnation to those in the sphere of the interest of Christ Jesus. For the Law of the Spirit of The Life in the sphere of the interest of Christ Jesus set me free from The Law of The Sin and The Death. For without power [disabled] is this Law [the Law of The Sin and The Death], in the sphere of the interest of this: it began to be weak through the flesh; God sending His own Son, in the sphere of the interest of a likeness of sinful flesh, and concerning Sin, condemned This Sin in the sphere of the interest of the flesh, in order that the justification of The Law [the Law of The Spirit of The Life in Christ Jesus] might be fulfilled in the sphere of the interest of us, whose interest is not to be walking according to the condition of flesh under The Law of The Sin but according to the condition of spirit under The Law of The Spirit. (Romans 8:1-4 my translation)
For those in Christ Jesus there is no longer any condemnation. A new law operates in the members of each one’s body. Paul names this law “The Law of The Spirit of The Life in Christ Jesus.”
The use of the article before “spirit” and before “life” is significant. Paul is referring to a particular spirit, the spirit of Christ Jesus. This spirit is associated with Christ’s death and resurrection. It is a spirit of power enabling the one in Christ to overcome, nullify, supersede the affect of The Law of Sin and Death operating in the members of one’s mortal body (Rom. 7:23, a different law in my members). This new spirit is the spirit of “The Life.” The Life is the life of the resurrected Christ, the Second Adam. This life is immortal. It cannot be affected by death. This life is an energy, a spirit of power, energizing the mind and the body of the one in Christ, producing a new mind receptive to the input of the mind of Christ (see Phil. 2:5-11). This spirit of this life disables, overcomes, negates the affect of The Law of Sin and Death in relation to the physical members of the body and in relation to this law’s input into the mind of this same body.
This Law of Sin and Death, thus, becomes weakened. Its power is short-circuited, and ultimately disconnected from the members of the body and the mind, freeing the one in Christ to serve God with a reschematized (Phil. 3:21, metaschematizo) body and a renewed mind (see Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 4:16). The Law of the Spirit of Life thus counters The Law of Sin and Death which law Paul refers to in Romans 7:23 as “I am observing a different law in my members, warring with the law of my mind, and leading me into captivity to the law of sin [the Sin] which is in my members” (CV).
The law opposing the law of Paul’s mind is in his members. Thus, he cannot be referring to the Mosaic Law, though The Law of Sin and Death does have a relationship to the Mosaic Law. The Law of The Sin and The Death alludes to the sin of Adam (introduced by Paul in Romans 5:12) which had activated within the members of his physical body the principle, the Law of Death which causes the body to break down physically and sin (miss the mark) morally and finally consummate in death. Moses refers to this death as “the common death of all men” (Num. 16:29).
This law is encoded in a gene passed on by the male sperm. Adam was the first male to pass this gene of death on to his progeny. This Law of Sin and Death affects the members of the body through the five senses, the desires of which can be distorted by the influence of this Adamic Law. The mind can also be affected by this law, distorting its thinking process, its calculation, its reasonable, lawful conclusions in relation to the circumstances of daily living. It is this law which creates the deceitful and desperately wicked heart.
In chapter 7 of Romans, Paul presents a picture of mortal, Adamic man before the addition, the reception of The Law of The Spirit of The Life in Christ Jesus: “I am fleshly, having been disposed of [sold] under Sin” (Rom. 7:14b CV). The article precedes the word “sin,” indicating a particular sin, in this case, the “sin” of Adam standing for the principle or law of this sin operating in the mortal body of Adamic mankind. The Adamic man desires to live a flawless life in accord with the laws of Yahweh, in accord with the laws producing life, the laws contributing to the absolute welfare of the individual and the community. But in reality, the Adamic man finds he does not always achieve this goal. He too often misses the mark—sins! This goes against the law of his mind. He desires to produce life, perfection, but consistently falls short, producing imperfection and ultimately experiencing that imperfection in his own physical, common death.
Consequently, Paul declares, “Now if what I am not willing, this I am doing, I am conceding that the law [of Moses] is ideal” (Rom. 7:16 CV). The Law of Moses cannot nullify, cannot eradicate the powerful affect of The Law of Sin and Death activated by Adam and operating effectively in all Adam’s descendants. It can hinder its affects and limit its effects so as to produce a moral life contributing relatively to the welfare of the individual and the community, and, as such, is ideal, is an exceptional target for men under the condition of Adamic slavery to The Law of Sin and Death. This is commonly referred to as civilized life, life conforming to rules which contribute to order and peace, rather than disorder and war.
The Mosaic Law is such a system of order. It is unique in that
its Creator, its Author, its Designer is Yahweh Himself. It is not man-made.
Thus, nationally, the Law of Moses as a system of covenantal
life and blessings becomes a system of covenantal death and cursings, a law of
sin and death affecting the ability of national
Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones also pertains to
the subject of the New Covenant and the healing of the breach between
Yahweh’s presence continued to direct
The vision of the valley of the dry bones pictures, once
again, the nation’s covenantal condition of death. In this condition, the
nation says in its heart, “Our bones are
dried, and our hope is lost: we are [completely,
NASB] cut off for our parts” (Ezk.
37:11b KJV). That is, because they are cut off from the covenantal land of the
living (covenantally dead because of the withdrawal of the breath of life represented
by the presence of the glory of Yahweh), their hope of rising as a nation has
vanished. The vision is given to Ezekiel in order to restore that hope. Yahweh
promises to revive, vivify the nation a third and final time (the first at
Sinai as a result of Moses’ intercession; the second in
In the vision, Ezekiel is shown a valley full of bones. Ezekiel is commanded to “Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord [Yahweh]” (37:4 KJV). Obeying Yahweh, he prophesizes: “So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone” (Ezk. 37:7 KJV). He continues watching as sinews and flesh come upon the bones followed by an enveloping of skin. The process ends with the formation of an enormous assembly of completely embodied men.
However, one thing is lacking. These bodies have no spirit: “there was no breath in them” (Ezk. 37:8b KJV). Yahweh then commands Ezekiel to “Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live” (Ezk. 37:9 KJV). Ezekiel obeys, and the breath of life comes into these dead bodies, vivifying them with the energy of life enabling them to stand upon their feet, resulting in “an exceeding great army” (Ezk. 37:10 KJV).
Yahweh then commands Ezekiel to prophesy to His people in
captivity. This prophecy is intended to explain the meaning of this vision, “Therefore prophesy and say unto them
[the captives in
How will He do this? First, by reforming them in accord with the Mosaic Covenant. This is represented in the vision by the dry bones being fleshed out with physical substance, forming complete human bodies. This is an allusion to Genesis 2:7a: “And forming is Ieue Alueim [Yahweh Elohim] the human [the man, Adam] of the soil from the ground, . . .” (CV). The human at this point is biologically a living organism. He is complete. He has a head with two eyes, two ears, and a nose. He has two arms and two legs and a torso. He is flesh and blood. He lacks only one thing, consciousness. He lacks the spirit of life. This Yahweh finally gives him, “and He is blowing [breathing] into his nostrils the breath of the living, and becoming is the human a living soul” (Gen. 2:7b CV).
It is this text in Ezekiel which Jesus alludes to when talking
with Nicodemus. The conversation is recorded in the Gospel of John. Jesus tells
Nicodemus that every Israelite needs to be “begotten
anew” (Jn. 3:3 CV), that is, generated anew, or, from above. Nicodemus is
bewildered. He does not understand. Jesus explains, “If anyone should not be begotten of water and of spirit, he can not be
entering into the
Nicodemus is still puzzled; he asks, “How can these things be?” (Jn. 3:9b CV). Jesus answers,
You are a teacher of
Nicodemus should have understood the words, the teaching of
Jesus. The teaching came out of the very scriptures Nicodemus as a teacher of
Nicodemus is blind as a result of the historical development
John and Jesus came proclaiming the Gospel of the
John is named by Yahweh. His name in Hebrew means Yahweh is gracious. He is authorized by
Yahweh to graciously restore repenting Israelites to their covenantal rights as
children of Yahweh: “Yet whoever obtained
him [the Baptist], to them he gave
the right to become children of God, to those who are believing in his name [John,
Yahweh is gracious; see 1:6] . . .”
(Jn. 1:12 CV modified). John’s authority came from Yahweh on the basis of his
relationship to Jesus. The restoration of the life of the Mosaic Covenant
resided in the authority given to Jesus as Son of Yahweh (see Jn. 5:26). The
ministry of Jesus prior to His death and resurrection restored repenting
Israelites to the life of the Mosaic Covenant. Therefore, Jesus baptized with
water. Yahweh was putting flesh and skin on the dry bones of the members of the
house of Jacob dwelling in the covenantal death-valley of
So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet [New Covenant resurrection, not yet out of the physically dead, see Rom. 6], an exceeding great army. (KJV)
By 70 a.d., these resurrected ones became in number “an exceeding great army.”
As the figurative transformation described in Ezekiel’s vision
of the valley of dry bones occurs as the result of his “prophesying,” so also its historical fulfillment comes as a result
of the preaching of the Gospel of the
Jesus did not proclaim the Gospel of Christ. During His
ministry prior to His death and resurrection, He proclaimed the Gospel of the
Since Jesus the Messiah was the glory of Yahweh tabernacling
in flesh, His arrival in
Thus, in order to participate in the life of the New Covenant, the people of Yahweh had to become identified with Jesus the Christ, the glory of Yahweh, in accord with the life of the Mosaic Covenant so that in Him (Christ) they might, not only die the death of the Mosaic Covenant, but also be roused and raised with Him (Christ) to the life of the New Covenant. It is this truth which is the subject of the teaching of Jesus recorded in John 5:24-29. His teaching in this passage is an expository commentary on Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones and the revelation given Daniel concerning the resurrection of some to life and some to shame (Dan. 12:1-3). Jesus explains that
he who is hearing [present tense, presently] My word and believing Him [Yahweh] Who sends Me, has [now] life eonian and is not coming into judging [the axe is already at the root], but has [now] proceeded out of death [definite article used before “death,” thus the condition of the Mosaic Covenant, dry bones] into life [definite article before “life,” thus, restored life of the Mosaic Covenant, flesh and skin over dry bones]. . . . coming is an hour, AND NOW IS [my emphasis], when the dead [dry bones] shall be hearing the voice of the Son of God [the Gospel of the Kingdom], and those who hear shall be living [bones coming together and covered with flesh and skin]. For even as the Father has life in Himself [His word], thus to the Son also He gives to have life in Himself [the Word given to Him by the Father]. (John 5:24-26 CV)
This is in fulfillment of Ezekiel 37:7-8. Jesus now continues to interpret Ezekiel 37:10:
Marvel not at this [the preceding], for COMING IS [my emphasis] the hour [not here yet, but very near] in which all [those believing in Jesus] who are in the tombs [each believing one in Jesus sharing in His entombment, His death, thus each being individually entombed] shall hear His [Jesus the Son of Yahweh] voice, and those who do good [literal Greek, the good things, faithfully obey Yahweh in all the things of the Gospel of Christ to the end of the Mosaic Eon in accord with The Law of The Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus] shall go out into a resurrection of life [New Covenant Life], yet those who commit bad things [literal Greek, the bad things, turn back to the Mosaic Covenant for life and blessing, choosing to live in accord with The Law of Sin and Death associated with Adam and Moses, thus committing apostasy], into a resurrection of judging [the loss of the Life of the New Covenant]. (John 5:28-29 CV my elaboration)
Note, all those believing into Jesus are resurrected, but not all remain faithful to the end. The ones faithful to the end are the ideal seed, the sons of the Kingdom (Matt. 13:38a CV); the ones who commit apostasy are the seed planted by The Adversary, the sons of Cain (Matt. 13:38b CV). The authentic and pseudo seeds, both sharing a resurrection, both growing together in the Ecclesia, both appearing to be sown by Jesus the Christ, will be properly identified, revealed, and separated at the Approach/Parousia of Christ, the harvest at the conclusion (sunteleia, the coming together of all the events which together culminate in the telos, the end, the consummation) of the Mosaic Eon (see Matt. 13:39-43). This conclusion (sunteleia) began in about the year 67 a.d., culminating in the consummation (telos) of the age sometime during the year 70 a.d., symbolically described in Revelation as “a time, and times, and half a time” (Rev. 12:14 KJV), and numerically described in the same book as “forty and two months” (Rev. 11:2; 13:5 KJV).
Daniel writes of the same resurrection: “Now in that era your people [
In Daniel, the many who awake refer only to those Israelites believing the Gospel of Christ. All those who awake are written in a scroll. But again, only those faithful to the end will remain written in the scroll. Those who commit apostasy, those who are not genuinely Christ’s seed, the seed of Abraham recognized, accounted, and acknowledged by Yahweh as His Israel, will be blotted out of the scroll, thus achieving “eonian repulsion,” eonian shame, culled out at the harvest and covenantally burned with the rest of the Israel of The Adversary, the Israel clinging to the Mosaic Covenant for Yahweh’s life and blessing: “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels” (Rev. 3:5 KJV, see also Rev. 20:11-15).
This book of life is further identified in Revelation 21:27 as “the Lamb’s book of life.” John writes, “And there shall in no wise enter into it [the new Jerusalem, Rev. 21:2] any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life” (KJV). Thus, Daniel’s group described as achieving eonian repulsion or shame are described by Jesus as those committing the bad things resulting in their being removed from the Temple not made with hands, thus, being judged unfit for membership in the Ecclesia of Christ, the New Celestial Jerusalem. Only the names of those faithful to the end remain written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
According to the prophecy of Ezekiel, the faithful ones will
come from the house of
Ezekiel continues explaining, “I will take the children of
make them one nation in the land [the new Jerusalem] upon the mountains of Israel [the twelve apostles as princes ruling over the twelve tribes]; and one king [Jesus the Messiah, the Son of David] shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all. (Ezekiel 37:22 KJV)
Jesus the Messiah, the Son of David, will shepherd them, and His sheep will walk obediently in Yahweh’s judgments and statutes, faithfully keeping them in accord with the Law of Christ, The Law of The Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus (Ezk. 37:24). Yahweh’s people will
dwell in the land [the metaphorical, covenantal new Jerusalem and surrounding country] that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children [sons], and their children's children [sons’ sons] for ever [for the eon and into the new eon]: and my servant David [Jesus Christ] shall be their prince for ever [for the eon and into the new eon]. (Ezekiel 37:25 KJV)
This will take place when Yahweh makes with Israel a new covenant, a covenant of peace, an eonian covenant, making His new nation, His new city in the midst of which He will set His new sanctuary (Christ, see Ezk. 37:26).
The fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, looked for “the city . . . whose Artificer and Architect is God” (Heb. CV). They all died in faith,
not being requited with the promises, but perceiving
them ahead and saluting them, and avowing that they are strangers and
expatriates on the earth [the
Abraham was not promised the
This city is a metaphoric symbol of Christ’s Ecclesia, the
people of Yahweh, the Israel of Yahweh represented by the figures of the Bride,
the Body, the new heavenly Jerusalem. These are all metaphoric pictures of
spiritual realities transcending the terrestrial promises, the terrestrial
land, the terrestrial
But you have come to mount Zion, and the city of the living God, celestial Jerusalem, and to ten thousand messengers, to a universal convocation, and to the ecclesia of the firstborn [ones], registered in the heavens, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the just perfected, and to Jesus, the Mediator of a fresh covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling which is speaking better than Abel. (Hebrews 12:22-24 CV)
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did not in faith await a return in
resurrection to the
Then, coming out of the land of the Chaldeans, he
dwells in Charan, and thence, after the death of his father, He [Yahweh] exiles him [Abraham] into this land [
The promise of the
Thus, Ezekiel is given a vision of the future
Jesus will later refer to this model as a mystery of the
His purpose was to reveal to them a future
Our interest, therefore, will not be to explain the literal
architectural images and cultic activities which do not lend themselves to
describing the actual future and final
The measurements of chapters 40-42 will therefore be passed
over. These measurements, significant to ancient
This is important when one understands the new Jerusalem to be
a metaphoric image of the people of Yahweh, the Ecclesia of Christ, the New Born-From-Above
Ezekiel is then given a vision of the returning presence of the glory of Yahweh:
and, behold, the glory of the God [Elohim] of
This did not occur with the rebuilding of the
And he said unto me, Son of man, [this is] the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my
feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of
Yahweh’s footstool is no longer the Ark of the Covenant as it
was in the
Ezekiel is then taken to the east gate of the
This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no
man shall enter in by it; because the Lord
[Yahweh] the God [Elohim] of
This figurative eastern gate is holy. No ordinary man shall
initiate his entrance into the
Ezekiel is next instructed concerning the worship and service
within the new
The faithful Messianic Gentiles, in accord with the new terms of the New Covenant, are cleansed and purified, making their physical uncircumcision spiritual circumcision (see Acts 10:13-15; Rom. 2:26). No longer are they considered or counted strangers, aliens, men having an uncircumcised heart and uncircumcised flesh. Such men are disqualified from the priesthood by the Law of Moses:
Thus saith the Lord
[Yahweh] God [Elohim]; No
stranger [alien], uncircumcised in
heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any
stranger that is among the children of
This new priesthood is in contrast to the priesthood of the Sinatic Covenant.
The priesthood of the New Covenant, however, is neither Aaronic nor Levitical. It is after the order of Melchizedek. Thus, figuratively, Yahweh declares,
Yet they [the Levites, now figuratively representing the Messianic Gentiles in Christ serving as a Melchizedekian Priesthood] shall be ministers in my sanctuary, having charge at the gates of the house, and ministering to the house. (Ezekiel 44:11a KJV)
The faithful circumcised followers of Jesus the Messiah (Messianic Jews), the Jews out of the Southern Judean Kingdom, the Saints, take the place of the sons of Zadok, representing the Aaronic Priesthood. The faithful ones out of the nations, associated with the iniquity and failure of the Levitical Priesthood, “shall not come near unto me, to do the office of a priest [Aaronic priest] unto me, nor to come near to any of my holy things, in the most holy place: . . .” (Ezk. 44:13a KJV). In Christ there is no distinction between the Messianic Gentiles and the Messianic Jews, the uncircumcised and the circumcised faithful ones. However, in terms of worship and service in the terrestrial realm before the perfection of the Body of Christ and during the warfare of the Davidic Kingship of Christ, there is a distinction of service between the Saints (circumcised faithful ones) and the Gentiles (uncircumcised faithful ones), between the Messianic Jews and the Messianic Gentiles in the Ecclesia of Jesus the Messiah, the new Temple of Yahweh.
Keep in mind the limitation of the various analogies used by
the Greek writers to depict the faithful ones in association with Jesus the Christ. The Saints, the circumcised faithful ones, possess a superior function in
the Ecclesia of Jesus the Messiah, the
But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok [the Aaronic Priesthood], that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, . . . they shall enter into my sanctuary, . . . and keep my charge [as Jesus interprets this charge, “Shepherd my sheep!” Jn. 21:16b CV]. (Ezekiel 44:15-16 KJV)
The Saints, the circumcised faithful ones, carry out the superior tasks of the administrative duties of Jesus the Christ’s Melchizedekian Priesthood in accord with the conditions of the New Covenant. These Saints
shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane [according to the New Covenant], and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean [according to the New Covenant]. And in controversy they shall stand in judgment [the Twelve Apostles, Lk. 22:30b; James, the ecclesiastical apostles, the elders, and the whole Ecclesia, Acts 15:13-23]; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes [of the Mosaic Law as interpreted through the operation of The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus] in all mine assemblies [appointed feasts ASV]; and they shall hallow my sabbaths. (Ezekiel 44:23-24 KJV)
This was successfully carried out by the Ecclesia of Jesus the Christ.
Having dealt with the role of the prince in initiating
entrance into the new
If the prince [Jesus the Messiah] give a gift [the holy spirit] unto any of his sons, the inheritance [allotment] thereof shall be his sons’; it shall be their possession by inheritance [allotment]. But if he give a gift [the holy spirit] of his inheritance [allotment] to one of his servants, then it shall be his to the year of liberty [the year of Jubilee, the consummation of the Parousia of Jesus the Christ]; after it shall return to the prince: but his inheritance [allotment] shall be his sons' for them. (Ezekiel 46:16-17 KJV)
Jesus alludes to this passage in His teaching concerning His faithful and unfaithful servants. Remembering how the two seeds (Jesus and The Adversary, Matt. 13) planted in the same field grew up together, appearing very similar, Jesus makes no distinction between the sons of Yahweh and the sons of The Adversary when teaching about service. He merely refers to all serving Him as servants.
In His parable of the talents (Matt. 25:), a master, before leaving on a journey, gives of his possessions to his servants according to the ability of each. When he returns (during the Parousia of Christ), he calls each to account. Those who had profitably used the possessions given to them, unashamedly and honorably present to him his possessions plus the profit gained from the use of the possessions. The master, delighting in the faithfulness of these servants, rejoicingly declares, “Well done! good and faithful slave [or servant]. Over a few were you faithful; over many will I place you. Enter into the joy of your lord!” (Matt. 25:21 CV). These servants at the consummation of the Parousia of Christ are distinguished as faithful sons of Yahweh and are rewarded in the celestial city prepared for them (The Allotment of The Sons of Yahweh).
The servant presenting only the original possession given him is rejected. His master disapprovingly judges,
Wicked and slothful slave! . . . Take the talent away from him then, and give it to the one who has ten talents. For to everyone who has shall be given, and he shall have a superfluity, yet from the one who has not, that also which he has shall be taken away from him; and the useless slave cast out into outer darkness [outside the new heavenly Jerusalem, see Rev. 21:9-12; 22-23]. There shall be lamentation and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 25:26-30 CV)
This servant is distinguished as an unfaithful servant. He is
no son of Yahweh. He is a son of Cain. He is a tare, a darnel, a snare, a slave
belonging to The Adversary. During the Parousia of Christ, he is removed, cast
out of the heavenly Jerusalem (the Ecclesia of Jesus the Messiah) to suffer the
judgment coming upon the
The prince, Jesus the Messiah, the Davidic King, distributes His possessions (the spirit of Yahweh and its gifts) to His bond-slaves (those bought with a price), expecting His slaves to be faithfully profitable in the service appointed them. Paul, alluding to this same truth, put it this way: “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. KJV). Those faithful to the end have worked out the salvation provided by Yahweh through Jesus Christ and are revealed as sons during the Parousia of Christ Jesus. According to Paul, writing to the Romans, the Parousia of the Christ signaling the consummation of the salvation of the faithful ones is “nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand” (Rom. 13:11b-12a KJV).
The vision of chapter 47 of Ezekiel vividly and wonderfully
depicts the consequences of the preaching of the Gospel of Christ. It is a
metaphorical picture of the events recorded in the Book of Acts. The glory of
Yahweh having entered the Holy of Holies now becomes the source of a life-giving
flow of water. The course of this spring of water retraces the path by which
the glory of Yahweh had returned into the
Ezekiel then notices “at
the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other”
(Ezk. 47:7 KJV). His guide, neglecting the significance of the trees for the
present moment, explains that the river runs through the eastern desert country
with undiminished force, entering into the salty waters of the
Can any imagery be any clearer?! Jesus is the glory of Yahweh.
He is the medium through which this water of life flows from the Father, Yahweh
Elohim. Jesus declares to the Samaritan woman, “If you were aware of the gratuity of God, and Who it is Who is saying
to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would request Him, and He would give you living
water” (Jn. 4:10 CV). The water Jesus promises to give is “a spring of water, welling up into life
eonian” (Jn. 4:14 CV). On the last and great day of the Feast of
Tabernacles, Jesus exclaims, “If anyone
should be thirsting, let him come to Me and drink. He who is believing in Me,
according as the scripture said, out of his bowel shall gush rivers of living
water” (Jn. 7:37b-38 CV). The text goes on to explain, “Now this He said concerning the spirit which those believing in Him
were about to get” (Jn. 7:39a CV). Jesus offered His generation the water
of life, the river flowing forth from the throne of Yahweh in the
The Dead Sea symbolically represents the condition of
Ezekiel is then informed, “every
thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers [the dynamic
currents] shall come, shall live: and
there shall be a very great multitude of fish, . . .” (Ezk. 47:9a KJV).
This life-giving river (the word of the Gospel of Christ) will fill the new
lake (the living water of the New Covenant) with a great multitude of fish (the
multitudes out of
According to the 10th verse of Ezekiel 47, “Their fish shall be according to their
kinds, as the fish of the great sea [the
However, the river of life will not reach all the areas of the
This rebellious people and their land figuratively become an
enormous incinerating lake of fire under the jurisdiction of The Adversary, the
jurisdiction of the rulers of the nation committed to the evil way of Cain. In
the Greek Scriptures the Lake of Eonian Life (the heavenly Jerusalem, the Born-From-Above Israel, the Ecclesia of
Christ, the Kingdom of Yahweh) is opposed to the Lake of Fire (the earthly
Jerusalem, the born-from-below Israel, the ecclesia of Cain, the kingdom of The
Adversary, Rev. 20:14-15) referred to figuratively as the Second Death
(distinguishing it from the death brought into the world by Adam [first death]
and associating it with the death brought into Israel at Sinai with the
breaking of the covenant made with Yahweh [Second Death], see Revelation 2:11;
20:6, 14; 21:8). Another figure characterizing this
The vision of Ezekiel concludes by returning to the subject of the trees along both banks of the river. Ezekiel is informed that the leaves and the fruits of these trees shall reproduce without fail. The fruit will provide food, and the leaves will be used medicinally for healing (Ezk. 47:12). Thus, the fruit of the word of the Gospel of Christ will provide spiritual food for spiritual growth: “Do not work for the food which is perishing, but for the food which is remaining for life eonian, which the Son of Mankind will be giving to you, . . .” (Jn. 6:27 CV); Be “filled with the fruit of righteousness that is through Jesus Christ for the glory and laud of God” (Phil. 1:11 CV); “Now the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control: . . .” (Gal. 5:22-23 CV); “long for the unadulterated milk of the word that by it you may be growing into salvation” (1 Pe. 2:2b CV). The leaves of the word of the Gospel will provide corrective instruction, righteous discipline against the deceitful suggestions of the mind of the flesh: “All scripture is inspired by God, and is beneficial for teaching, for exposure, for correction, for discipline in righteousness, that the man of God may be equipped, fitted out for every good act” (2 Tim. 3:16-17 CV). The writer of the Book of Revelation uses this very imagery of Ezekiel:
And he shows me a river of water of life . . . issuing
out of the throne of God and the Lambkin. In the center of its square [the square of the new
The Greek Scriptures understand this vision of Ezekiel to refer to Christ and His Ecclesia. The vision would be fulfilled during the generation of Jesus and His Apostles. The Mosaic Eon was nearing its end (Rev. 22:10).
The Book of Ezekiel reaches its conclusion with a symbolic
description of the borders of the newly established Israel of Yahweh (Ezk.
47:13-21) and an account of the land allotment of each of the tribes in their
arrangement north and south of the
And it shall come to pass, that ye shall divide it [the land] by lot for an inheritance [allotment] unto you, and to the strangers [sojourners] that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you: and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance [allotment] with you among the tribes of Israel. (Ezekiel 47:22 KJV)
These words, as well as the land, are figurative, not literal. The Ecclesia of Christ, the Israel of Yahweh, possesses the land spiritually in accord with the New Covenant arrangement, in which the Ecclesia, the new Jerusalem, is metaphorically placed in the heavens, being raised over the nations in authority and instruction. The strangers or sojourners among the Saints are those Gentile believers in the Gospel of Christ, who, under the terms of the New Covenant, are to be considered equal brothers with the Saints, full-fledged members of the people of Yahweh, “fellow-citizens of the saints” belonging to “God's family,” as Paul puts it (Eph. 2:19 CV).
The children that these Gentiles beget while among the sons of
On this behalf I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you, the nations—since you surely heard of the administration of the grace of God that is given to me for you, for by revelation the secret was made known to me (. . . the secret of the Christ, which, in other generations [in distinction from this present generation], is not made known to the sons of humanity [Greek: plural with the article, The men, the faithful Israelites of past generations] as it was now revealed to His holy apostles and prophets): in spirit the nations are to be joint enjoyers of an allotment, and a joint body, and joint partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus, through the evangel [the Gospel of Christ to the nations, the Gospel of the Uncircumcision, see Gal. 2:7] of which I became the dispenser, . . . (Ephesians 3:1-7a CV)
The allotment given each tribe and its location in relation to
the central strip of the land consisting of the
Behold, a [the NGEINT] virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which being interpreted is, God [El] with us. (Matthew 1:23 KJV)
And the Word became flesh and tabernacles among us, and we gaze at His glory, a glory as of an only-begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14 CV)
Daniel, like Ezekiel, is among the captives in
However, more important, Daniel was a young man upon whose
heart was written the word of his Elohim. Consequently, he was shown kindness
and compassion by his Elohim (Dan. 1:9). During his three years of instruction
in the script (science and learning) and language of the Chaldeans, he was
excused by his overseer from eating the food provided from the king’s table,
thus avoiding defilement through contact with idolatry: “determining is Daniel in his heart that he will not sully [defile]
himself with the dainties of the king or
with the wine of his feasts” (Dan. 1:8a CV). He sufficed on vegetarian food
(seed-foods, vegetables, grain, non-meat products,
As a result of this faithfulness, Elohim blessed him, making him appear healthier than those partaking of the food from the king’s table. His Elohim also blessed him in his studies, allowing him to master the science and learning of the Chaldeans, including their language. He was given wisdom and, most significantly, the additional gift of understanding visions and dreams (Dan. 1:17).
Daniel’s visions and dreams, along with his ability to interpret visions and dreams, become the main conduits of his prophecies. Being that he is a Judaic captive during the period of ancient near-eastern world empires, his prophecies emphasize “the El of the heavens” (Dan. 2:19), “the Supreme” (Dan. 4:24‑25 CV), He Who is “from the eon and unto the eon, . . .” (Dan. 2:20b CV), the One Living El “altering the eras and the stated times [the specific circumstances or conditions of specific times], causing kings to pass away and causing kings to rise, granting wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those knowing understanding. . . . revealing the deep and the concealed things; . . .” (Dan. 2:21-22a CV). This Supreme El has “authority in the kingdom of mortals [men of renown, leaders, rulers, men in authoritative positions]” (Dan. 4:25b CV). He is the One having total “jurisdiction” over all the kingdoms, nations, peoples under the heavens (Dan. 4:26). He is “King of the heavens, . . . His deeds are verity [true], and His paths are adjudication [just]; and all walking in pride He can abase [humble]” (Dan. 4:37 CV).
Thus, the prophecies of Daniel concern the role of the ancient
near-eastern nations in relation to
The Elohim of Israel is the Elohim of the nations. His
elective purpose for
Twice Daniel informs King Nebuchadnezzar “that the Supreme is in authority in the kingdom of mortals, and that to whom He is willing he is giving it” (Dan. 4:25b-32b CV). As the Supreme chose to give Nebuchadnezzar the kingdom of the mortals, the kingdom of the heavens, He has already chosen to give the kingdom of the mortals, the kingdom of the heavens, ultimately and finally to the person Daniel perceives in the visions of the night as coming “on the clouds of the heavens, One as a son of a mortal . . .” (Dan. 7:13 CV). Jeremiah and Isaiah refer to this person as the “Branch,” the son of David (Jer. 23:5; 33:15; Isa. 4:2; 11:1-10).
Nebuchadnezzar’s pride and arrogance (his hubris) lead him, through the denial of this great truth, to forgetfulness. The Supreme reminds him, humiliates him by giving him the mind of a wild beast. Psychological insanity forces him to live as a beast of the field for seven seasons, at the end of which his sanity is restored by the Supreme. Nebuchadnezzar has been humbled. He now has attained the heart and mind of a mortal in exchange for the brutal, cruel, merciless heart and mind which had wrought havoc among the nations under his rule:
Then I blessed the Supreme, and I lauded and honored Him Who is living for the eon, seeing that His jurisdiction is an eonian jurisdiction, and His kingdom is with generation after generation. All abiding on the earth are reckoned [accounted] as naught: according to His will is He doing in the army of the heavens and with those abiding on the earth. And no one will actually clap with his hands and say to Him, “What doest thou?” (Daniel 4:34b-35 CV)
What Nebuchadnezzar had to learn the hard way, Jesus the Messiah understood and obeyed throughout His life and ministry. He had written Yahweh’s word on the tablet of His heart. He loved Yahweh His Elohim and Father with all His heart, soul, and intensity. When The Adversary puts Jesus the Messiah on trial offering Him all the kingdoms of the world, He is not deceived; He is not flattered; He does not respond from a proud and arrogant heart. He understands and believes “the Supreme is in authority in the kingdom of mortals, and that to whom He is willing He is giving it” (Dan. 4:25b CV). He subjects Himself to the sovereignty of the Supreme, Yahweh the Elohim of Israel, His Father Who alone has the authority to give Him the kingdom of the heavens and Who has already sworn with an oath to give Him the kingdom of His father David, as well as the kingdom of His Father Yahweh (see Matt. 4:8-10).
Jesus the Christ is
the only legitimate heir to the throne of Yahweh Elohim, The Supreme One.
According to Daniel, in the last days of the fourth
the Alue [El]
of the heavens will set up a kingdom that for the eons shall not come to harm. His
kingdom shall not be left to another people [but
only to His people, the Born-From-Above
The Supreme gives this kingdom to the One arriving as a son of a mortal (Dan. CV), Jesus the Messiah, the Branch of David:
to Him is granted jurisdiction and esteem and a kingdom, and all the peoples and leagues and language- groups shall serve Him; His jurisdiction, as an eonian jurisdiction, will not pass away, and His kingdom shall not be confined [destroyed KJV]. (Daniel 7:14 CV)
Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, is first given
jurisdiction over the Kingdom of David. After conquering the enemies of this
kingdom, Jesus Christ, the Son of Yahweh, the Son of the Supreme, humbly,
obediently, loyally hands the glorified
Christ Jesus is raised to the throne of Yahweh’s kingdom which will never be terminated. He and His Ecclesia, His Body, His complement will then reign, administer jurisdiction over the affairs of the nations, “altering the eras and the stated times, causing kings to pass away and kings to rise, granting wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those knowing understanding. . . . revealing the deep and the concealed things; . . .” (Dan. 2:21-22a CV). As such, this kingdom terminates the rule of the sons of El over the nations. The rule of the sons of El was a delegated jurisdiction organized by the Supreme after the judgment of the flood and the development of nations after the division of languages (see Deut. 32:7-9 CV). At that time the nations had gone astray from the Supreme, worshiping and serving the creation instead of the Creator (Rom. 1:25), as Israel also was to do in the course of her own history (see Ps. 106:19-20, 34-39; Jer. 2:11‑13; Ezk. 8:10).
The fourth kingdom/empire of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, the Roman
Empire, will not be immediately destroyed at the setting up of the
A new religion, a religion of the gentiles, the nations, will conquer and replace, through transformation, the ancient world of the gods with its idolatrous worship and service. This new religion operating and spreading over the world (the planet Earth) would be known as Christianity. It would represent a new faith, a new worship and service of the nations, superseding the institutions and religious worship of the ancient world since the division of languages in the time of Nimrod and his kingdom, the Kingdom of Babel (see Genesis, chapters 10-11).
This Christianity is not to be equated with the Ecclesia of Christ. It will develop out of the faith of those gentiles not faithful to the end, not faithful to the consummation of the Parousia of Christ. Paul warns,
being aware of the era, that it is already the hour for us to be roused out of sleep [the completion of the resurrection described in Romans, chapter 6, see also Phil. 3:8-14, the out-resurrection that is out from among the dead], for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night progresses, yet the day is near. We, then, should be putting off the acts of darkness, yet should be putting on the implements of light. . . . but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and be making no provision for the lusts of the flesh. (Romans 13:11-14 CV)
There were many who failed to meet the standard, the specific requirements. Many did not put on the Lord Jesus Christ, that is, conform to His death and resurrection:
thus we also should be walking in newness of life. For if we have become planted together in the likeness of His death, nevertheless we shall be of the resurrection also, . . . Thus you also, be reckoning [accounting] yourselves to be dead, indeed, to Sin, yet living to God in Christ Jesus, our Lord. (Romans 6:4b-11 CV)
Many failed to walk in newness of life either to the end of
their lives or to the Parousia of Christ. These unfaithful servants from among
the gentiles, the uncircumcised followers of the Christ, were left behind. They
had forfeited their right to participate with Christ’s Ecclesia in her entrance
into her Celestial Allotment. Their names had been blotted out of the Lamb’s
book of life. They had forfeited their right to citizenship in the Celestial
Jerusalem located in the Celestial Realm of the
However, they did retain much of the teaching of Christ and
continued to preach Christ and the One and Only Living God, His Father,
adapting to their imperfect understanding the teachings they had maintained.
They continued to adapt these teachings to the developing conditions of the
Daniel’s vision and interpretation of the times of the fourth kingdom describes a stone cut out from a mountain range. This stone is not cut out by hands:
a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image [representing the four kingdoms of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream] upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. (Daniel 2:34 KJV)
This results in the total collapse of the image, the four kingdoms:
Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain [range, CV; rock, EB], and filled the whole earth. (Daniel 2:35 KJV)
The stone represents the man to whom the Supreme is willing to
give the rule over His Kingdom. The stone is Jesus the Christ: “My Father
covenanted a kingdom to Me, . . .” (Lk. 22:29b CV). The mountain range from
which He cuts Himself out with the power and authority of the Supreme, Yahweh
Elohim of Israel, is the mountain range of
At the creation of Israel, the forming at Mount Sinai of this great mountain range (Israel) which towered over the mountain ranges of the nations, Yahweh had created a metaphorical new heavens (Israel) and a metaphorical new earth (the nations) in which Israel had been raised above the nations in order to manifest the light of Yahweh’s word and glory (His law) upon the nations beneath her exalted status. This exalted status had been a spiritual or religious status, not a political status.
This stone of Daniel’s vision, spiritually, religiously
becomes a great mountain range filling the whole earth. This great mountain
range is not the Ecclesia of Christ, the new Jerusalem, the Born-From-Above Israel of Yahweh. It is
a new religion replacing the
The collapse of the image representing the four great kingdoms/empires of the ancient near-eastern world is described as “the chaff of the summer threshingfloors” (Dan. 2:35 KJV). The wind carries this chaff away, and, like chaff blown away with the wind, these four kingdoms disappear, no longer having a place in the world of humanity. Their disappearance is not initially a political disappearance, but a religious disappearance. No longer would humanity worship and serve the idolatrous gods made by hands. The world-order of the gods would become obsolete. The time of the gods would become past. The time of humanity’s childhood would end.
Humanity now enters its time of adolescence. The task of Christianity is not the salvation of humanity, for that has already been accomplished by Jesus the Christ (see Rom. -21). The task of the Christian religion is to oversee and guide humanity through its period of adolescence until it reaches maturity. With the coming of age of humanity, Christianity as a religion (as well as all world religions) becomes obsolete, like the religious worship and service of the ancient world. No place will be found any longer for it or any other form of religion. Like chaff, all religions will be blown away by the wind of adulthood. Man will no longer need the adolescent accoutrements provided by religious ceremony, ritual, doctrine, and tradition.
In the first year of the reign of King Darius the Mede over
the Chaldeans (the 69th year of captivity), Daniel, having carefully delved
into the prophecies of Jeremiah, came to understand that the time of
And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an
astonishment; and these nations [including
and Jeremiah 29:10:
For thus saith the Lord
[Yahweh], That after seventy years be
This moves Daniel to pour forth a penitential prayer (an intercession on behalf of his people) in which he identifies himself with the sin of his people, and acknowledges Yahweh’s just judgment on them.
Daniel himself had been righteous in relation to this national sin of rebellion. He had been righteous before the first execution of judgment and, even in Babylonian captivity, sought to faithfully maintain his purity from Babylonian idolatry. In this he was successful. In this he was blessed by Yahweh. Therefore, his prayer must be understood as an intercession of the righteous on behalf of the unrighteous. That Daniel is righteous, a faithful and acceptable servant of Yahweh, is made clear in the coming of Gabriel to Daniel at the conclusion of Daniel’s confessional prayer: “Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding [intelligent understanding, CV]. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee; for thou art greatly beloved [a man of coveted qualities, CV]: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision” (Dan. 9:22b-23 KJV).
Daniel had already come to a knowledge of the significance of Jeremiah’s 70 years. Now he is informed concerning a period of 70 weeks. He is told,
Seventy weeks have been divided concerning thy people and concerning thy holy city—
To put an end to the transgression,
And fill up the measure of sin,
And put a propitiatory-covering over iniquity,
And bring in the righteousness of ages,
And affix a seal to the vision and prophecy,
And anoint the holy of holies [literally, the holy one of holy ones]. (Daniel 9:24 EB)
A period of 70 weeks is to be divided into three divisions.
These weeks are weeks of years. The first division consists of 7 weeks; the
second division consists of 62 weeks, and the third and concluding division
consists of one week. The first two divisions cover a period described as “from the going forth of the commandment to
restore and to build
From the decree to restore and build Jerusalem (454 B.C) to
the completion of this construction (the dedication of the Temple in 405 B.C.),
which decree Daniel already knew was near at hand, would consist of 7 weeks
(the first division), meaning 49 years. These 49 years refer to the rebuilding
Gabriel makes clear to Daniel that Yahweh’s ultimate promise
of salvation is not to take place at the end of the 70-year period of captivity
prophesied by Jeremiah.
The second division consisting of 62 weeks takes the nation, the people, to the arrival of the Messiah, the Anointed Prince. This means the Messiah, the Christ, the Branch of David, would arrive at the end of 69 weeks. His arrival would begin the 70th week for “after threescore and two weeks [the 62-weeks division] shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself” (Dan. 9:26 a KJV). At sometime during this 70th week, the Messiah would be cut off but not for His own sin or transgression. Thus, a just man would unjustly be condemned to death on behalf of the people of Yahweh. This just man, the Messiah, the Anointed One of Yahweh, the Prince of Israel, would, as a result of his sacrificial death, “put an end to the transgression [the breaking of the covenant made at Sinai]” (9:24b EB), “fill up the measure of sin [walking in unrighteousness]” (Dan. 9:24c EB), “put a propitiatory-covering over iniquity [His blood covering the iniquities of His people, thus providing forgiveness]” (Dan. 9:24d EB), and “bring in the righteousness of ages [the righteousness of Yahweh righting the injustices of the ages and continuing through the ages]” (Dan. 9:24e EB).
Having accomplished all this, the Messiah, the Prince of
Israel, “the holy one of holy ones”
(Dan. 9:24b my translation) would be anointed King over
His shed blood would establish a new covenant. The old,
Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant would no longer provide covenantal life.
the people [the Ecclesia, the Born-From-Above
At the consummation of the Parousia, the city and the
and the end [consummation]
thereof shall be with a flood [a
covenantally significant destruction], and unto the end of the war
desolations are determined [the Jewish
Daniel is further informed,
And he [the Messiah, the Prince, Jesus the Christ] shall confirm the covenant with many [not all, only those who believe into Him and His word given to Him by Yahweh] for one week [the 70th week, consisting of seven years, three-and-a-half years confirming the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant with the Southern Kingdom of Judah, and after His death, resurrection, and ascension, three-and-a-half years confirming His New Covenant with the Southern Kingdom of Judah before confirming this New Covenant with the Northern Lo-Ammi Kingdom of Ephraim/Israel]: and in the midst of the week [the crucifixion death of Jesus] he [the Messiah, the Prince, Jesus Christ] shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease [nullify the efficacy of Mosaic sacrifice and oblation], and for the overspreading of abominations [the defilement of the land, the city and the temple, culminating in the rebellion against Rome] he shall make it [the city of Jerusalem] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined [ultimate judgment] shall be poured upon the desolate. (Daniel 9:27 KJV)
The 70 weeks of Daniel point to the arrival, the ministry, the death and resurrection of the Messiah, and His reign on the throne of David which initiate the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets, the ultimate redemption, salvation of Israel.
Daniel is then instructed two times to seal up the words of
the visions of his prophecies: “Now you
Daniel, stop up the words and seal the scroll till the era of the end, when
many will swerve as evil will increase” (Dan. 12:4 CV); “Go, Daniel, for stopped up and sealed are
the words till the era of the end” (Dan. 12:9 CV). Why should his
prophecies be sealed up? Because, he is told, “for the vision is for future days” (Dan. 10:14b CV). How long will
it be before the arrival of these future days? According to the vision of the
70 weeks of chapter 9, there will be 490 years from the return of the exiles
and the rebuilding of
Zechariah is not only the longest book among the books of the Minor Prophets, but also, according to many scholars, the most obscure. Passages in chapters 9-14 are quoted in the passion narratives of the Gospels more than any other prophetic writing. With the exception of Ezekiel, Zechariah has influenced the contents of the Book of Revelation more than any other book of the Hebrew Scriptures. Its symbols and visions are similar to Ezekiel and Daniel. Much of the book’s obscurity, however, is solved when one understands that its main thrust takes the reader into the 70th week of Daniel and the concluding 33 years of the Mosaic Eon, ending in 70 a.d.
The opening vision (Zech. 1:2-17) refers to the prophecy of
Jeremiah concerning the 70 years of
I am returned to
Yahweh is about to return His people to their assigned land,
The third vision (Zech. 2:1-13) refers to the nearness of the
These words contain a double entendre. They first point to the
In this third vision,
The messenger of Yahweh indicates he was sent to reclaim the
For thus saith the Lord [Yahweh] of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you [Judah], toucheth the apple of his [Yahweh’s] eye. (Zechariah 2:8 KJV)
However, His glory which had been removed from the Solomonic Temple would not yet be restored. This glory would not be restored until the coming of the Righteous Branch out of the root of Jesse. This becomes the subject of verses 10-13:
for, lo, I come, and I will dwell [tabernacle] in the midst of thee, saith the Lord [Yahweh]. And many nations shall be joined to the Lord [Yahweh] in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell [tabernacle] in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me [the Righteous Branch, the Christ] unto thee. (Zechariah 2:10-11 KJV)
This coming and tabernacling of Yahweh points to the arrival of Jesus the Christ, the word become flesh, the Shekinah glory of Yahweh tabernacling in the midst of His people (Jn. 1:14 CV).
At that future time, many nations would be joined to Yahweh,
that is, many individuals from among the nations would join themselves in faith
to Yahweh, becoming His people. This would be in response to the proclamation
of the Gospel of Christ. In Jesus the Messiah, Yahweh’s Shekinah glory would
once again be restored to
And the Lord
[Yahweh] shall inherit [be allotted]
Thus, this second meaning, this pointing to the distant
future, had been concealed from
The fourth vision (Zech. 3:1-10) also symbolically points to
the distant future of
In this vision, Joshua the High Priest is seen standing before
the messenger of Yahweh. Satan, acting as prosecuting attorney, stands at his
right hand “to resist him” (Zech.
3:1b KJV). Satan presents the case against the appointment of Joshua to the
High Priesthood, that is, Joshua as he represents the future nation of
Yahweh rebukes the charge of Satan. He has chosen
Take away the filthy garments from him. . . . Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. (Zechariah 3:4b KJV)
Joshua is cleansed from the filth of his sins and is provided a change of raiment fit for a royal priest.
Joshua is then charged by the messenger of Yahweh to walk in the ways of Yahweh, keeping his charge. If Joshua obeys,
thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by. (Zechariah 3:7b KJV)
The obedient priestly nation will be given righteous judges to rule the twelve tribes (see Lk. -30). This holy nation will carry out faithfully a priestly ministry (keep my courts) fulfilling its obligation to become a kingdom of priests. As a result of this faithful service, the nation will be given a place of honor among the celestial beings (“I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by [Satan and the messenger of Yahweh]”). This is precisely what Paul claims for the Saints in Christ: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who blesses us with every spiritual blessing among the celestials, . . .” (Eph. 1:3 CV). Jesus alludes to this in saying to Nicodemus, “If I told you of the terrestrial [things revealed] and you are not believing, how shall you be believing if I should be telling you of the celestial [things concealed]” (Jn. 3:12 CV).
But how is Joshua the High Priest (future
therefore thus saith the Lord [Yahweh] God [Elohim], Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste [not be disturbed NASB]. (KJV)
Peter refers to this stone as “the Stone that is being scorned by you builders, which is becoming the head of the corner. And there is no salvation in any other one, . . .” (Acts 4:11-12a).
This stone has seven eyes scanning the entire habitation of Yahweh’s scattered peoples, seven eyes which become seven fountains of life-giving water (spirit), opened to cleanse the people of Yahweh from the filth of covenantal sin. The author of the Book of Revelation associates these eyes with Jesus the Lamb of Yahweh:
And I perceived, in the center of the throne and of the four animals, and in the center of the elders, a Lambkin standing, as though slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes which are the seven spirits of God, commissioned for [into] the entire earth. (Revelation 5:6 CV)
What is concealed in the Prophets (the Hebrew Scriptures) is revealed in the Greek Scriptures.
According to Zechariah 3:9b, by this stone Yahweh “will remove the iniquity of that land in one day” (KJV). That day is later revealed in the Greek Scriptures to be the day of the crucifixion of Jesus the Messiah, the Anointed One of Yahweh. Zechariah’s fourth vision concludes,
In that day [the period from Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection, and pouring out of Yahweh’s spirit to the consummation of His Parousia], saith the Lord of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbor under the vine and under the fig tree. (Zechariah 3:10 KJV)
Metaphorically, this refers to the covenantal, spiritual safety and peace established by the BRANCH for the ultimate (Born-From-Above) Israel of Yahweh (see Isa. 36:16). This passage is not to be interpreted literally.
The prophet Micah writes of this same period:
But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain [Davidic Kingdom and King] of the house of the Lord [Yahweh] shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people [peoples ASV] shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob [the Ecclesia of Jesus the Messiah]; and he [Yahweh] will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion [the new Jerusalem, the Born-From-Above Israel], and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem [the heavenly Jerusalem, the Bride of the Lamb, Rev. 21:9-14]. And he [Yahweh through Jesus the Messiah, the son of David] shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it. . . . In that day, . . . I will make her that halted [Judah] a remnant, and her that was cast far off [Ephraim] a strong nation [together]: and the Lord [Yahweh] shall reign over them in mount Zion [the new Jerusalem, the Born-From-Above Israel] from henceforth, even for ever [and into the eon, CV]. (Micah 4:1-7 KJV)
This was fulfilled by the ministry of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus the Messiah who were commissioned with the Gospel of the Circumcision and the Apostle Paul who was commissioned with the Gospel of the Uncircumcision. In the days of the Righteous Branch of the house of David, Jesus the Messiah, the Davidic Kingdom was reestablished.
Through the ministry of the Apostle Paul, many nations
(Gentiles) came up to the mountain of Yahweh (the Davidic Kingdom represented
by the cleansed priestly Kingdom of Judah, the Saints, the circumcised remnant
of faithful ones among the Jews), thus bringing about the restoration, the
reuniting of Judah and Ephraim. These faithful Gentiles, representing the Lo-Ammi people of the Northern Kingdom
of Israel, come up to the house (The Temple) of the God of Jacob, the
limping-one who is righteous with El. This
These faithful Gentiles are taught the ways of Yahweh by the faithful circumcised Jews, the ones functioning as Yahweh’s kingdom of priests. As a result of this ministry of instruction, these faithful Gentiles walk in the ways of Yahweh, fulfilling Yahweh’s Law as uncircumcised sons of Abraham, in accord with Paul’s description of them in Romans 2:14-15:
For whenever they of the nations [believing Gentiles] that have no law [statutes and judgments given to them by Yahweh, see Ps. 147:19-20], by nature [being naturally uncircumcised] may be doing that which the law [of Moses] demands, these, having no law [given to them by Yahweh], are a law to themselves, who are displaying the action of the law written in their hearts, . . . (CV)
Thus, the law goes forth from
In that day, Yahweh (through Jesus the Messiah and His Apostles), judges, rules among and over many people, rebuking (instructing, disciplining, correcting, guiding) those Gentiles made strong by the power of the Gospel, which is described by Paul as follows:
For not ashamed am I of the evangel, for it is God's power for [into] salvation [deliverance into the strong life of the law of Christ] to everyone who is believing [acting faithfully]—to the Jew first, and to the Greek as well. (Romans 1:16 CV)
This salvation into the powerful, strong, righteous life in accord with the law of Christ is a sign, a revelation of God’s righteousness generated out of the faithfulness of Christ and energizing the faithful, righteous life of the believing ones (Rom. 1:17), both Jews (circumcised) and Greeks (uncircumcised). Paul then concludes,
Now [since the death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah] the one justified [by faith in the Gospel] out of the corresponding faithfulness shall exercise for himself the functions of the righteous life made possible by the law of Christ disabling The Law of Sin and Death operating in the members of one’s mortal body. (Romans 1:17b my amplified translation)
These faithful ones, both Jews and Greeks, “beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks” (Mic. 4:3), not literally, but metaphorically. They become instruments, implements of Yahweh’s peace, manifesting the life of the New Covenant and performing the work of the peacemaker: “Happy [honorable] are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matt. 5:9 CV).
These faithful ones making up the new spiritual, covenantal
This was the reality of the faithful ones in Christ from the arrival of Jesus the Messiah to the consummation of His Parousia occurring about the year 70 a.d. In Christ, every man sat “under his vine and under his fig tree” (Micah 4:4a KJV). In Christ, no enemy could “make them afraid” (Micah 4:4b KJV), could threaten their covenantal security and Celestial Allotment, for their salvation was guaranteed by the faithful word issuing forth from Yahweh’s mouth. The only requirement was faithfulness to the end:
You should not, then, be casting away your boldness [confidence], which is having a great reward, for you have need of endurance that, doing the will of God, you should be requited with the promise. For still how very little, He Who is coming will be arriving and not delaying. Now My “just one by [out of] faith shall be living,” and “If he should ever be shrinking, My soul is not delighting in him.” Yet we are not of those shrinking back to destruction, but of faith for the procuring of the soul. (Hebrews 10:35-39 CV)
The fifth vision of Zechariah presents a golden candlestick
having seven lamps and two olive trees, one tree standing on the right side of
the candlestick and one standing on the left side. Zechariah is puzzled. He is
like a man just awakened out of sleep. He asks the messenger of Yahweh who has
just awakened him, “What are these my
lord?” (Zech. 4:4b KJV). The messenger’s first answer associates these
objects with the rebuilding of the
The remainder of the vision points to the distant future of
Thus speaketh the Lord [Yahweh] of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The Branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord: even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: . . . (KJV)
The Branch, the
son of David, will build the
Zechariah then asks, “What be these two olive branches, which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?” (Zech. KJV), repeating his question first stated in verse 11. He finally receives an answer, but the answer remains an enigma, “These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth” (Zech. KJV). Thus, once again, Yahweh conceals in the Hebrew Scriptures what He reveals in the Greek Scriptures. For the writer of the Book of Revelation refers directly to this enigmatic answer in his prophecy of those things which were to occur shortly in the first century:
And I will be endowing My two witnesses and they will be prophesying a thousand two hundred sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two lampstands which stand before the Lord of the earth. (Revelation 11:3-4 CV)
This same author, in a vision, sees “seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One
like a son of mankind, . . .” (Rev. 1:12-13a CV). The “One like a son of mankind” is revealed to him as being “the First and the Last, and the Living One:
and I became dead, and lo! living am I for the eons of the eons” (Rev.
1:17-18 CV), thus, Jesus the Messiah, the Son of David, the Son of Adam, the
Son of Yahweh. The seven lampstands are then revealed as representing the seven
ecclesias (Rev. 1:20). Seven is the number of completion. The seven ecclesias,
thus, represent the One complete Ecclesia of Christ, His Bride, His Body, the
This corresponds to the seven lamps of the candlestick
presented in Zechariah’s fourth vision. The candlestick with the seven lamps
represents the future
The two olive trees of Zechariah represent the Southern
Kingdom of Judah and the Northern Kingdom of Israel (Ephraim) reunited in the Christ by the reception of the
Gospel of Christ and the spirit of Yahweh. The oil (spirit) from these two
olive trees continuously fills the lamps of the Ecclesia of Christ, the
The two olive trees also represent Peter and Paul (“What be these two olive branches, . . . ?”
Zech. 4:12), the chief administrators of the Gospel of Christ. Peter was
appointed administrator of the Gospel of the Circumcision proclaimed to
Paul alludes to these two olive trees of Zechariah in the 11th
chapter of his Letter to the Romans. He refers to
The branches of the wild olive tree, as a result of the Gospel of the Uncircumcision, are grafted into the cultivated olive tree of Judah, circumcised Israel, thereby reuniting the fallen tabernacle, the house of David (Amos 9:9-15; Acts 15:13-18), and making the stick of Judah and the stick of Joseph/Ephraim one stick again (Ezk. 37:19). The wild olive tree had once been a cultivated olive tree under the covenant made with Jeroboam. Having broken that covenant and forsaken Yahweh, this cultivated olive tree was then given into the care of the gods of the nations. Having been removed from the cultivating care of Yahweh, this olive tree became wild by nature, that is, uncircumcised (see Rom. 2:14, “by nature” refers to the uncircumcised condition).
One last item in Zechariah’s fourth vision must be mentioned.
The seven lamps of the golden candlestick (vision five) are said to be “seven . . . eyes of the Lord [Yahweh], which run to and fro through the whole earth” (Zech. 4:10b KJV). In
chapter 3, verse 9 (vision four), the stone laid before Joshua the High Priest
has seven eyes. The stone refers to Jesus the Messiah, and the eyes in the
stone scan the entire habitation of Yahweh’s scattered peoples, becoming seven
fountains of life-giving spiritual water cleansing the people of Yahweh from
covenantal filth. In Revelation 5:6, these seven eyes are associated with
Christ as the Lamb of Yahweh. In Revelation 1:20, the seven lampstands are
equated with the one complete Ecclesia of the
Christ, and, in Zechariah 4:10, these same seven eyes of Yahweh are associated
with the seven lamps of the golden candlestick, which lamps represent the
Ecclesia of the Christ. Thus, the
Ecclesia of the Christ (the
Zechariah 8:23 prophesies of the future days when the nations will glorify the Jews, circumcised members of the Southern Kingdom of Judah, branches of the cultivated olive tree. In those future days, the nations, uncircumcised members of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, branches of the wild olive tree, will seek Yahweh in Jerusalem, the new Jerusalem, the Jerusalem above associated allegorically with Sarah in contrast with the Jerusalem below associated allegorically with Hagar (Gal. 4:21-26). In those days “ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you” (Zech. KJV).
Note the usage of the word “Jew” (or Judean). It is the Jew (the circumcised Jew during the first century, a member of the Southern Kingdom of Judah restored to the land out of the Babylonian captivity) who will be honored. Thus, the significance of Paul’s emphasis on “the Jew first and also the Greek” is in relation to the advantage of the Jew as an elect member of the Southern Kingdom of Judah which continued to receive the cultivated care of Yahweh, maintaining its covenantal life as the natural, cultivated olive tree planted and nurtured by Yahweh. Such also is the significance of the claim of Jesus that “salvation is of the Jews” (Jn. 4:22 CV).
Through the Jews will come the initial firstfruit reversal of
Consequently, Yahweh called Abram and promised to make him a great name and a blessing to the nations. The nations had sought to make for themselves a great name independent of the One Living Elohim and had failed; the One Living Elohim guaranteed to make Abram a great name and faithfully succeeded, resulting in a corresponding blessing upon the very nations which had disobediently forsaken the One Living Elohim.
Through the seed of circumcised Abraham (Jesus THE circumcised seed of Abraham) came the blessing of Yahweh Elohim upon the nations. Out of the Jews came Jesus the Messiah, through Whom came Yahweh’s salvation. Out of the deviation (paraptoma, slip aside) of the Jews (their tripping and stumbling) came salvation to the nations (Rom. 11:11).
The deviation of the Jews alludes to the deviation of Adam. Adam ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil out of ignorance, not rebellion of the heart. He was not deceived as Eve. He believed the word of Yahweh concerning the consequence of eating. Adam, perplexed by this dilemma, could not solve the enigmatic problem of Eve’s disobedience. He confidently believed Eve was to die. Loving his complement, bone of his bones, flesh of his flesh, Adam ate, joining Eve in her judgment.
The Jews, during their Babylonian captivity, continued to
receive Yahweh’s mercy, in contrast to the Northern Kingdom of Israel. The
ignorance and blindness of the Jews (the Southern Kingdom of Judah-Judea) in
relation to the Gospel of Christ resulted in Yahweh’s mercy upon the nations.
The previous “Lo-Ammi” judgment upon
This temporary discomfiture upon
Now if their
offense [deviation] is the world's [the order of the promises made to Abraham, see Romans 4:13, Abraham as the enjoyer of the allotment of
the world-order within which he receives his promised blessings] riches
and their discomfiture the nations' riches, how much rather that which fills [completes] them! . . . For if their casting away is the conciliation [counter-alteration] of the world [of the Sinatic/Mosaic order], what will the taking back be if not life
from among the dead [the completion
of the resurrection of all
Only the Jews (the circumcised Israelites) are addressed as saints by the writers of the Greek Scriptures, because only the Jews are a kingdom of priests, a holy nation. The Messianic Gentiles became fellow-citizens of the saints (the Jews, circumcised Israelites, the new commonwealth, the new nation, the Born-From-Above Israel) but remain distinct because of their uncircumcision. The faithful circumcised Jews became an antitype of the Aaronic Priesthood during the concluding years of the Mosaic Eon. The faithful uncircumcised Gentiles became an antitype of the Levitical Priesthood during this same span of time. But the Jew remained first, having a greater responsibility because of his greater advantages (see Rom. 9:4-5; 2:28; 3:2).
Zechariah 9:9 is a definite prophecy concerning the arrival of
the Branch of David, the
Righteous King. It is interpreted by the Greek Scriptures as referring to Jesus
as He entered into
Jesus stands up out from among the dead ones, possessing the
authority to proclaim the Gospel of the Circumcision to Judah (the Jews). As a
result of the proclamation of this Gospel of peace, Yahweh cuts off “the chariot from Ephraim” and “the horse from Jerusalem” (Zech. 9:10a
KJV), that is, He removes Israel’s (the Northern and Southern Kingdoms’)
confidence in the arm of man, the arm of human technology as a means of
deliverance from under the enslaving power of her enemies. Once again,
Jesus rises out of the metaphoric ashes of death to lead the
Israel of Yahweh out of bondage into the Celestial Allotment promised to
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In Jesus the Messiah, the Righteous Branch of David,
Yahweh manifests Himself once again as “king
in Jeshurun” (Deut. 33:5 KJV). As such, Yahweh speaks “peace unto the heathen [nations,
ASV]” (Zech. 9:10b KJV) as He reigns
covenantally throughout the entire geographical boundaries of the
Yet now, in Christ Jesus, you, who once were far off, are become near by the blood of Christ. For He is our Peace, Who makes both one, . . . making peace . . . through the cross, . . . And, coming, He brings the evangel of peace to . . . those afar, and . . . to those near, . . . (Ephesians 2:13-18 CV)
It is “by the blood of
thy covenant” (the blood of the New Covenant) that Yahweh delivers the
The Israel of Yahweh, protected by Yahweh’s strong arm, celebrates with a festive banquet (“the Lord God shall blow the trumpet,” Zech. 9:14b KJV). Yahweh defends His people (faithful circumcised Jews and faithful uncircumcised Gentiles) against the sling-shot stones of her enemies. The victory over her enemies is celebrated with wine. Her thirst and hunger is completely satisfied (Zech. 9:15). Yahweh her Elohim in that day saves His people, making them one united flock. “As the stones of a crown,” He exalts them as “an ensign upon his [Yahweh’s] land” (Zech. 9:16 KJV) to His glory. Such became the reality in the first century as recorded in the Greek Scriptures.
According to Zechariah 10:4, out of Judah would come forth
Yahweh’s messianic ruler who is metaphorically described as the “cornerstone” (CV), emphasizing the
stability and cohesiveness which the righteous ruler establishes on behalf of
his people; the tent-peg, suggesting
the security provided his people; the battle-bow
(CV) referring to the strength of the warrior-king guaranteeing victory over
the opposing forces; and finally, from Judah would come Yahweh’s exactors (CV), those judges exacting
righteousness in all moral, legal, social, economical, and cultic matters (see
also Isa. 60:17 KJV). The Greek Scriptures understand Jesus to be this
cornerstone. Peter, according to Acts 4:11, claims the Sanhedrin has rejected
Jesus the cornerstone. In 1 Peter 2:4, he refers to Jesus as “a living Stone, having been rejected indeed
by men, yet chosen by God” (CV), alluding to Isaiah 28:16, “I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a
tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth
shall not make haste” (KJV). Paul, in his charge concerning hardened
Zechariah 11:4-14 points to a future leader commissioned to
shepherd the people of Yahweh. The prophet Zechariah is commanded by Yahweh to
assume the role of the shepherd of the flock of
Zechariah, obediently taking on the symbolic role of the
shepherd of Yahweh, declares, “And I will
feed [So I fed, ASV] the flock of
slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock [for the traffickers of the flock,
CV, LXX]” (Zech. 11:7a KJV). He
shepherds the sheep as a hireling of the corrupt shepherds (those trafficking
in the sale of the sheep) using two staffs; the first he calls “Beauty” (or Pleasant, Zech. 11:10a CV).
The second he calls “Bands” (or
During the first month of service, he suppresses (CV) three shepherds whom he loathes (KJV, or “is impatient with” CV); they, in return, find him nauseating (CV), abhorrent (KJV). As a result, Zechariah, as the shepherd commissioned by Yahweh, withdraws from feeding the doomed sheep, “I will not feed you” (Zech. 11:9a KJV).
Taking his staff “Pleasantness”
(CV), he hacks it to pieces, symbolically annulling Yahweh’s covenant
contracted with the “peoples” (CV): “And it will be annulled in that day. And
the traffickers [sheep dealers, corrupt shepherds] of the flock, who are observing me, shall know that it is the word of
Ieue [Yahweh]” (Zech. 11:11 CV).
At this point, the shepherd of Yahweh asks for his wages (Zech. 11:12). His
employers (the corrupt shepherds) pay him 30 pieces of silver, which Yahweh
commands him to cast into the hands of the minister of the
According to the Greek Scriptures, Jesus is the commissioned Shepherd of Yahweh, “I am the Shepherd ideal” (Jn. 10:11 CV) declares Jesus as recorded in the Gospel of John. The sheep are already doomed to Yahweh’s judgment as the Baptist, prior to the shepherding ministry of Jesus, had proclaimed, “Now already the ax also is lying at the root of the trees” (Lk. 3:9 CV), “Progeny of vipers! Who intimates to you to be fleeing from the impending indignation?” (Matt. 3:7 CV). The shepherds, the leaders of the people, the sons of the Adversary (Jn. 8:44), the sons of Cain (1 Jn. 3:10-12), had been trafficking, selling out the sheep to a contaminated interpretation and application of the Mosaic Covenant.
This they did in the name of Yahweh, to their own religious, economic, social, and political gain. They hypocritically boasted that they were blessed of Yahweh, because they strictly followed the Law of Moses. Shamefully, they lacked any sense of guilt in their oppression of the flock. Jesus declares of them, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are taking tithes from the mint and the dill and the cumin, and leave the weightier matters of the law, judging and mercy and faith. Now these it was binding for you to do, and not leave those. Blind guides! straining out a gnat, yet swallowing a camel” (Matt. 23:23-24 CV).
These corrupt shepherds, traffickers of the flock, “knew that it [the teaching of Jesus] was the word of the Lord [Yahweh]” (Zech. 11:11b KJV, see also Jn. 12:42-46 CV, “for they love the glory of men rather than even the glory of God”), because they boasted they were not blind:
And those of the Pharisees who are [were] with Him [Jesus] heard these things, and they said to Him, “Not we also are blind?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have had no sin. Yet now you are saying that ‘We are observing.’ Your sin, then, is remaining.” (John 9:40-41 CV)
Jesus testified that He came in order that “those . . . not observing may be observing, and those observing may be becoming blind” (Jn. 9:39b CV). The corrupt shepherds claimed to observe, see, understand. This became a sign of their characteristic sin, their spiritual, covenantal genealogy; their relationship to the Adversary, to their spiritual father, Cain. Their characteristic sin is open, presumptuous, arrogant rebellion against the revealed word of Yahweh, after the likeness of Cain’s arrogant rejection of Yahweh’s clear warning regarding what was in his heart. As Cain had murdered his brother Abel, so these rebellious leaders would murder their own brother Jesus, their kinsman according to the flesh (see Jn. 8:39-41).
Yahweh gives the people up to the misguided teaching of the corrupt shepherds, giving them up to blindness and hardness. This decision is based upon the verdict of death issued at Sinai in response to the worship of the golden calf. The goal, or end, of the Sinatic Covenant is covenantal death. The end of the Mosaic Eon signaled the old-age of the law. It was “growing old and decrepit” and was “near its disappearance” (Heb. CV), near its end, its goal, its curse—death! The nation would soon undergo covenantal death.
Jesus, as Yahweh’s commissioned Shepherd, feeds the flock for
a short period of time. During this period, He is observed by
Towards the end of His ministry, Jesus withdraws from feeding the flock. He begins to speak to them in parables meant to hide the truth from the flock:
and He speaks many things to them [vast throngs] in parables, . . . And, approaching, the disciples say to Him, “Wherefore art Thou speaking in parables to them?” Now, answering, He said to them that “To you has it been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of the heavens, yet to those [the vast throngs, the sheep of the flock] it has not been given.” (Matthew 13:3-11 CV)
Jesus knows He must be given up to death. This, the Father commanded Him on behalf of the flock:
Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (John 10:17-18 KJV)
The nation is to be given up to the curse of the law. Jesus, representing the nation, must bare the curse of the law in order to redeem, deliver, save those faithful to Yahweh, those believing into Him [Jesus], those identifying with Him, His word, His commission from Yahweh.
This is the significance of His teaching concerning a kernel of grain:
If a kernel of grain [Jesus the Christ], falling into the earth [burial], should not be dying [germinating], it is remaining alone, yet if it [Jesus the Christ, the seed of Abraham, the seed of David] should be dying [His burial and death], it is bringing forth much fruit [His resurrection]. (John 12:24 CV)
Thus, those in Christ cannot be harmed of the Second Death
(the covenantal death of the covenantal nation,
Jesus withdraws from feeding the flock in order to prepare
Himself for the self-sacrificial death commanded by the Father. This
sacrificial death will “hack to pieces,”
annul, Yahweh’s covenant made at Sinai with Israel, Abraham’s circumcised seed,
as symbolically represented by the breaking of the shepherd’s staff called “Pleasant.” This is on behalf of the
covenant made with Abram (uncircumcised) promising to bless the nations. If the
circumcised seed of Abraham is not delivered from the curse of the law
(Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant), the promise to bless the uncircumcised seed of Abram
is annulled, hacked to pieces; such is the effect of the failure of
This sacrificial death will also “hack to pieces,” annul, “the
brotherhood between Judah [the Southern Kingdom] and
and I will make them one nation in the land upon the
Before Jesus, the commissioned shepherd of Yahweh, withdraws from feeding the flock, He suppresses, opposes, chastises, rebukes, thwarts, corrects (see Matt. 23:13-33) the shepherding strategies of the chief priests, the Pharisees, and the Scribes (“three shepherds also I cut off in one month [symbolically representing His early ministry],” Zech. 11:8a KJV). Jesus becomes impatient with their obstinance, while they become outrageously intolerant of His threat to their prestigious welfare and the political status of the nation, as Caiaphas the chief priest euphemistically sums up as follows: “it is expedient for us that one man should be dying for the sake of the people and not the whole nation should perish” (Jn. 11:50 CV). The writer of the Gospel of John claims that this secular, political judgment from Caiaphas’ perspective is a prophetic proclamation from Yahweh’s perspective and covenantal purpose: “Now this he said, not from himself, but, being the chief priest of that year, he prophesies that Jesus was about to be dying for the sake of the nation, and not for the nation only, but that He may be gathering the scattered children of God also into one” (Jn. 11:51-52 CV).
Jesus’ sacrificial death meant not only the salvation of the
nation (circumcised Jews), but also the salvation of Ephraim (the uncircumcised
gentiles, signifying the reuniting of the divided kingdoms of
This prophecy, concerning the shepherd commissioned by Yahweh to feed the flock, concludes with Yahweh’s commissioning of a “foolish shepherd” (Zech. ). This shepherd will not care for the sheep that Yahweh gives up to judgment:
I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces. (Zechariah 11:16 KJV)
This shepherd will metaphorically abandon the flock by his foolish political policy founded upon his rebellious heart opposed to the spiritual intention of Yahweh’s statutes and judgments.
This false shepherd will lead the sheep of his flock to their covenantal and political slaughter. Because these sheep reject the true shepherd, chosen and commissioned by Yahweh to properly care for their welfare, Yahweh will commission a foolish, a false shepherd after the desire of their own hearts, whom they will receive to their own destruction. Paul writes of this foolish, false shepherd:
No one should be deluding you [the true, obedient sheep of Yahweh] by any method, for, should not the apostasy be coming first and the man of lawlessness be unveiled, the son of destruction... for him to be unveiled in his own era. For the secret of [this, NGEINT] lawlessness is already operating. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-7a CV)
This man of lawlessness is an allusion to Zechariah 11:15-17. According to Paul, the secret of this lawlessness, which would be capped by this man of lawlessness (this foolish, false shepherd), was already operating at the time of Paul’s writing.
Jesus had warned of these antichrists, these lawless ones who would pave the way for the Anti-Christ, the lawless man:
For many shall be coming [to that generation] in My name, saying, “I am the Christ!” and shall be deceiving many. . . . And many false prophets shall be roused, and shall be deceiving many. And, because of the multiplication of [this, NGEINT] lawlessness, the love of many shall be cooling. Yet he who endures to the consummation, he shall be saved. (Matthew 24:5, 11-13 CV)
The writer of the first Epistle of John also warns of this same foolish shepherd: “And this is that of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and is now already in the world” (1 Jn. 4:3b CV). Earlier in this same letter, the writer states,
Little children, it is the last hour, and, according as you heard that the antichrist is coming, now also there have come to be many antichrists, whence we know that it is the last hour. Out of us they come, but they were not of us, for if they were of us, they would have remained with us. (1 John 2:18-19a CV)
The “us” of this
text refers to the Israel of Yahweh, the faithful circumcised Jews, the
faithful sheep, the Saints. The foolish shepherd, the false shepherd, the
antichrist, the man of lawlessness, comes out of the unfaithful circumcised
Thus, the foolish shepherd commissioned by Yahweh Himself was near at hand to that generation written to by Paul and John. For, according to Paul, the secret of this prophesied lawlessness is not only presently operating (thus, near at hand), but the man of lawlessness who brings this operation to its intended conclusion is commissioned by Yahweh Himself.
Paul testifies that this man of lawlessness comes in accord with “the operation of Satan” (2 Thess. 2:10 CV) to seduce “those who are perishing, because they do not receive the love of the truth for their salvation” (2 Thess. 2:10 CV). This seduction, this operation of lawlessness, he concludes, is from Yahweh:
And therefore God will be sending them [with the arrival of the man of lawlessness, the false shepherd] an operation of deception, for them to believe the falsehood, that all [the unfaithful sheep] may be judged who do not believe the truth [of the Gospel of Christ], but delight in injustice. (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 CV)
Therefore, the Greek Scriptures claim that Zechariah, chapter 11, was being fulfilled during the days of the generation addressed by these scriptures.
The 12th chapter of Zechariah prophesies concerning the future
In that future day, Yahweh will “open mine eyes upon the house of
As a result of the faithful shepherding ministry of Jesus the Messiah, Jesus is appointed to the Seat of David, and His Twelve Apostles are seated on twelve thrones judging the Israel of Yahweh. This, Zechariah refers to when he prophesies,
And the governors [chieftains,
The inhabitants of
The judgments of these righteous governors, chieftains,
princes of the
Yahweh first saves “the
the glory of the
house of David [the political leaders
of Judea] and the glory of the inhabitants of
All trust will be in Yahweh, and all glory will magnify Yahweh. Any trust which is contrary to Yahweh’s New Covenant handiwork is doomed to destruction. Any glory contrary to Yahweh’s glory manifested in Jesus the Messiah is doomed to shame.
In that future day, Yahweh will defend, protect, “the inhabitants of
In that future day, Yahweh “will
seek to destroy all the nations [circumcised Jews among the nations and
circumcised Jews among the abominable Cainite nation of
will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem [the remainder of circumcised Jews accounted by Yahweh as Abraham’s seed, Rom. 9:6-8, completing “all Israel,” Rom. 11:26], the spirit of grace and of supplications [Yahweh will open their blind eyes to His glory manifested in the face of Jesus Christ and His Ecclesia, Matt. 13:43; Rom. 8:18, in like manner as He had opened the eyes of Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus]. (Zechariah 12:10a KJV)
This outpouring of “grace and of supplications” (Zech. 12:10 KJV) concludes the outpouring of the spirit of Yahweh begun at Pentecost and prophesied by Joel (Joel 2:28-32). This outpouring is effected by Yahweh, resulting in, or bringing about, faith in Jesus the Messiah. It is not occasioned by the repentance of those receiving the grace and supplications. It is the result of Yahweh’s faithfulness to His promises. It is the result of His compassion, mercy, and justice.
Having their eyes opened by Yahweh,
They shall look upon me [Jesus the Messiah, the True and faithful Shepherd of Yahweh] whom they have pierced [crucified], and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. (Zechariah 12:10b KJV)
The Greek Scriptures identify the crucified and resurrected Jesus (orchestrated by His kin according to the flesh) as the pierced one looked upon and mourned for. John records,
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar [on the cross], he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost [his spirit ASV], . . . For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken [Ps. 34:20]. And again another scripture [Zech. 12:10] saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced. (John 19:30, 36-37 KJV)
The author of the Book of Revelation prophetically declares of Jesus,
Lo! He is coming with clouds, and every eye shall be
seeing Him [of those accounted by Yahweh
as Abraham’s seed]—those, also, who stabbed [pierced] Him—and all the tribes [those like Saul of
Matthew also records Jesus as saying, “For I am saying to you: You may by no means be perceiving Me henceforth, till you should be saying, ‘Blessed is He Who is coming in the name of the Lord!’” (Matt. CV). Jesus here alludes to His Parousia and the outpouring of Yahweh’s grace and supplications causing the eyes of those like Saul of Tarsus (who opposed Jesus as the Messiah due to ignorance and unbelief, 1 Tim. 1:13) to be opened in order to bring about repentance and faith in Jesus the Messiah. This faith, then, was the result of their being shown mercy, as Paul testifies,
I, who formerly was a calumniator [blasphemer] and a persecutor and an outrager: but I was shown
mercy [on the road to
Their hearts, like Saul’s heart, had been circumcised. But their minds had been blinded and their hearts hardened by Jewish tradition, causing them to misunderstand the Gospel of Christ, thus becoming for a short time enemies of the Gospel (Rom. ).
Concerning these enemies of the Gospel after the likeness of Saul of Tarsus, Zechariah 13:6 adds,
And one shall say unto him [Jesus the Messiah], What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. (KJV)
This is not to be understood literally, but figuratively. The question and answer reveal how the eyes of these Jews will be opened causing their minds to understand the truth of the Gospel, thus aligning their circumcised heart with a qualified mind. The faithful response resulting from this dialogue is implied in this passage, hearkening back to the response recorded in Zechariah 12:10 (quoted above).
Zechariah 13:7 takes the reader prophetically back to the garden of Gethsemane where Yahweh’s faithful Shepherd is delivered into the hands of His enemies to be “wounded in the house of my friends” (Zech. 13:6). Quoting Zechariah 13:7, Jesus identifies Himself with this faithful Shepherd just prior to His being betrayed by Judas into the hands of the chief priest and elders of the people: “Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye [the eleven apostles] shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad” (Matt. 26:31 KJV, see also Mk. ). The Greek Scriptures clearly identify Jesus with the faithful Shepherd commissioned by Yahweh in the prophecy of Zechariah.
In that future day, Yahweh’s judgment against
These New Covenant priests, made “a kingdom and priests to His God and Father” (Rev. 1:6 CV), are to be refined by fire during these days of service:
And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord [Yahweh] is my God [Elohim]. (Zechariah 13:9 KJV)
Paul, entreating the disciples to remain in the faith, applies
this passage to all those in Christ: “we
must through much tribulation enter into the
This refining process is also designated as “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7 KJV). The period of this refining ended about 70 a.d. It could only be experienced by the members of the Body of Christ up to the consummation of His Parousia. Paul writes of this suffering associated with the cross of Christ as “the offense of the cross” (Gal. 5:11 KJV); “persecuted for the cross of Christ Jesus” (Gal. 6:12 CV); and “For I am reckoning that the sufferings of the current era do not deserve the glory about to be revealed for us” (Rom. 8:18 CV).
The 14th chapter of Zechariah takes the reader to the final
judgment of Yahweh against
However, the corrupt, abominable nation is divided in its
attempt at rebellion. Its warring parties destroy one another, “houses rifled, . . . women ravished”
(Zech. 14:2b). The nation becomes entrapped within the city walls of
Zechariah 14:4-11 takes the reader back to the beginning of
the day of Yahweh, which occurs over a period of time, providing a more
detailed description of events. The day of Yahweh is now equated with the
Parousia of Jesus the Messiah. Zechariah prophesies, “And his [Yahweh’s] feet
shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before
These celestial beings are alluding to Zechariah 14:4. Jesus
the Messiah would return at His Parousia to fulfill the judgment of Yahweh
against the abominable, corrupt, pseudo-nation of
His people “Shall flee
to [through] the valley of the
mountains” (Zech. 14:5), escaping the judgment upon
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him [Jesus]. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming [Parousia] of the Lord [Jesus] shall not prevent [precede, ASV] them which are asleep. For the Lord himself [Jesus] shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel [Chief Messenger], and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 KJV)
Christ’s Parousia would occur and did occur in the generation of Paul and the Twelve Apostles. This Parousia was seen and experienced by the faithful ones of the contemporary generation of Jesus and the Apostles. However, it was not a public event for all the world to believe and/or experience. The enemies of Yahweh were destroyed by the power of Yahweh made perceptible to the minds of the faithful ones during the days of the Parousia of Jesus the Messiah of Yahweh.
Yahweh’s judgment at the Parousia of Christ is to be perceived in the historical events of the years 66-70 a.d., the era of the day of Yahweh described by the prophets, and in particular, by Zechariah in this 14th chapter of his prophecies. The actual coming of the last day of this era of judgment (salvation for the faithful, destruction for the unfaithful) was to be a secret concealed from Israel, known only by Yahweh, “And one day shall come, it shall be known to Yahweh, Not day and not night” (Zech. 14:7a CV).
This specific last day was not even revealed to the faithful until its actual arrival. It would not be characterized as either “day” or “night.” Again, this is figurative language, indicating the end of one eon and the beginning of a new eon. At “eventide” (CV) or “evening” (Zech. 14:7b KJV), when dusk would ordinarily end day and begin night, “it shall be light” (Zech. 14:7c). The nations would no longer be consigned to the darkness of the time of the gods. In that new day, the nations would dwell under the light of God’s (Yahweh Elohim’s) restored presence among them.
In that eon-ending day, “living
waters shall go out from
In the new eon there would be no distinction between
In the eyes of Yahweh and His Anointed One, Jesus the Messiah, this is precisely the reality of the world during the last 2,000 years. This new world order, new heavens and earth, new age, began at the consummation (telos) of the Mosaic Eon when Christ as Davidic King had conquered His enemies, when Christ had given up this kingdom to His God and Father, when He had nullified all sovereignty, all authority and power given to Israel in accord with the Sinatic Covenant (see 1 Cor. 15:23-28). At that time, Christ had received His Ecclesia, His Bride, His Body to Himself and led His Ecclesia into the Celestial Realm to the place He had already prepared for her. Together, under the authority of God His Father, they have been ruling, reigning over the world, over the nations, over Jesuic humanity as one whole entity.
In the twenty-first century, mankind as one race (Jesuic humanity) has come of age, entering into its historic period of adulthood. With adulthood will come the putting off of the things of childhood, especially the outer garment of religion. The adulthood of Jesuic humanity means, requires, the transcending of all religion with its myths and superstitions, its exclusionary pride, hatred, and intolerance. The comforting, self-projecting illusions of childhood and adolescence must be abandoned. The destructive, debilitating addiction of these childhood and adolescent illusions must be broken. Jesuic man must now consciously comprehend the significance of his initiation into adulthood and actively behave, operate, in accord with his redeemed, liberated relationship to the One Living God brought about by the obedient faithfulness of Jesus the Anointed One of Yahweh, Jesus the Son of David, the Son of Abraham, the Son of Adam, the Son of God (Yahweh Elohim).
Zechariah next provides a metaphoric detailed description of “the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people [peoples,
ASV] that have fought against
Zechariah then adds another metaphoric description of the
judgment of Yahweh against this wicked nation. This time he compares the
destruction of this nation to Yahweh’s destruction of the Assyrian army under
the leadership of Sennacherib, king of
Lord [Yahweh], . . . hear the words of
Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God [Elohim]. Of a truth, Lord, the kings of
Yahweh heard Hezekiah’s prayer and sent Sennacherib the
following reply to his boast that he would destroy
The virgin the daughter of
As Sennacherib’s rage and tumult was directed against Yahweh,
so Yahweh sent His messenger into the Assyrian camp “and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred fourscore and five
thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead
corpses” (2 Kings 19:35 KJV), causing rage and tumult throughout the ranks
of Sennacherib’s army. The Messenger of Yahweh had “cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in
the camp of the king of
Thus, this evil and arrogant nation, uncircumcised in heart,
is covenantally put to death by Yahweh. Those not actually murdered and abused
by one another within the walls of
This new eon reestablishes the
every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem [now representing the peoples of all nations who had been opposed to Yahweh’s rule due to their worship of the gods, the work of man’s hands, made of wood and stone; because there no longer is a difference between circumcised and uncircumcised in the eyes of Yahweh] shall even go up from year to year [symbolically representing the duration of the new eon] to worship the King [Yahweh], the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.” (Zechariah 14:16 KJV)
The Festival of Tabernacles celebrates the end of the harvest,
thus, the end of the Mosaic Eon and the beginning of the new eon of the
Those peoples who now refuse to worship the One True and
Living God represented by Jesus the Messiah and His Ecclesia, the New Celestial
Jerusalem, seated on the royal throne in the Celestial Realm, will be denied
Yahweh’s terrestrial blessings: “even
upon them shall be no rain” (Zech. 14:17b KJV). For those nations which
refuse to acknowledge the King, the One True and Living God, the God of
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Jesus, and His kingdom, “there shall be the plague” (Zech. 14:18b KJV). They shall not
prosper: “This shall be the punishment of
The function of Christianity as a religion has been to spread the news of this new eon and the new conditions established by the reestablishment of the Kingdom of God (Yahweh) favoring all nations alike. God is blessing all those nations which subject themselves to His worship and service. Those nations keeping the Law of Christ, honoring the God and Father of Jesus Christ, prosper politically, socially, economically, technologically, and intellectually. Yahweh grants them peace, security, justice, and wealth. Rejection of the worship and service of the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus generates contention, unstableness, injustice, and poverty. Woe to those nations which, having tasted of God’s goodness, turn away from honoring Him and His ways, for they shall forfeit His blessing while generating out of themselves their own destruction.
However, in spite of Jesuic man’s propensity to arrogantly disregard God and attribute to himself his success, his coming of age will eventually educate him in the truth which will thrust him into the sphere of The Knowledge of Good and Evil resulting in his perfection according to the original intention of the One True and Living God. He will become an honorable, righteous, intelligent, and creative Son of the One True and Living God, Yahweh Elohim, God and Father of Jesus the Christ Who is Head of the newly created Jesuic humanity on the way to becoming an Androgynous Man.
The prophecies of Zechariah conclude with a symbolic reference
to the House of Yahweh, the
Malachi was a contemporary of Ezra and Nehemiah, the last of
the post-exilic prophets. His concern is to reassure the returned people that
Yahweh’s faithful love continues, in spite of their evil deeds and shameful
attitudes. The people had become disappointed. Their high hopes for the
immediate fulfillment of the return of Yahweh’s glory and the promised
blessings prophesied by the prophets had been abandoned. The Messianic age had
not come. They had rebuilt
The people complain, “Wherein hast thou loved us?” (Mal. 1:2 KJV). They question Yahweh’s faithfulness, not their own understanding of the message of the prophets. The priests dishonor Yahweh’s name. Yahweh responds by asking them,
A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear [respect]? saith the Lord of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. (Malachi 1:6a KJV)
The priests reply, “Wherein
have we despised thy name?” (Mal. 1:6b). Yahweh judges them guilty of
cultic pollution, because they, in essence, consider their
Malachi calls for their repentance, but repentance is not forthcoming. The priests had “departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord [Yahweh] of hosts” (Mal. 2:8 KJV). The Levitical Priesthood had been appointed by Yahweh. These priests were to instruct the people in Yahweh’s Law: “For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts” (Mal. 2:7 KJV). Thus, the priests, as false shepherds, had led many away from the righteous path of Yahweh’s covenantal requirements. The nation, as a whole, had taken on the characteristics of the priesthood, conforming itself to their image. However, not all had stumbled over the stone of their misguided instruction and lawless behavior: “ye have caused many to stumble . . .” (Mal. 2:8, my emphasis). Like Daniel, a righteous remnant continued in the way of Yahweh, remaining faithful to the covenantal requirements, each loving and honoring Yahweh with all his heart.
Regarding this faithless nation, Malachi declares,
Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment? (Malachi 2:17 KJV)
In spite of this unappreciative and presumptuous nation, Yahweh continues to show it mercy and compassion. He does not abandon this disrespectful people. Concerning the faithful remnant, Yahweh sends Malachi to declare,
Behold, I will send my messenger [Heb. = Malachi], and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant [the New Covenant], whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 3:1 KJV)
Like Malachi (Heb. = my messenger)
the prophet, Yahweh in a future day will send His messenger (John the Baptist,
John, in Hebrew, meaning, Yahweh is
gracious) to prepare the way of the true and faithful shepherd (Jesus the
Messiah of Yahweh). Those who seek this Elect Shepherd will perceive His sudden
coming to the
As Malachi is “my messenger” to his own contemporaries in the land, so Yahweh will send “my messenger” in the last days, in accord with the message of all the prophets. As Malachi calls his contemporaries to repentance (see 3:7) in order to obtain Yahweh’s graciousness, “And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: . . .” (Mal. 1:9 KJV), so Yahweh in the latter days of the Mosaic Eon will send my messenger, John (Yahweh is gracious):
There came to be a man, commissioned by God. His name was John. . . . whoever obtained [received] him [John], to them he [John] gave the right to become [to be making themselves] children of God, to those who are believing in his name [John], . . . (John 1:6, 12 CV modified)
His name is “John,” “Yahweh is gracious.” John the Baptist is the “my messenger” prophesied by Malachi, according to the author of the Gospel of John.
The Baptist prepares the way of “the messenger of the covenant” (Mal. 3:1) Jesus the Messiah. This “messenger of the covenant” will be authorized to execute Yahweh’s judgment:
But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap [launderer’s soap, CV]. (Malachi 3:2 KJV)
Only the faithful ones will be able to stand when He appears, for
he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi [the faithful circumcised Jews made a kingdom of priests after the order of Melchizedek], and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. (Malachi 3:3 KJV)
James writes, “Happy is the man who is enduring trial, for, becoming qualified, he will be obtaining the wreath [crown] of life, which He [Yahweh] promises to those loving Him” (James CV). Speaking of Jesus and trial, the writer of Hebrews testifies,
Whence He [Jesus] ought, in all things, to be made like the brethren, that He may be becoming a merciful and faithful Chief Priest [Melchizedekian Priest] in that which is toward God, to make a propitiatory shelter for the sins of the people. For in what He has suffered, undergoing trial, He is able to help those who are being tried [the faithful ones]. (Hebrews 2:17-18 CV)
Peter, more to the point, declares,
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations [trials, CV]: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:6-7 KJV)
Finally, Paul writes concerning the ultimate “offering in righteousness” (Mal. 3:3 quoted above):
I am entreating you, then, brethren, by the pities [mercies, KJV] of God, to present your bodies a sacrifice, living, holy, well pleasing to God, your logical divine service, and not to be configured to this eon, but to be transformed [metamorphosed] by the renewing of your mind, for you to be testing what is the will of God, good and well pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2 CV)
Thus, in that future day, “shall
the offering of
The nation as a whole during Malachi’s ministry is still under the curse of the law: “Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation” (Mal. 3:9 KJV). In that future day, however, when the curse of the law will be terminated and the people repent and return to Yahweh, “All nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts” (Mal. KJV). In that future day, the faithful nation will discern between the righteous and the wicked ones (Mal. 3:18). For the wicked declare, “It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts?” (Mal. 3:14 KJV). These wicked ones will bear the curse of the law: “and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch” (Mal. 4:1 KJV).
But those whose eyes are opened to the foolish ways and lawless instructions (see Mal. 3:15) of the false shepherds and who repent, acknowledging the name of Yahweh, have their names recorded in Yahweh’s book of remembrance (see also Ex. 32:32-33; Ps. 69:28; 87:6; Dan. 12:1; Rev. 3:5; 20:15), along with those faithful ones who had continually feared Yahweh, proclaiming His name, proclaiming the Gospel of Christ. Malachi writes,
Then those that fear Ieue [Yahweh] speak, each to his associate [neighbor]. And Yahweh is attending, and He is hearing. And a memorial scroll is written before Him, of the fearers of Ieue [Yahweh], and of those reckoning [accounting, acknowledging] His name. And they became Mine, says Ieue of hosts, for the day which I am making, a special possession [my jewels, KJV], and I will spare them just as a man is sparing his son who is serving him. (Malachi 3:16-17 CV)
This refers to the Parousia of the Christ, when the glory of the sons of Yahweh is revealed
(distinguishing the wicked from the righteous, the tares from the wheat, the
sons of light from the sons of darkness, Matt. -43; Rom. 8:18-25) and the remaining ones of the
Israel of Yahweh have the veil over their eyes removed and their hardened
condition melted (see Rom. 11:25-27; 2 Cor. 3:14-16). Thus, all
In that future day, the Gospel of Christ will proclaim a new covenant, and the Israel of Yahweh will “Remember . . . the law of Moses my servant, . . . with the statutes and judgments” (Mal. 4:4 KJV). The Law of Moses will be kept faithfully by the people of Yahweh. This new nation will succeed in its commissioning as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Ex. 19:6; Rev. 1:6).
The last verses of Malachi form the beginning of a bridge connecting the Hebrew Scriptures with the Greek Scriptures. Whether this was the intention of the writer or editor is irrelevant. However, from the point of view of the writers of the Greek Scriptures, the intention is certainly that of the spirit of Yahweh. For the spirit of Yahweh integrates the two libraries, making them one unified and complete revelation inspired by Yahweh Elohim, the One, True, Living God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesus, and His Apostles.
Yahweh promises to send Elijah the prophet before “the coming of the great and dreadful day of
the Lord [Yahweh]” (Mal. 4:5 KJV). The writer of the
Gospel of Matthew records Jesus as testifying concerning John the Baptist, “he is Elijah” (Matt. 11:14 CV). In the
17th chapter of this same Gospel, Jesus declares, “Yet I am saying to you that Elijah came already, . . . Then the
disciples understand that He spoke to them concerning John the baptist”
(Jn. 17:12-13 CV). According to the Book of Luke, a messenger of Yahweh appears
to Zechariah, a priest carrying out his customary duties in the
According to Malachi 4:6 the purpose of Elijah is to “turn the heart of the fathers to the children [sons, CV], and the heart of the children [sons, CV] to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth [land, CV] with a curse” (KJV). According to the celestial messenger of Yahweh sent to Zechariah the priest, quoting from Malachi 4:6, the purpose of his son about to be born is “to turn back the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the stubborn [ones] to the prudence of the just [ones], to make ready a people formed for the Lord [Yahweh]” (Lk. 1:17b CV). John the Baptist, according to the Greek Scriptures, is the fulfillment of Malachi 4:5-6. John the Baptist succeeded in his commission in relation to the elect of Yahweh who received him. However, in relation to the sons of Cain, he failed. They rejected him. But this was also intended by Yahweh, for the Baptist declared at the very beginning of his ministry that the axe was already laid to the root of the trees. Yahweh’s indignation against the sons of Cain among the Jews was already impending (see Lk. 3:7-9).
This agrees with the entire history of
The Greek Scriptures record the final chapters of the revelational story begun in the time of Moses and recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures, beginning with the Book of Genesis. Having concluded the examination of the Hebrew Scriptures, the reader is now prepared to proceed to the examination of the Greek Scriptures.