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Archive for March 1st, 2019

News is made everyday from all around the world. Man biting a dog catches the headlines in a National while the pit bull of the neighbor mauling a child is consigned to a column buried in some corner. If the pit bull carried rabies the news would be given more importance in a local daily. Financial pages carry trends of commodities and value of stocks that are of particular interest to those who move their money around and make some quick money.
Prophecy is more like trends of events that must be set in course by some other events. If there is a war declared resultant scarcity of produce is foreseen and fluctuation in prices would reflect to it. It is a certain knowledge derived by careful study of past trends and experience is very much at the heart of it. Experience of human nature gives foreknowledge how man would respond given certain conditions. Prophecy given in the Scripture man derives foreknowledge from God so when Prophet Isaiah speaks about the birth of Jesus, it is an event that is proved from God as fulfilled. Harold Camping some years ago predicted a doomsday but it did not take place. So he revised it to another day. So a prophet is either from God or one who wants others to think he has God as his consultant. Here who consider only the former.
The Scripture is a narrative where God has determined certain result and How it is fulfilled provided us a Father-Son relationship. God is a Spirit and we speak of God the Son in human terms as not created but begotten of God. So Jesus when came to the world he was the image of the Invisible God. The Jews do not believe in trinity but they however look for the coming of Messiah who shall restore all things and his Millennial Reign they believe was foretold in the Book of Isaiah.
The time element of the Scripture is God’s Time. What does that signify? When Isaiah predicts of the sign a virgin giving birth it refers to the first advent of Jesus Christ. Further on there is prophecy considering Millennial Reign which is at the end times. The same God the Son as the Servant-King and as Messiah-King placed side by side because the Spirit recast both narratives from the Father and Son in a timeframe which is God’s Time. The eternalGod is omnipotent and omnipresent so He has no need for time or space. The Spirit uses a time frame for our understanding.
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The eternal God therefore looks to the immediate as well as in keeping with his eternal Mind. What is the quintessence of it? Justice Mercy, Love are characteristics that He shall never deny. His gifts are irrevocable but if such a gift brings harm upon man for instance Samson, only he is to blame. Similarly for nations. The prophesies are not intended solely for Judah or Israel but also for the Gentile nations. His promise to Abraham shall never be laid aside but in Time brought to fulfillment. So prophecies carry a time element beyond human comprehension. Babylon is judged and the place is consigned to oblivion not fit for human habitation. Is that the end of it? In one place it is a stand in for Jerusalem(Re.11:8). It is how the Spirit delineates God’s will. God’s Time with which he narrates the eternal word shall render Babylon a byword for rampant wickedness equally valid even though historically it is past. Thus we see it mentioned as Babylon the great in the Book of Revelation.(Ch.18:2)
Prophecy is intended for reproof. Basis for this naturally would be the word of God. Statecraft of nations (with which the Gentiles negotiate with one another) cannot be the basis since the aim is material advantage and glory. It is also intended for correction as Jonah was sent to preach to Nineveh. But without removing the problem of sin prophecies cannot be isolated from the sweep of divine Mind and apply them for specific crisis. The problem of sin was at the destruction of the cities of the plains and also in the time of Noah. God judged both and means of punishment were in each case different.
In the time of Isaiah the envy of Samaria finds in Syria an ally so according the manner of gentile nations what Judah can do but find an equally formidable ally to scare off the league of Samaria? Had Israel relied on God who delivered from the might of Pharaoh they would not have run to Assyria for help. Righteousness imputed to the nation of Israel does not mean God would save them from their foolish strategies. David was a man after His heart but his adultery with Bathsheba and consequently death of Uriah had to be punished. So till Israel learnt to worship God in spirit and truth prophecies of Isaiah or any other would carry elements that are valid till the end times.
Israel were scattered from their land under Assyria and Babylon respectively. God’s Judgment is pronounced but are they the end? No. For this reason Israel shall be scattered again and again and their enemies in each case would seem a clone of Rezin or Tiglath-Pilser. Consider the present powers-that-be prevailing over the Middle East politics. Hisbollah backed Syria at the present and Iran are names not minted by will of man. In place of Rezin there shall be so many other names found. “Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, —for out of the root serpent’s root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent(Is.14:29).” In Hebraic usage a cockatrice is serpent and fiery serpents in modern times may be sidewinders and stingers air to air missiles familiar to anyone who is interested modern weaponry. What we need to understand is that the same old conflicts triggered by unresolved sin but with change of names here and there.
This leads to the most crucial point for prophecies is not either Israel or the gentile nations but God the Son who is the heir of all things whether in heaven or on the earth. He came into his own but his own did not receive him. Israel merely bought time by rejecting the Son of man whose second advent and his Millennial Reign form the core value of prophecy.
While we discussed Moab we referred to the significance of David entrusting his pares under the king of Moab. What was the purpose of the Spirit to include this detail? Our instruction in righteousness must be on the basis of the spirit for the Lord God is a Spirit. Thus how Jesus Christ transferred on his disciple John the care of his mother was on the spiritual basis. For this reason the Millennial Reign shall be a period of spiritual awakening so Israel shall blossom forth as fig tree (Matt.24:32-35). The context in which he said this parable also is very significant. Enmity of the nations with one other shall find resolution when Israel learns to worship God in spirit and truth.
Benny

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