4/3/2010 The Son of Man, exploring the Biblical concept
A Commentary on Immanuel
The Gospel of Truth
by Mel West
The name Immanuel comes from Isaiah 7.14. The prophet was frustrated with the people who undoubtedly kept asking him for a sign from God to confirm his prophesies. We may recall the prophet Elijah, who became a figure which would be recreated in the Bible. Originally he prophesied to the Kingdom of Ahab, in Israel, and the people asked him for a sign. The sign he brought can be summed up as a fire from heaven which consumed some 200 priests of Baal who questioned him. His model is used once again in prophesy. He would appear resurrected in the Last Days, as a Sign of God, and would turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, etc. through an unprecedented fear of the Wrath of God. Thus, when we examine IsaiahÕs argument for giving the people a sign from God we must keep in mind the same question asked of Elijah in former times (about two hundred years earlier than Isaiah). As those who asked for a sign and received fire and the sword from Elijah, in like manner did Isaiah respond:
7.13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?
7.14 Therefore, the Lord himself shall give you a sign; behold, a Virgin [or maiden] shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
7.23 And it shall come to pass in that day, that every place shall be, where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, it shall even be for briers and thorns.
7.24 With arrows and with bows shall men come thither; because all the land shall become briers and thorns.
The Sign of God which Isaiah said would come would be an extraordinary surprise. First a Virgin (or young maiden) would conceive and give birth to a son. This suggests that she is unmarried when she conceives and bears her son. The son, we presume from the situation cited, would be a bastard, with no father to speak of.
The second part of this remarkable prophesy of God sending a bastard of sorts to mankind is that the time of the childÕs birth would also be a time when the Children of Israel would be scattered and their land turned into complete desolation behind them, being nothing but briers and thorns.
Following this in chapter 9 the prophesy introduces the fact that the land of Zebulon and Naphtalim (Galilee) have seen a great light. He compares that land to a land that has dwelt in darkness or the shadow of death. The land of which the prophet is speaking is part of Syria.
Elsewhere, in chapter 42, the prophet speaks of a Light to the Gentile and he becomes the basis of Jesus's mission. Compared to this passage in chapter 42 is a passage from Isaiah 61 which Jesus read in the synagogue. Both passages are speaking of a Messiah who brings light to the Gentile. Concerning this (specifically chapter 61) Jesus said, This day these things are fulfilled ( Luke 4.17).
Isaiah 9.2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
The shining of the light unto the Gentile steps out of the chapters announcing the birth of Immanuel to chapters showing a great light appearing in Galilee and combining these thoughts with the observation that God hath increased the nation:
9.3 Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
9.4 For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.
Compare this with Isaiah 26.15:
26.15 thou hast increased the nation, O Lord, thou hast increased the nation: thou art glorified: thou hadst removed it far unto all the ends of the earth.
The precept here is clear. At the time Immanuel is born the nation will be scattered to all the ends of the earth, midst every nation. This is a vehicle of increasing the nation. Though they are multiplied God did not increase their Joy. For more prophesies will be seen which describe a Spirit of Burning being applied to the Children of Israel and the promise that only a remnant of the nation of Israel will survive. But that remnant, purified by fire, as one purifies silver and gold in a furnace to remove the dross, will be gathered in the Last Days and restored, or redeemed, to the Holy Land. On that day Jerusalem shall become a burden to the Gentile (nations) and they shall come up against God's Children and God shall then defend Israel, (as in the days of Midian) as a fire thrown up around its city as a defense. All those who come up against My People shall be destroyed, so saith the Lord. Compare this to Judges chapter 7, where Gideon, a Deliverer of Israel, defended My People with three hundred troops against an overwhelming force of Midianites. As in an earlier feat before Jericho where Joshua the Deliverer had his troops walk around the city of Jericho, blowing trumpets, causing the walls to fall down, Gideon had all of his troops blow trumpets and circle the Midianite Camp during the night with lanterns:
Judges 7.20 And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the Lord, and Gideon.
7.21 And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled.
Compare this to the Latter Day Prophesy:
Isaiah 33.3 At the noise of the tumult the people fled; at the lifting up of thyself the nations scattered.
33.4 And your spoil shall be gathered like the gathering of the caterpillar: as the running to and fro of locusts shall He run upon them.
33.8 The highways lie waste, the wayfaring man ceaseth: he that broken the covenant, he that despised the cities, he regardeth no man.
33.9 The earth mourneth and languisheth: Lebanon is ashamed and hewn down: Sharon is like a wilderness and Bashan and Carmel shake off their fruits.
33.10 Now will I rise, saith the Lord; now will I be exalted; now will I lift up myself.
33.17 Thine eyes shall see the King in His Beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.
These passages describe an event like unto the Salvation of Gideon. When God rose up, using Gideon at his helm, the nations were terrified by the noise and began attacking one another, then they scattered. In the Latter Days the time is described as a time when Lebanon is hewn down:
Isaiah 40.16 And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering.
The roads are laid waste and it is not safe to travel. Now shall I rise, saith the Lord. And He rises as a light unto the Gentile:
Isaiah 49.1 Listen O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people from far; The Lord hath called Me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath He made mention of My Name.
49.2 And He hath made My Mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His Hand hath He hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me.
49.3 And said unto me, Thou art My Servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.
49.5 And now, saith the Lord, that formed me from the womb to be His Servant, to bring Jacob again to him, though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength.
49.6 And he said, it is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my Salvation unto the end of the earth.
49.7 Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and His Holy One, to Him whom man despiseth, to Him whom the nation abhoreth, to a servant of rulers, kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.
49.8 Thus saith the Lord, in an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages.
When we make mention of the Light unto the Gentile and say the people of Zebulon and Nathtalim saw a great light, we must keep in mind that the appearance is as a repeat of the days of Gideon when he defeated the Midianites through the help of God through the alliance of Zebulon and Naphtali, etc., the Galileans. In the Latter Day scenario there is first the dragging of the nations against Israel, a trumpet blast, and then the rain of fire and brimstone down upon the heads of the nations. Out of the remnant that survive the destruction with Jerusalem and My People at his Head, God's Messiah, Son of David, rules over the earth in His Kingdom of God thereafter, established like the time of Gideon:
Judges 7.22 And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the Lord set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath.
7.23 And the men of Israel gathered themselves together out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after the Mideanites.
So two periods are being discussed by Isaiah: First is the birth of Immanuel and the Scattering of Israel. Since the birth of the child Immanuel is keyed to the Scattering of Israel, it follows that Immanuel represents something other than another Deliverer, like Moses, Joshua, or Gideon. The key to understanding the purpose of Immanuel then must be in the lines:
Isaiah 49.6...that thou mayest be my Salvation unto the earth.
49.7 ...to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhoreth...
Since the Messiah is intended to be Salvation unto the end of the earth we must compare it to:
Isaiah 5310...when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed...
53.11...by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
53.12...and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
In the Laws of Moses there is a Feast of Atonement by means of which the Children of Israel purify themselves from sin. First they take two goats, sacrificing one, as a Trespass Offering, and taking the other into the wilderness and setting it free. The freed goat is called the Scapegoat. This is done for the Atonement of Sins of the people. In addition, as a criteria of being Forgiven by God, the people were required to forgive all those who trespass against them.
In the passages of God's Righteous Servant bearing the sins of many, a substitute offering is indicated and this offering is Salvation unto the end of the world. What then does it say?
Isaiah 49.7 ...to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhoreth, to a servant of rulers...
Isaiah 53.3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
53.4 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
53.8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
53.10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him: he hath put him to grief: When thou shalt make his soul and offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the lord shall prosper in his hand.
So He who is the Salvation of God unto the end of the earth must be Immanuel. Why? Because he is despised by My People, etc. Immanuel is the sign of the Scattering of Israel. The Light unto the Gentile, we shall see, is a sign of the Gathering of Israel. And He inherits the Heathen (Gentile) and restores the Preserved of Israel (after they had been scattered).
After the birth of Immanuel — who cannot be the Deliverer and therefore must be the Righteous Servant who is despised — and the Scattering of Israel, the prophet continues with the discussion of the gathering of Israel and the Scattering of the Nations and God's Wrath taken out against the nations (Gentile), resulting in the raising up of the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven under David, God's holy servant and King Messiah.
Isaiah 9.1 Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulon and the Land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea [Galilee], beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations [gentile].
9.2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
9.3 Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
9.4 For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.
The prophet has carried us from the scattering of Israel, multiplying the nation, and not increasing its joy, to the day of Midian, when his yoke was broken by Gideon. Then the prophet appears to lapse again into the past, when Israel is being scattered:
Isaiah 9.5 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
9.6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
9.7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
9.8 The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel.
This group of verses identify the fact that the son who is born appears during a period of fire, as in the days of Midian. Midian is remembered for two things. Firstly, the land of Midian (Sinai) received Moses while he was in exile and Moses married a Midianite's daughters. After the Children of Israel had become established in Palestine they had continuing wars with the Midianites. Finally, a judge was born who came to deliver My People from the Midianites. His name was Gideon.
By comparison, the Last Days call for a son to be born who will deliver My People from the nations who come up against Israel. That son shall be called The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace, among other things. Clearly the son that is born is God in the flesh! He is one whose government is eternal, to whom all men will bow, and who will establish Peace upon the earth. Somehow, in the mixing of the past and future Isaiah manages to mix a Messiah — Immanuel, whose name means God is With us — born before Israel is Scattered, with a Messiah Deliverer: the government shall be upon his shoulder...of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom. How can he be despised and bruised for the sins of the people and at the same time rule upon the throne of David in a Kingdom of Peace which has no end? The only way this same Immanuel can reign in His Eternal Kingdom, a material Kingdom of God on earth, as it is in Heaven, is for Him to be resurrected! This, in fact, is the principal theme of the Latter Day Deliverer Messiah. At the time he appears the nations are judged and those who are dead in the earth are raised to judgment, some to eternal damnation and others to glory and life eternal.
So Isaiah reflects back into time, comparing the prophesied scattering of Israel when Immanuel is born to an invasion by the Syrians allied with the Philistines (called today Palestinians):
Isaiah 9.11 Therefore the Lord shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join his enemies together;
9.12 The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
This is the beginning of the disaster to face Israel. And the prophesy notes that God's anger is not turned away and his hand is stretched out still. More will come against Israel:
Isaiah 9.13 For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the Lord of hosts.
Here the prophet notes that even though God scatters the nation, they still will not turn to Him. So He stretches His hand out even more.
Isaiah 9.14 Therefore the Lord will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day.
9.15 The ancient and honorable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.
Jesus used such a metaphor when he referred to John the Baptist:
Luke 16.16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the Kingdom of God is preached.
The Apocryphon of James: The Lord answered and said: Do you not know that the head of prophecy was cut off with John?
Jesus likened John the Baptist to the Head of Prophesy and compared the cutting off of his head to the cutting off of prophesy. Jesus had, through several conversations on John the Baptist, argued that John the Baptist was Elijah. Elijah is the Sign of God who appears before the fire and brimstone comes down upon the head of the nations. Compare:
Malachi 4. 1 Behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, 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.
4.5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
4.6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Elijah is The Sign of the end of the world and the founding of a New Heaven and a New Earth under the Messiah King at the head of the Redeemed nation of Israel.
That it shall leave them neither root nor branch...John the Baptist used this as a saying when he went forth to tell the people to repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand:
Matthew 3.10 And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Isaiah 9.19 Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother...For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
The gospels remember John the Baptist using phrases against the children of Israel which relate to the dispersion of Israel. They also make an attempt (quoting Jesus) to present John the Baptist as Elijah. The Gospel of John, on the other hand, contradicts this message and offers that John the Baptist is not Elijah but only the voice of one crying in the wilderness. Whereas Elijah is a clear sign of God preceding the Messiah and the fire and brimstone against the nations, coming with him; the voice in the Wilderness, of whom Isaiah also prophesies, is more nondescript, crying, Make ye the way the path of the Lord, etc. The voice in the wilderness is patterned after Elijah, who was the original Voice in the Wilderness. There is no doubt that the gospels were troubled with John the Baptist, as to whom he really was, and how he related to the fire and brimstone prophesied—not against Israel—but against the world.
John the Baptist's comment, of cutting down the roots and branches of the trees which bare not good fruit, applies to the Day of Judgment, the Day in which Elijah comes. But comparing his and Jesus's time to Isaiah, we note that their time was not a time of Judgment against the nations but the Judgment of Israel, when Israel would be scattered. As such Jesus would appear to have a claim, as a contender for Messiahship, of being the son born to the Virgin who is called Immanuel. This proposition becomes the focus of our inquiry, which is actually in two parts: Was Jesus Immanuel? And was John the Baptist Elijah? These two parts of our proposition are anachronistic. Elijah is set to come at the time of the Gathering and redemption of Israel. Immanuel, on the other hand, is set to come at the Scattering of Israel. Concerning the last part, Elijah, it is clear that he cannot come until after Israel is scattered. Concerning the first part, Immanuel, it is clear that He must come before the nation of Israel is scattered. Therefore, it becomes a very complicated matter to rationalize the appearance of Immanuel and Elijah at the same moment in time. Those rabbis [re: the Oral Torah] who have believed that Elijah is another name for the Deliverer Messiah will note that Immanuel and Elijah cannot appear at the same time and fulfill prophesy!
Interestingly, the Gospels have a continuing argument being voiced by the people in their story that Jesus is Elijah! He is the first part of the Messiahship, not the Messiah! Even at the end, after Jesus is crucified, there are those who still think that Jesus is a prophet, perhaps Elijah resurrected. The first resurrection of Jesus was witnessed by Jesus's uncle, Cleopas, who is reported to have seen Jesus on the road outside of Jerusalem. Cleopas, along with his son, Symeon, who accompanied him, thought at first the vision of Jesus was Elijah. Symeon is Jesus' cousin who later inherited the Throne of the church of Jerusalem after Jesus's brother, James the Righteous, was stoned and clubbed to death. We shall find that the ministry of Jesus is clouded with many relatives.
Thus we have a beginning to our investigation. It begins with Immanuel who appears before Israel is scattered and its temple destroyed. Because Jesus claimed to be the Messiah and did appear before Israel was scattered we must conclude that He, at the least, has a claim to be Immanuel. And those walking with Him in His day ought to have been able to say of Him: God is with us.
We are looking for Truth. The Messiah brings judgment unto Truth. Because of the abundance of facts involved in the case of Jesus in making His Claim on Messiahship, we shall dedicate this work to the examination of His Claim, whether He is Truth. This — the gospel record — it shall be found, turns out to be a ripe garden in which to work.
The Father of Truth
Wherever can be found a religion, there too can be found a Father of Truth, a god, the all, the supreme, the great spirit. From Krishna, whose name means "Great Spirit," who resides near the Indus river, to the spirit worshipped by the local shaman, there can be found knowledge of a god who represents himself as the Father of Truth. And All these observations represent the fact that from the knowledge of Truth comes the realization of God Himself. In the realization of Truth also one sees Judgment. The Judgment then becomes the final Proof that the Truth you have received came from God.
The primitive concept of Judgment may have pertained to the "now." The Shaman shook his rattle over a sick person, calling forth the Great Healing Spirit, and those around the death bed prayed for the poor soul. If the Great Spirit was in a beneficent mood, the man was saved; if not, the man was taken to the world of the spirits. If the man was condemned it is probably because he broke a Taboo (which is the Law).
More sophisticated religions are not happy with this simple form of Judgment and seek to open up its detail. Like opening the windows of heaven to peer into its hidden chambers, man likes to open up the knowledge of God to reveal the many aspects that are expected in Him. Eventually, in the confusion, because He is found to have many, many aspects, He is given many names; and each name tends to claim it, itself, is a god. Finally, the primitive precept of a One Great Spirit, the Great All, is carved up, like the god Osiris, into many broken members and scattered over the watershed of knowledge.
Among all these gods is one who begins the Genesis of the Bible. His name is called, in Hebrew, Elohim. "El" in Hebrew means "God"; "Elohim" in Hebrew is the plural form of God. And He begins the Judao-Christian and Moslem religion with, Òlet us create man in our own image."
Many Biblical scholars have speculated on this "All" who created man in His own image; though His name implies many gods, the knowledge which precedes from this source is eventually condensed into the proclamation that God, the All, is One. This becomes our base line into exploring the Father of Truth. He is Many who is One.
Among all the images of God, as represented to man on earth, there is but One image which seems to think that it can Prove it exists. All the other statements in religions, concerning the Proof of the Source of their Truth, which is their god, hesitate to mention any means by which their god can be Proved without a shadow of doubt. Only in the Judaic Bible is there a claim by its author that it will, without a shadow of a doubt, Prove itself. In that Proof it gives its author yet another name, which is YHWH. The name first appeared in Exodus, where an eightyish year old man, of the tribe of Levi, having been in exile in the desert of Midian, outside of Egypt, met God in the desert. This particular God, who appeared in a burning bush and later as a Cloud atop Mt. Sinai, began to persuade Moses to return to Egypt and rescue the Children of Israel from their condition of slavery. God there informs Moses that He will use Moses to fulfill a previous Promise He had made, approximately four hundred years earlier, to a man named Abraham and his grandson, Israel. Abraham and Israel were Moses's forefathers. Israel, the grandson of Abraham, had born twelve sons, one of whom, Levi, was the ancestor of Moses; and those sons had migrated to Egypt because of a famine in the area of Canaan (later generally referred to as Palestine).
Halley's Bible Handbook suggests this occurred circa. 1800 B.C. Shortly before that date, and following it, the Hyksos rule was established in Egypt. It also suggests that the Hyksos invaders were relatives of the Hebrews, probably Joseph and his relatives. This would then explain the facility by which Joseph, one of the sons of Israel, grew to great prominence under the pharaoh and was able to intercede on behalf of the Children of Israel in giving them "immigrant status." Although the immigrants were accepted by the pharaoh with somewhat open arms, later pharaohs in Egypt resolved to enslave the now growing population of the Children of Israel. The children were also called Hebrews, we are told, because they migrated from a place called Eber, "beyond", thought to be the Euphrates river.
In the story, one will find that the God whom those children worshipped had made His Presence well known to them. The first part of His Presence is told in a Testimonial involving the Story of Abraham. In the Testimonial was a Covenant made with Abraham, whom God called "My Friend" (because Abraham was the first man to recognize God); and the Covenant essentially said that God would multiply the seed of Abraham as the sands of the sea, as the stars of the sky, and one day give them a place of their own on earth. That place was specifically identified as the Holy Land, pretty much as we know it today. In addition, and perhaps most important of all, there is a Promise in that Covenant that In Abraham's Seed all men would be Blessed. That Covenant, or Blessing, is the beginning of the Proof that God would offer of Himself. One day, He claims, all men on earth will bow down to Him and call unto Him with one language and one consent. The claim is no idle claim.
Out of the mouths of Abraham's seed came more prophesy concerning the fulfillment of the Promise. Having been impressed into slavery in Egypt, the Children of Israel began to prophesy among themselves that a Savior would come and lead them out of Egypt to their Promised Land.
In the story which unfolds we have not only new knowledge pouring out of the Godhead who intends to Prove Himself, but also the first offering of Proof of His existence: the Salvation of the Children of Israel. Along with that offering comes another Proof : the Savior Himself, whose name is Moses, meaning drawn out. He received that name because when he was born the pharaoh had heard a rumor that the Children of Israel would be given them a savior who would rescue them from their plight of slavery. In response to the rumor he ordered that all the first-born sons of Israel be killed. At the time Moses's mother chose to hide her new born babe in a basket floating in the bulrushes of the Nile River. The basket and child floated down river and was eventually seen by a handmaiden of the pharaoh's daughter. The child was drawn out of the river and subsequently raised in the house of the pharaoh by his daughter, unbeknownst to the pharaoh. Moses grew in favor with the pharaoh and eventually became an important figure in the pharaoh's government.
Like the Egyptian savior, Osiris, floating down the Nile for salvation, so too was Moses set in the river to bring forth Salvation. Osiris was the Egyptian god of the dead, who ruled in the other world in Judgment.
Both Osiris and Moses become the prototypes of the Deliverer Messiah to come. For he would be drawn out of many waters. Eventually Moses came to realize his parentage was not out of the pharaoh's house but rather from humble beginnings: that of his Hebrew Slaves. Not inclined to sympathize with them upon hearing this, he gradually began to take sides with their cause and ended up, on their behalf, killing an Egyptian. As a result of this act he was banished from Egypt, and he came to reside in Sinai in the house of Midian and lived there for another forty years.
The actual pharaoh involved is still subject to debate. Some believe that Amenhotep II could have been the pharaoh whom Moses challenged; others seem to think it could have been Ramses II, two hundred years earlier. We may recall that Amenhotep was the first pharaoh who was a monotheist. His heresy was soon reversed after his death and Egypt went back to worshiping the conventional pantheon of gods.
We mention this because Amenhotep worshipped Amon, the One God, and was probably influenced by the Hebrew precept of Elohim. Like Constantine the Great, who converted from a pagan to a Christian, two thousand years later, Amenhotep may very well have adapted the Hebrew concept to bring forth his own peculiar version of the One God, Amon, who was identified with the sun. Again, two thousand years later Constantine the Great, a pagan, offered his own version of Christianity, which included some blend of pagan practices in it. Both influenced the path of monotheism in the world. It may be that the pharaoh of the exodus may have been sympathetic to the One God and Moses also may have grown up with some sense of these ideas.
Nonetheless, in the story Moses learned one day that he was a Hebrew and began to sympathize with the Hebrew lot. Because of his sympathies, he fell out of favor with the pharaoh and flew to the wilderness of Midian. And there he first met the God of the Hebrews, who is called the God of Abraham. He called Himself by the name, I AM, which is spelled, YHWH or Jehova. This is MosesÕs conversation with his God:
Exodus 3.13 And Moses said unto God, behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? What shall I say unto them?
3.14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: AND HE SAID THUS SHALT THOU SAY UNTO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, I AM HATH SENT ME UNTO YOU.
3.15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.
3.16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt.
3.17 And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites...unto a land flowing with milk and honey.
3.18 And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The Lord God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.
3.19 And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no not by a mighty hand.
3.20 And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go.
3.21 And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty:
3.22 But every woman shall borrow of her neighbor, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.
This budding covenant between Moses and his God in the desert is a remarkable Covenant and several things can be gotten from it:
1. First and foremost it has the God of the Hebrews recognizing Himself to a man who has fallen out of favor in the pharaoh's kingdom who, to the Hebrews, is more a foreigner than one of their own kind. He tells this man that he will be the Savior of the Hebrews; the very one whom they have been expecting to lead them out of Egypt.
2. God next tells Moses that He is Present: He truly exists. To affirm that Presence He names Himself, ÒI AMÓ, as a Testimony to the Hebrews and future generations who will be told the story, how God made His Presence known to the Hebrews and why He chose them.
3. In the formula of expressing His Presence, God then tells Moses to tell the Children of Israel that He intends to fulfill His earlier Promise to Abraham and lead them from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land, the Land of Milk and Honey, which is now Israel.
4. The next point He makes is that He knows the pharaoh will not let the slaves go and because of his hardened heart in the matter the pharaoh, his land, and his people will all be smitten so hard by God, in persuading them to let His People go, that the event will be a Testimony of God's Presence to future generations.
5. Last but not least is the implied fact that whatsoever their savior, Moses, tells them shall stand in the Testimony of God's Presence as the Covenant between God and the Children of Israel.
In the scene, Moses doubts God and God goes to great lengths to Prove Himself there on the Spot to Moses through several miraculous wonders, including turning a rod into a snake and causing Moses's hand to turn leprous. Finally, Moses is convinced that the voice which is speaking to Him is not a figment of his imagination. Then Moses lapses into doubt once again, saying that the Children of Israel will not believe him because his speech is not eloquent and even worse he stammers ( he is slow of tongue). God becomes angry and responds:
Exodus 4.13 ...Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.
4.15 And thou shalt speak unto him and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.
4.16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.
More points come out of this relationship which set the tone of future Testimonies of God's Presence. These include:
1. Moses is "as God" to the Children of Israel and any others whom he addresses. Aaron, in the relationship, is Moses' mouth and whatsoever is said between them is as if God said it directly.
2. They together represent God's Presence. They are Proof that God exists; whatever comes out of them is Proof that God exists.
Having these understandings behind us, then we can look at what came out of the man, Moses, who acts in God's stead. The story says that Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egypt only after great resistance by the pharaoh and the visitation of many plagues on Egypt. One plague involved a Testimony to future Generations, celebrated and called, The Passover. Just as the pharaoh had ordered that all the firstborn sons of the Hebrews be killed, so too was the land of Egypt visited with a plague, ordered by Moses, which killed all the firstborn Egyptians, including even the son of the pharaoh. The manner in which the plague avoided the Hebrews was by a device of Blood Sacrifice. The Hebrews, to mark their homes and cause the plague to pass over them, were told by Moses to sacrifice a sheep and paint its blood outside on the lintel of their door. When the wrath of God spied the blood on the lintel it would pass over the house, saving the occupants from harm. To this day the Hebrews observe this most holy of holy remembrances, The Passover.
Christians also remember a modified form of that event. They call it Easter, remembering the Last Supper of Jesus their lord and Savior. The Last Supper took place on the Passover. After the escape from captivity, Moses led the Children of Israel around the desert for forty years, until all the people of the generation of the Exodus were dead. Only a couple of people, besides Moses and Aaron, survived the years of wandering in the desert. They were a son of Nun, called Jesus in Greek (Joshua in Hebrew) and another named Caleb. Aaron and Moses died on the east bank of the Jordan river, being not permitted to enter the Holy Land. Only Joshua and Caleb, of the generation of the Exodus, survived, leading the children of Israel into the Holy Land. Before the return from captivity, Moses, as God, prophesied what will happen to the Children of Israel:
Numbers 14.29 Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me,
14.30 Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua, the son of Nun.
14.31 But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.
14.32 But as for you, your carcasses, they shall fall in this wilderness.
14.33 And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years and bear your whoredoms, until your carcasses be wasted in the wilderness.
Just as the tone of prophesy from God to Moses was to establish Proof of God's presence, by leading the Children of Israel out of Captivity in Egypt, the actual story of the Children of Israel involved lapses of memory, where the Children began to murmur that God is not with them; for they found Moses leading them around in circles in the desert, from one calamity to another. Each time a calamity occurs, there is delivered a miracle from the Rod of Moses. In spite of the miracles, however, the children grew sceptical, that the God of Abraham was truly leading them. Thus, the further need for Prophesy became ever present.
During the wandering in the desert Moses delivered several new things to the Children of Israel. The first was a set of stone tablets, called the Ten Commandments, the second was a place of worship in which the Tablets could be kept, and the third was a New Covenant and Testimony to be appended to the preexistent Covenant. All of these things, says the Testimony of the Hebrews, came from God; i.e., Moses acting in God's stead.
The Stone Tablets were placed in a small chest, called the Ark of the Covenant. Atop the chest was placed a sheet of gold whose ends were shaped in the form of Two Cherubim. The Ark, with its sheet of gold, called The Mercy Seat, was stored in a large Tent, called The Tabernacle, measuring 15 cubits wide by 30 cubits long by 10 cubits high. The Tent looked like a shoe box. Its sides were made of gilded boards and its cover was made out of four things: a covering of linen, with Cherubim designed upon it, a covering of goat hair, a covering made out of ram's skins died red, and a top covering of badger skins . The four coverings on the roof of the Tent, though unusual, set upon the boards of the Tabernacle like the lid of a shoe box, maintaining a form which is fairly close to the scale of a shoe box, with its width half its length. One cubit is about 18 inches, by an old Egyptian scale, making the size of the Tabernacle to be about 22.5 feet wide, 45 feet long and 15 feet high. In this device, the Tabernacle, was witnessed during the forty years of wandering in the desert, a preposterous phenomenon. A Cloud would appear between the Cherubim on the Mercy Seat by Day and a Fire appeared by night. When the Cloud would lift up from the Tabernacle, Moses would order the Tabernacle to be dismantled and the Hebrew community, about 600,000 souls, would lift up their tents and follow the Cloud. Wherever it rested they would set up their tents and the Tent of their Communion with God: the Tabernacle. They would remain in that spot until the Cloud lifted up again.
From the Cloud atop the Mercy Seat, between the Two Cherubim, came more Testimony concerning rules of worship and more Promises to the Children of Israel which God would fulfill. In the Testimony, as said, was a New Covenant. The New Covenant reaffirmed that God would lead them out of the desert into the Promised Land, but only a few of the children of the Exodus would survive the wandering to enter the Promised Land. These, as mentioned, were Joshua and Caleb, two young babes in the beginning of the Exodus. Obviously, when they and the children of Israel crossed into Palestine from the east side of the river Jordan, wiping out the city of Jericho in the process, Joshua and Caleb were in their forties.
In the New Covenant were two sets of prophesies (or Promises): They may be commonly grouped under the headings: Curses and Blessings. These things, added to the previous Testimony of God to Abraham, serve in the continuing theme of God's vow to Prove Himself to Man.
All of the Blessings mentioned to Abraham were now elucidated. But just as all Covenants are bilateral, the Blessing always had a hitch, saying, God will do thus provided the Hebrews obeyed His Word, namely the Testimony of Moses. This Testimony is now known to us as the Five Books of Moses, called the Torah. The Five Books are: Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Genesis. Genesis, the first book of Moses, calls into remembrance all the Testimony of God and the history of the Children of Israel prior to the Exodus. The book of Exodus records the escape from bondage and Leviticus records the preserved children's new rules of worship, among other things. Numbers records a census, a numbering of the twelve tribes when they left Egypt and when they began to enter the Holy Land; also, more testimony regarding the experience, as well as prophesy, are recorded here.
Deuteronomy, the last book of Moses, appears to be a recapitulation of the event, looking back from a later period of time. Some scholars have suggested several writers took part in writing Deuteronomy and perhaps Jeremiah, writing circa. 600 B.C., may have had a part in writing it. Significantly, Jeremiah, the prophet, wrote at a time when the Children of Israel were about to receive a Curse, in the Testimony of Moses, put upon them . The Curse essentially provided for two things: First it recognized that the Children of Israel would probably stray away from God after they began to safely settle down in the Promised Land, being led there by Joshua. Knowing they would tend to stray, Moses provided a Curse, saying, in effect, if you stray away from God's Law (the Torah) you will be punished. The punishment was designed, in Moses' prophesy, from the model of the story of their Salvation. Again, in that story, the Jews were led out of bondage. Fit punishment for straying from God would then be to be returned to bondage. Thus, they would be carried off into Captivity again because they had denied their Lord. Leviticus, chapter 26 says:
Leviticus 26.1 Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the Lord your God.
26.2 Ye shall keep my Sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.
26.3 If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them:
26.4 Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit...
26.6 And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.
26.9 For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.
26.11 And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.
26.12 And I will walk among you and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.
26.13 I am the Lord your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.
26.14 But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments;
26.16 I also will do this unto you: I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.
26.17 And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.
26.22 I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your highways shall be desolate.
26.31 And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours.
26.32 And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it.
26.33 And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.
26.34 Then shall the land enjoy her Sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemiesÕ land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her Sabbaths.
26.35 As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your Sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.
But Moses's Curse had a Blessing with it. The captivity would be temporary:
Leviticus 26.39 And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies' lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.
26.40 If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me;
26.41 And that I also have walked contrary to them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity:
26.41 Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.
26.44 And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the Lord their God.
26.45 But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the Lord.
The Children of Israel would be sent a Savior who would guide them and restore them back to their land. And that Savior would be like another Moses. Moses called Him an Angel of God. We hear more of Him through the mouth of the prophet Balaam, the son of Beor:
Numbers 24.17 I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.
24.18 And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly
24.19 Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.
In Exodus Moses describes the Savior to come as one like unto Him:
Exodus 23.20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.
23.21 Beware of Him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name [EL / YHWH] is in Him.
23.22 But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine adversaries.
23.23 For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorizietes, and the Hittities, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off.
Again in Deuteronomy:
Deut. 18.15 The lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;
18.16 According to all that thou desiredst of the lord thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.
18.17 And the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.
18.18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
18.19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
As previously mentioned, Moses is credited with having recorded the history of the Children of Israel in the first of the five books of the Torah: Genesis. In Genesis, where the patriarch Israel is laying on his death bed, Israel's final Blessing of Inheritance is recorded. There he sets the pattern of the inheritance and first prophesies of the Messiah of whom Moses spoke:
Genesis 49.10 And the Scepter shall remain in Judah, nor shall the Lawgiver pass from between His feet, Until Shiloh come, and to Him shall the Gathering of the people be.
All scholars seem to agree, from the writers of the Dead Sea Scrolls until today, that the Scepter is the King yet to come, being prophesied by the old man, Israel. Historical fact shows that the first man to claim the Scepter for Judah is David, the King, son of Judah. David was the Second Anointed King over the Hebrew people. The first King was Saul, of the tribe of Benjamin. He also was prophesied by the Old Man, Israel; and he did exactly what Israel prophesied that king out of Benjamin would do. Prior to Saul the Children of Israel had been ruled by prophets and judges after the order of Joshua, son of Nun.
Since the prophesy of Israel says, the Scepter shall remain in Judah, nor shall the Lawgiver pass from between his feet, we know that the Promise of the King ruling over the Children of Israel will continue in David's Seed Until Shiloh comes.
Until Shiloh comes: Many have speculated on Shiloh. The Rabbis have agreed over the ages that "Shiloh," which means Peace, is a name for one of the Two Messiahs for whom they have been waiting.
From the earliest prophesies of Genesis and the other books of the Torah, or Law of Moses, to the major prophets following after them, the prophesies presented Two Messiahs who would represent God's Presence on earth. Balaam's prophesy expands upon this, showing a Star coming out of Jacob and a Sceptre coming out of Israel.
The word, Star, has been used by other prophets to mean "the image of a god." In Amos, for instance, we have this clear definition:
Amos 6.26 But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves.
Using this as a baseline for the meaning of star, meaning the image of god, we can then substitute in Balaam's prophesy the words image of God for the word star. By this we have:
There shall come the image of God out of Jacob,
and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel..
The word, Scepter, has always been associated with the king or lawgiver. As pertaining to prophetic happenings, the Scepter would relate to the future Messiah-King to come, promised, for instance, by Moses. Rabbis interpreting the Torah have read it this way. For instance, in the Targum Onkelos we have:
I see him, but not now,
I behold him, but he is not nigh:
A king shall arise from Jacob,
And the Messiah shall be anointed from Israel...
We can compare the ancient view of looking at the meaning of Sceptre by quoting the Zadokite Document, a text which laid in hiding, in a cave in the desert, for nearly two thousand years, until discovered after World War II. This document, a record offered by a people called the Essenes (mentioned by the ancient historians, Josephus and Philo) is a preferred record upon which to rely, for it has been untampered with by human hands, having laid in the dust of the desert beyond human reach for these past two thousand years. What we are reading in this document is exactly what some men two thousand years ago, among whom was Jesus, believed:
As to the "star" that refers to every such interpreter of the law as indeed repairs to Damascus, even as it is written: "There shall step forth a star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel." The "scepter," it may be added, is the leader of the community, for in the exercise of his office he shall "batter all the sons of pride," as the scripture says.
With this understanding, we can now read the passage as follows:
there shall come the image of God (who is the interpreter of the Law) out of Jacob, and the Messiah — king shall rise out of Israel.
In actual fact, the source of the messiahs' appearance is redundant. Jacob is the grandson of Abraham whose name was changed, by God, to Israel. In prophetic texts, however, Jacob tends to be used to mean the Children of Israel, whereas Israel tends to suggest something greater than the twelve tribes. The fact that God renamed Jacob, calling Him now by the name of Israel, during the making of a Covenant with Him, tells us that the name, Israel, has to be greater than the name, Jacob. The name, Jacob, was given by man; the name, Israel, was given by God. Israel has to be great er. In fact, its meaning is greater, for it is: those who prevail with God. No longer does the name necessarily pertain to only the Children of Israel. In the end of prophesy, those who are seen to prevail with God may claim that name.
One of the characteristics of the Messiah(s) is that prophesy (i.e. Moses's) says God's name is in him. This correlates with Israel's name. In the name, Israel, is the name of God, "El."
The Children of Israel had been settled in the Promised Land for about four hundred years when an Anointed One, meaning, Messiah, was born. The Greek form of this word is Christ. As mentioned earlier, his name was David, son of Jesse the Bethlehemite. Jesse was a son of Judah, and Bethlehem was the seat of government for the tribe of Judah. South of Bethlehem was Hebron, the seat of the patriarches, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (who is Israel). North of Bethlehem, about twenty minutes by auto, is a city of the Jebusites, called Jerusalem.
The first Anointing of a man of God, in fact, occured in Jerusalem. The man who was Anointed was Abraham and he was anointed by the priest — king Melchizedeck. Melchi means king. Zedeck means Righteousness. Abraham was anointed by the King of Righteousness, and in the anointing Abraham was called the first friend of God. Being a friend of God has its benefits; it also has its liabilities, as we shall see in the texts to come.
David becomes the great model of the Messiah to come. In fact, he is one of the first to prophesy of that Messiah and his prophesies, principally the Psalms, mention the Messiah to come in characteristics that are almost identical to David. We shall mention them later.
Following David, the King and prophet, came other prophets. Joel came first but perhaps even earlier was Job, and then Isaiah came into the foreground of prophesy. Following Isaiah were Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Daniel, Zechariah, and others. Each made his contribution to the Blessings and Curses already set by Moses, some of which we quoted. Not one of the prophets following Moses, however, abrogated anything Moses predicted; nor did any prophet, though separated from each other by hundreds of years, attempt to abrogate something an earlier prophet had made. The "canonized" prophets, in fact, are amazingly in agreement with each other. We see them all in the Old Testament Bible. But there are others beyond these who have fallen in and out of grace, in terms of their place in Holy Scriptures, over the eons of time. Some of these books include the books of Adam and Eve and Enoch, the Testimonies of the Twelve Patriarches, etc., which commonly are grouped in a category called Pseudographica, "Books written on behalf of a famous patriarch." We shall examine some of them later as well.
Based upon what we have examined so far, we have found that the burden of Truth, from the standpoint of the God of the Bible, is placed upon Moses, who prophesied the future of Israel, to some extent the future of mankind, and the Promise of an Angel of God, not unlike Moses, reigning over Israel and bringing Peace to the earth. When He appears and prophesies (for He is described also as a prophet) the man, the animals, and the earth will rest in peace. We recall in the Curse of Moses that one of the complaints of God is that the earth of the Promised Land was not allowed to rest on the Sabbath under the straying hands of the Children of Israel. They would forget God and their Sabbath, the day of Rest he had designed for them.
What is in the Sabbath? In Genesis God made man in our image on the sixth day and then, finishing his creation, rested on the seventh day.
The Seventh day of the Week, as everyone knows, is Saturday. The Sabbath began at midnight Friday and continued through midnight Saturday: a day of rest. But because Moses' prophesy does not anticipate the Children of Israel resting on the Sabbath the earth itself will not get any rest! The concern in the prophesy is that the earth be given a rest just as man is given a rest. In the Torah, with regard to giving the earth rest, there is even more to be observed: every seven years you are to allow the land to go fallow. Every seventh year the land is given a year of rest. Every seventh year man, also, is given a special rest, where all men are told to release their slaves and forgive debts. This has carried on into the American law where we have a statute of limitations which allows one to escape legal claims after seven years. Most Americans are quite familiar with this law and hope.
This is in part what is meant in the Sabbath, and it carries into prophesy. When the day of Peace is initiated it comes in a period in prophesy called The Latter Days. Specific events are mentioned concerning those days, of which we shall discuss later. But in one group of prophesies, beginning with the Books of Adam and Eve and Enoch, there is the rule in prophesy that one day to God is the same as one thousand years. Taking this rule into prophesy, the Latter Days became pinpointed as six thousand years after Adam. The Seven thousandth year, the seventh day, would be a day of the Messiah and a Day of Peace and Rest. This, on the surface, makes it easy to calculate the Day of the Messiah. All one has to do is count the generations and their years from Adam until now and we'll know what time it is!
It was not as easy as it looked. The Genealogical record is incomplete, having been interrupted during the Sojourn, or Captivity in Egypt. Thus, it is difficult to tell whether the captivity was for the traditional 400 years or less. We tend to favor a lesser period of about two hundred years. This should allow sufficient time for the seventy original souls (the twelve sons and their families) to breed into 600,000 people, which is the number of those led by Moses out of Egypt. Another hole in the record, causing us to falter in calculating the history of the Hebrews, is the period after Joshua until the rise of Samuel.
Lately, the Jews and the Christians both have been trying their hand at refining this date. But they are both several hundred years apart. Today's date, by Jewish calculation, is circa 5750. Using Christian calculations we would put this day, 1990, at 5990, plus or minus a few years. By Christian measures we are clearly entering the sixth day.
Viewing prophesy in terms of the six days certainly is not something unique to a few people. For two thousand years scholars have been debating this measure of the Latter Days. During the time of the Essenes, with the Roman Empire holding sway over their land and on the eve of sacking Jerusalem, the mood was gloom and doom, an anticipation that they were in the sixth day. The year was 70 A.D., by the current era of calculation, and Rome sacked Jerusalem and many other cities of Israel. Among the trophies of desolation was the Temple, which the emperor's son, Titus, burned to the ground. He carried away captive Jews by the thousands, the gold and silver of the Temple, together with its sacred candle, the seven candle-sticked Menorah, off to Rome in triumph. The record of the triumphal procession is still there in Rome, carved on Titus' column, to this day.
The desolation of the Jews, their capital city, Jerusalem, and her Temple also fulfilled prophesy whose origin began with Moses but was refined by Jeremiah and Isaiah, among other prophets. All these became the continuing effusion of Law and prophesy from a very jealous and singular God. He sees Himself as the One and only God and will allow no competition. As seen in prophesy, He believes all men on earth will bow down unto Him when they see His Prophesy fulfilled. This is the character of the Father of Truth; and we are told that we shall see Him in His full majesty in the end of days, in the Latter Days, a Cloudy and Dark Day, when He rises up to restore the preserved of Israel. Like unto the days when He sought out His People in Egypt and gathered them, so too will He search out His People, Israel, wheresoever they are scattered and gather them in the Cloudy and Dark Day of the Lord. In that day He shall take out His wrath on all those who were against His people, Israel. We are talking, of course, about the Gentile or Heathen. The second Psalm of David asks, Why do the Heathen rage? in this connection.
The asnwer to this question comes through a review of God's Wrath: how He applies it. first He sets an example upon the Chosen Ones, the Children of Israel, and scatters them — in His Wrath — to all the nations of the world. At the time He gatheres them to redeem them back to the Promised Land, He then places His Wrath against all the nations who had been against My People Israel. These two processes are called, in other terms, Judgments. The first Judgment is with the Children of Israel; the second Judgment is with the Nations and their judgment occurs on the sixth day. When that day comes — just as when Israel is scattered on the Day of God's Wrath — the nations scatter. With this in mind we may now review a string of `these precepts.
When the Heathen Rage
In following the logic of the Father of Truth, from Abraham to Moses, we ultimately discover that the time of the Messiah of the Latter Days becomes the final day of Proof of His existence. Again, the problem for scholars has always been to determine when that Day actually will occur.
Each prophet of Israel approached the problem and attempted to provide some clarification on that Day, as to when it will occur and what that day will be like, as well as who the principal characters in the scenario are and what they will do.
The greatest detail offered by any prophet, as concerning the Latter Day event and its Messiah, is the prophet Isaiah. And Isaiah did not just see one apocalyptic vision but two. The first vision involved a captivity to Babylon. In the vision the temple would be desecrated and the people carried off to Babylon as slaves. We might add that just before the Babylonian Captivity another prophet appeared, whose name was Jeremiah, who prophesied the immediate carrying away of the people to Babylon and applied it to future events.
The other vision of Isaiah involved another captivity. But this time, as per Moses' view, the people would be carried away and scattered to all the nations (Gentile) of the world. After the scattering is completed, during which the people are refined as one refines silver and gold, i.e., melted in a refiner's fire; the Children of Israel will be restored to their Promised Land. The Promise is the same as that made by Moses. God would Redeem them again. But it had a condition upon it: They must first confess their sins against God, then they must confess that He had turned His Face ("walked contrary") away from them and brought them into the land of their enemies. He said through Moses that if they will confess these things, among other things, He will redeem them. We highlight these things, however, to draw attention to the precept of Proving God. To Prove God, God is dependent upon others recognizing that the Prophesies His Servants, like Moses, had made came true. Furthermore, it is not merely viewing God, in the Proof, as a Prophet. Rather, and more importantly, it is Viewing God as the Choreographer of time and its events, with man being jangled on a string as if he were a puppet. After all, the condition of Redemption requires that the Children of Israel admit that they had been scattered to all the nations and that God had walked Contrary to them.
The event can best be described as a turning away from the Chosen People and causing things to torment them until they finally give in and ask for Mercy. The asking for Mercy, it would follow, involves an admission that the person of whom you request the Mercy has the power to stretch his hand out against you even more. Thus, we have the requirement for the Hebrews to admit that God had turned away from them and walked contrary to their designs. This is an independent God, not dependent upon ÒfaithÓ in Him but rather presumptuous enough to claim that when He applies the Rod man will believe!
One of the Promises in the restoration of the Children of Israel, after God scatters them to all the nations, is the restoration of His Sanctuary. Just as Moses prophesied the restoration of the Tabernacle, so too did the prophets follow with clarification of the same Promise. The Scattering presupposes, moreover proclaims, the destruction of their sacred places. As it turns out, during the Babylonian Captivity and the Roman Captivity, the Temple was destroyed on each occasion. In fact, it was the Third Temple which was destroyed by Rome. The First Temple was that of David's son, Solomon; the Second Temple was that resurrected by Zerubbabel after the Babylonian Captivity, under the auspices of King Cyrus the Great of Persia; and the Third Temple was that of Herod the Great, the Hasmonian king (from Edom) who rebuilt the temple on a greater scale than ever before. Herod was the king who ruled over the Promised Land during the Roman occupation. The time is circa. 6 B.C. and a child is about to be born. That child is mentioned by Isaiah. He is born of a Virgin or maiden:
Isaiah 7.14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
7.23 And it shall come to pass in that day, that every place shall be, where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, it shall even be for briers and thorns.
7.24 With arrows and with bows shall men come thither; because all the land shall become briers and thorns.
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