Israel’s Homecoming

A Look at Prophecies in Genesis and Other Scriptures about the Messiah and Israel


Books by Misop Baynun

Israel’s Homecoming

Messianic Prophecies from the Prophets

Throngs of Iniquity

Book of Band Names


Israel’s Homecoming

A Look at Prophecies in Genesis and Other Scriptures about the Messiah and Israel

 

 

Misop Baynun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MagPro Publishing


ISRAEL’S HOMECOMING. Copyright © 2003–2014 by Misop Baynun. All rights reserved. For information, address:

 

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Library of Congress

Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Baynun, Misop, 1968-

Israel’s Homecoming: A Look at Prophecies in Genesis and Other Scriptures about the Messiah and Israel / Misop Baynun—1st MagPro Publishing’s Press ed.

  p. cm.

 

ISBN 10: 1-934605-01-8

ISBN 13: 978-1-934605-01-1

 

  1. Biblical Studies 2. Genesis (Bereshyit), study of 3. Jesus in the Old Testament 4. Israel in Prophecy 5. Messianic Jewish 6. Messianic Prophecy 7. Prophecy: Israel, Messiah 8. Yeshua in the Tanakh I title

 

XX00.0 .X000 2011

000.0-xx00

 

This title is available and correspondence is possible via the following:

Web: www.MagPro.com, Books.MagPro.com, Publishing.MagPro.com, www.MisopBaynun.com, www.IsraelsHomecoming.com, or IsraelsHomecoming.MagPro.com

E-mail: Publishing@MagPro.com, MisopBaynun@MagPro.com, or info@MagPro.com

Telephone: North America: +1-617-269-6237 or +1-888-5-MagPro (+1-888-562-4776) Israel: +972-54-774-8192

 

The Scripture verses cited in this book are from the King James Version, Public Domain, unless otherwise noted.

Cover illustration by Michael J. Deal

Cover photo by Misop Baynun

Editorial assistance by Heather Sanders, KJ Hamilton, Malachel Levi, Anat Viniar, Brian Corcoran, WS Dunigan, Bruce Field Miller, Paul B. Schlosberg, Samuel David Rucker, Mark Scanlan, William Grady, Sandra Jean Miller, Teddy Chadwick, and Steven Coffey

Master file: israel’s_homecoming_2017-04-05b_accept_all_changes.docx


I acknowledge all who have opened their hearts to your truth and love, oh LORD, Adonai; those who have the humility to listen to your Spirit’s guidance; and those you are now calling into your inner chamber.

I dedicate this book to the living God, the creator of Heaven and Earth and of our souls—the author of our salvation. Thank you for creating us so wonderfully in your image and loving us so dearly that you desire us to be your children. Thank you for your omnipotent faithfulness, grace, and love.



LarrowUparrowRarrow

Table of Contents

 

 

Table of Contents 7

Preface_ 31

Israel’s homecoming is upon us. 31

While attending a local synagogue, the author of this book, Misop Baynun, had the desire to investigate even further the prophetic and other passages that he and his congregation studied during the Shabbat (Sabbath) services. 32

Would you like to investigate prophecies about Israel’s homecoming, do you want to see where references to Yeshua in the Tanakh (Jesus in the Old Testament) are?_ 33

The author shows messianic prophecies and other Scriptures concerning Yeshua Mashiach (Jesus Christ) of Nazareth. 33

The author also goes over prophecies revealing the children of Israel’s presently occurring acceptance of Yeshua and their potential future large-scale further acceptance of him. 35

Why is Israel’s homecoming important to non-Israelis?_ 36

The culmination of this era has many dramatic things happening, yet Israel’s homecoming is a bright spot among them. 36

The LORD will pour out on the house of David, and the people dwelling in Jerusalem, a spirit of grace and of deep prayers. 37

People could use this book as a study aid for groups or individuals. 38

God’s way of working in our lives is vast and incomprehensible, yet personal and understandable. 40

Dear Beloved_ 43

Dear Beloved, it has been such a pleasure attending the synagogue where you bless us weekly as we learn, fellowship, and worship together. 43

This message, while being addressed to you, is applicable to any who would receive it. 43

A tidal wave of prophecy is emerging before the children of Israel, and before all of us. 44

Was it not Isaiah who prophesied that one day God would speak to the children of Israel with stammering lips and another tongue?_ 44

I write these words to try to open up discussion about or provoke consideration concerning the matters presented in this book. 45

My prayer is that we are able to discuss topics concerning God openly and without fear. 45

The Mustard Seed Gathering_ 47

A person—labeled by some as delusional yet labeled by others as trustworthy—says that God has an important invitation to a mustard seed gathering for a group of people. 47

After some acquired this invitation, a few of those who started to read it got very upset with the invitation writer—believing that they were allergic to the mustard seeds spoken of in the invitation. 48

This messenger does not even feel that God requires that a certain percentage of those who comprehend this invitation from God should attend or God would hold the messenger responsible, but only believes that God wants this messenger to help spread the good news about a get-together. 48

Even if some people think this messenger is delusional and making the whole thing up, would it not still be a good idea to search the Scriptures diligently to see if what is communicated is in accordance with the Word of God?_ 49

Many times, people have prodded me with messages that I was quite sure were not from the mouth of God. 51

If I believe I have the highest quality product, why should I be frightened by comparison shopping?_ 51

I try to be open to discuss beliefs with those who might have a different point of view. 53

My prayer is that our hearts and souls rub against the loving Spirit of God Almighty, Adonai, Abba, our Father, and I pray his grace overwhelms us. 54

Even if you only had a little faith, like a small grain of mustard seed, you could still proclaim, “Mountain: Move” and watch it depart from before you. 54

Israel’s homecoming, or anyone’s homecoming, would bring about heavenly joy and celebration. 55

Juggling Falafel Balls While Whistling a Joyous Tune_ 57

Let us consider a hypothetical person who believed that God wanted us all to juggle falafel balls while whistling a joyous tune. 57

So Then, Let Us Continue_ 59

So then, let us continue. 59

I have given a rough overview of what I am hoping to discuss with you or have you consider, trying to pique your interest. 61

Following (starting with_ 62

God might really desire us to get this, though, that Yeshua is the Messiah and Lord, as God drives this home via marvelously varied repetition in the Scriptures. 62

I enjoy your teachings from the Bible a great deal. 63

Salvation through faith in Yeshua is the crux of life. 64

Sometimes, the real or so-called church winds up imitating the Pharisees in the time of Jesus rather than Jesus himself. 65

Balaam did not understand that the Angel of the LORD was directing him away from the path he was on until his donkey humbly spoke to him and the LORD opened his eyes. 66

CREATION_ 69

1           God created_ 70

Creation_ 70

Yeshua’s Preexistence_ 70

Genesis 1:1_ 70

Genesis (Bereshiyt) 1:1 is where the first reference to the Father and Son appears in the Bible. 70

Understanding or accepting God’s oneness has been a quandary for humanity for many millennia. 72

What does God being one mean?_ 74

Yeshua did not come to steal glory away from his Father. 76

Although the Son of God, Yeshua, was alive and involved in the creation of the world, when the appropriate time had come, Yeshua took on flesh as we have through the Father and the Holy Spirit’s impregnation of Mary while she was still a virgin. 77

Isaiah 9:6–7 confirmed that God would come as a child; Isaiah 9:8 points us toward Israel’s homecoming. 81

The authors of the writings in the Tanakh studied in Judaism, as well as those of the writings in the B’rit Hadasha, do not try to dissuade the belief that God has a Son and that they work together and glorify one another. 82

God wants to know us intimately through such a simple and wonderful act as placing our faith in God’s Son, Yeshua. 83

2           the Spirit of God moved_ 88

Creation_ 88

Holy Spirit 88

Genesis 1:2_ 88

Concerning “the Spirit of God” referenced in Genesis 1:2, through faith in Christ the Holy Spirit dwells in you, writes God’s law on your heart, makes you a temple of the living God, is your comforter and companion, and becomes your seal of eternal salvation. 88

In the Scriptures, references to the Holy Spirit come in a variety of ways. 91

Could we ask all three—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—a question and get in response a possibly similar yet distinct answer from each of the three?_ 92

The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit do not work in hateful competitiveness, derision, or disintegration; God works in love, harmony, and cohesion. 95

What is the sex of the Holy Spirit; or is this question unknowable or is it inappropriate or not worth asking?_ 98

Whether the Holy Spirit was also involved in creation, God knows. 99

The Scriptures provide ample examples of the work of the Holy Spirit throughout history; still, our comprehension of some matters is not comprehensive. 100

The Holy Spirit came to convince us of the elegant plan of salvation that God has implemented for us. 102

3           Let us make man in our image_ 103

Creation_ 103

Yeshua’s Preexistence_ 103

Genesis 1:26–27_ 103

God the Father was discussing the matter of creating man, or humans, with God the Son; and God’s only begotten Son, Yeshua, was involved in this creation. 103

GARDEN OF EDEN_ 106

4           ye shall be as gods 107

Garden of Eden_ 107

Gospel Foreshadowing_ 107

Genesis 3:1–6_ 107

In Genesis 3:1–6, we see why God chose to go through the ordeal of sending his Son, Yeshua, to Earth for our salvation. 107

We might ask ourselves, “Why would I want to submit to God’s will when I could be as a god myself and submit to my own will?” 108

God very well could have created us as praise robots, so that beyond our own free will we would show God what might look like love. 109

Yet would recognition of our need of God guarantee our acceptance of God as God of our lives?_ 109

If God really wanted us to love him, he would have to make himself known to us. 110

In the Torah, there is no reference to God posting a large neon sign, yet there is a reference to God revealing himself while frightening the people. 110

How could God provoke humility in us without crumbling us into frightened, quivering, lock-jawed emaciates before him?_ 112

If we are so needy, how can we have any confidence?_ 114

God’s salvation plan was well conceived and well delivered. 116

Although God made us in his image, we are also but grass and full of weakness. 117

It seems quite likely that if you love the Father, you would also love the Son; it is understandable why if you love the Son, you would also love the Father. 117

Let us consider a story to relay why God the Son came to us to reveal who God is. 119

The King’s Love for a Peasant 119

God planned to show his love toward us through the sending of his Son, Yeshua, before we were born, even before the foundation of the world. 122

Foreknowledge or not, God the Father desires to see all those created in his image become his children through their faith in his Son. 122

Now, the free will of God’s children and the free will of God can be in synchronization. 123

5           Adam…Where art thou?_ 124

Garden of Eden_ 124

Yeshua’s First Coming & Gospel Foreshadowing_ 124

Genesis 3:7–13_ 124

We could consider Adam a prefiguring of Yeshua, or a type of Jesus. 124

After Eve and Adam’s fall, it is interesting how their eyes were opened and their guilty consciences seemed not to allow them to walk openly in the presence of God while being naked. 126

God caught both Adam and Eve in their sin, as God has caught all of us in our sin. 129

God can remove our sins from us as far away as the east is from the west. 131

6           bruise thy head…bruise his heel 134

Garden of Eden_ 134

Yeshua’s Post Resurrection Glory & Yeshua’s First Coming_ 134

Genesis 3:14–15_ 134

Genesis 3:15 was a prophecy of Christ’s victory over sin, Satan, and cemeteries, and of his suffering and crucifixion. 134

Christ died on the cross conquering sin; Christ rose from the dead conquering death. 136

God delivered a prophecy about Christ’s sufferings to the serpent: “and thou shalt bruise his heel.” 137

Mixing prophecies referencing Christ’s sufferings with prophecies referencing Christ’s Kingship and Lordship forever might have helped bring them to fruition. 137

Christ, in order to fulfill the purpose of his coming, kept a much lower profile than he could have. 138

In obedience to his Father, Yeshua went through sufferings for our sakes; God might also call us to endure sufferings for God’s sake—and for our own and others’ sakes. 140

7           coats of skin_ 143

Garden of Eden_ 143

Gospel Foreshadowing_ 143

Genesis 3:21_ 143

As the LORD God made coats of skins to cover or clothe Adam and Eve, God has given us blood to make atonement for our souls. 143

8           the man is become as one of us 147

Garden of Eden_ 147

Yeshua’s Preexistence & Gospel Foreshadowing_ 147

Genesis 3:22–24_ 147

God was neither schizophrenic, suffering from multiple personality disorder, nor talking to himself here in Genesis 3:22: This was actually a conversation involving the Father and the Son. 147

Because disobedience, or sin, came about, God saw fit to banish humans from the Garden of Eden so that they could not eat from the tree of life and live forever. 148

Cheer up; Jesus conquered death. 149

CAIN & ABEL 152

9           she conceived, and bare_ 153

Cain & Abel 153

Yeshua’s Preexistence_ 153

Genesis 4:1–2_ 153

As Cain was the first begotten son of Adam and Eve, Yeshua was the first begotten Son of God. 153

10         brought of the firstlings of his flock_ 155

Cain & Abel 155

Yeshua’s First Coming_ 155

Genesis 4:3–4_ 155

Was the fact that the LORD looked with favor at Abel’s giving of the firstlings of his flock a hint toward the future?_ 155

Could it possibly have been that God accepted Abel’s sacrifice because he offered it with love in sincerity?_ 158

11         sin lieth at the door 159

Cain & Abel 159

Gospel Foreshadowing & Holy Spirit 159

Genesis 4:5–8_ 159

How do we avoid having sin come and lie at our doors?_ 159

How does one rule over or master sin?_ 162

Even after Jesus saves us, sin can still rear its head. 164

Yet take heart; God removed condemnation from us in Mashiach Yeshua. 166

God has your back. 167

BLESSING OF SHEM_ 170

12         Blessed be the LORD God of Shem_ 171

Blessing of Shem_ 171

Yeshua’s First Coming_ 171

Genesis 9:18–27_ 171

What was it that Ham did that got his Father, Noah, so upset with him—and what can we learn about not being judgmental from this?_ 171

A rough outline of human history is set forth in the two sentences of Genesis 9:26–27. 174

TOWER OF BABEL 178

13         let us go down_ 179

Tower of Babel 179

Gospel Foreshadowing, Yeshua’s Preexistence, & Holy Spirit 179

Genesis 11:1–9_ 179

The people of the Earth were of one language and seemed to feel secure enough to dwell in the plains of Shinar; but they also seemed to feel arrogant enough to attempt to build a tower that would reach to Heaven in order to try and so to speak, “get into God’s face.” 180

Genesis 11:6–7 seems to show a conversation between God. 180

These are also very rich verses in that God, through the Tower of Babel incident, brought about the separation of humankind. 181

The confusion brought by the people speaking different languages at the Tower of Babel, God reversed on Pentecost in the incident of the coming of the Holy Spirit through people’s faith in Christ. 181

The leading of the Holy Spirit enables humans to live at peace with God and with each other. 184

It is nice to note that one day God will even bring the outside circumstances, along with his children, into the realm of peace in agreement with God’s most perfect will. 185

ABRAHAM (ABRAM) 186

14         bless them that bless thee…in thee…all…blessed_ 187

Abraham (Abram) 187

Israel’s Homecoming & Yeshua’s First Coming_ 187

Genesis 12:3_ 187

Bless Abraham and God will bless you; curse Abraham and God will curse you—these truths are applicable to the children of Israel. 187

The LORD told Abram that in him all families of the Earth would be blessed. 189

15         Melchizedek king of Salem_ 190

Abraham (Abram) 190

Yeshua’s First Coming & Yeshua’s Post Resurrection Glory_ 190

Genesis 14:18–20_ 190

The bringing forth of bread and wine by Melchizedek occurred to foreshadow the New Covenant that later came through Yeshua. 190

Melchizedek provides a type of kingly and priestly resemblance of Yeshua, who is king and high priest forever. 191

In a related passage, the LORD of hosts through Zechariah prophesied that “The BRANCH” would be “a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” 194

Yeshua is a high priest not after the order of the high priests who came from the tribe of Levi, but after the order of Melchizedek. 195

16         counted it to him for righteousness 198

Abraham (Abram) 198

Gospel Foreshadowing_ 198

Genesis 15:4–6_ 198

Because Abram believed in the LORD, the LORD accredited him with righteousness. 198

Our righteousness through faith in Christ could on occasion seem to make no sense…until it hits us. 202

God accredits us with righteousness through our faith in Jesus. 203

17         establish…with him…everlasting covenant 205

Abraham (Abram) 205

Yeshua’s First Coming & Israel’s Homecoming_ 205

Genesis 17:15–22_ 205

It is interesting how even Abraham’s faith seemed to wane slightly. 206

God established his everlasting covenant with Isaac and with his seed. 207

God told Abraham, “Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.” 212

18         Shall I hide…that thing…I do…Seeing…all…blessed in him?_ 213

Abraham (Abram) 213

Gospel Foreshadowing, Yeshua’s First Coming, & Israel’s Homecoming_ 213

Genesis 18:17–19_ 213

The LORD asked, “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?” 213

In Genesis 18:18, we see another citation of the promise of God to bless the whole world through Abraham, as Yeshua Mashiach came in the earthly line of Abraham. 214

The words from Genesis 18:19, “For I know him,” show the intimacy that existed between the LORD and Abraham. 215

The LORD believed that Abraham would influence his children after him to keep the way of the LORD that he may bring upon Abraham that which he had spoken of him. 215

19         God will provide himself a lamb_ 217

Abraham (Abram) 217

Yeshua’s First Coming_ 217

Genesis 22:1–14_ 217

In trusting faithfulness, Abraham was willing to offer his son, Isaac, to God. 218

Abraham put God before his family. 219

God demonstrated his own love for us in a similar manner to how Abraham demonstrated his love for God. 220

Isaac asked his father, “where is the lamb…?” 221

Why has the plural Godhead often been referenced to with seemingly singular, masculine pronouns?_ 221

Abraham and Isaac went on together in peace. 223

The saying, “In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen” or, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided”—as it is said to this day—points us toward the LORD providing us, through his Son, with the opportunity to have our sins forgiven. 223

20         in thy seed…all…nations of the earth…blessed_ 224

Abraham (Abram) 224

Israel’s Homecoming & Yeshua’s First Coming_ 224

Genesis 22:15–18_ 224

There is no one higher, so the LORD swore by himself, to show the firmness with which the LORD made these promises to Abraham. 224

Abraham demonstrated his love for God through his trusting obedience. 225

Abraham showed his faith in God through his obedience. 226

Furthermore, God blessed all nations by the seed of Abraham in the coming of the Messiah. 227

ISAAC_ 228

21         Abraham…died…Isaac and Ishmael buried him_ 229

Isaac_ 229

Israel’s Homecoming_ 229

Genesis 25:8–10_ 229

If Isaac and Ishmael came together, why couldn’t Israelis and Arabs?_ 229

22         in thy seed…all…nations…blessed_ 231

Isaac_ 231

Israel’s Homecoming & Yeshua’s First Coming_ 231

Genesis 26:1–6_ 231

With the LORD’s promises behind them, Israel’s continuance and homecoming seem much more viable. 231

The LORD said to Isaac, “and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed….” 232

ISRAEL (JACOB) 233

23         stones…for his pillows 234

Israel (Jacob) 234

Yeshua’s First Coming_ 234

Genesis 28:10–11_ 234

Jacob put stones for his pillows, and survived not always living in the lap of luxury, as Yeshua on occasion had no place to lay his head. 234

It also seems true that at other times in their lives, both Jacob and Yeshua had wonderful places to stay. 236

24         ladder…reached to heaven_ 237

Israel (Jacob) 237

Yeshua’s First Coming_ 237

Genesis 28:12_ 237

Jacob’s ladder compares with what Yeshua prophesied Nathan would see. 237

25         in thy seed…all…families…blessed_ 239

Israel (Jacob) 239

Israel’s Homecoming & Yeshua’s First Coming_ 239

Genesis 28:13–15_ 239

The LORD promised to give Jacob and his seed the land upon which he stood. 239

Was God referencing the works of a wonderful people or the work of a wonderful God, regarding God’s promise to Jacob, “in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed”?_ 240

Regarding Israel’s homecoming, the LORD God said to Jacob, “And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.” 241

26         he was afraid…house of God…gate of heaven_ 243

Israel (Jacob) 243

Gospel Foreshadowing, Holy Spirit, & Yeshua’s Post Resurrection Glory_ 243

Genesis 28:16–19_ 243

What Jacob experienced at what he called “the house of God” and “the gate of heaven” seemed very frightening to him; yet after Yeshua’s resurrection, after we have become the house of God via the indwelling of the Holy Spirit through our faith in Yeshua, if we were at the Gate of Heaven, we need not be frightened. 243

Jacob called where he was the house of God; now, we become the house of God when through Christ the Holy Spirit dwells in us. 245

Yeshua is the Gate of Heaven. 247

27         I have seen God face to face_ 248

Israel (Jacob) 248

Yeshua’s Preexistence & Israel’s Homecoming_ 248

Genesis 32:22–32_ 248

Who exactly was this being, referred to as both man and God, with whom Jacob wrestled?_ 249

In the midst of struggling with his brother Esau, Jacob was struggling with God; in the midst of struggling with the descendants of Ishmael, the descendants of Israel are struggling with God. 249

This being, called both man and God, told Jacob that his name is changing to Israel, as God is telling the children of Israel to be born again. 250

Which of God’s prophecies have not come true?_ 251

28         Arise, go up to Bethel 253

Israel (Jacob) 253

Holy Spirit & Israel’s Homecoming_ 253

Genesis 35:1_ 253

God tells Jacob to go to Bethel (or house of God), much like as he is calling the children of Jacob to become the house of God through faith in Yeshua and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. 253

29         Put away the strange gods 254

Israel (Jacob) 254

Israel’s Homecoming & Gospel Foreshadowing_ 254

Genesis 35:2_ 254

As Jacob said to his household, “Put away the strange gods that are among you,” God calls the children of Israel and all of us to put away the strange gods among us. 254

The worshiping of a strange god one might display in one’s arrogance. 255

Strange gods could be loved ones whom we have let supersede God in the authority that they have in our lives, making them our gods. 255

A strange god could be money, exemplified by one’s love for it or service to it. 256

Strange gods could also be false doctrines not supported by the Word of God, even if people falsely proclaim that the Word of God supports such doctrines. 259

Other strange gods to put away might be human leaders. 261

Strange gods could also be wooden, silver, golden, or other material statues or images. 263

Some consider worship of the Son of God to be idolatry. 264

In Genesis 35:2, Jacob said, “be clean,” as God calls us to be clean. 270

Jacob also said to those with him, “change your garments:” as God calls us to change our garments and put on garments of salvation. 271

30         did not pursue after the sons of Jacob_ 273

Israel (Jacob) 273

Israel’s Homecoming_ 273

Genesis 35:3–7_ 273

As Jacob resolved to listen to God and go off to Bethel, and his household put away the strange gods among them, God provided safe traveling for them. 273

Israel’s homecoming is something all who love God could celebrate. 274

How could God in the Scriptures indicate a period of security for the children of Israel, maybe even the land of Israel, through God’s Son?_ 275

God’s delight in the children of Israel’s repentance, demonstrated by their acceptance of the grace offered through God’s Son, Yeshua, would be immense. 276

Whether there are prophecies about a difficult time to come later for the children of Israel, we could further investigate. 276

Surely, following the will of God is what we all should pursue. 276

Let’s look at some more passages concerning Israel’s homecoming. 277

31         Israel shall be thy name_ 287

Israel (Jacob) 287

Yeshua’s Preexistence & Israel’s Homecoming_ 287

Genesis 35:9–10_ 287

Here we see a confirmation of the name change that occurred previously while Jacob wrestled with a man and later said, “I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” 287

32         God went up from him_ 289

Israel (Jacob) 289

Israel’s Homecoming & Yeshua’s Post Resurrection Glory_ 289

Genesis 35:11–15_ 289

God’s words about the establishment of Israel ensure and relate to the possibility of its reestablishment or of its homecoming. 289

Ascending to Heaven is a dramatic exit strategy. 290

33         Rachel died…in…Bethlehem_ 292

Israel (Jacob) 292

Yeshua’s First Coming & Gospel Foreshadowing_ 292

Genesis 35:16–20_ 292

In Bethlehem, the same town where Rachel passed from this Earth, the LORD prophesied that someone who is to be ruler in Israel who comes from everlasting would be born. 292

As Rachel lost her life after birthing Benjamin in Bethlehem, so many of the children in Bethlehem, following Yeshua’s birth there, lost their lives subsequent to Yeshua’s escape to Egypt. 293

Death at birth and birth at death, the bringing forth of life can come with loss. 295

JOSEPH_ 296

34         Joseph brought…their evil report 297

Joseph_ 297

Yeshua’s First Coming & Israel’s Homecoming_ 297

Genesis 37:2_ 297

Joseph was what you might call another type of Jesus, or prefiguring of Yeshua. 297

Joseph gave a bad report about some of his brothers, as Jesus spoke harshly at times about a number of folks from certain Israeli towns and various religious groups. 298

35         coat of many colours 301

Joseph_ 301

Yeshua’s First Coming_ 301

Genesis 37:3_ 301

As Joseph’s father loved Joseph in a very special way, so Jesus’ Father’s love for him was, and is, immense. 301

As Joseph’s father made him a coat of many colors, Jesus’ Father has made him the means of salvation for people of many colors. 302

36         Joseph dreamed a dream_ 304

Joseph_ 304

Yeshua’s First Coming_ 304

Genesis 37:5–8_ 304

As God gave to Joseph a dream about his brothers’ sheaves making obeisance to his sheaf, in the same sense, Jesus’ Father gave him words to convey to us while Jesus walked among us. 304

As if Joseph’s sufferings conspired to bless Joseph and his family, Jesus’ sufferings seemed to collude to bless Jesus and others. 305

37         whether it be well with thy brethren_ 308

Joseph_ 308

Yeshua’s First Coming_ 308

Genesis 37:12–15_ 308

Joseph said, “Here am I”; Jesus said, “Lo, I come”—each answered positively to their father’s calling. 308

38         let us slay him_ 311

Joseph_ 311

Yeshua’s First Coming & Israel’s Homecoming_ 311

Genesis 37:18–20_ 311

As jealousy and envy filled the hearts of some of Joseph’s brothers, jealousy and envy stirred in the hearts of some of those who heard Jesus while he was here on Earth. 311

I am perplexed when people blame Jews of today more so than they blame others for the death of Jesus, which occurred nearly two thousand years ago. 313

39         Let us not kill him_ 316

Joseph_ 316

Yeshua’s First Coming & Israel’s Homecoming_ 316

Genesis 37:21–30_ 316

Joseph’s life had similarities to Jesus’ life in that they both had those who wanted to save their lives. 317

If there is anti-Semitism in the world today, a true, full understanding of the Tanakh and B’rit Hadasha of the Bible should not have spawned this. 319

40         his father wept for him_ 322

Joseph_ 322

Yeshua’s First Coming_ 322

Genesis 37:34–35_ 322

Jacob’s mourning for his son relates to the anguish that God the Father might have experienced concerning the torment that his Son went through. 322

To show that Psalm 22 relates to Jesus, let me list next for you Psalm 22, with the fulfillment of God’s Prophetic Word through David recorded in the B’rit Hadasha listed after each applicable Psalm 22 passage. 323

Anyone whom God loves, who loves God also, could possibly see why this moment was so sullen, yet also so joyful. 328

41         blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake_ 330

Joseph_ 330

Yeshua’s First Coming_ 330

Genesis 39:5_ 330

As the LORD blessed the Egyptian Potiphar’s house for Joseph’s sake, so the LORD blesses all houses of the Earth via faith in Christ for Jesus’ sake. 330

42         Joseph was a goodly person_ 331

Joseph_ 331

Yeshua’s First Coming_ 331

Genesis 39:6_ 331

We might compare the trustworthiness of Joseph with Jesus. 331

43         I lifted up my voice and cried_ 333

Joseph_ 333

Yeshua’s First Coming_ 333

Genesis 39:7–19_ 333

As Joseph was falsely accused, so was Jesus. 334

44         he was there in the prison_ 335

Joseph_ 335

Yeshua’s Post Death Experience_ 335

Genesis 39:20–23_ 335

As Joseph’s master put Joseph into the prison, so Christ went into the throes of death for three days. 335

As the LORD was with Joseph while he was in prison, the LORD was with his Son Yeshua after his death on the cross. 336

45         Wherefore look ye so sadly_ 338

Joseph_ 338

Yeshua’s Post Death Experience & Gospel Foreshadowing_ 338

Genesis 40_ 338

Joseph was able to continue to serve the LORD in prison; Jesus was able to continue to spread the gospel in Hell. 339

The cupbearer and the baker symbolize our options for life or death. 341

The three branches and three baskets signified three days; Yeshua spent three days before his resurrection. 341

Was God’s sure salvation so sure that it was available even before Christ’s victory over death?_ 343

During one of your Shabbat sermons or discussions, you referenced how this Genesis 40 passage relates to a messenger’s reception. 344

46         only in the throne will I be greater 346

Joseph_ 346

Yeshua’s Post Resurrection Glory_ 346

Genesis 41:39–43_ 346

As Pharaoh did not leave Joseph in prison, the LORD did not leave his Son in Hell. 346

As Joseph became second-in-command to Pharaoh, so Jesus sat down at the right hand of his Father. 347

As they shouted, “Bow the knee” before Joseph, God through Paul indicated, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow”—wow! 349

47         all countries came…to Joseph_ 351

Joseph_ 351

Yeshua’s Post Resurrection Glory & Israel’s Homecoming_ 351

Genesis 41:57_ 351

Joseph saved people from starvation with the corn he made available; Yeshua saves people from death with his flesh and blood offered on the cross. 351

48         Why do ye look one upon another?_ 355

Joseph_ 355

Israel’s Homecoming_ 355

Genesis 42:1–2_ 355

Jacob encouraged his sons to get corn in Egypt; the LORD encourages us to get life in Jesus. 355

49         famine was in the land_ 357

Joseph_ 357

Israel’s Homecoming_ 357

Genesis 42:3–5_ 357

Fear kept Jacob from sending Benjamin to Joseph; fear keeps overseers of Israel from sending their own to Jesus. 357

Benjamin represents a portion of the children of Israel who have steadfastly remained true to God. 358

The famine in the land relates to the famine in our hearts. 360

50         bowed down themselves before him_ 361

Joseph_ 361

Israel’s Homecoming_ 361

Genesis 42:6_ 361

Bowing in fear is different from bowing in love. 361

51         we are true men_ 363

Joseph_ 363

Israel’s Homecoming_ 363

Genesis 42:7–17_ 363

Joseph’s brothers referred to themselves as “true men” to Joseph, one to whom they had been untrue. 364

Joseph’s brothers defended themselves, calling themselves “true men,” as some Jews of today might think they please the Father by rejecting Jesus. 364

52         carry corn for the famine_ 367

Joseph_ 367

Israel’s Homecoming_ 367

Genesis 42:18–20_ 367

Joseph tried to lure his brothers out of themselves; God tries to entice us out of ourselves. 367

53         therefore is this distress…upon us 369

Joseph_ 369

Israel’s Homecoming_ 369

Genesis 42:21–23_ 369

Contrition brewed in the brothers of Joseph’s hearts; penitence is developing in the children of Israel’s hearts. 369

54         turned…about from them, and wept 371

Joseph_ 371

Israel’s Homecoming_ 371

Genesis 42:24_ 371

There was no open weeping while being sublime; there is no full realization of grace before it is time. 371

55         provision for the way_ 373

Joseph_ 373

Israel’s Homecoming_ 373

Genesis 42:25–26_ 373

Joseph and Jesus have shown clemency to even the yet fully repentant. 373

56         My money is restored…they were afraid_ 375

Joseph_ 375

Israel’s Homecoming_ 375

Genesis 42:27–28_ 375

As peace from reconciliation with Joseph had yet come to comfort the souls of Joseph’s brothers, so peace with God has yet come to comfort the souls of some of the children of Israel. 375

The prophet Daniel prophesied the precise time when reconciliation for sins would take place via the most Holy, Yeshua Mashiach, approximately 600 years before this settlement occurred. 376

You spoke wonderful words to my ears when you talked about reconciliation during the Shabbat service on September 18, 2004 after Rosh Hashanah. 377

Is it possible that the Lord on occasion disciplines people for being somewhat reluctant to accept God as God is?_ 379

If everyone in Israel and Palestine were one through faith in Yeshua, the land would not be divided. 383

Let the great love of God for us inspire us to love, as he would have us love. 384

57         all these things are against me_ 391

Joseph_ 391

Israel’s Homecoming_ 391

Genesis 42:29–38_ 391

As Jacob did not also want to risk losing Benjamin, so the leaders of the children of Israel, including you, might be hesitant to jump to God through Christ in fear of the worst. 392

It has been said, “God has no grandchildren.” 393

58         If I be bereaved…I am bereaved_ 394

Joseph_ 394

Israel’s Homecoming_ 394

Genesis 43:1–14_ 394

Sometimes, it can seem quite dangerous to follow the will of God; yet it is still worth it. 395

59         did yearn upon his brother 397

Joseph_ 397

Israel’s Homecoming_ 397

Genesis 43:30_ 397

As Joseph yearned for his brother, so Jesus, at the right hand of his Father, yearns for reconciliation with even more of the children of Israel, and with all else who have yet to turn to him. 397

60         let thy servant abide instead of the lad_ 399

Joseph_ 399

Yeshua’s First Coming & Israel’s Homecoming_ 399

Genesis 44:18–34_ 399

We see here the passing of the messianic prophetic torch from Joseph to Judah. 400

61         made himself known unto…brethren_ 405

Joseph_ 405

Israel’s Homecoming_ 405

Genesis 45:1–3_ 405

As God continues to see a similar spirit to Judah’s among even more of the people of Israel, God will continue to reveal himself. 405

62         God did send me…to preserve life_ 407

Joseph_ 407

Yeshua’s First Coming & Israel’s Homecoming_ 407

Genesis 45:4–8_ 407

As Joseph revealed himself to his brothers and consoled them about their selling of him into slavery, so Jesus will look compassionately upon the house of Israel when God sees a response similar to how Judah responded to Joseph. 407

63         bring down my father hither 409

Joseph_ 409

Israel’s Homecoming_ 409

Genesis 45:9–13_ 409

As Joseph sent for his father and his family with all that he had to come to Goshen in Egypt, God is sending for the children of Israel in similar manner. 409

64         kissed all his brethren, and wept 412

Joseph_ 412

Israel’s Homecoming_ 412

Genesis 45:14–15_ 412

As Joseph reunited with Benjamin and his other brothers while weeping and kissing, so might weeping and kissing be involved at the coming together of Jesus and his Father with much more of the children of Israel. 412

65         fall not out by the way_ 417

Joseph_ 417

Israel’s Homecoming_ 417

Genesis 45:24_ 417

Joseph encouraged his brothers, “See that ye fall not out by the way”—when these Israel’s homecoming prophecies are fulfilled, Jesus and his Dad might encourage the children of Israel to do the same. 417

66         It is enough; Joseph…is yet alive_ 419

Joseph_ 419

Yeshua’s Post Resurrection Glory & Israel’s Homecoming_ 419

Genesis 45:25–28_ 419

As Joseph was yet alive, and governor over all the land of Egypt, so Jesus is yet alive, and sitting at the right hand of his Father—nonetheless, Jacob still needed to believe it, as do we. 419

As the realization that Joseph was still alive came in stages to his father and siblings, so the realization that Yeshua is still alive might come in stages to the children of Israel. 420

67         Now let me die_ 422

Joseph_ 422

Yeshua’s Post Resurrection Glory & Israel’s Homecoming_ 422

Genesis 46:29–30_ 422

Israel was reassured and able to face death knowing that Joseph was yet alive; Israelites and others can be of similar strength because Yeshua is yet alive. 422

68         in the best of the land…to dwell 425

Joseph_ 425

Yeshua’s Post Resurrection Glory & Israel’s Homecoming_ 425

Genesis 47:5–7_ 425

As Joseph was an advocate for his family before Pharaoh, Jesus is our advocate before the Father. 425

Jesus is our advocate, but the Father draws us to our advocate. 426

As Pharaoh blessed Joseph and his family by giving them the best part of the land of Egypt, so the LORD might continue to bless the children of Israel with a wonderful land in which to dwell. 427

A Place of Unrest 427

Here are some positive Scripture verses regarding the future of Israel concerning Israel’s homecoming and the future of all people. 428

Pharaoh gave Joseph’s family opportunity to perform important jobs; God the Father gives Israelis and others in Christ’s family, which is his family too, prospect to do the same. 440

As Joseph was able to bring Jacob before Pharaoh, and, in turn, Jacob blessed Pharaoh, Jesus is able to bring the leaders of Israel and others blameless before God the Father, and then they, in turn, can bless God. 441

69         thou shalt carry me out of Egypt 442

Joseph_ 442

Yeshua’s Post Resurrection Glory & Israel’s Homecoming_ 442

Genesis 47:29–31_ 442

Israel wanted to lie with his fathers, to whom God promised their offspring the land of Israel and through whom God promised to bless the entire world via the Messiah. 442

ISRAEL BLESSES CHILDREN_ 444

70         Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise_ 445

Israel Blesses Children_ 445

Yeshua’s First Coming & Yeshua’s Post Resurrection Glory_ 445

Genesis 49:8_ 445

Here, we see another indication of the messianic prophetic torch passing from Joseph to Judah (or shared between them). 445

71         Judah is a lion’s whelp_ 450

Israel Blesses Children_ 450

Yeshua’s First Coming & Yeshua’s Post Resurrection Glory_ 450

Genesis 49:9_ 450

This passage compares Judah with a lion (the king of the Jungle), as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, Jesus, came in the line of Judah. 450

72         sceptre shall not depart from Judah…until Shiloh come_ 452

Israel Blesses Children_ 452

Yeshua’s First Coming & Israel’s Homecoming_ 452

Genesis 49:10_ 452

For a few millennia, many have understood “Shiloh” to be a reference to the Messiah; indeed, the scepter did not depart from Judah until Shiloh came. 452

While talking to Judah about Shiloh, or the Messiah, Israel proclaimed, “unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” 454

73         he washed his garments in wine_ 457

Israel Blesses Children_ 457

Yeshua’s Post Resurrection Glory & Israel’s Homecoming_ 457

Genesis 49:11–12_ 457

In this passage, might Israel have been referencing the previously mentioned Shiloh’s post-eschatological time after his first humble advent?_ 457

Before Yeshua and his Father make their dwelling with man, ruling atop Mount Zion, even before the second coming of the Messiah, the great coming together of God and the children of Israel will take place. 459

74         I have waited for thy salvation_ 461

Israel Blesses Children_ 461

Yeshua’s First Coming & Israel’s Homecoming_ 461

Genesis 49:18_ 461

The LORD’s salvation is worth waiting for. 461

In regards to the children of Israel, to some, the waiting is still happening, but to others, the realization of this salvation has occurred. 463

75         utmost bound of the everlasting hills 464

Israel Blesses Children_ 464

Yeshua’s Post Resurrection Glory & Israel’s Homecoming_ 464

Genesis 49:22–26_ 464

As Joseph was called “a fruitful bough,” Jesus was called “the BRANCH”—and both their branches have run over the wall. 464

As Joseph and Jesus’ branches ran over the wall, we can do similarly. 465

Israel’s statement to Joseph, “The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him” is applicable to both Joseph and Jesus. 466

Both Joseph and Jesus abode in strength. 467

From whence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel?_ 468

After succeeding so well, both Joseph and Jesus’ blessings are plentiful and magnificent. 469

GOD’S INFINITE WISDOM_ 471

76         God meant it unto good_ 472

God’s Infinite Wisdom_ 472

Yeshua’s First Coming & Israel’s Homecoming_ 472

Genesis 50:15–21_ 472

Genesis 50:15–21 is a fine passage for comparing Joseph’s life with Jesus’, and Joseph’s relationships with his family with Jesus’ relationships with the children of Israel. 472

In Romans 10:1–4, the Apostle Paul wrote about Israel’s salvation and zeal for God. 474

Romans 10:9 is a great salvation verse. 475

Romans 3:26–31 demonstrates our need to be justified by faith. 476

In Romans 10:11–15, Paul stated that there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek. 476

The LORD will make bare his holy arm and all nations will see through Israel’s homecoming the LORD’s salvation through Yeshua. 477

In Romans 10:16–21, Paul stated that faith cometh by hearing, that God will provoke Israel to jealousy, and that God reaches out to the disobedient. 478

In Romans 11:1–27, Paul (an Israelite from the tribe of Benjamin) said, “God forbid” to the question of whether God has cast away his people, Israel. 479

In Romans 11:28–36, Paul states, as touching the election, Israel is beloved for the fathers’ sakes—and I say for their own sakes as well. 482

The time for the opening of the children of Israel’s eyes has come upon us, showing that God always keeps his promises, and that his love endures forever. 483

Epilogue_ 487

Although I might not have previously revealed my belief in Yeshua as my Messiah to you in an overshadowing, overtly forthright manner, this is my belief. 487

A Jewish person, Israeli person, or child of Israel who accepts Yeshua Mashiach as the Messiah we could call a Messianic Jew, Messianic Israeli, or Messianic child of Israel. 487

This is God’s message to all of us and not just my message to you. 488

Non-Israeli Christians are also continuing to grow in their understanding—recognizing more and more the Hebraic, Abrahamic, Israeli, Jewish roots of their faith and God’s calling for Israel. 490

The beauty of it all is that God is bringing his children together through Yeshua. 490

My hope is that I would not be excluded from listening to your teachings in the future and worshipping together with you and the others. 491

Many friends of mine are Messianic Israelis. 491

The Son of God, Yeshua, is the Anointed One; this same truth of God could affect all Jews and all Israelis. 492

About the Author 493

Definitions of Sub-headings 494

Definitions of Hebrew Words 496

Six Hebrew Words for God with Usage in Genesis and Entire Bible_ 499

Definitions of Hebrew Words from Deuteronomy 6:4_ 504

Shortcut to Salvation_ 507


LarrowUparrowRarrow

Preface

 

 

 

Israel’s homecoming is upon us. God is bringing his children of Israel home. Many of the children of Israel have already come home to God via Yeshua.

Psalm 22:23–24

23   Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.

24   For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.

Isaiah 35:10

10   And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Isaiah 49:5–6

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.

6   And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to 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.

Isaiah 59:20

20   And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.

Isaiah 62:1

1   For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.

Isaiah 62:6–7

6   I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence,

7   And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

Isaiah 62:11–12

11   Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

12   And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.

 

While attending a local synagogue, the author of this book, Misop Baynun, had the desire to investigate even further the prophetic and other passages that he and his congregation studied during the Shabbat (Sabbath) services. A warm letter written to a friend is the format of this book. Misop’s friend to whom he writes is the Teacher of the Law at this synagogue. (The author hopes that you will read it as well, for it is also for you.) This book is for all the children of Israel, all the sons and daughters of God, anyone interested in investigating what certain persons consider being God’s Word to all of us, and anyone else.

 

Would you like to investigate prophecies about Israel’s homecoming, do you want to see where references to Yeshua in the Tanakh (Jesus in the Old Testament) are? Do you care to understand how these are related? Do you want to perceive the future of Israel? While pointing out messianic prophecies, prophecies concerning Israel, and other passages found in Genesis (Bereshiyt) and throughout other books of the Bible, Israel’s homecoming is discussed. In this Israel’s Homecoming book, the author tries to shed some light on this matter.

Often, when the author is communicating Israel’s homecoming, he is portraying Israel’s spiritual homecoming—Israel’s spiritual homecoming to God. Issues concerning children of Israel dwelling in the land of Israel are also discussed.

It seems that much of the world’s interest hovers around the state of affairs of this small country of Israel in the Middle East and around the children of Israel residing throughout the world. It also seems that God is very interested in how the Israelites are doing. (We could note Satan’s interest as well.) Referencing the Word of God recorded in Bereshiyt and throughout other books of the Bible, Misop points out prophecies through which God paints for us quite a beautiful picture portraying the future of Israel via Israel’s homecoming. A commentary on and a descriptive analysis of these prophecies and their fulfillment or potential future fulfillment is given.

Even if many of these prophecies have already reached fulfillment by the time you start reading this book, still, you might enjoy it. God is good to know. Having a relationship with God is a nice thing to have. A God connection is enjoyable. Digging deep into God digs us deep into life. Knowledge of our creator’s tips for living life to the fullest is beneficial to us.

 

The author shows messianic prophecies and other Scriptures concerning Yeshua Mashiach (Jesus Christ) of Nazareth. Over 350 prophecies from the Tanakh concerning the Messiah reached fulfillment in Yeshua’s first coming, statistically verifying that he is the Messiah—and that God exists.

Yeshua is the Jewish Rabbi who came from everlasting. He brought forth revelations from God, and fulfillment, prophesied or foreshadowed in the books of the Tanakh.

John 1:49–50

49   Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.

50   Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.

In this book, Misop puts forth evidence demonstrating that God created us in God’s own image, and that because our disobedience sets us apart from God and because of God’s desire to be close to us, the Father sent forth his Son. The Father sent Yeshua to come down to Earth from Heaven, take on flesh as we have, and live a perfect life. Our heavenly Father accepted the offering of his Son’s life as an atonement sacrifice to remove our sins from us through our faith in Christ. God is righteous. God did this in order to buy us back from our own sinfulness, or even from our own enmity toward God, if we accept this gift.

Because of Yeshua’s death on the cross, Yeshua’s bodily resurrection from the dead on the third day (God’s conquering of death), and our acceptance of God and God’s provision provided for us, by our placing our faith in Yeshua, God brings about our everlasting life, our eternal salvation. Possibly, at the very least, we might consider this fairly impressive. Yet on occasion, this story of God’s love can be misunderstood. If we accept God’s grace through faith in his Son, we are acting in accordance with the will of our heavenly Father.

The author tries to note the depth of God’s Word and the congruency of God’s message of love for Israel and for all people. God prefers all of us. God expresses his love and consistency dramatically in the Holy Scriptures. In this Israel’s Homecoming book, you just might find that the author reveals prophecies that exhibit God’s plan for our salvation (found in the writings of Moses and throughout the Bible) in an open-minded, modest manner—without too many arrogant snarls. Sometimes the author does this while bordering on or even openly and boldly crossing over into The Land of Humor. Some might also consider the author to be neither a browbeating curmudgeon nor a slack-jawed flunky—yet some might. (This is not to say that being either of these is necessarily a bad thing.)

Chapter headings of chapters 1 through 76 come directly from the text of the first Scripture passage quoted (from the book of Genesis). First-tier sub-headings are noting the overall, overlying thematic structure of the Scripture under investigation [for example “Creation” or “Abraham (Abram)”].

Second-tier sub-headings are noting the deep, underlying, often foreshadowing, prophetic thematic structure of the Scripture under investigation. For example, you’ll see second-tier sub-headings such as Gospel Foreshadowing, Holy Spirit, or Yeshua in the Tanakh instances referenced by the second-tier sub-headings Yeshua’s Preexistence, Yeshua’s First Coming, Yeshua’s Post Death Experience, or Yeshua’s Post Resurrection Glory. These are found in the accounts of creation, the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah, the Tower of Babel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Judah, and in the accounts of other events and persons as well. Another second-tier sub-heading is Israel’s Homecoming, and this is discussed further below.

Chapter headings, first-tier sub-headings, and second-tier sub-headings are present at the beginning of each chapter that begins with a passage from the book of Genesis (chapters 1 through 76). (For more on first-tier and second-tier sub-headings, please consider referencing the “Definitions of Sub-headings” chapter, located toward the end of this book.)

 

The author also goes over prophecies revealing the children of Israel’s presently occurring acceptance of Yeshua and their potential future large-scale further acceptance of him. These are noted with the second-tier sub-heading, Israel’s Homecoming. Misop attempts to reveal God’s love for Israel, as well as God’s love for all of God’s creation—including Palestinians and all other Arabs. (Israelis and Arabs, God created each of each one of these in the image of God. Israelis and Arabs are both descendants of the same progenitor, Abraham.) Many of the Israel’s homecoming prophecies looked at in this book were written close to 3,500 years ago; yet now, we could be the ones blessed to witness their fulfillment. Fulfillment of these prophecies has already happened or begun, and further fulfillment is, I pray, on the cusp of becoming a reality.

The author attempts to demonstrate the LORD’s specific calling for the children of Israel—and for all of us. God has dynamically portrayed prophecies concerning Israel’s homecoming throughout the Bible. These prophecies foreshadowed or currently foreshadow the oncoming of an even closer relationship between God and the children of Israel through Yeshua. The book of Genesis has many such prophecies about Israel’s homecoming, depicted through Abraham’s life, Jacob wrestling with God while being renamed Israel, the relations of Joseph with his family, and elsewhere.

The further establishment of a close relationship between God and the children of Israel by way of Yeshua is continuing to bless us. The recent strong growth of Messianic Judaism and the increase in number of Messianic Israelis (or Christian Israelis) helps confirm that we are in a very spectacular time in history. God prophesied Israel’s homecoming through Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah, Yeshua, Paul, and through many others.

 

Why is Israel’s homecoming important to non-Israelis? Israel’s homecoming is a precursor to the resurrection of the saints of God.

Romans 11:15

15   For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

Just as a book from the Bible addressed to or about a particular group of people—for example, the Israelites, the Romans, or the Corinthians—can also be useful to those who are not in that people group, this book, Israel’s Homecoming, could be a blessing to Israelis and non-Israelis alike. The topics discussed in this writing were written to be beneficial to both Jews and non-Jews.

We can be ready for and a part of the fulfillment of God’s prophecies. Inspired by Yeshua’s calling for us to share the Good News with all people, God can enable his children of Israel, or of anyone else, in the furthering of his kingdom. We could accomplish this by sharing God’s message of love for all humanity and creation.

 

The culmination of this era has many dramatic things happening, yet Israel’s homecoming is a bright spot among them. During these climactic times, we will see awe-inspiring fulfillment of God’s prophecies, possibly with some trying situations along the way. Yet ultimately, God is working to bring people toward him—and in due course (or even right now), into a wonderful time for those so drawn. So take heart.

John 14:1–3

1   Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2   In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3   And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

John 14:27

27   Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

 

The LORD will pour out on the house of David, and the people dwelling in Jerusalem, a spirit of grace and of deep prayers. They will look upon the Father, who was pierced in the ordeal of placing the penalty for the people of the world’s sin on his Son, Yeshua, the one pierced for their deliverance, and they will mourn for having rejected God the Father’s plan for their salvation and for having rejected God’s firstborn and only begotten Son. They will weep for him and will be in bitterness over this, similar to the bitterness one might experience over the loss of one’s only and firstborn son.

Zechariah 12:10

10   And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, 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.

Do you hear the LORD saying to the children of Israel, “There is hope for your future; you and your children will come home to me, and receive the blessings that I have for you”?

Jeremiah 31:17

17   And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again to their own border.

 

People could use this book as a study aid for groups or individuals. Bible study groups could traverse through the text on a daily, weekly, monthly, or other time interval basis. Participants could read portions and then discuss topics brought up at significant junctures. If people preferred, they could go through the entire book of Genesis, and where this book, Israel’s Homecoming, has passages quoted from the book of Genesis (as at the beginning of chapters 1 through 76) with commentary along with supportive Scriptures and questions and exercises, they could refer back to this book. Whether for small or large group meetings or studies, or even for personal reflection, Israel’s Homecoming could be useful and enjoyable to you.

Some might feel that the Holy Scriptures contain a nice bunch of stories that do not speak directly to us today; yet many are awestruck by the richness of God’s Word—of how deep it is and how applicable it is to our lives. The inspired Word of God can reveal manifold messages, including those regarding salvation, historic events, instructions for living, prophetic proclamations, and more. God can even reveal different combinations of these with the same words. For example, we could do another topical study about God’s patience with people—to help inspire our own patience with God—and quote from many of the same passages quoted in this study. The Holy Scriptures are able to act as a lamppost of salvation. As it is written in 2 Timothy 3:15, “And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

Consider digging deeper with the study questions and exercises under the heading “Digging Deeper”—presented in most chapters. Although “Digging Deeper” questions and exercises are present in neither the introductory chapters before “Chapter 1 God created” nor the final chapters of the “Epilogue” and the chapters that follow it, you could still discuss and consider topics brought up as you go through these chapters as well. Also, consider talking about or contemplating things not only at significant junctures in the introductory and closing chapters, but also throughout the book alongside the “Digging Deeper” questions and exercises. Even though some of the questions asked in the “Digging Deeper” sections could provoke simple one-word answers, consider whether at times elaborating and giving answers that are more thorough would be more fitting.

Digging deep into God rests our spiritual houses on a solid foundation.

Luke 6:47–49

47   Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:

48   He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.

49   But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

We can dig deep into God for God has dug deep for us.

1 Corinthians 2:7–16

7   But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

8   Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

9   But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

10   But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

11   For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

12   Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

13   Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

14   But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

15   But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

16   For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.

Understanding and reflecting on God is good for us. Allowing God’s love to overflow us breathes life into our souls.

Luke 24:45

45   Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

You may send answers to the “Digging Deeper” questions and exercises to the Israel’s Homecoming web site at www.IsraelsHomecoming.com or IsraelsHomecoming.MagPro.com. There, you could possibly post your own answers, if you wanted to share your thoughts on these matters with others; see other people’s responses; and enter into any of the discussion groups available. If you prefer, you could always just skim through the “Digging Deeper” questions and exercises without answering in detail. We will receive definitive answers to these important questions of life after each of our deaths, or after any of our ascensions—yet some could know sooner through the Spirit.

.      .      .

 

God’s way of working in our lives is vast and incomprehensible, yet personal and understandable. The beauty and majesty of God’s creation—the Earth, planets, and stars—is miraculously magnificent.

Romans 1:20

20   For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Yet God’s work in our lives—God’s revealing to us of who God is and God’s valiant attempts at inspiring each of us to of our own free will respond in kind and say, “I love you, too”—we might consider this truly God’s masterpiece.

Isaiah 44:21–28

21   Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me.

22   I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.

23   Sing, O ye heavens; for the LORD hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel.

24   Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;

25   That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;

26   That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof:

27   That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers:

28   That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.

(Like in many translations of words from one language to another that have different grammar structures, Isaiah 44:24 in the King James Version, quoted above, has words that were not translated word for word from the Hebrew text. “I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself” in a word-for-word translation could read, “LORD maketh forth heavens abroad Earth” denoting the Hebrew words, “Yhovah `asah natah shamayim raqa` 'erets”—possibly, this King James Version translation makes these Hebrew words more understandable in English.)

God the Father sent God the Son to Earth to share our struggles with us and to bring forth the words of the Father. God sent his Son to enable us to fall in love with God on an intimate level. God loves us that much. God desires us all to come home to him. Yet sometimes, it can be difficult for us to comprehend the depth of God’s love. It can be hard for us to understand how God could love us, mere humans, so much.

It is also truly humbling, inspirational, awe-inspiring, confidence building, and invigorating to perceive God’s work in our lives. It is nice to comprehend, even remotely, God’s attempts to inspire each one of us to open the door of our heart so that God can come into our lives. Even now, God tries to show himself to us and bring us close to him.

God is good. God created all this—so we can know God and love God, so God can know us and love us, and so we can love each other and love life, too.

God has visited us.

Psalm 8

1   O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

2   Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

3   When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

4   What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

5   For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

6   Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:

7   All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;

8   The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

9   O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!


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Dear Beloved

 

 

 

Dear Beloved, it has been such a pleasure attending the synagogue where you bless us weekly as we learn, fellowship, and worship together. While there, I benefited greatly from your sharing of your knowledge of the Tanakh. (The Tanakh, which many refer to as the Old Testament, is comprised of the Law [Torah], Prophets [Nebhiim], and Writings [Kethubhim].) Your teachings have blessed me greatly. However, beyond your teachings, I thank you for the acceptance you showed me when you realized my presence among you. The only person I knew there was my dear friend Mr. Weitzman; yet I felt very welcomed by you and those other wonderful folks who attend the synagogue—many of whom are now my friends.

 

This message, while being addressed to you, is applicable to any who would receive it. What I discuss is worthy of great celebration from all. These words are for you, the people at the synagogue, all Jews, all of the children of Israel, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Agnostics, Atheists, and anyone else. These words are for anyone interested in God, anyone who is not, and all the rest of everyone if there is someone I missed. These words are also for God.

 

A tidal wave of prophecy is emerging before the children of Israel, and before all of us. God has blessed us to be alive at such a time as this. Great prophecies decreed by God thousands of years ago have been fulfilled, have begun their fulfillment, or God is moving these prophecies toward fruition. Those who swim with this tidal wave of prophecy will burst forth upon a delightful inheritance. Those who might swim against it, I hope that they would soon also, possibly aided by exhaustion or some other force, wash up on the same shore of deliverance. God could use Israel’s homecoming to further reveal that God is not a relic of the delusional but a living and functional God.

John 14:29

29   And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.

 

Was it not Isaiah who prophesied that one day God would speak to the children of Israel with stammering lips and another tongue? Could God really speak through someone a stammering and a yammering? Could God really communicate through someone hemming and hawing and on foreign words gnawing?

Isaiah 28:11

11   For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

I guess so.

Although I take no offense with regard to the stammering lips comment, I still attempt to keep the stammering to an appropriate level. Even though I try to too often neither use monolithic, monosyllabic diatribes nor fall into cumbersome quagmires of banter frothing, still, some stammering might occur, o…o…occasionally. Yet that’s alright. Furthermore, if you are surprised because I write originally in another language than Hebrew—the language of the nation of Israel—about revelations from God concerning Israel’s homecoming, please consider this Isaiah 28:11 verse. Whether or not this passage has anything to do with me, if I cannot use it as a prophetic scapegoat to excuse any lack of communication or language skills that I might have, I can still use it for inspiration.

 

I write these words to try to open up discussion about or provoke consideration concerning the matters presented in this book. I write about what God has revealed to me: of the Godhead, God’s relationship with Israel, the Scriptures, and other matters. Taking into account your great knowledge of the Scriptures and of the Hebrew language, and considering the wisdom you have gained from your life experience of only a few seventy-seven years or so, I feel I would profit greatly by discussing such topics further with you.

Seeing as God instructs people to lay up his words in their hearts and souls and speak about them often, God should be pleased to hear us doing this (whether stammering or not). Yet certainly, we already have been doing this. I was delighted to see these instructions from the Deuteronomy 11:18–19 passage on the wall at the synagogue (which you, it seemed, had hung there).

Deuteronomy 11:18–19

18   Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.

19   And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Through reading this book, you could investigate what I have discovered while reading the Word of God. Then, possibly, we later could meet. This way, you would already have in mind some particular verses that we could address further in person.

Although I believe God gave us many of these words to point us toward Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth, and the children of Israel’s relationship with God via the redemption offered through him, I would love to comprehend your understanding of these Scriptures. I would greatly appreciate any input you could give me about your own beliefs concerning these and other passages and matters.

 

My prayer is that we are able to discuss topics concerning God openly and without fear. If there happens to be differences between our individually held beliefs about God, or concerning certain portions of the Scriptures, I pray we would still be able to remain in a spirit of love toward one another. I hope we allow God, if he so desires, to lead us to a common truth, to separate truths, or to wherever he would lead us. If we already agree, will someday agree, if we agree on some matters but not on others, or if we do not agree, then so be it. By merely being honest with one another about our own personal relationships with God and our comprehensions of the Tanakh, I hope that this does not adversely affect our friendship.

Certainly, I hope you take no offense via the revelation of my beliefs, for these are what I feel God has laid on my heart, and I enjoy sharing with you and with others. If my understanding of the Scriptures that I bring up currently differs from your understanding, and if this might rub you the wrong way, please try looking at it as described via the following illustration:


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The Mustard Seed Gathering

 

 

 

A person—labeled by some as delusional yet labeled by others as trustworthy—says that God has an important invitation to a mustard seed gathering for a group of people. This messenger perceives that God loves these folks so dearly that God wants to ask them all to come to a special meeting, bringing even as little as a small mustard seed with them—believing that God would do miracles with the mustard seeds of everyone who decided to come. As it once was said, “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

This messenger spent a lot of time drawing up an invitation to the mustard seed gathering, and really felt that God wanted this exciting message promoted. The messenger is under the persuasion that the invitation the messenger has drawn up, the messenger has made available, or will make available, in support of and in accord with God. This messenger believes that God wants this message published, and that God will accomplish his will via the prompting of the Holy Spirit or by whatever means God desires. This messenger is convinced that God has seen to the meeting preparations, and that God is seeing to the convicting of hearts with the desire to go to the mustard seed gathering, in accordance with God’s Prophetic Word.

 

After some acquired this invitation, a few of those who started to read it got very upset with the invitation writer—believing that they were allergic to the mustard seeds spoken of in the invitation. Some felt as if it were a personal attack.

The messenger hopes that what was meant to be a friendly pointing to an invitation from God, recorded in the Scriptures, would not be taken as an offense. This messenger feels that if any respond favorably to this invitation from God, God will even help take away anyone’s initial allergic reaction to this type of mustard seed, if any were experiencing this. The messenger does not try to force anyone to come, but only tries to tell people about God’s invitation to a gathering in a kind manner—hoping that any or all will respond favorably. The messenger does not make wild, violent threats toward any who might decide not to come, and is open to discuss different reasons why some might not want to attend the mustard seed gathering.

If the invitation to the mustard seed gathering brought forth is within the realm of kindness, and not covered in the clotted soot of arrogance and disdain, should people despise this messenger?

 

This messenger does not even feel that God requires that a certain percentage of those who comprehend this invitation from God should attend or God would hold the messenger responsible, but only believes that God wants this messenger to help spread the good news about a get-together. I quote Ezekiel 33:1–9 not to imply that the sword is coming, or that any peoples are or are not anymore wicked than the rest of humanity, but I quote this passage to signify that even if God asks someone to relay a message, it is still up to the receiver of the message to decide how to respond. The messenger can only do so much. The messenger can try to deliver the message in accordance with God’s will in the best way possible, yet the messenger often cannot guarantee that anyone will listen to the message brought forth. The receiver of the message is who is ultimately responsible for accepting or rejecting it.

Ezekiel 33:1–9

1   Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

2   Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:

3   If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;

4   Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.

5   He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.

6   But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.

7   So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.

8   When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

9   Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

If a messenger of God delivers a message from God in a way that is pleasing to God, God does not hold the messenger responsible if no one reacts affirmatively.

 

Even if some people think this messenger is delusional and making the whole thing up, would it not still be a good idea to search the Scriptures diligently to see if what is communicated is in accordance with the Word of God? If someone proclaims, “This messenger is a rude, rambunctious, reckless, rubbernecked rabble-rouser,” would it not still be advantageous to ask God if the message brought forth is in truth from the LORD on high?

To find out whether a messenger is actually bringing forth a message from God or not, one could research the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. Because of your knowledge of the Tanakh, I am thankful for the ease by which you could endeavor upon such a scriptural investigation. Yet even if some were not as familiar with the Tanakh as you are, since many of the Scripture references appear in this book, and since other passages people could look up in their personal bibles, this investigation could also be easy and enjoyable for them as well.

Deuteronomy 18:15–22

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;

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.

17   And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.

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.

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.

20   But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

21   And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?

22   When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

2 Timothy 2:15

15   Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Responding to this invitation by researching the information instead of walking away abruptly (be it literally or mentally) and getting upset might be an indication of the firmness of one’s own beliefs, of one’s willingness to seek the truth of God, and of the kindness that resides inside of one’s heart. Although the saying, “If you cannot explain something, just ignore it,” we could apply here; yet still, we could take another approach. Anyone seeking after the heart of God might try exploring such an invitation: whether or not one were familiar with it, whether or not one has rejected similar invitations for an entire lifetime, or whether or not one were burdened by the thought of even responding to any mustard seed gathering invitation—like mannered or not.

Not attempting to comprehend this alleged invitation from God, nor searching the Scriptures to see if it were in accordance with the Word of God, by claiming, “This messenger should have known that I consider myself allergic to such a mustard seed,” this might indicate a lack of interest in this invitation even if authentically from God.

 

Many times, people have prodded me with messages that I was quite sure were not from the mouth of God. I often realized that I had no need to be frightened, angry, disgusted, or annoyed, but rather that I could discuss these matters openly, and share my beliefs as they would share their beliefs. Although, I must admit, it sometimes can be very challenging to deal with someone who, in my opinion, is judging me in error—whether via the means of sharing a so-called godly precept or not. Yet when faced with either intended to be helpful but perceived to be not useful instructions or derogatory assessments or opinions from others (whether erroneous or not), focusing on God’s opinion of me could help quell my loss of self-worth, unnecessary anger, or wrathful vengeance.

I have investigated many varied spiritual belief writings; and because of the Holy Spirit of God residing in me, and the knowledge I have had revealed to me through the Bible, often, I have not been frightened by doing so. Whether someone thinks that, the idea that God has filled me with the Holy Spirit is extra special wollygaggy (nonsense) or not, I still experience the guidance and peace that the Holy Spirit brings to me. Of course, being open to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and peace is key to my experiencing this.

 

If I believe I have the highest quality product, why should I be frightened by comparison shopping? If I believe I have found the highest quality item, and I want to share this item with others, why should I be frightened if others look at other tables? If I am convinced that I have found the highest quality God (even if I also feel that the God I have found is the only God), why should I be frightened if people investigate other theories about who God is? Why should I be frightened if others investigate whether God exists at all? For after honest investigation, will we not find the same conclusion if God exists and is so wonderful? If we are all diligently searching for the truth about God, and God is truth, will we not all find God?

We can love God without having to scare people away from investigating whether God exists or from investigating who God is. We can allow people to explore various beliefs about God, or even allow investigating what some consider being false gods: For God’s truth shines through. Many times, people only accept certain concepts about God because they are afraid of what might happen to them if they examine the truth for themselves. Often, people simply subscribe to various precepts about God, or pass on deciding about God altogether, because they are not overly interested in finding the truth. Fear from investigating truth often leads to blind acceptance of concepts that might not be true. A lack of interest in exploring the truth frequently leads to visionless reception of precepts that might not be true or in indecisiveness. (Yet if someone were truly undecided, well okay; yet I would hope that this undecided person would seek diligently about finding the truth about God as if it were a life or death matter. Yet if someone rests in not deciding about God instead of seeking after finding the truth, I feel this is less than ideal.)

Believing in a God that we do not see requires having faith. Not believing in God, or believing that God is different from who God is, also requires faith. It’s still faith—not faith in God, but faith that God does not exist or is different from who God is. Few can state confidently that they have traveled every millimeter or plane of existence of the omniverse and are sure that God does not exist. Yet some through personal experience and by faith are sure of or firmly believe in God’s existence.

John 20:27–29

27   Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

28   And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

29   Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Romans 8:24–25

24   For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

25   But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

Hebrews 11:1

1   Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:6

6   But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

The choice anyone makes to follow God is a personal decision. If people succeed in forcing others to appear to have made the same decision that they have about God, then those forced people’s apparent beliefs might be quite different from their true beliefs. If all people of all beliefs allow, accept, and encourage the investigation of the truth about God, this sounds great. We might all openly find the truth sooner. This might also help us get along better. Yet God knows the challenges that truth seekers face.

Although we might expect someone interested in maintaining or promoting an untruth not to encourage open, communal truth seeking. Yet God can jump over, or break down, any wall set up between God and God’s creation. God can reveal, and has revealed, the true nature of the Godhead to those who want to find it. God can give, and has given, God’s love to those who want to receive it. Furthermore, God can show, and has shown, God’s love to those who seem to not want to receive it.

Matthew 5:45

45   That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Yet God does not force us to seek or love God. God encourages us to seek and to love God by seeking after us and by God’s love for us.

 

I try to be open to discuss beliefs with those who might have a different point of view. Engaging in conversation about beliefs with those who might have different beliefs can be a spectacular thing. If my beliefs are of God, then I might share God’s message; and if I might hear a word of truth from another, even if I have not obtained this knowledge yet—if God so desires—I hope I would listen and be open to hearing. After hearing, I could research the Scriptures or reference God’s Word that I have written on my heart. I could also seek to understand if what I heard made sense. Through the witness of the Holy Spirit, I could try to comprehend whether the message I received was or was not from God. I could weigh in the balance the validity of any theological concept put forth.

1 John 4:1

1   Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Personally, I hope to live my life having God as my guide and protector—not my covered ears and fast feet. (Albeit, if God wanted me to refrain from entertaining a particular point of view and run quickly, I hope I would oblige.)

 

My prayer is that our hearts and souls rub against the loving Spirit of God Almighty, Adonai, Abba, our Father, and I pray his grace overwhelms us. All who have ears to hear and a soul not embalmed, all who want to enjoy God’s presence and love, come, and experience the grace of God.

As you carry on, please ask yourself this question, “Why would I not want to ask God to show me if accepting Yeshua as my Messiah and Lord is in accordance with the Word of God and the will of God for my own life?”

 

Even if you only had a little faith, like a small grain of mustard seed, you could still proclaim, “Mountain: Move” and watch it depart from before you. There are those who have a mountain blocking their hearts’ desire. Some have a mountain in front of their Savior.

Matthew 13:31–32

31   Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:

32   Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

Matthew 17:14–21

14   And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,

15   Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.

16   And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.

17   Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.

18   And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.

19   Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?

20   And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

21   Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

 

Israel’s homecoming, or anyone’s homecoming, would bring about heavenly joy and celebration. May that joy come about you and be yours.

Luke 15:4–10

4   What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

5   And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

6   And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

7   I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

8   Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?

9   And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.

10   Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.


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Juggling Falafel Balls While Whistling a Joyous Tune

 

 

 

Let us consider a hypothetical person who believed that God wanted us all to juggle falafel balls while whistling a joyous tune. Imagine this person believed that if people did this they would enable God to have close relations with them, to save them from the second death, and that in doing so they were allowing God to let them live forever. If this person really believed this, and loved you, then he or she might try to convey this to you in the hope of seeing your discovery of God and God’s eternal salvation.

If someone knowingly or unknowingly portrays truth to you that is advantageous to you, this could still benefit you weather that person shared this truth with love, indifference, or even hatred. Yet if someone truly believed that finding life and a closer relationship with God were obtainable in a particular manner, this person might lay bare his or her love for you by telling you about this. One such person might passionately demonstrate love for you by in some way attempting to publish to you the good news found.

Isaiah 52:7

7   How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

Let us not hate a messenger for trying to tell us a message that the messenger believes is from God. Rather, let us confer with the Word of God. Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we could try to understand whether the message that was relayed was true. If not, we could try to show this person the truth if we had found the truth ourselves.

By the way, I do not believe God’s plan of salvation requires juggling falafel balls while whistling a joyous tune. Let me share, out of love for you and God, what I believe it to be. Please allow me to communicate some ideas and Scriptures with you regarding this and other matters.


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So Then, Let Us Continue

 

 

 

So then, let us continue. Let us scroll through the Scriptures and observe prophetic passages concerning Israel’s homecoming. After Yeshua’s (Jesus’) bodily resurrection, two of his followers and he discussed the Word of God. In marvelous fashion, they discussed Israel’s homecoming, or Israel’s redemption. They also discussed where references to Yeshua were in the Tanakh (Old Testament) during their walk to Emmaus. In like manner, let us now go on a scriptural journey.

Luke 24:13–27

13   And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.

14   And they talked together of all these things which had happened.

15   And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.

16   But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.

17   And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?

18   And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?

19   And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:

20   And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.

21   But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

22   Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;

23   And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.

24   And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.

25   Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

26   Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

27   And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

Threescore furlongs is equivalent to approximately seven and a half miles (or twelve kilometers). Although this passage might not relay exactly how much of the distance to Emmaus it was that these two walked and talked with Yeshua, they certainly could have had quite an in-depth conversation.

John 1:16–18

16   And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

17   For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

18   No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

John 5:36–47

36   But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.

37   And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.

38   And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.

39   Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

40   And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

41   I receive not honour from men.

42   But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.

43   I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

44   How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?

45   Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.

46   For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.

47   But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

1 Peter 1:8–12

8   Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

9   Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

10   Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

11   Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

12   Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

 

I have given a rough overview of what I am hoping to discuss with you or have you consider, trying to pique your interest. If one dared to investigate the Word of God in detail concerning references to Yeshua in the Tanakh, one might find that the scriptural evidence indicating that Yeshua is the Messiah is quite overwhelming. If one ventured to inquisitively look at the Word of God concerning the coming even closer together of God and the children of Israel via the Messiah, one might be quite satisfied, and one might see that God prophesied this to happen.

A reason why one might not discover God is disinterest. A popular reason why someone possibly would not find God nor comprehend the teachings of God could strictly be due to a lack of concern.

Jeremiah 29:11–13

11   For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

12   Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

13   And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

 

Following (starting with the next chapter) are a succession of verses from Bereshiyt (Genesis) with comments on how I have come to understand these, along with thought to be supporting passages from throughout the Bible. (For those who do not know, Bereshiyt is the first book of the Torah; the Torah (or the Law) is the first of three sections of the Tanakh; and the Tanakh (or the Old Testament) is the first of two segments, or testaments, of the Bible.) Keep in mind that I write this in love as one who finds this revelation of God’s affection for us and for all people through the gift of his Son to be impressive.

I try to give an exegesis of the Scriptures while being guided by the Holy Spirit, I pray. I also try to discuss the Scriptures in light of things I have learned from yourself and others.

 

God might really desire us to get this, though, that Yeshua is the Messiah and Lord, as God drives this home via marvelously varied repetition in the Scriptures. Through careful observation of the Word of God, one could grasp this key message. Once one grasps this, the knowledge obtained by an individual (be it through biblical studies, life experience, or other sources), God could connect with and make sense of via this key message of the Gospel. We benefit by being knowledgeable of the LORD’s will regarding our acceptance of the LORD’s Son.

With the frequency with which I perceive Yeshua in the Tanakh, and mention it in this book, one could possibly mistakenly perceive me to be trying to beat in a point as relentlessly, repeatedly, and ravenously as a raven might peck at a carcass. Yet I hope you will have another understanding. On the other hand, some might find even more Yeshua in the Tanakh instances in Bereshiyt, or in the entire Tanakh, than I have listed. Hopefully, you will feel that the points made were in the right measure.

Regarding any of the messianic prophecies or other references to Yeshua, in the sheer volume that I mention in this book: If you consider any of these Yeshua in the Tanakh instances that I bring up to be actually not referencing Yeshua, I hope that God would portray his will to us on this matter by any amount of them. I hope God reveals his will to us by any means God desires.

 

I enjoy your teachings from the Bible a great deal. You often show a great variance from the teachings offered at certain church services. On occasion, certain church groups—but certainly not all—repeatedly put forth from the pulpit mainly simple messages without delving deeper into the Scriptures or referencing the original Hebrew in the Tanakh.

I thank God for the simplicity of the Gospel available to all of us.

1 Corinthians 1:21

21   For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

I am glad God made it so to be saved. I am glad God made salvation available to us in the manner he has. Yet sometimes, teachers might pass over deeper studies, possibly in fear of people not wanting to grasp more than only basic messages. This can occur even though all levels of God’s revelations available to us are wonderful. We could analogize this as feeding a congregation only milk without trying to introduce their taste buds and stomachs to some more substantial food.

1 Corinthians 3:1–2

1   And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

2   I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

(Although this passage is quite metaphorical, people might like to know that [in this King James Version translation of 1 Corinthians 3:2] the word translated “meat” might not have been strictly used to reference the meat of animals, but any food; for it was translated from the Greek word broma, which is defined, “that which is eaten, food.”)

However, you have offered us at the synagogue very nutritious and filling words on which to chew. I might have gained a better education by sitting and listening to your teachings (while I became as a knowledge sponge trying to absorb what you freely shared of your learning) than I might have been able to via the teachings offered through many of an expensive college’s educational curriculum in Tanakh studies. Thank you.

 

Salvation through faith in Yeshua is the crux of life. The message of the Gospel expressed in both the Tanakh (Old Testament) and the B’rit Hadasha (New Testament) is all-important. I will try to reference this point in Scripture verses that follow. Once this revelation occurs, the Tanakh becomes even more comprehendible via the light of God. Knowledge that one possesses already is able to soar above the clouds as one grasps the simple and deep things of God through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and faith.

Romans 16:25–27

25   Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

26   But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

27   To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

 

Sometimes, the real or so-called church winds up imitating the Pharisees in the time of Jesus rather than Jesus himself. Being overly judgmental can often hinder more than help the sharing of good news. We often do better speaking the truth in love rather than from a mindset of thinking “We are the only authority on what is truth” in a demeanor of condescending arrogance. This might not do as much good as it could.

Through faith in Christ, we become sons and daughters of God. God sees people’s treatment of the sons and daughters of God as if they were treating Christ that way. Yet Christ still advises us to be humble. Jesus recommended that we try not to be excessively prideful. Jesus suggested that we try not to have undue amounts of arrogance drooling out of our ears. Not being excessively prideful often helps to disincline others from demoting, humiliating, or avoiding us—whether frantically or not.

Yet of course, there might be times when people attempt to demote, humiliate, or avoid us even when we are following God closely, and are not acting out with unwarranted sums of haughtiness. When you follow God closely, it is not rare that others treat you as if you are doing the opposite. The trouble is that humans are often stern to those who deserve kindness and kind to those who deserve sternness. Yet thankfully, God measures out sternness and kindness perfectly.

Here is a parable Jesus gave about the importance of being humble:

Luke 14:7–11

7   And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them.

8   When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him;

9   And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room.

10   But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.

11   For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

At times, it is all in the manner of delivery. As I might speak the truth in a spirit of being judgmental, and find that others are not inclined to listen to me, so could I speak the truth in a spirit of not being judgmental, and of love, and find that others are possibly more inclined to hear what I’m saying.

If someone knows a spiritual truth that God has set forth, then that is great; but if someone relays a spiritual truth in an unnecessarily off-putting connotation, this can often not be as great as it could be. Relaying a spiritual truth in a spirit of hatred, one only accomplishes by ignoring another spiritual truth. (Although it seems more often true that in a spirit of hatred that it is not a spiritual truth that is relayed, but rather a spiritual misgiving—or a falsehood put forth as if it were from God, when this is not so.)

I know how much I cannot stand it when in a spirit of judgmental arrogance someone says something like, “Sit at my feet as I expound the truth of God to you so I can save you from your hideous error of ways.” I might not receive this advice as easily as I might receive advice when someone in accepting humility says something like, “I think I know what you mean. I remember thinking about this once…and then when I came across this particular verse, afterwards, I understood that if God said that, then maybe I should look at similar circumstances in my own life under this light of the grace of God, and so forth and so on.”

Every now and then, being nice can be advantageous toward the sharing of good news. However, if God truly inspires us to be harsh when necessary, this can be the way to go. Yet we can be firm in our faiths without being condescendingly judgmental. We can hold on to our hopes without being numbingly negative. We can be steadfast in our convictions without being mean jackass riders.

 

Balaam did not understand that the Angel of the LORD was directing him away from the path he was on until his donkey humbly spoke to him and the LORD opened his eyes. (Whether someone believes this story [as noted below in the Numbers 22:22–34 passage] about the LORD enabling a donkey to speak is literal or allegorical, the point is still applicable. Yet if God did set forth the Earth about the Sun the exact distance necessary for life, the moon about the Earth without a cable, our blood about our bodies for us to live, and so many messianic prophecies about things beyond human control that only an all-powerful God could fulfill and fulfill them, then enabling donkey speech seems easy.) In like manner, we, since God made us in his image, can often have trouble receiving a word from God unless it comes to us from a humble source backed up by the power of God. We often receive this better than a message backed up merely by the messenger’s own arrogant bravado.

Why publishing salvation or speaking about God to others in a spirit of anger or while being judgmental can be so common we could wonder why; yet surely, needlessly adding negative things to the Gospel need not always be done. God and life are quite positive.

While reading the passage below, please consider why listening to an honest, humble source backed up by the power of God is worth doing. In addition, concerning the similarities Balaam had to some of the current day children of Israel and the likeness the donkey had to some of the current day humble evangelists and other servants of God (be they children of Israel or not), please consider whether this was written to inspire us and as a prophetic foreshadowing of current events.

Numbers 22:22–34

22   And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.

23   And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.

24   But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side.

25   And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall: and he smote her again.

26   And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.

27   And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.

28   And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?

29   And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.

30   And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? and he said, Nay.

31   Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.

32   And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me:

33   And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.

34   And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again.


LarrowUparrowRarrow

CREATION


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                                                                                    1                God created

Creation

Yeshua’s Preexistence

Genesis 1:1

1   In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

 

Genesis (Bereshiyt) 1:1 is where the first reference to the Father and Son appears in the Bible. Understanding who God is…is essential. The word God from the phrase “In the beginning God created” seems to indicate God the Father along with God the Son (and possibly the Holy Spirit as well), as this word is translated from the Hebrew word 'Elohiym, which is the plural form of the singular Hebrew word 'Elowahh. The first chapter of the Gospel of John and the first chapter of the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians support this point.

John 1:1–5

1   In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2   The same was in the beginning with God.

3   All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

4   In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5   And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

(In John 1:1, the words “the Word” are a reference to Yeshua [Jesus].)

Colossians 1:16–17

16   For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

17   And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

(In Colossians 1:16–17, all of the pronouns used—both the four instances of “him” and the one instance of “he”—are referencing Yeshua.)

Although there are those who believe in the Trinity who discourage using the Hebrew word 'Elohiym to support their Trinitarian doctrines, possibly because although the word 'Elohiym is plural it often can be used with a singular verb. Yet the plural (or Triune) Godhead often work as one, and this might explain the use of a singular verb in conjunction with the plural noun 'Elohiym. The Scriptures reveal, “God is love”—yet saying, “God are love,” “Gods are love,” or “Gods are loving” might not make as much sense as expressing this idea by saying, “God is love” because the word God represents God, who is love and is also a Triune Godhead that acts and exists as one God. Therefore, using a singular verb to denote what the unified Triune Godhead is, has done, is doing, or will do often makes sense.

Seeing as God puts forth the word 'Elohiym in the first verse of the first chapter of the first book listed in the Bible, God’s revelation of the unified plurality of the supreme, singular Godhead did not take too long. God revealed even more with other portions of Scripture, showing more about the makeup of the supreme (singular yet unified plural) Triune Godhead—consisting of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God, being one, is yet plural.

(Please see the chapter entitled “Six Hebrew Words for God with Usage in Genesis and Entire Bible” to see these six words along with their quantities in Genesis, translations with quantities in the entire Bible, and definitions.)

Worshiping God as God is, including Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is true worship of the one true Triune Godhead—and is not polytheism (nor idolatry), but true worship of God as God is.

Digging Deeper

1)      Why was the plural Hebrew word 'Elohiym used to reference God in Genesis 1:1 instead of some other Hebrew word that is singular, such as 'Elowahh or 'Adon?

 

Understanding or accepting God’s oneness has been a quandary for humanity for many millennia. Even Yeshua, about whom the Father with a voice from a bright cloud announced, “This is my beloved Son,” stated his agreement with the concept of God being one.

Matthew 17:5

5   While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

This Yeshua himself said, “The Lord our God is one Lord:”

Mark 12:28–31

28   And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

29   And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

30   And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

31   And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

We might deem that Mark 12:29–30 marks where Mark recorded for us Jesus quoting his Father, as recorded in the writings of Moses in the book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 6, verses 4 and 5. Many believe this passage is in accord with the rest of the Holy Bible, revealing God as God is (including Father, Son, and Holy Spirit); yet some have pointed to this Deuteronomy 6:4 verse to try to justify the denying of the existence of the Son of God or of the Triune Godhead. Let’s look at this passage next; and then, let us look with some detail at these Hebrew words. By doing so, we might be able to see whether these Hebrew words are referencing a supreme (singular yet unified plural) Triune Godhead harmoniously acting and existing as one God…or a strictly singular of being Godhead.

Deuteronomy 6:4–5

4   Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

5   And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Deuteronomy 6:4 in transliterated Hebrew reads, “Shama' Yisra'el Yhovah 'Elohanu Yhovah 'echad”. A literal word-for-word translation of this verse could read, “Listen Israel Yahweh God Yahweh one”. A word for word or word for phrase where helpful translation could read, “Listen Israel Yahweh our plural God Yahweh one”. We could further translate this passage, “Hear, O Israel: The Father, our plural Godhead, the Father are one.” While referencing the original Hebrew, in order to understand the implicit meaning of these words, we could apply the following paraphrase, “Hear intelligently, he who will prevail and have power as God: The Eternal God our supreme (singular yet unified plural) Triune Godhead harmoniously acts and exists as one Eternal God.” Alternatively, we could reword this passage, “Discern, O Israel: The self-Existent God (the Father) and our God (including Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) are one self-Existent Godhead.”

Yet if the Hebrew word 'echad was actually used to indicate that God is the only God, albeit triune, we might translate this passage, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is the LORD alone.” Along the same lines, we could paraphrase this, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is the only one.”

(Please see “Definitions of Hebrew Words from Deuteronomy 6:4” to investigate these Hebrew words further.)

Digging Deeper

2)     Why did Jesus quote Deuteronomy 6:4 if he was indeed part of the Triune Godhead?

3)     How would you translate, paraphrase, and explain the meaning of the Hebrew words recorded in Deuteronomy 6:4, “Shama' Yisra'el Yhovah 'Elohanu Yhovah 'echad”?

4)     Is God a supreme (singular yet unified plural) Triune Godhead harmoniously acting and existing as one God…or a strictly singular of being Godhead?

 

What does God being one mean? If God is plural, or triune, how could God be one? Let’s take a close look at the final word used in Deuteronomy 6:4 that was translated “one”. God has used this Hebrew word 'echad throughout the Scriptures to indicate not the exclusivity of a strictly singular of being entity, but the unity of individual entities. Let me list some other examples of the use of the word 'echad (translated “one”) in the Scriptures:

In Genesis 2:24 are the words, “they shall be one flesh.”

Genesis 2:24

24   Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

We know from experience that when a couple gets married, although their flesh might come together in one sense, and they might even spiritually commune in an amazing state of oneness, they do not always merge into a strictly singular of being entity. Marriage partners, although they might kiss, often do not undergo their mouths melding together so that they then have not two mouths but rather one fused together mouth; nor does this usually happen with the rest of their body parts (or at least not permanently).

In Genesis 2:24, God through Moses used the word 'echad to signify the unification, the joining, even the oneness that two can experience. They can be as one when married. The unity that exists between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is often on a much deeper level than that which exists in many of the marriages or families of humans; however, this gives us an awesome ideal toward which to strive.

Although, when Adam and Eve procreated, we might consider their child a single human flesh that came forth from both of them. Yet they had more than one child, so I do feel that this verse is more of a reference to the unity that the man and woman can experience than a reference to combining their chromosomes to produce a child.

Yet indeed, there are instances in the Scriptures where God has used the Hebrew word 'echad to indicate a counting of one, as in a numeric quantity.

Exodus 11:1

1   And the LORD said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence: when he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether.

Yet for another example of the Hebrew word 'echad having been used to indicate unity and not a number, we could look at a verse—1 Chronicles 12:38—from a book that chronicled much of Israel’s history.

1 Chronicles 12:38

38   All these men of war, that could keep rank, came with a perfect heart to Hebron, to make David king over all Israel: and all the rest also of Israel were of one heart to make David king.

If all of the children of Israel in David’s time had actually had only one heart, this could have severely limited their mobility—with all of them needing to connect somehow to a single, giant heart for survival. Obviously, in these Hebrew words, Yisra'el 'echad lebab (with a literal, word-for-word translation of “Israel one heart” that was translated “Israel were of one heart”), the author was clearly noting the unity of the hearts of the people of Israel and not a single giant heart. This is so, even though many of these people of Israel might have had very big hearts.

We might not look only to Deuteronomy 6:4 to understand whether God has a Son, but throughout the Scriptures as well.

God is one, in the singular yet unified plural sense of the word. Yeshua spoke of his oneness with his Father.

John 10:30

30   I and my Father are one.

Digging Deeper

5)     Cite phrases that use the word one ('echad) to demonstrate unity and not a counting of a being, an entity, or a thing.

6)     What does God being one mean?

7)     If God is plural, or triune, how could God be one?

 

Yeshua did not come to steal glory away from his Father. The Father and Son exist in perfect unity. They do not exist as angrily fighting, misaligned, competitive peers.

1 Corinthians 14:33

33   For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

Yeshua lived his life and spoke his words in submission to his Father’s will, not in opposition to it. Yeshua stated while residing on Earth that his Father was greater than he was; and he showed the world that he loved his Father. Yeshua obeyed his Father.

John 14:28

28   Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

John 14:31

31   But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.

Yeshua prayed (or spoke) to his Father and bowed to his Father’s wishes.

Matthew 26:39–42

39   And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

40   And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?

41   Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

42   He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.

I have encountered a writing in which the author suggested that Yeshua’s prayer to his Father (“O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt”) at a place called Gethsemane somehow indicated that Yeshua was not the Son of God or truly God in nature. However, I disagree with such an observation. To me, Yeshua’s prayer at Gethsemane shows his obedience to his Father’s plan of salvation even though it involved his own suffering. This also shows us, in agonizing detail, the reality of the struggles encountered by the only begotten Son of God.

Yeshua took on flesh as we have and offered his life as a sin offering. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, we can now have life eternal through God’s plan of salvation offered through faith in Yeshua.

Digging Deeper

8)    Did Yeshua try to steal glory away from his Father?

9)     If Yeshua were a part of the Triune Godhead, why would he have concerned himself with being compliant with the directions of his Father—if his Father were also a part of this same Triune Godhead?

10) Referencing Matthew 26:39–42, do you consider Yeshua’s prayer to his Father to be supportive of, inconsequential concerning, or unsupportive of the claim that Yeshua is the only begotten Son of God, and why do you believe this?

 

Although the Son of God, Yeshua, was alive and involved in the creation of the world, when the appropriate time had come, Yeshua took on flesh as we have through the Father and the Holy Spirit’s impregnation of Mary while she was still a virgin. The Angel Gabriel told Mary, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Yeshua lived a perfect life and provided a perfect sacrifice for the remission of our sins according to his Father’s plan for our salvation. Approximately 700 years before the arrival of the Son of God in Bethlehem, the LORD, through Isaiah, prophesied Yeshua’s virgin birth.

Isaiah 7:10–16

10   Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying,

11   Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.

12   But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD.

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?

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.

15   Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.

16   For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.

There has been much debate about whether the Hebrew word `almah, translated “virgin” in Isaiah 7:14, was actually referencing a young woman of marriageable age (a maid) who was a virgin, or only referencing a young woman of marriageable age who was not necessarily a virgin. Since it has been found in the Scriptures that nowhere can it be proven that this word has been used to reference a young woman who was not a virgin, we could conclude that God was referencing a virgin and not only a young woman. (I am not trying to make a big to-do about the advantages or disadvantages of being virgin or not, but only trying to point out that if Yeshua truly was the Son of God, an earthly father’s participation in conception would not have been necessary.)

Look at the context: Isaiah said to Ahaz, “Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.” Ahaz did not ask for a sign, but the Lord gave him one nonetheless: Isaiah told Ahaz, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Anyone on Earth could proclaim that at such and such a time a young woman will have a child. This is easy to predict, for it happens quite often. However, this was God giving this sign to Ahaz, and to us, and God can do miracles. God could have even seen to it that a virgin had a child.

Luke 1:26–38

26   And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

27   To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

28   And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

29   And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

30   And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

31   And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

32   He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

33   And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

34   Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

35   And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

36   And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

37   For with God nothing shall be impossible.

38   And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

The Angel Gabriel told Mary, “call his name JESUS.” The name Jesus (Yeshua) means, “Salvation, God saves, or YHVH is my salvation.” Yeshua brought forth and is still bringing forth salvation to all who accept God’s gift of life through him.

Yet Gabriel also said to Mary about the child that was to come through her, “that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” The name Immanuel (used in the Isaiah 7:14 passage quoted previously) means “God with us”; therefore, the name Immanuel is a reference to Jesus because the Son of God, being part of the Godhead himself, after being born among us was indeed with us.

Matthew 1:18–25

18   Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

19   Then Joseph her husband, being a just [man], and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.

20   But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

21   And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

22   Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

23   Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

24   Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

25   And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

Luke 2:3–7

3   And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4   And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5   To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6   And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7   And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

The message from the Angel Gabriel to Mary, as recorded in Luke 1:26–38, was consistent with the prophecy recorded in Isaiah 7:14. Jesus’ arrival on Earth via the virgin Mary brought about the fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14.

The child born of Mary while she was still a virgin was certainly with us. Yeshua’s birth on Earth demonstrated dramatically that God was with us. Truly, God is still with us through the blessing of the Holy Spirit. Yeshua’s birth to Mary shows us that he is God’s Son. Portrayal of this occurs throughout God’s Word in the Tanakh and in the B’rit Hadasha, and quite vividly in this account of Gabriel’s message to Mary, the angel of the Lord’s message to Joseph in a dream, the birth of Yeshua through Mary, and with these events’ continuity with the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14.

Digging Deeper

11)  Why is it important for God’s Son to have been born of a virgin?

12) Isaiah 7:14 reads, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Did God fulfill the Isaiah 7:14 prophecy in the birth of Yeshua through Mary in Bethlehem, and why do you believe this?

 

Isaiah 9:6–7 confirmed that God would come as a child; Isaiah 9:8 points us toward Israel’s homecoming. God did come as a child; Israel’s homecoming is happening now.

Isaiah 9:6–8

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.

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.

8   The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel.

John 1:14

14   And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Colossians 2:9

9   For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

(Please also see the “middle part” of “Chapter 27 I have seen God face to face” for more concerning Isaiah 9:8.)

Digging Deeper

13) Isaiah 9:6–7 reads, “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. 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.” Did the prophecy in Isaiah 9:6–7 foreshadow the birth of Yeshua to Mary in Bethlehem, and why do you believe this?

14) Isaiah 9:8 reads, “The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel.” Does Isaiah 9:8 hint that the current day children of Israel will—in large scale—discover, accept, and acknowledge Yeshua as their Messiah, and why do you believe this?

 

The authors of the writings in the Tanakh studied in Judaism, as well as those of the writings in the B’rit Hadasha, do not try to dissuade the belief that God has a Son and that they work together and glorify one another. Let us perceive the congruity of the Father and the Son and the unity that exists between them. This is true about God.

The Father and Son exist in perfect oneness. The Son bowed to his Father’s will; he gave honor to his Dad. As recorded in John 14:28, Yeshua said, “my Father is greater than I.” In addition, the Son has glorified his Father; likewise, the Father has glorified his Son. In accordance with God’s revealed will and desire portrayed in the Scriptures, unity exists, and has always existed, between the Father and Son.

John 13:31–32

31   Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.

32   If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him.

John 14:13

13   And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

John 17:1–8

1   These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

2   As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

3   And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

4   I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

5   And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

6   I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

7   Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.

8   For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

Digging Deeper

15)  How did the Son glorify his Father?

16) How did the Father glorify his Son?

 

God wants to know us intimately through such a simple and wonderful act as placing our faith in God’s Son, Yeshua. As you might find through past and further illustrations in this book, or throughout the Scriptures, the Triune Godhead created heaven and Earth, and all living beings. Two of these living beings God created in the image of God. The serpent (aka Satan) enticed these two created in the image of God, both Eve and Adam, to fall away from God due to their disobedience, and the result of this was separation from God and death. For Adam and Eve were sent out from the presence of God, and later died; and their descendants ever since have been subject to the need of redemption from this separation from God, and from this death sentence as well.

God the Father and the Holy Spirit brought forth God the Son, Yeshua, and Yeshua willingly came forth from heaven to Earth. Yeshua is the promised Messiah and Savior of any of those who put their faith in him. He provided himself as a spotless sacrifice for the remission of our sins, at the cross at Calvary in Jerusalem. Yeshua subjected himself to the death penalty to save us from the death penalty. God conquered death when Yeshua rose from the dead.

Please consider the following passages relaying God’s salvation offered through the Son of God from the Tanakh and B’rit Hadasha (Old Testament and New Testament) of the Bible:

Isaiah 28:16

16   Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, 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.

Isaiah 49:23

23   And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.

Isaiah 53

1   Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?

2   For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

3   He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4   Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5   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.

6   All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

7   He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

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.

9   And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

10   Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

11   He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

12   Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Jeremiah 17:7–8

7   Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.

8   For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

Jeremiah 17:14

14   Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.

Joel 2:32

32   And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

Romans 10:9–13

9   That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10   For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

11   For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

12   For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

13   For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Galations 3:26

26   For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 2:6

6   Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

1 Peter 2:22–25

22   Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

23   Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:

24   Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

25   For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

A simple, sincere prayer could mark the beginning of all eternity for you. A prayer like the following could trigger the establishment of your perpetual, covenanted, close relationship with God and your everlasting life. If you believe the following, then confess it to God:

“Dear God, I confess that Yeshua is Lord. I believe in my heart that you raised him from the dead. I accept Yeshua as my Lord and Savior, and I place my faith in him. I believe that Yeshua is the only begotten Son of God, and that you sent him to Earth to provide me with my salvation. I accept your gift of eternal life, and a relationship with you, through Yeshua.

Please forgive me of my sins through what Christ did for me. Thank you, heavenly Father, for Yeshua’s payment for my sins. Christ’s crucifixion on the cross at Calvary has made me whole. The shed blood of the Lamb of God (which Christ shed for me) has redeemed me. Thank you, dear Father, for forgiving me of my sins.

My God, I acknowledge, praise, worship, and magnify you for who you are and what you’ve done. God, I do love you, too. I love you because of who you are. Your love, beauty, and majesty are eternal and precious. Let love, glory, honor, friendship, and affection be yours forever and ever. Amen.”

Digging Deeper

17)  Does God indicate in the Tanakh and B’rit Hadasha that Yeshua is the Messiah and one with his Father?

18) Do you believe that Yeshua is the Messiah and one with his Father?

19) Have you accepted Yeshua as your Messiah?

20)            What is God’s plan of salvation?

21) Are you saved and a child of God through your faith in Yeshua?

22)If you are saved, with whom, where, when, why, and how did this happen?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                                                   2                the Spirit of God moved

Creation

Holy Spirit

Genesis 1:2

2   And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

 

Concerning “the Spirit of God” referenced in Genesis 1:2, through faith in Christ the Holy Spirit dwells in you, writes God’s law on your heart, makes you a temple of the living God, is your comforter and companion, and becomes your seal of eternal salvation. Although understanding the Spirit of God can be a simple matter, sometimes, this can be a complex issue. So let’s look into this:

The era we are in now is considered the Era of the Holy Spirit. The previous two eras we could call the Era of the Son preceded by the Era of the Father. Although all three of the Triune Godhead were present and deeply involved in all three eras, each of the respective eras are indicative of focal points of each of the three’s actions and interactions with humans.

When your heart’s door opens for God and you place your faith in Yeshua, God sends the Holy Spirit to dwell inside of you.

Acts 2:38

38   Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 10:38–48

38   How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

39   And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:

40   Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;

41   Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.

42   And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.

43   To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

44   While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.

45   And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

46   For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

47   Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

48   And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

Revelation 3:20

20   Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

God writes his law on our hearts via the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit makes God’s law and ways much more understandable to us. The Holy Ghost aids our ability to comprehend the benefits of being open to God’s direction. The Spirit of God helps us to go on the paths that God has set before us (and this helps us).

Jeremiah 31:33

33   But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

When we receive the Holy Spirit we become the temple of the living God. In having our sins remitted from us by the covering of the blood of the Lamb of God, God makes us holy—holy enough for the Spirit of God to dwell in us, making us the temple of God.

Leviticus 26:11–12

11   And I set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.

12   And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.

Deuteronomy 23:14

14   For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.

2 Corinthians 6:16

16   And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

After placing our faith in God’s Son, the Holy Spirit can then come to us as our comforter and companion. This saves us from devastating loneliness. Moreover, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in us is a seal of our eternal salvation. This saves us from devastating fear.

John 14:16

16   And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

Ephesians 4:30

30   And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Digging Deeper

1)      Concerning the Holy Spirit dwelling in someone, writing God’s law on someone’s heart, making one a temple of the living God, becoming one’s comforter and companion, and being one’s seal of eternal life, if you see fit, please answer the following questions:

a.      Who causes these to happen?

b.      What causes these to happen?

c.       Where could these happen?

d.      When could these happen?

e.      Why do these happen?

f.        How do these happen?

g.      How do these benefit us?

h.     How do these benefit God?

 

In the Scriptures, references to the Holy Spirit come in a variety of ways. Although neither is the word Trinity nor the term Triune God found in the King James Version translation of the Bible, references to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are present throughout the Scriptures.

The term “Spirit of God” from Genesis 1:2 was translated from the Hebrew words Ruakh 'Elohiym. The King James Version translation portrays Hebrew and Greek references to the Holy Spirit as Spirit of God, Spirit, Holy Spirit, Holy Ghost, Comforter, Spirit of truth, and so on. Concerning the terms “Holy Ghost” and “Holy Spirit” in the B’rit Hadasha of the King James Version, the translators of this translation often translate both of these terms from the same Greek words, Hagios Pneuma. We also find the terms “Spirit of Christ” and “Spirit of his Son” in this translation of the Bible.

Digging Deeper

2)     Note references to the Holy Spirit (also called the Spirit of God, the Comforter, et cetera) in the Tanakh and the B’rit Hadasha, and shine light on the significance of any reference.

 

Could we ask all three—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—a question and get in response a possibly similar yet distinct answer from each of the three? Is the Holy Spirit a force, power, or characteristic of God the Father, God the Son, or both of them; or is the Holy Spirit an individual being who harmoniously acts and exists as one of the three members of the supreme (singular yet unified plural) Triune Godhead? Understanding the Holy Spirit is a wonderful understanding to have. So let’s continue looking into this:

In the Scriptures, Matthew and Mark both refer to the Holy Spirit as an individual. They also refer to the Father and Son as individuals. They do this via their accounts of the Holy Spirit descending like a dove, Jesus receiving the Holy Spirit while standing on Earth, and the Father speaking from Heaven. All three seem to be distinct parts of the supreme (singular yet unified plural) Triune Godhead described individually.

Matthew 3:16–17

16   And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

17   And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Luke 3:21–22

21   Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,

22   And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

Jesus counseled his disciples that the Father will give them “another Comforter” that will be with them forever. Since the Father would be sending and the Son was announcing “another Comforter” who would come later, it seems that the Holy Spirit is another individual part of the supreme (singular yet unified plural) Triune Godhead harmoniously acting and existing as one God.

John 14:16–17

16   And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

17   Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

The nouns and pronouns used in John 14:16–17 do seem to indicate clearly that the Holy Spirit is an individual. This passage shows that the Holy Spirit is not just a force, power, or characteristic of the Father, the Son, or both of them, but a distinct, individual member of the Triune Godhead, a part of the whole.

Yet this does not make translating the Hebrew word Ruakh (Spirit) as “his Spirit” inappropriate after referencing the Lord God, or translating Ruakh as “my spirit” while the LORD God is speaking—even when the original text might not contain a word that directly translates to “his” or “my”—because these three are very close, as one. Translations of the like might have occurred because the LORD or the author was possibly speaking about the LORD’s own individual Spirit or, because of the unity of the Triune Godhead, “his Spirit” or “my Spirit” or a similar reference was appropriate.

Isaiah 48:16

16   Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me.

Ezekiel 39:28–29

28   Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.

29   Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.

Joel 2:27–29

27   And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.

28   And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

29   And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

John 4:24

24   God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Acts 2:16–18

16   But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

17   And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

18   And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

1 John 4:13

13   Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

The book in the Bible called Acts we might also call Acts of the Apostles or, referencing the topic at hand, Acts of the Holy Spirit. Acts 13:2–4 records for us what the Holy Spirit said and whom the Holy Spirit sent forth—showing the Holy Spirit’s individuality.

Acts 13:2–4

2   As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

3   And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

4   So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.

Digging Deeper

3)     Are those who are part of the supreme (singular yet unified plural) Triune Godhead (including the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) each an individual being (or person)?

4)     Why do you believe this?

 

The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit do not work in hateful competitiveness, derision, or disintegration; God works in love, harmony, and cohesion. This is a good example for the church to follow.

By the Father sending the Comforter in Yeshua’s name, the Father and the Son with the Holy Spirit make their abode with us. By the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, God makes a home in us.

John 14:23

23   Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

John 14:26

26   But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

John 15:26–27

26   But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

27   And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

Jesus also indicated that it was beneficial for his disciples that he go away so he could send to them the Comforter. The Comforter is also known as the Holy Ghost and the Spirit of truth.

John 16:7

7   Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

Jesus told his disciples that the Spirit of truth would guide them into all truth, and that, “for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” As Jesus spoke many words that his Father gave him, so the Holy Spirit speaks what the Holy Spirit hears—from within the Godhead. Jesus also said of the Holy Spirit, “He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” Now that is cohesion! That is unity! The supreme (singular yet unified plural) Triune Godhead harmoniously acts and exists as one God. God is one ('echad).

John 16:13–15

13   Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

14   He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

15   All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

After his resurrection, Jesus told his disciples to baptize in the name of all three: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Matthew 28:19

19   Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Following are a few more verses regarding the Holy Spirit. I hope you like them.

Ecclesiastes 4:8–12

8   There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.

9   Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.

10   For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

11   Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?

12   And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

1 Corinthians 12:4–6

4   Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

5   And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

6   And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

1 John 5:5–7

5   Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

6   This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.

7   For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

If in fact God is love, it seems improbable that God would perpetually be alone. Love is often more shared than sequestered.

1 John 4:16

16   And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

Digging Deeper

5)     What is it that the Spirit of truth does that Jesus’ disciples can also do?

6)     Are the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit each a part of the supreme (singular yet unified plural) Triune Godhead that harmoniously acts and exists as one God?

7)     Why do you believe this?

8)    Does unity exist between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?

9)     What causes you to believe this?

10) How do the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit harmoniously act and exist as one God? Try to share even a vague understanding of how they might live and work together as one.

11)  What advantage does the Godhead have in being triune as opposed to being singular of being?

12) What family or group might benefit from emulating the loving unity that exists in the Godhead and why?

13) Why is it that humans often have more difficulty living in unity than the Triune Godhead?

14) If God is love, how could God be alone?

 

What is the sex of the Holy Spirit; or is this question unknowable or is it inappropriate or not worth asking? Referencing Genesis 1:2, “the Spirit of God” was translated from the Hebrew word Ruakh—noun feminine—and the Hebrew word 'Elohiym—noun masculine plural. Referencing John 14:16–17, the Holy Spirit is called “Comforter” (translated from the Greek word Parakletos—noun masculine), the “Spirit” (from the Greek word Pneuma—noun neuter) of “truth” (from the Greek word aletheia—noun feminine). The Greek word autos (a pronoun, which can be defined: 1. himself, herself, themselves, itself 2. he, she, it 3. the same) is translated in John 14:17 as “him”; and the Greek word ekienos (a pronoun, which can be defined: he, she, it, etc.) is translated as “he” in John 14:26. Thus, the Holy Spirit has been referred to with feminine, masculine, and neuter nouns, and with pronouns that can refer to any of these. Hence, knowing the sex of the Holy Spirit via the Scriptures can be challenging. How can we understand everything about God? If God desires, the living God can reveal more to us at the appropriate time.

Since God created, and still does create, both male and female humans in the image of God, since it takes both a male and a female to reproduce a child, and since both the Holy Ghost and the Father were involved in the conception of Yeshua via Mary, does this not portray a feminine, motherly aspect of the Holy Ghost?

Luke 1:34–35

34   Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

35   And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

The Angel Gabriel said to Mary, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee”; this seems to indicate that both the Holy Ghost and the power of the Highest, the Father, were involved in the earthly conception of the Son of God via Mary. We might also deem it true that the Father and the Holy Spirit conceived and birthed their Son, Yeshua, before his arrival on Earth. We might also believe that Jesus was eternally begotten of the Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus was probably not involved in his own heavenly conception and birthing, or his earthly conception via Mary, as he is not the Son of himself; but he is the Son of God. The Father and the Holy Ghost are both in the Godhead, as well as the Son.

Digging Deeper

15)  Before God created humans, were the Father and the Holy Spirit both involved in the conception and birth of their only begotten Son, Yeshua?

16) Were the Father and the Holy Spirit both involved in the miraculous impregnation of Mary, which led to the Son of God being born of Mary?

17)  What does this tell you about the relationship between the Father and the Holy Spirit?

18) What is the sex of the Holy Spirit; or is this not revealed to humans as of yet, or is it unfitting to classify the Holy Spirit of the Triune Godhead as such or not worth doing so?

 

Whether the Holy Spirit was also involved in creation, God knows. The focus in this book is on God’s clear plan of salvation through faith in Yeshua, God’s Son, and God’s prophecies about Israel’s homecoming brought about by the children of Israel’s faith in Yeshua. Yet the role of the Holy Spirit in creation is a very wonderful theological concept that God can reveal to us more about. If you ponder this question, with God’s guidance through the power of the Holy Spirit, God could reveal what God wants you to know concerning this.

The eternal nature of the Holy Spirit precludes the Holy Spirit’s presence during creation. Moses—in the second verse of the first chapter of Genesis—makes mention of the Spirit of God’s movement upon the face of the waters before Moses makes mention of the creation of light. Yet discovering whether the Holy Spirit was involved in the actual creation is another matter. Personally, I believe the Holy Spirit was involved in creation. Following are a few verses that could reveal more to us about the Holy Spirit’s involvement in creation:

Psalm 104:25–30

25   So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.

26   There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein.

27   These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.

28   That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.

29   Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.

30   Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.

Job 26:13

13   By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.

Job 33:4

4   The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.

Job 34:14–15

14   If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath;

15   All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.

Digging Deeper

19) Was the Holy Spirit not only present but also involved in creation?

 

The Scriptures provide ample examples of the work of the Holy Spirit throughout history; still, our comprehension of some matters is not comprehensive. I am thankful that God has said, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” The Scriptures reveal that comprehension of everything might be a bit beyond us until God chooses to reveal even more to us than he has already. How is it possible that we, finite and fallible humans, could know everything about the Holy Spirit, the Son, or the Father? Though not all things are revealed to us as of yet, we can know enough.

Job 26:14

14   Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?

Isaiah 55:8–9

8   For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

9   For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

God will one day reveal even more than he has already to us.

1 Corinthians 13:9–12

9   For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10   But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11   When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12   For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Digging Deeper

20)            Do you know everything there is to know about God?

21) If not, why not?

22)Why has God revealed knowledge about the Godhead over time instead of all at once at the beginning of history?

23)Will you one day know God even as you are known by God?

24)Why?

 

The Holy Spirit came to convince us of the elegant plan of salvation that God has implemented for us. For those so convinced, the Holy Spirit becomes their Comforter. I am thankful that God has sent the Holy Spirit.

Digging Deeper

25) Why is it that God set it up so we must allow the Holy Spirit to fill us instead of automatically filling everyone born with the Holy Spirit?

26)Have you allowed the Holy Spirit to fill you?

27) If a person had not yet allowed the Holy Spirit to fill oneself, how could this person invite the Holy Spirit to fill him or herself?

28)            If the Holy Spirit does fill you, how does this feel?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                                3                Let us make man in our image

Creation

Yeshua’s Preexistence

Genesis 1:26–27

26   And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27   So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

 

God the Father was discussing the matter of creating man, or humans, with God the Son; and God’s only begotten Son, Yeshua, was involved in this creation. (To investigate whether the Holy Spirit was also involved in this conversation and creation, please see “Chapter 2 the Spirit of God moved”—the previous chapter.)

I believe that God the Father was not consulting with angels or any other heavenly beings that did not have the creative abilities that God has. If the Father had been talking with heavenly beings not part of the Godhead, he might have said something like, “How ’bout I create man in my image?” God the Father said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”; therefore, the one or ones that God was talking to and creating with must have been part of the Godhead as well.

The Scriptures indicate that God created Adam and Eve in the image of God—not in the image of God and angels, nor in the image of God and cherubim or seraphim, nor in the image of God and any other heavenly being or beings not part of the Godhead. This is confirmed in Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

Colossians 1:13–19

13   Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14   In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

15   Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

16   For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

17   And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

18   And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

19   For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

Digging Deeper

1)      With whom was God the Father talking when he said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”?

2)     If God the Father had been discussing creating humans…in his image…with heavenly hosts who were not part of the Godhead, how might have God addressed them?

3)     If God the Father had been discussing creating humans…in his imageand in the image of heavenly hosts…with these heavenly hosts who were not part of the Godhead, how might have God addressed them?

4)     What do the words “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” tell you about the character of the relationship between the Father and Son?

5)     If God created both Adam and Eve in the image of God, what does this tell you about God?

6)     What does God’s creation of you in his image tell you about yourself?

7)     What are the pros and cons, or advantages and challenges, of existing in the state that God created you—in the image of God?

8)    Are you glad God created you in his image?

9)     Look around you and try to behold the people you look at while being cognizant that they were created in God’s image.

10) What about the people around you reminds you of God?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

GARDEN OF EDEN


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                                                                4                ye shall be as gods

Garden of Eden

Gospel Foreshadowing

Genesis 3:1–6

1   Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

2   And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

3   But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

4   And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

5   For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

6   And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

 

In Genesis 3:1–6, we see why God chose to go through the ordeal of sending his Son, Yeshua, to Earth for our salvation. The bait provided by the serpent with the words, “and ye shall be as gods,” is similar to the allure that could keep many of us from accepting God’s plan of salvation. These words might have helped provoke Eve, and Adam, in the Garden of Eden to disobey and fall away from God. The desire of some to be as gods themselves, thereby trying to place themselves beyond the instructions of the true God, and therefore seemingly passing on the full grace offered by this loving and kind God, this could result in some not accepting the salvation that God wants to give them.

Digging Deeper

1)      Consider yourself one of the first humans in the Garden of Eden, and you did not know the serpent, Eve, and Adam story recorded in Genesis 3:1–6. If God said to you, as recorded in Genesis 2:17, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” In addition to that, as recorded within Genesis 3:4–5, if the serpent told you, “Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

a.      How would you have responded to this?

b.      What would have been the best way to respond?

c.       How would you have responded if your mate handed you the fruit that you were not supposed to eat?

d.      What would have been the best way to respond to this situation?

 

We might ask ourselves, “Why would I want to submit to God’s will when I could be as a god myself and submit to my own will?” Humans could say, “We are made in the image of God, why would we not want to be as gods ourselves, being made so outstandingly and so wonderfully?” These intrinsic questions speak to the issues raised when relations between God and humans occur. However, God has dealt with these issues in a very dramatic yet loving way.

Digging Deeper

2)     Give examples in the Bible, throughout history, and even in your own life of instances when people chose to be their own god—refusing to seek after, submit to, and follow the Lord who loves them.

3)     Is choosing to be your own god somewhat less than optimal, and why?

 

God very well could have created us as praise robots, so that beyond our own free will we would show God what might look like love. Yet if we ourselves did not choose to love God, what might vaguely resemble love would still not be true love.

Here’s the puzzle: How could those made in God’s own image choose to love and submit to the God who made them? How could those made so highly, of their own free will, choose to love and to try to obey this Supreme Godhead? Moreover, if any did not obey perfectly, how could those made so eminently, out of love, choose to seek and receive God’s forgiveness?

Digging Deeper

4)     Although God did not make us praise robots, have you ever felt robotic in your relationship with any of the following, and why did you feel this way?

a.      God

b.      Any church, synagogue, mosque, or other congregation

c.       Other groups

d.      Other relationships you have had

5)     Does each person have a free will to choose or not to choose God?

6)     If so, why has God allowed us to have a free will to choose or not to choose God?

7)     Would you prefer to not have a free will in order to guarantee that you make the right decisions?

 

Yet would recognition of our need of God guarantee our acceptance of God as God of our lives? Recognizing that we are not the Supreme Godhead, even though God created us in God’s own image, is a very important realization to have. Concluding that we are not capable of prolonging our own lives for all eternity (nor able to take another breath here on Earth) apart from the grace of this Supreme Godhead, this is an important tidbit of information to come across. These are all very important facts to consider; yet does recognition of the facts always lead to love?

Digging Deeper

8)    Does understanding our dependency on God always lead to our love of God?

 

If God really wanted us to love him, he would have to make himself known to us. After experiencing God through what he has made known to us of himself, we could respond. We could respond positively or negatively. After observing what God has revealed to us, if we believe that God is a lovable God, and that this lovable God even loves us already, we might respond with love. In order for God to get us to fall in love with him, it seems he had to reveal himself to us. Yet what level of revelation is necessary?

Digging Deeper

9)     If God wants us to love him, why would have God had to reveal himself to us?

10) God could have posted a large neon sign in the wilderness before the children of Israel reading, “I am a wonderful God; love me.” Yet would this have been enough?

 

In the Torah, there is no reference to God posting a large neon sign, yet there is a reference to God revealing himself while frightening the people. In Exodus 20:18–19, there is a record of thundering, lightning, noise of a trumpet, the mountain smoking, and the people saying to Moses, “let not God speak with us, lest we die.” The people were afraid of God.

Exodus 20:18–22

18   And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.

19   And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.

20   And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.

21   And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

22   And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.

Instilling fear into the onlookers beneath Mount Sinai—as in the thundering, lightning, noise of trumpet, and the mountain smoking incident—was an important step in the process of God revealing himself to us. Still, this was not the final curtain or the climax of God’s revelation of himself. The eventual further revelation of God’s true nature, and his further bringing forth of his salvation plan, was still forthcoming. Yet the onlookers beneath Mount Sinai must have felt humbled by being so close to the glory of God.

Even Jesus noted the importance of us having humility.

Luke 18:9–14

9   And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

10   Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

11   The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

12   I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

13   And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

14   I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Digging Deeper

11)  Why were the people beneath Mount Sinai afraid of God when he communicated with them?

12) Why would God allow himself to be perceived as frightening?

13) Why is our humility so important to God?

 

How could God provoke humility in us without crumbling us into frightened, quivering, lock-jawed emaciates before him? I suppose he could have posted a neon sign reading, “Be humble.” Yet indeed, the LORD has revealed his desire for us to be humble through the prophet Mica rather plainly:

Micah 6:8

8   He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Yet there is another good way of really driving home this “walk humbly with thy God” thing: Give your law to the people you made so highly, to the people you made in your own image. This way, the law could give some good guidelines for living, but also you would make it clear and manifestly obvious to your people that they could not keep your law perfectly and needed forgiveness, even a Savior, thus provoking humility.

Deuteronomy 11:26–32

26   Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;

27   A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day:

28   And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.

29   And it shall come to pass, when the LORD thy God hath brought thee in unto the land whither thou goest to possess it, that thou shalt put the blessing upon mount Gerizim, and the curse upon mount Ebal.

30   Are they not on the other side Jordan, by the way where the sun goeth down, in the land of the Canaanites, which dwell in the champaign over against Gilgal, beside the plains of Moreh?

31   For ye shall pass over Jordan to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God giveth you, and ye shall possess it, and dwell therein.

32   And ye shall observe to do all the statutes and judgments which I set before you this day.

Deuteronomy 12:28

28   Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God.

Psalm 53:3

3   Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Ecclesiastes 7:20

20   For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

Romans 3:23

23   For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 11:32

32   For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Since the law came to Moses and the children of Israel, we are well aware—except for those who aren’t, possibly because they believe they have never sinned—of how inadequate or in need of God’s forgiveness we are.

1 John 1:8–10

8   If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

9   If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

10   If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Digging Deeper

14) Why might humility be advantageous for us to have if we wanted to be in a loving relationship with God?

15)  How might one inspire humility in others?

16) How do you inspire humility in others?

17)  What has God done in order to inspire humility in us?

18) What has God done in order to inspire humility in you?

19) Have you ever sinned?

 

If we are so needy, how can we have any confidence? What then should we do, should we grovel about and moan incessantly?

Ezekiel 33:10–11

10   Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?

11   Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

If God desired to humble us, through the giving of the law or by other means, how could he ever expect to be in a loving relationship with us if he did not also do something to give us confidence? How could we show any love toward God if we did not have enough assurance or boldness to, spiritually speaking or otherwise, walk right up to God, put our arms around God, and say, “How are you doing, God? I love you so much.”

1 John 4:16–19

16   And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

17   Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

18   There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

19   We love him, because he first loved us.

I suppose it was advantageous for God to do something else in order to redeem those made so highly—in the image…of God—and provoke these highly made people to love God. How could God reveal himself to us on an intimate level, show us God’s humility so that we could emulate it, and allow us to be so confident of God’s forgiveness of our sins and love for us that we would dare show love back to God?

What better method is there for God to reveal himself to us than by coming down to our level? What better way is there for God to teach us humility than by exemplifying humility himself by descending from Heaven and dressing up in the flesh and blood that we have and living humbly, justly, and graciously before us? Moreover, by what better means is there for God to show his love for us than by God the Son offering his own life as an atonement sacrifice to pay the penalty (which is death) we deserve for our sins?

John 15:13

13   Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

This way, by accepting this gift from God with humility, and not by trusting in ourselves or in any delusions of grandeur we might have, we can live and love with God forever. We can have confidence by trusting in God’s work for us on the cross at Calvary. We do not need to be wavering waifs afraid to love God because of our own inadequacies. Yet we can be humble because it was not our work that provided our salvation for us, but God’s work.

John 6:28–29

28   Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

29   Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

John 10:10

10   The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Romans 3:26–28

26   To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

27   Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

28   Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Ephesians 2:8–9

8   For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9   Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Digging Deeper

20)            Why might confidence be advantageous for us to have if we wanted to be in a loving relationship with God?

21) How might one inspire confidence in others?

22)How do you inspire confidence in others?

23)What has God done in order to inspire confidence in us?

24)What has God done in order to inspire confidence in you?

25) Is it our work or God’s work for us (if we have faith) that brings us salvation?

26)Why is this?

 

God’s salvation plan was well conceived and well delivered. Although some might be repulsed when they first encounter it—envisioning the bloody circumstances that the Son went through—God’s salvation plan really is a wondrous plan that reveals God’s love for us. God’s salvation plan also more clearly revealed to us who God is. Good plan, God.

Digging Deeper

27) Was God’s plan of salvation, and the means by which he further revealed himself to us, a good plan?

28)            Why do you believe this?

 

Although God made us in his image, we are also but grass and full of weakness. Yet God still loves us that much. Can you believe it?

Psalm 102:11–12

11   My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass.

12   But thou, O LORD, shall endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations.

John 3:16

16   For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Digging Deeper

29)If your days were like a declining shadow and you were withered like grass, what could give you hope?

 

It seems quite likely that if you love the Father, you would also love the Son; it is understandable why if you love the Son, you would also love the Father. For God reasonably set it up that there is no way to the Father but through the Son.

John 14:6

6   Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Our heavenly Father sent his only begotten Son, Yeshua Mashiach.

John 3:16

16   For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Yeshua spoke words that his Father gave him to speak.

John 7:16–18

16   Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.

17   If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

18   He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

John 12:44–50

44   Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.

45   And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.

46   I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

47   And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

48   He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

49   For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

50   And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

John 14:24

24   He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.

Digging Deeper

30)            Concerning the Father and Son, why is it likely that if you loved one you would love the other?

 

Let us consider a story to relay why God the Son came to us to reveal who God is. God the Son coming down from Heaven in order to show us God’s true nature, and to inspire us to fall intimately in love with God, we could illustrate with a story:

The King’s Love for a Peasant

There was a king. Wealthy and powerful was he. This king fell in love with a particular poor peasant that lived in his country.

The king was riding about one day in a low-key, not so kingly carriage, and he became quite enamored of a particular peasant he came across. This peasant did not see the king admiring her or know that the king was in the area. She did not even know what the king looked like.

The king was able to get reliable information at the drop of a hat, and he found out a great deal about the character of his love interest. The king found that a quite difficult history followed behind her, yet that her character was strong and her love for others was great. He found that because of the laws she had broken, the fines that accumulated against her came to such an amount that she did not have the means to pay the bill.

The king wanted to have an ideal kingdom. At the time that the king became visibly enamored of this person, one might have considered his rules very strict. Although his rules were helpful instructions for living, she was unsuccessful at obeying them all perfectly. The king found that the laws he had put forth severely affected the person he had fallen in love with. Unless she could find a means to have the debt that she owed the kingdom paid by herself or her spouse if she had one, she would be subject to the king’s own death penalty.

After much consideration, the king said to himself, “I know she has had a difficult time in her life, I know she has made mistakes, but I love her. If she simply tells me, ‘I love you, too,’ and agrees to marry me, thereby permitting me to pay her debt for her, I will forget about her transgressions and be an extremely happy king with her as my companion.”

The king wanted to have a relationship with her; therefore, he wanted her to get to know him, personally. The king knew that he could have made a proclamation, had his infantry pick her up, and marry her—whether she wanted to marry the king or not. Yet this king was a very loving and humble king. He used his position of kingship to serve the people well. Although he was humble, he was also wise. He knew that his being king was a benefit to the citizens of his kingdom. He wanted to continue being a blessing to those enjoying his kingship.

The king thought to himself, “How could I get this wonderful person that I have fallen in love with to love me in return? How could I ensure that she does not pretend to love me only because she wants power as the queen or the wealth I could provide for her? How could I present myself to her in such a way that would not encourage her to manufacture an imitation love for me, or agree to marry me just because she might be afraid of what could happen to her if she denied the king what he wanted? Moreover, how can I find all this out while not relinquishing my kingship?”

The king exclaimed, “I know what to do! I’ll dress as a peasant myself, get a job at the same house where she is working, let her get to know me, and see if she falls in love with me as I am in love with her. If she does fall in love with me, we could get married; but if she does not, at least then we both could understand how she truly feels about me.”

“The King’s Love for a Peasant” story illustrates God’s love for us. The Son of God came to us to reveal who God is. One of the reasons God the Father sent his Son to Earth was to reveal to us intimately who God is, and to inspire us to fall in love with God in sincerity.

I told a version of this story to my friend Philip from Jerusalem, Israel, while we were walking around Zion Square after he showed me places where explosions had occurred, resulting in the deaths of some of the people present (one of which he witnessed), and he responded in a sincere way, “How romantic.” Indeed, a romantic story it is.

The story of “The King’s Love for a Peasant” can aptly relate to God’s love for each one of us. Humans, being human, can sometimes barely give the time and the effort to be nice (or even to not be completely apathetic or hateful) to those they walk by on the street (or sometimes even to those considered friends and family). God, being God, can love each of us individually, and seek after us as if we were the only person alive in the entire world. God has shown us his love so that we can respond with love, personally.

Isaiah 54:4–8

4   Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.

5   For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

6   For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.

7   For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.

8   In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.

Isaiah 62:4–5

4   Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.

5   For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.

Revelation 19:6–7

6   And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

7   Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

Digging Deeper

31) Explain how “The King’s Love for a Peasant” story illustrates God’s love for you.

32)We might consider the story of “The King’s Love for a Peasant” an allegorical metaphor or a parable. Give another parable to help us understand what God went through in order to bring us close to him, and why God went through all that he did.

 

God planned to show his love toward us through the sending of his Son, Yeshua, before we were born, even before the foundation of the world. Thankfully, God has foreseen and prophesied the children of Israel’s acceptance of God’s redemption plan. This is evident throughout the Scriptures. Let all the children of God pray for the fulfillment of the prophecies concerning the children of Israel. Let us pray for all people, for God extends his plan of salvation toward all of us.

Romans 8:29

29   For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Ephesians 1:4–6

4   According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

5   Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

6   To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

To those whom God foreknew would choose him, God revealed (or is revealing) himself. To those whom God perceived would hear his call, God called (or is calling) into his companionship.

Digging Deeper

33)Did God foresee whether you of your own free will would accept him as your God before you were born?

34)How did God’s foreknowledge affect his interactions with you in your past?

35) How does God’s foreknowledge affect his interactions with you now?

 

Foreknowledge or not, God the Father desires to see all those created in his image become his children through their faith in his Son. God does not have a lack of space issue in Heaven, needing to limit the entrants due to fire hazard concerns. God is the owner and creator of the omniverse. God can fit you in if you fit God into your heart.

Ezekiel 18:23

23   Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?

1 Peter 3:9

9   The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Digging Deeper

36)Does God desire to know, love, and save all humans?

37) Should Christians try not to share the Gospel too much due to concerns about space availability in the afterlife?

38)            Why might some seem to act as if God has fire hazard concerns in Heaven?

 

Now, the free will of God’s children and the free will of God can be in synchronization. After God the Father sent God the Son down to Earth to reveal himself to us, he also sent the Holy Spirit to his adopted children through their faith in Christ to dwell inside of them, love them intimately, and direct them.

Digging Deeper

39)How could the free will of God and the free will of God’s children be in synchronization?

40)            Can God direct our wills if we ask him to do so—and if so, how?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                                                    5                Adam…Where art thou?

Garden of Eden

Yeshua’s First Coming & Gospel Foreshadowing

Genesis 3:7–13

7   And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

8   And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

9   And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

10   And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

11   And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

12   And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

13   And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

 

We could consider Adam a prefiguring of Yeshua, or a type of Jesus. We could even consider Adam an anti-type of Jesus. Sin came into the world through one man, Adam; salvation and forgiveness of sins came to all of us who accept it through one God-man, Yeshua.

1 Corinthians 15:45–47

45   And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

46   Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

47   The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.

We often think of Adam as “the figure of him that was to come” or a type of Jesus for the following reasons: Adam was the first created by God, as Yeshua was the first (and only) begotten of the Father; Adam was a man, as Yeshua came to Earth as a God-man. Yet God the Father fathered God the Son, Yeshua, before the creation of Adam; and Yeshua was even involved in the creation of Adam (as well as Eve) with his Father.

Although it is true that Eve sinned first and then Adam sinned, both Eve and Adam were beneficiaries of the salvation that later came through Yeshua. Salvation has come forth through one person, Yeshua, for the option of all humankind, including both females and males, to have their sins remitted. Salvation is for all of us through the living Christ.

Because of sin, humankind was subject to death. Yet later, God sent his Son to take away the penalty that humankind deserves because of sin, if any such humans placed their faith in God’s Son.

Romans 5:6–21

6   For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

7   For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

8   But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

9   Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

10   For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

11   And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

12   Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

13   (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

14   Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

15   But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

16   And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.

17   For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

18   Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

19   For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

20   Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

21   That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Digging Deeper

1)      Why do some consider Adam to be a prefiguring of Yeshua, or a type of Jesus (or even an anti-type of Jesus)?

2)     Besides Adam, who else referenced in the Bible do you consider to be a prefiguring of Yeshua?

3)     Why did God send one Savior to pay the penalty required for the remission of all humankind’s sins who accept this payment, instead of sending two saviors—one male and one female—to provide a means for which to pay for the sins of their respective sexes?

 

After Eve and Adam’s fall, it is interesting how their eyes were opened and their guilty consciences seemed not to allow them to walk openly in the presence of God while being naked. Instead, they tried to hide from God. They sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves and then slinked away among the trees of the garden to hide. God asked Adam, “Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” Then, when confronted with his wrongdoing, as many will do, Adam appeared to try to pass the blame onto Eve and God in an attempt to hide his sin, instead of first confessing his sin to God.

Adam said, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” Eve then tried to pass the blame onto the serpent by saying, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” Finally, God passed the blame and the consequences onto all three of them in different measure.

Many times our sin doesn’t seem like such a big deal to us. Often we are more concerned with justifying it before others than with repenting of it. Yet this sin that Adam was seemingly trying to pass blame on or make seem less of his fault than might have been was indeed a big deal—it introduced death to humans. That is pretty significant.

Maybe Adam and Eve were just trying to be honest and not trying to be tattletales, but let me use this to illustrate a point. Many prefer to point out the failings and sins of others in order to attempt to justify, or hide, their own sins—and suppress their feelings of guilt—rather than be honest, humble, and submissive to God. We often see people under the guise of morality flailing at others, in hopes of deflecting attention away from their own imperfections, rather than being merciful to others and humble before God. Often, these deflected blame targets will include those devalued by society, the poor, nice people, the church, the children of Israel, Arabs, Mexicans, Blacks, any foreigners, terrorists, those vilified as terrorists who are not, any of those who are considered unpopular, or anyone else.

Sure, there might be times when being stern is best (if led by the Spirit of God to do so), but if God leads you to be merciful and you are more inclined to show hateful condemnation in order to try to divert attention away from your own sins, you might want to check this. Pointing out the sins of others in order to strive to justify our own sin is diversionary. Highlighting the sins of others to endeavor to justify our own lack of repentance and not following of God is like setting up a mirage before ourselves so we can more calmly walk off a cliff. Should we use the sins of others to make an effort to assist in the justification of our own sin? Should we mention the wrongdoings of various people to try to help justify our own lack of repentance and not following of God?

I make these statements to encourage us all to be honest with God, not to try to get you to confess your sins to me or anyone else—unless you really trust this other party or feel it would help you or feel it was best to do so.

John 3:17–21

17   For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18   He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19   And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

20   For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

21   But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Digging Deeper

4)     Adam and Eve were the first sewing people, as they sewed fig leaves together for aprons to cover themselves. They also tried to hide from God among the trees of the garden. Describe other things people do in order to try to hide from God or from others.

5)     As Adam seemed to blame Eve for giving him the fruit, and God for giving him Eve, possibly trying to justify himself, give other examples of faultfinding incidents that people have used to try to justify their own shortcomings.

6)     What is the difference between encouraging someone’s betterment for your mutual benefit and finding fault with someone to try to justify your mistreatment of another?

7)     Which is better and why?

8)    Describe faultfinding incidents used by people to try to justify not communing with God.

9)     Describe faultfinding incidents used by people to explain not being a blessing to, to explain not being involved with, or to explain being cold-hearted and adversarial toward God’s followers (even if these followers of God were quite often themselves in need of God’s correction or direction).

 

God caught both Adam and Eve in their sin, as God has caught all of us in our sin. The Scriptures indicate, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”—except for Yeshua, who was “without sin.” Therefore, we all need God’s grace as provided by God the Father through God the Son.

Psalm 5:9

9   For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.

Psalm 10:7

7   His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.

Psalm 36:1

1   The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.

Psalm 53:1–3

1   The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.

2   God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.

3   Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Psalm 140:3

3   They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison is under their lips. Selah.

Proverbs 1:16

16   For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.

Ecclesiastes 7:20

20   For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

Isaiah 59:7–8

7   Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.

8   The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.

Romans 3:9–23

9   What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;

10   As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

11   There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

12   They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

13   Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:

14   Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

15   Their feet are swift to shed blood:

16   Destruction and misery are in their ways:

17   And the way of peace have they not known:

18   There is no fear of God before their eyes.

19   Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

20   Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

21   But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

22   Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

23   For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Hebrews 4:14–16

14   Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

15   For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

16   Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Digging Deeper

10) Adam and Eve sinned, have you ever sinned?

11)  How might you relate with Adam and Eve’s shortcomings in the Garden of Eden?

12) Is it true that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, necessitating our acceptance of God’s grace for our redemption?

 

God can remove our sins from us as far away as the east is from the west. God can cast away our sins as if cast into the depth of the sea. Through Christ, we can be reconciled to God, no longer alienated enemies of God in our minds by our shortcomings, but free and made whole, blamable of nothing, and guilty of naught. This is God’s grace provided for us by the Messiah.

Psalm 103:7–12

7   He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

8   The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

9   He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.

10   He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

11   For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

12   As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Micah 7:18–20

18   Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.

19   He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

20   Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.

Colossians 1:20–22

20   And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

21   And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled

22   In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

With our trust in God, God completely eradicates our sins through Christ. Thanks be to God for this.

Psalm 100:4

4   Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

Colossians 3:15

15   And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

With our trust in God, God destroys the power that our sins would otherwise hold over us. Hallelujah.

John 8:34–36

34   Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

35   And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.

36   If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Digging Deeper

13) How does one receive God’s grace and forgiveness of sins?

14) If God has completely removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west through our faith in Yeshua, do we sometimes live under a cloud of guilt that is self-imposed, whereby we are not realizing or enjoying the forgiveness God has given us?

15)  If God has forgiven us, who are we not to forgive ourselves?

16) Is there anything to be thankful for?

17)  Are you thankful that God has forgiven you of your sins, or would forgive you, if you allowed it?

18) How does one become a servant of sin?

19) How does one become free in Christ?

20)            Compare being a servant of sin with being free in Christ.


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                             6                bruise thy head…bruise his heel

Garden of Eden

Yeshua’s Post Resurrection Glory & Yeshua’s First Coming

Genesis 3:14–15

14   And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

15   And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

 

Genesis 3:15 was a prophecy of Christ’s victory over sin, Satan, and cemeteries, and of his suffering and crucifixion. Please forgive me if you believe this to be an overly grandiose explanation of Scripture. In contrast to my explanation of this passage, some might believe this to be showing us only that Eve’s offspring will crush or bruise the head of a serpent, and that the serpent, or the serpent’s seed, will strike or bruise her offspring’s heel. However, others, including myself, believe that this was an early prophetic revelation of God’s plan of salvation.

Just after Adam and Eve’s fall, God was already looking forward to atoning for the sin that separated them from God. God was foreshadowing how God would provide us with the option of receiving atonement for our sins, and the way that we can have a close relationship with God.

God is compassionate. God’s words to the serpent portray an early glimpse at salvation. The serpent’s head, or Satan’s head, and his plan to deceive man away from God, was bruised, crushed, or struck when Jesus Christ died on the cross conquering sin.

John 16:7–11

7   Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

8   And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

9   Of sin, because they believe not on me;

10   Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;

11   Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

Hebrews 2:14–15

14   Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

15   And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

1 Peter 1:18–19

18   Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

19   But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Digging Deeper

1)      Genesis 3:15 reads, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” What is God saying to you in this passage of Scripture?

2)     At Christ’s death, what did God accomplish?

 

Christ died on the cross conquering sin; Christ rose from the dead conquering death. God provided a way for all humankind, through faith in Christ, to receive forgiveness of their sins, and have union with God and everlasting life. In the case of Adam and Eve, Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection became the means by which they could obtain restoration of their previous union with God in even greater fashion. (To investigate salvation opportunities for Adam and Eve or anyone else that died before the resurrection of Christ, please see “Chapter 45 Wherefore look ye so sadly” for more concerning this.)

Galatians 4:4–6

4   But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

5   To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

6   And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

1 Peter 1:20–21

20   Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

21   Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

Digging Deeper

3)     Do you believe God was prophesying victory over death and salvation in this Genesis 3:15 passage?

4)     Why do you believe this?

5)     After the original sin, why did God not wait longer to foreshadow the salvation that was forthcoming?

6)     At Christ’s resurrection, what did God accomplish?

7)     Why is it that Adam and Eve could now be, through their redemption provided through Christ, in fellowship with God in even greater fashion then they experienced before their fall in the Garden of Eden?

 

God delivered a prophecy about Christ’s sufferings to the serpent: “and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Was this pointing toward the time when Satan might have been working in the lives of Caiaphas the high priest (who advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people), Judas (who betrayed Jesus), the Jews gathered outside of Pilate’s mansion (who chose Barabbas over Jesus to be released), the chief priests and their officials (who shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!), and Pontius Pilate the Roman governor (who reluctantly handed Jesus over to be crucified)? Was Satan, or the serpent, aware that Jesus’ crucifixion was in fulfillment of what the LORD God said to him in the Garden of Eden, “and thou shalt bruise his heel”? Furthermore, did Satan know that Christ’s crucifixion was also in fulfillment of many other prophecies about the bringing forth of salvation through the crucifixion of God’s Son?

John 14:30

30   Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

Digging Deeper

8)    Was “and thou shalt bruise his heel” a prophetic foreshadowing of the sufferings of Christ caused by Satan?

9)     Did Satan know that Yeshua’s suffering, death, and resurrection would lead to the salvation of many?

 

Mixing prophecies referencing Christ’s sufferings with prophecies referencing Christ’s Kingship and Lordship forever might have helped bring them to fruition. Possibly, God intended to interweave first coming prophecies about the Messiah with prophecies about the Messiah’s post resurrection glory in order to fulfill them all. If it had been overtly obvious that God the Father brought his Son among us to suffer crucifixion for the salvation of our souls in fulfillment of his plan, the enemies of God might have tried to see that Yeshua’s crucifixion did not take place. Moreover, concerning those who might have later repented of rejecting God’s Son, because God’s roadmap to life via the crucifixion, in fulfillment of prophecy, had occurred, even their chance at redemption was not blocked.

1 Corinthians 2:7–8

7   But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

8   Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

It is truly amazing how God can use even our disobedience to bring us closer to him. Through the acceptance of God’s forgiveness and grace that he longs to show us, after repenting of our own sin, we can begin sweet fellowship with our heavenly Father through his Son by the power of the Holy Spirit. Yeshua’s crucifixion is our roadmap to life.

Digging Deeper

10) Sometimes things are not so obvious, sometimes they are. Did God purposely weave together first coming prophecies, referencing Christ’s sufferings, with post resurrection glory prophecies, referencing Christ’s Kingship and Lordship forever, in order to fulfill them all?

11)  How does this affect your understanding of prophecies not yet fulfilled?

12) What is your roadmap to life?

 

Christ, in order to fulfill the purpose of his coming, kept a much lower profile than he could have. During the time of Yeshua’s first coming, many were trying to have him forcibly made king.

John 6:14–15

14   Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.

15   When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

Christ often instructed people to tell no man about the miracles he performed, that he was the Christ, or about his transfiguration, often telling or inferring them to wait until he has risen again from the dead before they do so.

Matthew 8:3–4

3   And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

4   And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

Matthew 16:20–21

20   Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

21   From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

Matthew 17:9

9   And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.

Jesus told unclean spirits that they should not make him known after referring to him as the Son of God.

Mark 3:11–12

11   And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.

12   And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known.

Luke 4:41

41   And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.

Yet Christ accepted open praise while descending the Mount of Olives in Yeshua’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Yeshua’s triumphal entry, after the completion of much of his teachings that benefit us today, and in fulfillment of the prophecy in Daniel 9:25–26, came at the appropriate time for him overtly to accept the people’s open acceptance of him as the Anointed One.

Open praise and acceptance might have provoked jealousy in the hearts of many. Jealousy along with other motivating factors might have worked to bring forth his crucifixion. Ultimately, open praise, jealousy, and Yeshua’s crucifixion we could consider necessary preambles to Yeshua rising to life on the third day after his crucifixion.

Digging Deeper

13) Was it necessary for Yeshua to keep a lid on some of the hype he received and to minimize some of the acclaims he received about being the Messiah or the Son of God before his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, so that the prophecies about his suffering, death, and resurrection could be fulfilled?

 

In obedience to his Father, Yeshua went through sufferings for our sakes; God might also call us to endure sufferings for God’s sake—and for our own and others’ sakes. Yeshua’s crucifixion and resurrection brought us the possibility of having our sins forgiven, eternal life, and union with God. Sons and daughters of God, through faith in Christ, can now experience an even closer relationship with God than Adam and Eve experienced in the Garden of Eden. As the Son of God went through great sacrifice and suffering to get to know us better, to reveal the true nature of the Father and himself to us, and for our salvation, at times God might allow us to go through suffering in this world.

Matthew 16:24–25

24   Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

25   For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

Since through faith in Yeshua Mashiach, the living Son of God, we are made adopted sons and daughters of the Most High, we sometimes are thought of as a stench of death to those who do not want God’s salvation. In spite of, or maybe encouraged by, the fact that we were made so high, even in the image of God, there are still those who seem to reject God’s salvation.

2 Corinthians 2:15–16

15   For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:

16   To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?

Many Messianic Israelis and other Christians experienced suffering through the rejection they received from those who have yet to understand what a lovely plan of God salvation through faith in Yeshua is. Nevertheless, if you suffer for the sake of God, consider whether bearing it hopefully might be best. In so doing, you could provide a living example of the grace of Christ to another.

1 Peter 2:19–25

19   For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.

20   For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

21   For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

22   Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

23   Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:

24   Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

25   For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

Any sufferings we endure in this world do not even hold a dim light in comparison to the glory and joy that the children of God, through faith in Christ, will experience for all eternity, I reckon.

Romans 8:18

18   For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Digging Deeper

14) Do Christ’s past sufferings for your sake inspire you to accept any persecutions you might face for Christ’s sake?

15)  Have you ever faced persecution due to your faith in God?

16) Would you give up your relationship with God in order to try to save yourself from persecutions in your earthly future?

17)  Do you believe that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us”?

18) Why do you believe this?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                                                                                   7                coats of skin

Garden of Eden

Gospel Foreshadowing

Genesis 3:21

21   Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

 

As the LORD God made coats of skins to cover or clothe Adam and Eve, God has given us blood to make atonement for our souls. The life of the flesh is in the blood; the blood makes atonement for the soul.

Leviticus 17:11

11   For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

God saw man’s sin, or Adam and Eve’s sin, and dealt with this sin, which separates us from God, in various ways throughout biblical history. The yearly sin sacrifices in the Tabernacle and Temple that came later, which have since been widely stopped, were temporary solutions for the covering of sins, as the garments of skin that the LORD God made for Adam and Eve were temporary coverings. Yet the shed blood of Yeshua provides us with our eternal salvation, if we accept his atoning sacrifice made for us by accepting him. After accepting Yeshua’s deliverance of our souls, the sacrifice of God’s Son is our “once for all” sanctification. God’s salvation need not be repeated.

Hebrews 10:1–22

1   For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

2   For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

3   But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.

4   For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

5   Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

6   In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.

7   Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

8   Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;

9   Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

10   By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11   And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:

12   But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

13   From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

14   For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

15   Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,

16   This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

17   And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

18   Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

19   Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

20   By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

21   And having an high priest over the house of God;

22   Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

If an individual accepts God’s only begotten Son, Yeshua’s sacrificial offering on the cross acts as a complete removal or remission of one’s sins in the eyes of God. By accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as one’s personal Lord and Savior, and thereby accepting God the Father’s plan of salvation through having faith in his Son, you can be saved. Yeshua, whose name means salvation, in accordance with God the Father’s plan of redemption and grace, became the means by which we can have eternal life. Yes, we can live forever in God’s presence.

Romans 10:9–13

9   That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10   For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

11   For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

12   For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

13   For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Digging Deeper

1)      Concerning the LORD God making coats of skin with which he clothed Adam and his wife Eve:

a.      Did this foreshadow the animal Passover sacrifices and sin sacrifices later offered in the Tabernacle of the Congregation and the Temple in Jerusalem?

b.      Did this foreshadow a different kind of sacrifice, the “once for all” sacrifice that Jesus offered for the remission of our sins?

2)     Why is Yeshua’s sacrifice more significant than previous sacrifices offered at the Temple in Jerusalem, the Tabernacle of the Congregation, or in the Garden of Eden?

3)     Why is it that Yeshua’s shed blood can provide atonement for our souls?

4)     Note and comment on any other passages from the Bible that foreshadowed the “once for all” sacrifice that Jesus offered.

5)     After one accepts Yeshua as one’s Savior, if one sins, why are the following statements true or false:

a.      Christ does not have to come back to Earth and offer his life again to atone for this person’s sin.

b.      This person does not need to accept Christ again as his or her Lord and Savior to reinstate oneself as a child of God through faith in Christ.

6)     If you made the following statements, why would they be true or false?

a.      Jesus’ offering of his life on the cross at Calvary passed God’s judgment over me.

b.      God has forgiven my sins via the shed blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus.


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                             8                the man is become as one of us

Garden of Eden

Yeshua’s Preexistence & Gospel Foreshadowing

Genesis 3:22–24

22   And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

23   Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

24   So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

 

God was neither schizophrenic, suffering from multiple personality disorder, nor talking to himself here in Genesis 3:22: This was actually a conversation involving the Father and the Son. Since God has a sense of humor, I feel saying this would not be to his disliking. (To investigate whether the Holy Spirit was also involved in this conversation, please see “Chapter 2 the Spirit of God moved” for more concerning this.) Here, the Father was discussing the matter at hand with his Son.

Digging Deeper

1)      Referencing Genesis 3:22, “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us,” who was the LORD God talking with?

 

Because disobedience, or sin, came about, God saw fit to banish humans from the Garden of Eden so that they could not eat from the tree of life and live forever. Living forever, or eternal salvation, God allows to Adam, Eve, and their children by means of God’s mercy provided to us through the risen Messiah, Yeshua Mashiach. Adam and Eve’s sin, and all of our sin, precludes that we are in need of remission of our sin by an acceptable means. Yeshua was worthy to provide an acceptable sacrifice needed for the removal of our sin from us, and he gave his life on the cross for our salvation.

Acts 4:10–12

10   Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

11   This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

12   Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Digging Deeper

2)     Why did God banish Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, to prevent them from doing what?

3)     What is a better way to try to obtain eternal life and why?

a.      Attempt to find out exactly where the Garden of Eden is (and if it doesn’t exist anymore, endeavor to find a way to travel back in time) and effort to break in and get by the Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, guarding the Tree of Life, in order to eat of that tree.

b.      Accept Yeshua as your Lord and Savior.

4)     Are Christians behaving narrow-mindedly if they believe the words recorded in Acts 4:12 about Jesus, “Neither is there salvation in any other”?

5)     If Yeshua is the Son of God and his Father gave him words to share with us while here on Earth, if you reject the Son, in essence, are you also rejecting the Father?

 

Cheer up; Jesus conquered death. When Adam and Eve were sent away from the Garden of Eden, and away from the tree of life (and thus unable to live forever), to till the ground from which they came, this might have felt like a bad day. Yet God would one day provide a means by which they could live forever. Likewise, we can face bad days because of the evil we do, and the evil done to us. Yet we can take heart; the risen Lord and Messiah, Yeshua Mashiach, has conquered death for us.

Psalm 22:26

26   The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.

Isaiah 25:7–9

7   And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations.

8   He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.

9   And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

John 20:9–31

9   For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

10   Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

11   But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,

12   And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

13   And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him.

14   And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.

15   Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

16   Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

17   Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

18   Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the LORD, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

19   Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

20   And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the LORD.

21   Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

22   And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

23   Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

24   But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

25   The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

26   And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

27   Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

28   And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God.

29   Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

30   And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

31   But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

1 Corinthians 15:54–57

54   So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

55   O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

56   The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

57   But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Digging Deeper

6)     God said, “lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever”—does this confirm that living forever is possible?

7)     Is there life after death?

8)    Give Scriptures to support your point of view.

9)     If by rejecting the Son someone is rejecting the Father, by so doing, is one also rejecting God’s gift of salvation?

10) How does someone receive God’s granting of eternal life, enabling someone to live forever?

11)  Have you any reason for good cheer?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

CAIN & ABEL


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                                                  9                she conceived, and bare

Cain & Abel

Yeshua’s Preexistence

Genesis 4:1–2

1   And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.

2   And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

 

As Cain was the first begotten son of Adam and Eve, Yeshua was the first begotten Son of God. [Although Adam and Eve had more than one son, Yeshua was God’s only begotten Son—yet we become children of God through our faith in God’s only begotten.] Much like a man and a woman might have a son or a daughter, and that son or daughter is still a man or a woman in nature (or a human being), God had a Son, and that Son is still God in nature (or part of the Godhead). Since people were created in God’s image and people have reproduced and brought forth children—their own offspring in their own likeness, being still, in nature, human—how could it be that God could not have brought forth a Son—God’s own offspring in God’s own likeness, being still, in nature, God?

If God has made humans in his image, it seems unlikely that being God would somehow prevent him from having a Godhead family. Since humans have had offspring, it seems improbable that God could not have had a Son.

In the Qur’an, Chapter 112 Verse 003, is the statement, “He neither begets nor was He begotten.” Yet in the Bible in a Davidic Psalm, Chapter 2 Verse 7, David quoted what I believe were the LORD’s previously spoken words to his Son, Yeshua, “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.”

Psalm 2:7

7   I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

John 3:16

16   For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Digging Deeper

1)      Since God made Adam and Eve in the image of God and they had a son, is it possible that God could have had a Son?

2)     Do you believe God had a Son?

3)     Why do you believe this?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

             10                brought of the firstlings of his flock

Cain & Abel

Yeshua’s First Coming

Genesis 4:3–4

3   And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.

4   And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

 

Was the fact that the LORD looked with favor at Abel’s giving of the firstlings of his flock a hint toward the future? Did this occurrence point us toward the test of Abraham, when God told him to give his firstborn son with Sarah? Yet the LORD stopped Abraham from sacrificing his son. (See “Chapter 19 God will provide himself a lamb” referencing Genesis 22:1–14 for more concerning this.)

Genesis 22:1–2

1   And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.

2   And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

Did this also foreshadow God’s acceptance of Israel’s firstborn males, which the LORD asked the children of Israel to give him to serve him? (See Exodus 13:1–16 for more in the Scriptures concerning this.)

Exodus 13:1–2

1   And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

2   Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine.

God later replaced Israel’s firstborn males with the tribe of Levi, for serving the LORD in the Tabernacle of the Congregation and later in the Sanctuary in Jerusalem. (See Numbers 3:5–51 for more in the Scriptures concerning this.)

Numbers 3:12–13

12   And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine;

13   Because all the firstborn are mine; for on the day that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast: mine shall they be: I am the LORD.

Numbers 3:41

41   And thou shalt take the Levites for me (I am the LORD) instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel; and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstlings among the cattle of the children of Israel.

Ultimately, did Abel bringing of the firstlings of his flock prelude our heavenly Father sending his own firstborn Son, Yeshua, as an acceptable sacrifice for the remission of our sins? (See the following passages, John 3:13–18 and 1 John 4:9—also see throughout the entirety of Scripture—for more concerning this.)

John 3:13–18

13   And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

14   And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

15   That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

16   For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17   For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18   He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

1 John 4:9

9   In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

Digging Deeper

1)      Regarding Abel offering some of the firstlings of his flock to the LORD, compare this to the following:

a.      Abraham offering his firstborn son with Sarah, but the LORD stopped him

b.      Israeli firstborn males offered to the LORD to serve him, later replaced by the tribe of Levi

c.       The LORD’s offering of his firstborn Son, Yeshua, for our salvation

d.      Any other firstborn offerings referenced in the Bible

2)     Did God use the account of Abel offering of the firstlings of his flock to the LORD to foreshadow any or all of the firstborn events previously listed?

3)     Why would people ever offer a sacrifice to the LORD of life?

4)     Why has the LORD of life ever accepted any sacrifice offered to him?

5)     Since Christ offered his life as the atonement for our sins, are animal sacrifices no longer necessary?

6)     Did being firstborn have special significance to God?

7)     Give an example in the Scriptures where God did not choose first the firstborn, and explain why this might have happened.

 

Could it possibly have been that God accepted Abel’s sacrifice because he offered it with love in sincerity? Many things done in sincere love are valuable. Some think that God was not displeased because Cain brought vegetation but because Cain brought his worst produce, since he didn’t really want to sacrifice anything.

Romans 12:1–2

1   I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

2   And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Digging Deeper

8)    Why should our offerings to God be sincere and rooted in love?

9)     Give Scriptures to support your point of view.

10) In appreciation for God’s sacrifice for us, how could we now offer our own lives to God as living sacrifices?

11)  If one were to offer his or her life to God as a living sacrifice, are there possible pros and cons of doing so—and if so, what are they?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                                                        11                sin lieth at the door

Cain & Abel

Gospel Foreshadowing & Holy Spirit

Genesis 4:5–8

5   But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

6   And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

7   If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

8   And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

 

How do we avoid having sin come and lie at our doors? The LORD said to Cain, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.” How do we do well enough to avoid having sin pull up and park itself at our doors? We all would be doing well by accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior and loving God with all our hearts and souls and loving our neighbors as ourselves. Yet why does sin sometimes seem to crouch more at our doors if we do not do well? Let’s look at an example; and then, let’s compare it with the situation Cain was dealing with:

Say, for example, someone loved money more than God—thereby disregarding the most important commandment of loving the LORD with all your heart. Let’s call this lover of money a woman called Desmerelda. Desmerelda spent her time either being with friends with similar goals or, preferably, with people who could give her a seat at the money table. One day, someone who Desmerelda thought could grant or inhibit her from having a seat at the money table started laughing scornfully at someone and looked to Desmerelda to laugh with him. Desmerelda was more concerned with getting a seat at the money table than showing her love for God by loving her neighbor as herself, so she pleased the person whom she thought could grant her a spot at the money table by laughing sneeringly along.

Seems simple enough—a little laugh—but that little, deriding laugh told us a lot about Desmerelda. Her love for money before God allowed sin, or further sin, to set up camp and crouch at her door.

Sin crouched at Cain’s door when Cain was jealous of and angry with his brother for having pleased the LORD with a better offering than his offering. Sin crouched at Desmerelda’s door when she bowed to the wishes of a person whom she thought might benefit her if she disrespected a person made in the image of God, possibly even one of the least of Christ’s brethren, for no good reason.

The sin of unrighteous jealousy, anger, and wrath reclined at the door of Cain; and sin had its way with him, or Satan had his way with him, in that led by such, Cain became engulfed with the sin of murder as he later killed his brother Abel.

The sin of loving money before God reclined at the door of Desmerelda; and sin had its way with her, or Satan did, in that led by such, Desmerelda became engulfed with the sin of not loving her neighbor as herself as she later laughed mockingly at someone created in God’s image when encouraged to do so.

Ephesians 4:25–27

25   Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

26   Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

27   Neither give place to the devil.

Ephesians 4:31–32

31   Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

32   And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Digging Deeper

1)      How did Cain allow sin to set up camp at his door?

2)     What further sin did Cain commit because of this?

3)     How did Desmerelda allow sin to set up camp at her door?

4)     What further sin did Desmerelda commit because of this?

5)     Not that they would, or that they are likely to do so in the future, but, preferably in a loving way, please describe how any or all of the following could possibly allow sin to set up camp at their doors? Also, note what further sin could possibly come of this if such an encampment of sin took place. (Please skip answering about any of the persons in the following list, or answer in private, if this is preferable. For example, if the person on your left wants to hear your input on this topic, then please proceed, but if the person on your right does not, then it is okay to skip answering about this person—or any other person present who does not want feedback in this exercise. If you really trust the people that you are with, then please proceed. Of course, we are only talking about potential ways in which people could possibly allow sin to set up camp at their doors, and what further sin could come out of this. As what one might say concerning one person on this list, this could apply to everyone else as well. Please try not to sound overly judgmental—not that you would ever do that.)

a.      A politician

b.      A minister

c.       An athlete

d.      A celebrity

e.      Someone who felt disrespected by fellow citizens, classmates, co-workers, family, or loved ones

f.        Someone dealing with a health issue

g.      Another person or other persons

h.     Someone in your family

i.        The person on your left

j.        The person on your right

k.      Someone else in your group

l.        Yourself

 

How does one rule over or master sin? This has been a quandary for humankind since humankind began. The LORD advised Cain about how to deal with sin. The LORD said to Cain, “and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”

God the Father placed the penalty that we deserve for our sin upon his Son, Yeshua, while he was on the cross. Yeshua rose again after death demonstrating that we through faith in Christ will also rise to life. Once an individual accepts this sin sacrifice, God sends the Holy Spirit to fill one such person. Subsequently, mastery of sin is more plausible, if an individual chooses to commune with, dwell in, and follow the direction of the Holy Spirit.

Jeremiah 31:31–34

31   Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

32   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 an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

33   But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

34   And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

If God writes his law on our hearts, it is much easier to follow. God writes his law on our hearts via the Holy Spirit. God sends the Holy Spirit once we place our faith in Yeshua.

John 8:31–36

31   Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

32   And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

33   They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?

34   Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

35   And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.

36   If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

We can be free from being slaves of sin if we allow the Son to set us free.

Romans 7:1–6

1   Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

2   For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

3   So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

4   Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

5   For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

6   But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

We can be dead to the law of our sinful nature and alive to God through the resurrected Messiah. In fact, baptism is a symbol of our death to the enslaved self and our rebirth into our freed by the Son self.

Romans 6:3–5

3   Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

4   Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

5   For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

Yeshua’s “name is called The Word of God.” At his death, Yeshua endured for us the penalty that God, by the law, rightfully held against us; and after his resurrection, Christ stood and signed, and now stands ready to sign, the adoption papers that make us children of God through our faith in him. Yeshua is our Savior from our well-deserved death. Yeshua can free us from our enslavement to sin. Yeshua can free us from our enslavement to sin even if we have sinned as Cain sinned—or sinned worse.

Digging Deeper

6)     If we were born into sin, inherited through our ancestors Adam and Eve (or at least quite prone to it, and even more prone to it since the coming of the law), how can God free us from being slaves to sin?

7)     Is mastery of sin obtainable in this life?

8)    How does one master sin?

 

Even after Jesus saves us, sin can still rear its head. Jesus said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Yet Jesus was familiar with and understanding of our sinful nature—or else he wouldn’t have died to save us from it. Jesus was sinless but we are sinful.

Even when someone is filled with the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is still residing in that person’s born-into-sin, corruptible, fragile, and prone to sickness—possibly declining and withering—flesh. Until God gives us incorruptible bodies at the resurrection, sometimes, sin might get a hold of us.

Romans 7:7–25

7   What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

8   But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.

9   For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

10   And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.

11   For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.

12   Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

13   Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

14   For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

15   For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

16   If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.

17   Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

18   For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

19   For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

20   Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

21   I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

22   For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

23   But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

24   O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

25   I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Digging Deeper

9)     Once God fills someone with the Holy Spirit, is one such person incapable of ever sinning again?

10) Is mastery of sin obtainable in this life?

11)  How does one master sin?

 

Yet take heart; God removed condemnation from us in Mashiach Yeshua. If we have sinned against God or a person, we might be wise to repent of our sin, ask for forgiveness, and if possible, even try to make amends (for example, restore what we stole if we have stolen something). Yet still repent before God and ask for God’s forgiveness even if you cannot or do not make amends with a particular person against whom you might have sinned. You can’t bribe God. We cannot give God payment or restitution for our sins; we can only accept God’s gift of forgiveness of our sins through Christ.

Deuteronomy 10:14

14   Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.

Deuteronomy 10:17

17   For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:

Yet if we are falsely accused, or badgered about sins that we have already been forgiven of, we could say to our unrighteous accusers, “Leave my sins to me and the one who has removed them from me as far as the east is from the west.”

Psalm 103:12

12   As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Romans 8:1–16

1   There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

2   For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

3   For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

4   That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

5   For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

6   For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

7   Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

8   So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

9   But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

10   And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

11   But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

12   Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

13   For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

14   For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

15   For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

16   The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Digging Deeper

12) Has God removed condemnation from you in Christ Jesus?

13) Why is it that if we are led by the Spirit of God, we are sons (or daughters) of God?

14) Does your spirit bear witness with the Spirit that you are a child of God?

 

God has your back. God has my back. In Romans 8:17–39, Paul wrote about the children of God through faith in Christ being heirs of God, even joint-heirs with Christ. Paul also inspires us to recognize that God faithfully looks out for us. If God is for us, we don’t really need to sweat things too much, but walk in faith.

Romans 8:17–39

17   And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

18   For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

19   For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

20   For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

21   Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

22   For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

23   And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

24   For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

25   But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

26   Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

27   And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

28   And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

29   For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

30   Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

31   What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

32   He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

33   Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

34   Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

35   Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36   As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

37   Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

38   For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39   Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Digging Deeper

15)  Talk about this; talk about this passage of Scripture.

16) “If God be for us, who can be against us?”

17)  “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”

18) “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect?”

19) Shall tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, the sword, death, life, angels, principalities, powers, things present, things to come, height, depth, or any other creature separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

BLESSING OF SHEM


LarrowUparrowRarrow

              12                Blessed be the LORD God of Shem

Blessing of Shem

Yeshua’s First Coming

Genesis 9:18–27

18   And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.

19   These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.

20   And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:

21   And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.

22   And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.

23   And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.

24   And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.

25   And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.

26   And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

27   God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

 

What was it that Ham did that got his Father, Noah, so upset with him—and what can we learn about not being judgmental from this? At God’s direction, Noah had just led his family—or all of humankind—and many other creatures to survival through the great flood. Noah later became a man of the soil, or a husbandman, and planted a vineyard. He drank some of the wine produced from the vineyard and it seems got a little tipsy. Noah got so drunk that he passed out naked in his tent. Genesis 9:22–23 indicates what happened next, “And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.” In Genesis 9:24–25 it was recorded for us how upset Noah was with Ham: “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.” (Canaan was the offspring of Ham. So the Cursing of Ham’s offspring was in essence a cursing of Ham.) This seems to indicate that when Ham “told his two brothers without” that he possibly did so disrespectfully, while being sinfully judgmental, with a critical spirit, and with a condemning attitude.

Was Noah cursed for getting drunk and passing out naked? No. Was Ham cursed for being judgmental of his Father for doing so? Yes, it seems he was. Am I serious? Not the one who got drunk and passed out naked was the problem, but the one who sinfully judged another was.

If being judgmental was such a big deal to Noah, and to God, why is having a critical spirit still so common today? Judgmental gerrymandering juggernauts are running rampant in the streets. People look disgracefully and while filled with judgment at their brothers and sisters when walking through the streets. While playing a song, a street musician is interrupted while performing a song by someone strumming his guitar for him as a rude, mocking gesture, as the interrupter scurries away laughing. The interrupter probably figured, “I don’t care about this street musician, and I bet only a rogue few care about him, for I and many others have judged him to be a less worthy person, so I will judge, harass, mock, and bother him to my heart’s content, and my friends and I will enjoy this immensely.” Many politicians feel they are unelectable unless they share the same hateful prejudice, or condemning attitude, that the voters have against the prevailing “enemy” groups—especially if the voters with condemning attitudes are in the majority. Yet some do not only align themselves with the hatred of others but also try to inspire others to hate—sometimes successfully. Being judgmental is quite common. I’m even struggling, with trying not to be too judgmental of those who are judgmental. For indeed, I have been judgmental too (not that I need to try too hard to persuade you of this), often while being quite unaware of it.

The reason being judgmental is so common might also be the reason it is so scary. Being judgmental is often just a more acceptable way of being hateful—but not more acceptable to God. Maybe Ham was not feeling good feelings toward his father; but if he started to try to find accomplices in his ill feelings toward his father, Noah, after God through Noah had just saved humanity, including himself, maybe he knew he might not have found many supporters of them. Yet if his father passed out naked due to drunkenness, then maybe he thought others would be more willing to join him in any ill feelings toward his father that he might have had. We, in like manner, often justify our ill feelings, or sometimes even our hatred, by judging or pointing out the true or supposed faults of others. “Justifiable hatred,” we reason to ourselves. We often unwittingly surmise about others, “They may have done, or are, something that others and I feel is distasteful: So hatred, or at least mild disgust, ‘Game on!’ It’ll be a lot of fun.”

Matthew 7:1–5

1   Judge not, that ye be not judged.

2   For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

3   And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

4   Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

5   Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

Luke 6:36–38

36   Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

37   Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

38   Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Yet if Ham’s treatment of his father while possibly being encompassed by a spirit of judgment we might want to try not to emulate, Shem and Japheth’s compassion, gentleness, and respect shown toward their father we might want to try to copy.

Digging Deeper

1)      Why was Noah so upset with Ham that he cursed him?

2)     Why was Noah so pleased with Shem and Japheth that he blessed them?

3)     Do you consider being judgmental similar to being hateful and why?

4)     What is the difference between being wisely discerning from being judgmentally hateful?

 

A rough outline of human history is set forth in the two sentences of Genesis 9:26–27. Blessed is the LORD God of Shem, and blessed is Shem because his God was the LORD God. Blessed is any one of us whose God is the LORD God. The tendency of these three brothers and their descendants to follow the LORD God (and the results of which) was foreshadowed in this passage of Scripture.

As all people are descendants of Adam and Eve, due to the great flood we are also all descendants of Noah and his wife. Since Noah had three sons—Shem, Ham, and Japheth—we could say that each one of us are in the family line of at least one of these three sons of Noah and that son’s wife.

Through the descendants of Shem (the Semites) came the Assyrians (Asshur), the Syrians (Aram), the Hebrews (Eber), and the Joktanian Arabs (Joktan), among other peoples. Through the descendants of Ham (the Hamites, the Turanians, or the Allophylians) came the Ethiopians (Cush), the Egyptians (Mizraim), certain of the Southern Arabs (Sheba and Dedan), ancient people of Babylon (Nimrod), and the Canaanites (Canaan), among other peoples. Through the descendants of Japheth (the Japhethites or the Aryans) came the Cymry or Celts (Gomer), the Medes or the Asian peoples (Madai), and the Ionians or Greeks (Javan), among other peoples.

The LORD blessed Shem by establishing his covenant with his descendant Abraham, through who came many peoples, including the Israelites (to whom God revealed himself). The Messiah, who provided us with the opportunity to have eternal life and a close relationship with God, came in the line of Shem. The Scriptures list Shem in the family line of Yeshua. The Scriptures record Yeshua’s ancestral heritage as coming by way of Noah, Shem, then later through Abraham, Isaac, Israel, Judah, and later through David who was the king of Israel.

Luke 3:23

23   And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,

The list continues; and later on in Verse 36, the compiler of this list lists Shem.

Luke 3:36

36   Which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Sem, which was the son of Noe, which was the son of Lamech,

[The names “Sem” and “Noe” you could alternatively translate as “Shem” and “Noah” from the same Greek words.]

God revealed himself at length to the descendants of Shem; yet at the revelation of God’s Son, Yeshua, to humanity, many descendants of Shem turned away from God. Yet many of the descendants of Japheth dwelt in the tents of Shem, or accepted the precepts revealed to the descendants of Shem. The descendants of Ham, in great measure, have also accepted and are still accepting God through Christ. Furthermore, as the saying goes, “But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.” Now, in fulfillment of prophecy, it seems that the descendants of Shem have already and will, I hope, ever more increasingly accept God through Christ as the passage of time continues.

Matthew 19:30

30   But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

Matthew 20:1–16

1   For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.

2   And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

3   And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,

4   And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.

5   Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.

6   And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?

7   They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.

8   So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.

9   And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.

10   But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.

11   And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,

12   Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.

13   But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?

14   Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.

15   Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?

16   So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

Through God via the redemption of Christ, though, we can have victory over what might separate the races, or families, of the Earth. Now, the many varied peoples of the Earth can come together through the unity that can exist among the sons and daughters of God through faith in Yeshua.

John 1:12–13

12   But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

13   Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Galatians 3:26–29

26   For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

27   For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

28   There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

29   And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Colossians 3:11

11   Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

Digging Deeper

5)     Why do you or don’t you believe that Genesis 9:26–27 provided a rough outline of human history?

6)     What extra special blessing did Shem and his ancestral line receive?

7)     Since Yeshua was born to a Jewish family, having come in the line of Shem, Abraham, Judah, David, and others, is someone who was born a Jew greater in the eyes of God than someone who was not, regardless of that person’s love or lack of love for God?

8)    Although God loves all people, why would God at different times work specifically with certain groups of people, or even certain individuals, via prophetic proclamations, outpourings of his Spirit, or other ways?

9)     How can the descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japheth be one in Christ? How can we be one in Christ?

10) Can people be one without Christ?


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TOWER OF BABEL


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                                                                      13                let us go down

Tower of Babel

Gospel Foreshadowing, Yeshua’s Preexistence, & Holy Spirit

Genesis 11:1–9

1   And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

2   And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

3   And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.

4   And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

5   And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

6   And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

7   Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

8   So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

9   Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

 

The people of the Earth were of one language and seemed to feel secure enough to dwell in the plains of Shinar; but they also seemed to feel arrogant enough to attempt to build a tower that would reach to Heaven in order to try and so to speak, “get into God’s face.” I suppose they were not concerned with building a secure dwelling place in the mountains because all people, as of yet, were one people with one language. There seemed to be no others to defend themselves against, so dwelling in a lower elevation expanse of land seemed like a fine idea to the people. Yet their sense of security might have given way to a sense of arrogance. From the context of this passage, it seems that the people were not building this tower humbly before God, but almost as a provocation toward God, and as propaganda for the people as to try to show their own power without need of God. God showed displeasure with their trying to build a tower “whose top may reach unto heaven;” therefore, I imagine this construction project was less of a monument of thankfulness to God than a communal statement of their own perceived strength and lack of need for God.

Digging Deeper

1)      The people said, “Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven;” do you consider their plans to have been rooted in arrogance and why?

2)     Referencing the planning or building of the Tower of Babel, what things, if any, are people doing today with similar motives?

 

Genesis 11:6–7 seems to show a conversation between God. These verses seem to show a conversation between the Father and Son, and possibly the Holy Spirit as well. Some might feel it possible that here, unlike when God said, “Let us make man in our image,” that the LORD, when he said, “Go to, let us go down,” was speaking with heavenly hosts (possibly angels), or with heavenly hosts as well as other members of the Godhead. We can ask God to be sure.

Digging Deeper

3)     When the LORD said, “let us go down,” with whom was the LORD speaking?

 

These are also very rich verses in that God, through the Tower of Babel incident, brought about the separation of humankind. God caused the people to speak in different languages and sent them off into different lands. The difficulties between peoples and wars that have occurred because of this and other factors, God has used to benefit us, to humble us, and, through adversity, provoke us to seek the LORD—instead of consorting to go against God, as at the Tower of Babel.

Digging Deeper

4)     When the LORD confounded the people’s language, was this vindictive punishment, or was this loving discipline, implemented to benefit people and to help bring them to him while inhibiting them from malevolently going against him?

 

The confusion brought by the people speaking different languages at the Tower of Babel, God reversed on Pentecost in the incident of the coming of the Holy Spirit through people’s faith in Christ. At Pentecost, those filled with the Holy Spirit spoke in languages previously unknown to them, and many were amazed when they heard the wonderful works of God spoken to them in their native tongues while they were in Jerusalem.

In the book of Joel, Chapter 2, God prophesied the coming of the Holy Spirit in power. In the book of Acts, Chapter 2, the author recorded for us the dramatic fulfillment of this prophecy. Yet God continues to fulfill this prophecy in our day.

God poured out the Holy Spirit to a select few in the past, but in the coming of the Holy Spirit as recorded for us in the second chapter of Acts, and as continues today, God eternally fills the true believers who love God and therefore accept God’s salvation plan in Yeshua. God now sends the Holy Spirit to all of his children through faith in Christ.

Joel 2:28–32

28   And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

29   And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

30   And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.

31   The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come.

32   And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

Acts 2:1–21

1   And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

2   And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

3   And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

4   And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

5   And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

6   Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

7   And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?

8   And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

9   Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,

10   Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,

11   Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

12   And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

13   Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

14   But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

15   For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

16   But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

17   And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

18   And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

19   And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

20   The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:

21   And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Acts 2:32–41

32   This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

33   Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

34   For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

35   Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

36   Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

37   Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

38   Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

39   For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.

40   And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

41   Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Digging Deeper

5)     Regarding the Holy Spirit coming in power (as recorded in Acts 2), which allowed people to hear “the wonderful works of God” in their own language from those able via the gift of tongues to speak in languages previously unknown to them, was this a reversal of the confounding of the peoples’ language (as recorded in Genesis 11:7)?

 

The leading of the Holy Spirit enables humans to live at peace with God and with each other. The love and unity of the Spirit of God can eradicate the things that separate people from people. God’s children can experience peace before, during, and after any difficult circumstances. God’s children can experience peace even while going through the end-times. Even in times when much of the world is not following close to God through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, God can fill an individual with inexpressible peace even before the outside circumstances reflect that peace.

Philippians 4:7

7   And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Digging Deeper

6)     Since the coming of the Holy Spirit in power, why today does the world not live entirely at peace?

7)     How could you be at peace even while going through difficult circumstances?

 

It is nice to note that one day God will even bring the outside circumstances, along with his children, into the realm of peace in agreement with God’s most perfect will. In due time, God’s will, to the benefit of God and all who love him, will be accomplished in a most spectacular way.

Isaiah 2:1–5

1   The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

2   And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’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.

3   And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God 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 from Jerusalem.

4   And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

5   O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.

Isaiah 64:4

4   For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.

1 Corinthians 2:9–10

9   But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

10   But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

Digging Deeper

8)    When will there be peace on Earth?

9)     Describe the peace on Earth that God has planned.


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ABRAHAM (ABRAM)


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                            14                bless them that bless thee…in thee…all…blessed

Abraham (Abram)

Israel’s Homecoming & Yeshua’s First Coming

Genesis 12:3

3   And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

 

Bless Abraham and God will bless you; curse Abraham and God will curse you—these truths are applicable to the children of Israel. As more and more people and nations realize that by blessing the children of Israel, who are children of Abraham, they are precipitating the blessing of themselves, and by cursing the children of Israel they are triggering the cursing of themselves, Israel’s homecoming might continue to blossom as a rose in the desert.

Isaiah 35

1   The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.

2   It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.

3   Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.

4   Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.

5   Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

6   Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.

7   And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.

8   And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.

9   No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:

10   And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

The nations will see the miraculous blossoming of Israel, and all these nations can receive blessings as well.

Isaiah 61:11

11   For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

Digging Deeper

1)      How could people’s realization that by blessing the children of Israel they could be triggering God’s blessing of themselves aid in the fulfillment of God’s prophecies concerning Israel’s homecoming?

 

The LORD told Abram that in him all families of the Earth would be blessed. The LORD did not say that in all the families from the nation of Israel, or even in all the other many families from the nations that came forth out of Abram’s body, would all families of the Earth be blessed. This is so, even though many blessings have come from the people of Israel and from the many other peoples that are descendants of this wonderful person.

God later changed his name from Abram (exalted father) to Abraham (father of a multitude). The many peoples, many of which formed nations, that came forth out of Abraham’s body include the Ishmaelites, the Israelites, the Edomites, and the people that came forth out of Abraham’s six children with Keturah (Abraham’s wife after Sarah died): Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. The Ishmaelites are the Arab peoples that came forth out of Abraham’s son, Ishmael, which Abram had with Sarah’s Egyptian handmaid, Hagar, while Sarah was still barren. The Israelites and the Edomites are the people of the nations that came forth out of Abraham’s grandsons, Jacob and Esau, who were the twin sons of Isaac, Abraham’s son with Sarah.

Yet if God is not telling Abram here that all families of the Earth will be blessed through all of the peoples that came forth from him, what is he saying? Maybe God is telling Abram that all the families of the Earth will one day be blessed by the promised Messiah that later came to offer salvation and a close relationship with God to the Israeli and to all people through faith in Yeshua.

You can see Yeshua’s family line traced back through Abraham in two of the gospels. See Matthew 1:1–17 for the earthly ancestral family line of Yeshua through Joseph, and see Luke 3:23–38 for the earthly ancestral family line of Yeshua through Mary.

Digging Deeper

2)     Name some of the blessings that the descendants of Abraham who were not the Messiah have produced.

3)     Name some of the blessings that the Messiah, Yeshua, has provided for “all families of the earth” after coming in the line of Abraham.

4)     What was the LORD referencing when he said to Abram, “and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed”?


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                                     15                Melchizedek king of Salem

Abraham (Abram)

Yeshua’s First Coming & Yeshua’s Post Resurrection Glory

Genesis 14:18–20

18   And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

19   And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:

20   And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

 

The bringing forth of bread and wine by Melchizedek occurred to foreshadow the New Covenant that later came through Yeshua. These verses are very deep. It is interesting how Melchizedek brought forth bread and wine, similar to how Yeshua brought forth bread and wine while with his disciples.

Matthew 26:26–29

26   And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

27And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;

28   For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

29   But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

Luke 22:13–20

13   And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.

14   And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.

15   And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:

16   For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.

17   And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:

18   For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.

19   And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

20   Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

Digging Deeper

1)      Was Melchizedek’s bringing forth of bread and wine a foreshadowing of when Yeshua brought forth the bread, representing his body, and the fruit of the vine, representing his blood, of the New Covenant?

 

Melchizedek provides a type of kingly and priestly resemblance of Yeshua, who is king and high priest forever. Melchizedek was king of Salem (Salem was later called Jerusalem) and a priest of the Most High God. Yeshua is now a king and a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek; and God’s Prophetic Word reveals that Yeshua will one-day visibly rule in Jerusalem. The arrival of Yeshua as a child born to Mary occurred approximately 1,900 years after this meeting of Abram and Melchizedek.

Following are passages reflecting Yeshua’s kingship:

Psalm 2:6–7

6   Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

7   I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

Matthew 2:2

2   Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

Matthew 27:11

11   And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.

Matthew 27:29

29   And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

Matthew 27:37

37   And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Revelation 17:14

14   These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

Revelation 19:16

16   And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

Revelation 21:1–3

1   And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

2   And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

3   And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

Revelation 21:22–24

22   And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

23   And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

24   And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

Yeshua is a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek; his priestly duties do not pass on but remain with him, in that after his resurrection from the dead he lives and reigns forever. Furthermore, Yeshua’s bodily sacrifice was a sacrifice for the remission of sins forever, and this sacrifice does not need repeating—yearly, sooner, or ever.

Psalm 110

1   The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

2   The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.

3   Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.

4   The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

5   The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.

6   He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.

7   He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.

Digging Deeper

2)     Why or why not is Yeshua King of the Jews and KING OF KINGS?

3)     Why or why not is Yeshua a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek?

4)     Referencing Psalm 110:4, to whom was the LORD referring while stating, “Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek”?

5)     Did God use Melchizedek’s being both a king and a priest at the same time to foreshadow that Yeshua would reign as a priest upon his throne?

 

In a related passage, the LORD of hosts through Zechariah prophesied that “The BRANCH” would be “a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” In Zechariah 6:12–13, the LORD prophesied about Yeshua.

Zechariah 6:12–13

12   And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD 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:

13   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: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.

Yeshua is a king in the line of David, from the tribe of Judah, and a high priest after the order of Melchizedek. Yeshua, the Prince of Peace, taking over the high priestly duties from the tribe of Levi after the line of Aaron, and the kingly duties from the tribe of Judah in the line of David, shall reign as king and high priest forever. Christ, being on his throne as king while also being high priest, fulfills this prophecy. Christ has also built the temple of the LORD, in that believers in Christ become the temple of the living God when the LORD sends the Holy Spirit to dwell in them.

Digging Deeper

6)     In the Zechariah 6:13 verse, to whom was the LORD of hosts referring with the words, “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: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both”?

 

Yeshua is a high priest not after the order of the high priests who came from the tribe of Levi, but after the order of Melchizedek. A priest after the order of Melchizedek is of a higher order than is a priest after the order of Levi.

Hebrews 5:1–10

1   For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:

2   Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.

3   And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.

4   And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

5   So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.

6   As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

7   Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

8   Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

9   And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

10   Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.

Hebrews 7

1   For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;

2   To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;

3   Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

4   Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.

5   And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:

6   But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.

7   And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.

8   And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.

9   And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.

10   For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.

11   If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?

12   For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

13   For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.

14   For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.

15   And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,

16   Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.

17   For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

18   For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.

19   For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

20   And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest:

21   (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)

22   By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.

23   And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:

24   But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.

25   Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

26   For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

27   Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.

28   For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.

Referencing Genesis 14:20, Abram, the patriarch, gave Melchizedek “tithes of all.” In addition, Melchizedek, high priest of God Most High, blessed Abram. Therefore, it seems that Christ, being high priest after the order of Melchizedek, is of a higher order than are Abram’s (or Abraham’s) great grandson Levi’s descendants through the offspring of Aaron. Aaron was the brother of Moses. Aaron and his sons were the first priests from the tribe of Levi consecrated at the Tabernacle of the Congregation after the children of Israel escaped from Egypt.

Exodus 28:1

1   And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.

Digging Deeper

7)     Why is being a “priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek” more significant than being a priest after the order of Aaron?

8)    Being a king and a high priest forever is a very high position. If Yeshua now rules at the right hand of his Father as King of kings and high priest forever, why has the Father bestowed such honor on him?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

             16                counted it to him for righteousness

Abraham (Abram)

Gospel Foreshadowing

Genesis 15:4–6

4   And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.

5   And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

6   And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

 

Because Abram believed in the LORD, the LORD accredited him with righteousness. This is very important to us, in that God’s promises to us are of greater value than our own attempts at self-righteousness. These attempts, exemplified by someone’s priding of oneself in his or her own ability to observe the law of God, mean little to God when rooted in arrogance.

Ezekiel 33:12–20

12   Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.

13   When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.

14   Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;

15   If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.

16   None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.

17   Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal.

18   When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.

19   But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.

20   Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.

Genesis 15:6 portrays for us what was a foreshadowing of God’s plan of salvation. God’s salvation plan is for the Jew and the Gentile—yes, for all humanity—through faith in Christ. God’s plan is for us to have the faith to believe that God sent his only begotten Son, Yeshua, to provide us with remission of our sins through Yeshua’s sacrifice of his own life on the cross. God grants us eternal life and adopts us as eternal sons and daughters of God, and indwells us with the Holy Spirit, when we by faith, like the faith of Abram, open the door of our hearts to God and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

Revelation 3:20

20   Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

As God credited Abram with righteousness after Abram believed in the LORD, by believing the LORD’s promise that his seed will be as the stars, the LORD credits us with righteousness when we believe in the LORD’s Son, by whom our years will be like the stars, or more so eternal, via God’s gift of eternal life through him.

Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God—begotten, not made. He came to Earth in human likeness. While he was here on Earth, he was both fully God and fully human. Yeshua is the Son of God, sent to Earth in flesh and blood for the redemption of those who believe that the LORD truly sent him as the Scriptures indicate.

Psalm 32:1–2

1   Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

2   Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

Romans 4

1   What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?

2   For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

3   For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

4   Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

5   But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

6   Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

7   Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

8   Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

9   Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.

10   How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.

11   And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

12   And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.

13   For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

14   For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:

15   Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

16   Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

17   (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

18   Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.

19   And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb:

20   He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

21   And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

22   And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

23   Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;

24   But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

25   Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Digging Deeper

1)      The LORD promised Abram, “Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.” Give reason why this promise might have been difficult to believe had Abram not believed in God’s power and faithfulness.

2)     What has anybody ever promised to you that you found it difficult to believe?

3)     Did this person deliver on this promise to you?

4)     Do people’s unfulfilled promises from other people sometimes inhibit their belief that God will fulfill his promises?

5)     Why was the LORD so impressed with Abram’s belief in the LORD that the LORD even “counted it to him for righteousness”?

6)     What is a belief we can have that the LORD counts it to us for righteousness?

7)     Which is more important to God, our ancestral heritage or our faith in God?

 

Our righteousness through faith in Christ could on occasion seem to make no sense…until it hits us. Like a miraculous gust of wind, safely sending a walker into flight, so can our faith in God set us up for lift off. As a release on the throttle of a turbocharged jet propulsion engine sends you up in the air, through faith in God, we can spiritually take off into the skies.

What a Jew does with Jesus by Art Katz. Laporte, MN: Burning Bush Press 2002. www.BenIsrael.org, artkatzministries.org/audio-messages/what-a-jew-does-with-jesus/ (From time 44:33–47:18)

These were Jews who had encountered the living God. And they prayed for me passionately, and with me and for me, and opened up to me the Scriptures, and showed me the relationship between the Old and New Testament Scriptures, of the hundreds of prophecies that [were] pertaining to a Messiah to come, that could only have been fulfilled by one in point of time.

And I went to sleep that fourth night so sacked out, whacked out of my skull, I couldn’t think straight. And I was trying by the power of intellect to put all these things into place and I couldn’t! And my brain, which I had honed to a sharp edge, was failing me! I was not going to be saved by the exercise of my own intelligence. Because all the rest of my life I’d be boasting about how sharp I was and looking with contempt upon those who were not quite as clever. By faith are we saved, by the grace of God.

In my sleep that night, in my ultimate confusion, ready to leave the next day perplexed, unable to save myself, God did something in my heart in my sleep. I could feel the pieces falling into place and I woke the next morning…with the most wonderful sense of peace and calm that I had never before enjoyed all my adult life. I came to the breakfast table and I…said to this woman, Rena, “Rena, I believe I understand.” And the woman without a word fell out of her seat on the floor, knocked her chair over, had her arms above her head praising God…weeping. Because her prayer that night had been, “Lord, we’ve done everything for this stubborn man, you make him to understand.”

God gave me understanding, people. Not that I understood all (in fact I understood little), but I understood sufficiently. I understood that there was a resurrected Christ. I didn’t understand Triune God, body, ah [sic] Father, Son, Holy Spirit; I didn’t understand virgin birth; I didn’t understand doctrine and theology. But I understood that there was a living God, that there was a living Christ, a Messiah, a Holy one knocking at the door of my heart; and I just couldn’t go on saying that I was a man who respected truth and a man of integrity and turn from him.

And so in my pitiful condition, I prayed my first prayer in thirty-five years (quite an accomplishment for a blasphemer, a man who was sharp with his mouth to incite people to violence or to seduce women, speaking his first prayer). It was the most awkward, choked performance you could ever imagine. But guess what? God received it. And something immediately happened. I felt something leaving me, going out of me that was angry, bitter, dark, selfish, lustful, and something new was coming in to replace it, a new Spirit, a Holy Spirit, Ruakh HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit of God.

Digging Deeper

8)    Have you been struck with faith in God?

 

God accredits us with righteousness through our faith in Jesus. Jesus can set us free from the chains of sin that tie us to the ground. If God’s Son sets you free, you are free indeed.

John 8:28–36

28   Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

29   And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

30   As he spake these words, many believed on him.

31   Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

32   And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

33   They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?

34   Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

35   And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.

36   If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

1 John 2:23–25

23   Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

24   Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

25   And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

Digging Deeper

9)     Are you free?

10) Why are you or are you not free?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                       17                establish…with him…everlasting covenant

Abraham (Abram)

Yeshua’s First Coming & Israel’s Homecoming

Genesis 17:15–22

15   And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.

16   And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.

17   Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?

18   And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!

19   And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

20   And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.

21   But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.

22   And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.

 

It is interesting how even Abraham’s faith seemed to wane slightly. Previously, Abram believed in the LORD when the LORD told him that his descendants would be as the stars; yet Abraham fell on his face and laughed when God told him that his wife Sarah “shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.”

God’s patience is quite magnificent though, as God could have said, “Oh, you think that’s funny, tell me how funny you think it would be if I destroy you and your family with flames and establish my covenant with another?” Fortunately, God did not do this; but God did respond to Abraham’s laughter almost subtly. God told Abraham, “thou shalt call his name Isaac”; the name Isaac means, “he laughs”; and that “he laughs” we could think of as “God laughs” if we thought it to be referencing God laughing.

Even though God’s promise produced laughter from Abraham, and later Sarah, God knew that his promise would succeed and then God could laugh. (God could laugh anyway; he’s God.) If God did laugh after the birth of Isaac, I suspect his laughter was more heart full of love laughter than sardonic laughter—in friendly good humor of Abraham’s laughter.

A fellow once was lacking in faith; yet he asked Yeshua to help his unbelief.

Mark 9:20–27

20   And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.

21   And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.

22   And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.

23   Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

24   And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

25   When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.

26   And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.

27   But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.

Digging Deeper

1)      Mention any promises or prophecies God has made in the Bible that have yet to reach fulfillment that people might laugh at.

2)     Why might this laughter take place?

3)     What is God’s batting average, or rate of fulfillment, concerning his prophecies about the Messiah’s first coming?

4)     What does this tell you about other prophecies of God that currently have yet to reach fulfillment?

5)     What will be God’s batting average, or rate of fulfillment, concerning all of his prophecies in the Bible?

6)     Since God showed such patience with Abraham when Abraham fell on his face and laughed after hearing God’s promise, will God also show patience with us if we laugh or do not always show absolute faithfulness about God’s promises in our lives?

7)     How could God help increase our faith if we ask him to?

 

God established his everlasting covenant with Isaac and with his seed. The promised Messiah, Yeshua of Nazareth, came in the line of Isaac, not in the line of Ishmael. We can have eternal life through the eternal covenant established by the blood of Yeshua. God blessed Ishmael richly and multiplied him exceedingly, as we can see in the numerous Arab peoples that God has brought forth and blessed.

I write these words as someone who loves both Israeli and Arab people, as well as non-Semitic people. Certainly, currently, various problems seem to exist between some Arabs and some Israelis. The problems that exist between any two peoples only magnify if both sides adopt a spirit of hatred, fault listing, and antagonism instead of a spirit of love, forgiveness, and encouragement. The precedent of forgiving those who have sinned against us we have often trampled over on the path to vengeance.

God has blessed all people in the coming of his Son, the Messiah. Deliverance is for all people who accept God’s gift of eternal life through faith in Yeshua Mashiach. The Messiah came in the line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Should people not in these ancestral lines be jealous of those who are, or should those who are in these ancestral lines look down on others who might not be? Certainly not, I say. God made us all in the image of God, whether we are children of Isaac, Ishmael, or Whosie-ma-what’s-his-name. We can all become adopted sons and daughters of God through faith in Yeshua, the only begotten Son of God. This is the most important family with which to belong: God’s family.

John 1:12–13

12   But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

13   Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

The Son of Man, who is the Son of God, came through one woman whose family ancestral heritage, as well as her husband Joseph’s ancestral heritage, was in the line of Abraham, Isaac, Israel, David, and others. God blessed this ancestral family line by bringing forth his only begotten Son to Earth through this line. Wow. This special blessing of the descendants that came in the line of Abraham, Isaac, Israel, and David, came in fulfillment of the promises made to Abraham that in Isaac “I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.”

We can be glad that God has a calling for all of our lives. The details beyond God’s desire to know each one of us personally I am not entirely aware of, but knowing that God desires to know and love each one of us is in and of itself a good calling of the greatest measure.

Hosea 2:23

23   And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.

Romans 9:1–9

1   I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,

2   That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.

3   For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:

4   Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;

5   Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

6   Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

7   Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.

8   That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

9   For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.

Romans 9:23–33

23   And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

24   Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

25   As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.

26   And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.

27   Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:

28   For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.

29   And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.

30   What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.

31   But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.

32   Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;

33   As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Isaiah 8:11–17

11   For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying,

12   Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.

13   Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.

14   And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

15   And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.

16   Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.

17   And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.

Isaiah 28:9–20

9   Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.

10   For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

11   For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

12   To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

13   But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

14   Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.

15   Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:

16   Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, 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.

17   Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.

18   And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.

19   From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.

20   For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.

It seems that God is doing a great work through the children of Israel. Although many of his beloved people Israel have rejected God’s Son, the one who died for their salvation, God is now lifting the veil and opening their eyes to the risen Messiah, and bringing them in even closer to his bosom in fulfillment of the many prophecies concerning this matter.

This is great for all of us: for the Israeli, the Arab, the Gentile, the descendants of Ham, and even the rest of the world. This is great for all those created in the image of God. This is great for all of God’s creation. God can bless all of us through this fulfillment of prophecy. God calls each one of us to himself in a personal and spectacular manner; for this, we could celebrate. Moreover, the children of Israel can be glad that God continues to call them home.

Israel’s homecoming is a great happening. Israel’s homecoming is also a precursor to Yeshua’s Second Coming and the resurrection of the dead.

Romans 11:15

15   For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

Digging Deeper

8)    Mention passages in the Scriptures that show God’s love for all people regardless of genealogical heritage.

9)     Show instances in the Scriptures where God demonstrates a specific calling for a specific people.

10) Show instances in the Scriptures where God demonstrates a specific calling for a specific small group or for an individual.

11)  Why is Israel’s homecoming good for all of God’s family?

12) Give me a high-five! If you feel it’s appropriate, feel free to give and receive various high-fives among yourselves. If you feel it is inappropriate, you may refrain.

 

God told Abraham, “Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.” Therefore, Abraham must have known to get busy in about three months.

Digging Deeper

13) Would you think it wise if God told all of us the times of birth of our children, if we were to have any; or do you prefer the way things are, whereas the time of birth of our children and whether or not we will have any children can sometimes be quite a surprise?

14) Which aspects of your life do you believe surprises are more likely to happen, and how do you feel about this?

15)  Which aspects of your life do you believe surprises are less likely to happen, and how do you feel about this?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                                         18                Shall I hide…that thing…I do…Seeing…all…blessed in him?

Abraham (Abram)

Gospel Foreshadowing, Yeshua’s First Coming, & Israel’s Homecoming

Genesis 18:17–19

17   And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;

18   Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

19   For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.

 

The LORD asked, “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?” However, the LORD did reveal to Abraham what he was doing. In the same sense, the LORD has revealed to us mysteries previously hidden from us since the dawn of creation. The LORD has delightfully made these mysteries perceivable and manifest to us through Christ, the Holy Scriptures, and the revelation of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 16:25–26

25   Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

26   But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

1 Corinthians 2:7–10

7   But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

8   Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

9   But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

10   But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

Digging Deeper

1)      Regarding God’s revelation of himself to us:

a.      Has God revealed more and more about himself to us in stages throughout history?

b.      Give examples of how God has done this.

c.       Why has God done this?

 

In Genesis 18:18, we see another citation of the promise of God to bless the whole world through Abraham, as Yeshua Mashiach came in the earthly line of Abraham. The LORD blessed Abraham in the coming of the Messiah in his lineage, and the LORD blessed us by keeping his promise to bless Abraham by sending the Messiah through him to bless us.

Digging Deeper

2)     Why was Yeshua’s coming in the earthly ancestral line of Abraham important?

 

The words from Genesis 18:19, “For I know him,” show the intimacy that existed between the LORD and Abraham. Concerning the phrase “For I know him,” this was translated from the Hebrew words kiy yada`; and yada` (to know) is the same word that was translated “knew” to describe Adam making love with his wife.

Genesis 4:1

1   And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.

This intimacy extends to us as well. The imagery of the bride (or the church) marrying the bridegroom (Christ, or God) appears throughout the Scriptures. For examples, see Isaiah 62:5, Matthew 22:2–14, and Revelation 21:2, 21:9, and 22:17.

Digging Deeper

3)     What does the LORD’s use of the word yada` (to know) tell you about the depth of intimacy that God and Abraham experienced?

4)     What does God’s use of examples of marriage between God and his people tell you about the depth of closeness that God desires with those who love him?

 

The LORD believed that Abraham would influence his children after him to keep the way of the LORD that he may bring upon Abraham that which he had spoken of him. Specifically, the LORD said about Abraham, “that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.”

Abraham inspires the children of Israel today, as he does others who desire the LORD. It is very interesting how the sway of one man on his family and his household after him have blessed generations that have come after him and still impacts those who exist today. The model of Abraham’s life, his love for his children, the LORD’s love of Abraham, and the LORD’s desire to bless Abraham’s children will all aid in the coming to pass of Israel’s homecoming.

Proverbs 22:6

6   Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Ephesians 6:4

4   And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Yet our willingness to emulate Abraham’s faithfulness to the LORD is more pleasing to the LORD than our pride in our bloodline.

Luke 3:8

8   Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

Digging Deeper

5)     What about all that?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                       19                God will provide himself a lamb

Abraham (Abram)

Yeshua’s First Coming

Genesis 22:1–14

1   And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.

2   And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

3   And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.

4   Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.

5   And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.

6   And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.

7   And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?

8   And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

9   And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.

10   And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.

11   And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.

12   And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

13   And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.

14   And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.

 

In trusting faithfulness, Abraham was willing to offer his son, Isaac, to God. God saw that Abraham loved him. Abraham trusted God so much that Abraham was willing to do what many might consider to go against what made any sense. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son, his only son through Sara, whom he loved. Possibly, Abraham was willing to do this because of his deep love for God, and his trust in the loving nature of God.

Abraham knew God, understood his loving character, and trusted him to do what was right with his son. Abraham comprehended that God is the author of life and could bring his son to life again, or even stop him from offering Isaac. Abraham even said to his young men, “I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” This might show that Abraham was well aware of God’s gracefulness, possibly already believing that both he and Isaac would return.

Hebrews 11:17–19

17   By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

18   Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:

19   Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

Digging Deeper

1)      How would you describe the level of Abraham’s trust in God when Abraham obeyed God by starting to carry out the task of offering his son whom he loved as an offering to God?

 

Abraham put God before his family. We should love God and love our families, but who should come first? It seems that Abraham put God first, even before his family. By doing so, it might have seemed to a casual onlooker that Abraham was putting God first to the detriment of his family. Yet ultimately, by Abraham putting God before his family, he helped his family, as well as all of us who seek God.

Ruth 2:8–12

8   Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens:

9   Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.

10   Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?

11   And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.

12   The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.

Matthew 10:35–37

35   For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

36   And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

37   He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

Luke 14:26

26   If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

The Greek word Miseo used in Luke 14:26 (translated “hate”) was used not to nullify Jesus’ words recorded in Matthew 19:19 (“Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”) but to emphasize the degree to which we should follow our Lord and Savior before family or other loved ones—including ourselves.

Digging Deeper

2)     If God really is a person’s God, why or why not should God take precedence in this person’s life over one such person’s family and one’s own life also?

3)     Cite Scripture to support your opinion.

4)     Why does putting God first ultimately benefit our families and us even if our families or we are at first against this?

 

God demonstrated his own love for us in a similar manner to how Abraham demonstrated his love for God. God saw Abraham’s love for him, displayed by Abraham’s willingness to offer his son as an offering to God. God stopped Abraham from sacrificing his son and later used this scenario to demonstrate how much God loves us. As recorded in the Gospel of John—Chapter 3 Verse 16—Jesus described how much God loves us.

John 3:16

16   For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Digging Deeper

5)     Since God offered his only begotten Son, whom the Father loves, so we, with faith in Christ, can experience salvation from perishing and have everlasting life while being children of God, what does this tell you about the depth of God’s affection for us?

 

Isaac asked his father, “where is the lamb…?” Abraham replied, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb….” Did this prophesy the Father sending the Lamb of God to offer himself in this same land of Moriah? Was this a prophetic foreshadowing of the crucifixion of the Lamb of God—God’s only begotten Son, Yeshua? We later see that Abraham found a ram and sacrificed the ram as an offering. Nevertheless, what about the lamb that Abraham said that God would provide?

John 1:29

29   The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Revelation 7:10

10   And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

Digging Deeper

6)     Abraham said, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb….” Was this a prophetic foreshadowing of the coming of the Lamb of God, Yeshua, whom God provided for our salvation?

 

Why has the plural Godhead often been referenced to with seemingly singular, masculine pronouns? When translators of the Bible translate the word God from the Hebrew word 'Elohiym or from the Greek word Theos (both of these words we could define “supreme [singular yet unified plural] Triune Godhead”), apparently singular pronouns such as he, his, or himself are often used in conjunction. This has happened even when the original authors of the Hebrew or Greek text correctly used the pronouns that are supposed to be used to represent both singular and plural nouns, in accordance with the rules of grammar for these languages. Moreover, sometimes, translators might even insert pronouns that are not present in the original text in order to make the translated text more understandable. Translators might have used, or added, singular pronouns instead of using plural pronouns such as they, their, or themselves to emphasize the unity of this Godhead.

For example, let us look at some of the words of Abraham to his son Isaac in Genesis 22:8: Abraham said, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb….” In transliterated Hebrew this reads, “ben 'Elohiym ra'ah seh…”; and a literal, word-for-word translation would read, “Son God provide lamb….” The translator or translators of this passage from the King James Bible possibly added the word himself to make this sentence more understandable in English, as it was not directly translated from any Hebrew word.

Translators might have used seemingly singular, masculine pronouns even if the pronouns in the original text were referring to more than one of the members of the supreme (singular yet unified plural) Triune Godhead that harmoniously acts and exists as one God. Moreover, in other instances, the Hebrew word 'Elohiym and the Greek word Theos that are both often translated “God”—and singular pronouns used in conjunction—might be denoting a particular individual who is a member of the supreme (singular yet unified plural) Triune Godhead that harmoniously acts and exists as one God.

Concerning pronouns referencing the Godhead and the use of the word God when translated from the Hebrew word 'Elohiym or the Greek word Theos, looking at the context is helpful when trying to understand to whom a pronoun or the word God is referring.

People often refer to God in the masculine, and 'Elohiym (translated “God”) is a masculine noun, but since God created both the first male and female—and all humans since—in God’s image, the supreme (singular yet unified plural) Triune Godhead is beyond any sexual exclusivity that we might try to ascribe to him (or should I say, ascribe to God). We cannot limit God by any boundaries with which we might mentally, or grammatically, attempt to restrict God. Many languages do not have pronouns that refer exclusively to God, and quite often, seemingly singular, masculine pronouns are used.

Digging Deeper

7)     Why do not many languages have pronouns that refer exclusively to God?

8)    How does the use of singular, masculine pronouns in translations of text that did not use these singular, masculine pronouns affect some peoples understanding of God?

 

Abraham and Isaac went on together in peace. As Abraham and Isaac went on together, believing that God would provide himself a lamb, so we, in the fellowship of Christ, can go on together in unity and in support of one another, having been provided for by the lamb of God.

Digging Deeper

9)     How can we go on together in peace and unity?

 

The saying, “In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen” or, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided”—as it is said to this day—points us toward the LORD providing us, through his Son, with the opportunity to have our sins forgiven. Moriah is the area where both Abraham offered Isaac (but God stopped him) and Yeshua offered his life (and suffered crucifixion) for our sakes. Yeshua’s sacrifice for us was a perfect, good for all eternity sacrifice that needs no repeating. Yeshua willingly gave his life for our salvation.

This has happened.

Digging Deeper

10) Answer the following questions regarding Genesis 22:14, “And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen”:

a.      What does Jehovahjireh mean?

b.      What was Abraham talking about?

c.       In the mountain, or hill, of the LORD, who has provided what for whom?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                          20                in thy seed…all…nations of the earth…blessed

Abraham (Abram)

Israel’s Homecoming & Yeshua’s First Coming

Genesis 22:15–18

15   And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,

16   And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:

17   That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

18   And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

 

There is no one higher, so the LORD swore by himself, to show the firmness with which the LORD made these promises to Abraham. God’s word is true; God can see to all things involved in fulfilling his word.

We, however, being human, can sometimes be less sure about the outcome of our promises. Jesus told us to not swear at all, but rather make our yes mean yes and our no mean no. Because of this, many people do not swear to something but affirm instead.

Matthew 5:33–37

33   Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:

34   But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:

35   Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

36   Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

37   But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

The phrases “God willing” or “if it’s the LORD’s will” are used to show that although we can make plans, ultimately, we realize that our plans will only succeed if God doesn’t have other plans, or if God is willing.

James 4:13–15

13   Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

14   Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

15   For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

Digging Deeper

1)      Since the LORD said, “By myself have I sworn,” does it seem that the LORD was serious about fulfilling these promises to Abraham?

2)     What advantages does God have over humans in fulfilling promises?

3)     Why do some people make promises or predictions as if the fulfillment of such were a sure thing?

4)     If we tell of our plans, what could we say to relay that it is ultimately up to God whether our plans succeed?

 

Abraham demonstrated his love for God through his trusting obedience. If you love God, and believe God loves you, trust can follow.

John 14:15

15   If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 14:21

21   He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

John 14:24

24   He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

Digging Deeper

5)     Because Abraham did not withhold his son, the LORD swore that he would multiply his seed, and that “in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice”:

a.      Is it wise to follow the LORD, even if your own family members want you not to, or believe themselves, mistakenly or otherwise, adversely affected by your doing so?

b.      Cite other biblical passages that indicate the importance of following the LORD’s leading even if some in your family do not support this.

6)     Abraham obeyed the voice of the LORD:

a.      Why would our obedience to the LORD be a blessing to the LORD?

b.      Cite other passages in the Bible that demonstrate the importance of our being obedient to God.

 

Abraham showed his faith in God through his obedience. God blessed Abraham by promising to multiply his seed, which God continues to accomplish today. God also blessed Abraham by promising that his seed will possess the gate of his enemies, which can help in their continuance; and if they continue, they are more able to receive God’s deliverance.

Digging Deeper

7)     How has God succeeded in multiplying Abraham’s seed as the stars of heaven or as the sand of the seashore?

8)    How does Israel possess the gate of his enemies?

9)     The LORD stated about Israel, “and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies”; if you wanted Israel not to possess your gate, would you feel it wise not to be Israel’s enemy?

 

Furthermore, God blessed all nations by the seed of Abraham in the coming of the Messiah. Yeshua’s lineage traced through Abraham.

Galatians 3:16–18

16   Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

17   And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

18   For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

Hebrews 2:16

16   For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

Digging Deeper

10) How has Abraham’s seed blessed all nations of the Earth?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

ISAAC


LarrowUparrowRarrow

              21                Abraham…died…Isaac and Ishmael buried him

Isaac

Israel’s Homecoming

Genesis 25:8–10

8   Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.

9   And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre;

10   The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife.

 

If Isaac and Ishmael came together, why couldn’t Israelis and Arabs? As Isaac and Ishmael, the fathers of the Israeli and the Arab peoples, came together in spite of the turmoil they had been through to bury their father Abraham, so might Israelis and Arabs come together for their own sakes and for their heavenly Father’s sake.

Digging Deeper

1)      Did God intend to record the fact that Isaac and Ishmael came together in order to inspire Israelis and Arabs to do similarly?

2)     Will some Israelis and Arabs come together?

3)     In spite of their past difficulties, will some Israelis and Arabs come together through Christ to the pleasure of their heavenly Father?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                   22                in thy seed…all…nations…blessed

Isaac

Israel’s Homecoming & Yeshua’s First Coming

Genesis 26:1–6

1   And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar.

2   And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:

3   Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;

4   And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;

5   Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

6   And Isaac dwelt in Gerar:

 

With the LORD’s promises behind them, Israel’s continuance and homecoming seem much more viable. The LORD said to Isaac, “And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries,” among other things. If God multiplies you, your continued existence seems much more likely—and your existence increases your ability to receive God’s salvation. If God succeeds in giving you a place to dwell, possibly the root of the message of God’s Gospel would be more likely to catch on—albeit we could receive God’s grace with or without a place to dwell.

Digging Deeper

1)      The LORD promised Isaac, “And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries”; what do these promises mean and are they still applicable today?

2)     What does this indicate about many of the children of Israel’s desire to exist peacefully in the land of Israel?

3)     Can Israel and Palestine exist peaceably next to each other—and if not, why not; and if so, how so?

 

The LORD said to Isaac, “and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed….” The promised Messiah came in the line of Isaac.

Hebrews 11:18

18   Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:

Digging Deeper

4)     Why does it matter whether Yeshua came in the line of Isaac or not?

5)     Although Abraham laughed when the LORD told him that his wife who was ninety years old would have his child born of her, the LORD fulfilled this promise. The LORD also reaffirmed the oath he made to Abraham to Isaac. What does this tell you about the LORD’s faithfulness?

6)     Did Isaac grow up knowing that his very life was a miracle?

7)     How might have this affected him?

8)    Is it a miracle that you are alive?

9)     How does this affect you?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

ISRAEL (JACOB)


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                                                  23                stones…for his pillows

Israel (Jacob)

Yeshua’s First Coming

Genesis 28:10–11

10   And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.

11   And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.

 

Jacob put stones for his pillows, and survived not always living in the lap of luxury, as Yeshua on occasion had no place to lay his head. There are similarities between this circumstance in the life of Jacob and circumstances in Yeshua’s life. Yeshua is the one through whom the Gospel came.

Matthew 8:20

20   And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

Yeshua survived temporary homelessness, as did Jacob, and endured living not always in luxury in fulfillment of the calling that his Father had placed on him to preach good news to the meek, to preach the Gospel to the poor.

Isaiah 61:1–2

1   The Spirit of the Lord GOD 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;

2   To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

Luke 4:15–21

15   And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.

16   And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

17   And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

18   The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

19   To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

20   And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

21   And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Digging Deeper

1)      Jacob and Yeshua both faced difficulties. We might consider one such difficulty they both faced to be sleeping outside on occasion. Why would the LORD allow homelessness, or sleeping outside, to the following individuals?

a.      Jacob

b.      Yeshua

c.       Someone else

d.      Yourself

2)     Should we choose God over the luxuries of this world if they were in conflict with each other?

3)     Cite Scripture to support your point of view.

 

It also seems true that at other times in their lives, both Jacob and Yeshua had wonderful places to stay. However, each was able to move forward in their ministries even though they faced temporary lack of housing, and Jacob, even though he once had only rocks on which to lay his head instead of soft pillows.

Digging Deeper

4)     Does the LORD always call his children to difficult circumstances, to wonderful circumstances, or to either of the two in different measure at different times in their lives?

5)     Why would God do this?

6)     Does God want us to live our lives to the fullest?

7)     Cite Scripture verses that show that we should enjoy the blessings God gives us.


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                                      24                ladder…reached to heaven

Israel (Jacob)

Yeshua’s First Coming

Genesis 28:12

12   And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

 

Jacob’s ladder compares with what Yeshua prophesied Nathan would see. This amazing vision that Jacob realized in his dream, of a ladder set up on Earth reaching to Heaven with angels of God ascending and descending on it, is quite like the picture that Yeshua painted on the mind of Nathanael, about Heaven opening with angels ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.

John 1:47–51

47   Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!

48   Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.

49   Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.

50   Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.

51   And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

Digging Deeper

1)      What does the ladder in Jacob’s dream represent?

2)     Is there any significance to the similarities between what Jacob saw in his dream, about the ladder, and what Jesus shared with Nathanael, about how Nathanael “shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man”?

3)     Before witnessing the many miracles that Jesus later performed, was Nathanael’s belief that Jesus was the Son of God and the King of Israel foolish, wise, or otherwise?


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                  25                in thy seed…all…families…blessed

Israel (Jacob)

Israel’s Homecoming & Yeshua’s First Coming

Genesis 28:13–15

13   And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;

14   And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

15   And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

 

The LORD promised to give Jacob and his seed the land upon which he stood. The LORD did bless the offspring, or seed, of Jacob, and they have spread abroad to the west, east, north, and south. The LORD spread the children of Israel out; the LORD will gather the children of Israel in.

Digging Deeper

1)      The LORD said to Jacob, “the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed”:

a.      Does this apply to the children of Israel of today living on the land of Israel?

b.      How does the LORD give land to a people, by signing a lease, moving in human current affairs, or in other ways?

c.       Even if the LORD prophesied that the children of Israel would dwell in the land of Israel, why does this not mean that the LORD is not concerned with nice places to dwell for others, including Palestinians?

 

Was God referencing the works of a wonderful people or the work of a wonderful God, regarding God’s promise to Jacob, “in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed”? If one were a child of Jacob, it would take much humility to determine that God was not saying this regarding the multitude of children that proceeded out from Jacob. The children of Jacob (or Israel) have brought forth good things, the recording of Scriptures for example, and bad, as all peoples have brought to the world in varying degrees. Yet all families of the Earth, God has blessed through the coming of the Messiah, Yeshua, who came in the line of Jacob.

Galatians 3:16

16   Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

God conquered death. Through Yeshua, God will swallow up death in victory. The death that each of us deserves, and has brought upon ourselves by our sin, God has delivered us from through Christ. This Yeshua came in the line of Jacob.

Isaiah 25:8

8   He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.

1 Corinthians 15:53–55

53   For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

54   So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

55   O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

God is blessing all of the families of the Earth through Jacob’s seed, Yeshua, by magnanimously allowing forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation to all who accept this gift. Although many of us have not experienced resurrection ourselves, we can hold the ticket to eternal life, now available for pick up through faith in Yeshua. God’s salvation is still available.

Isaiah 55:6–7

6   Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

7   Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Digging Deeper

2)     To whom was the LORD referring using the word “seed” in the word of the LORD to Jacob, “And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south”?

3)     To whom was the LORD referring using the word “seed” in the word of the LORD to Jacob, “and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed”?

4)     Name some of the blessings that the children of Israel have brought to the world.

5)     Name some of the blessings that Yeshua has brought to the world.

6)     To whom did the LORD make similar promises as the ones listed in Genesis 28:13–15?

7)     Does the LORD’s reiteration of the same promises over various generations put forth that the LORD’s timing is godly in nature?

 

Regarding Israel’s homecoming, the LORD God said to Jacob, “And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.” There are marvelous prophecies that have yet to reach complete fulfillment regarding Israel. I believe God will make good on his Word.

Isaiah 55:11

11   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.

Digging Deeper

8)    Will God make good on his Word concerning Israel’s homecoming?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

        26                he was afraid…house of God…gate of heaven

Israel (Jacob)

Gospel Foreshadowing, Holy Spirit, & Yeshua’s Post Resurrection Glory

Genesis 28:16–19

16   And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.

17   And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

18   And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.

19   And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.

 

What Jacob experienced at what he called “the house of God” and “the gate of heaven” seemed very frightening to him; yet after Yeshua’s resurrection, after we have become the house of God via the indwelling of the Holy Spirit through our faith in Yeshua, if we were at the Gate of Heaven, we need not be frightened. Jacob called where he was “the house of God” and “the gate of heaven”: a reflection of the connection that the Father had with him.

Previously, in Jacob’s dream, we saw that Jacob had a vision of a ladder connecting the Father with himself. Here, we see that this seemed very frightening to Jacob. Yet because of Yeshua’s payment for our sins, we need not be as frightened as Jacob was while he was saying, “How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

Before Yeshua’s payment for our sins, Jacob was afraid. Now, if we have let Yeshua pick up the tab for our sins, we need not be troubled about being in the house of God or at the Gate of Heaven.

1 John 4:13–19

13   Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

14   And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

15   Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

16   And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

17   Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

18   There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

19   We love him, because he first loved us.

Receiving the gift of life provided through Yeshua via our trust in him can erase fear from our hearts. In so doing, we trust in the salvation and forgiveness that God has provided for us, not in what we can provide for ourselves. God’s grace can eliminate fear, and communion with God in a more freely flowing manner can begin.

Digging Deeper

1)      What is the difference between Jacob’s experience at what he called “the gate of heaven” and what we all can experience at the Gate of Heaven who is Yeshua?

2)     What is the difference between fear, respect, and love?

3)     What does God ultimately desire us to have toward him?

 

Jacob called where he was the house of God; now, we become the house of God when through Christ the Holy Spirit dwells in us. Jacob said, “this is none other but the house of God”; and he called this place, “Bethel” (the Hebrew word Bethel means “house of God”). After the LORD chose Jerusalem as the place to set up his Temple, a Samaritan woman asked Yeshua about the need to worship in a particular mountain or in Jerusalem. Yeshua replied, “the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father…the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.”

John 4:19–24

19   The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.

20   Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.

21   Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.

22   Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

23   But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

24   God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Yeshua talked about the Spirit of God making a home in us through the redemptive power of God’s plan of salvation provided for us through him, after placing our faith in him.

John 14:16–26

16   And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

17   Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

18   I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

19   Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

20   At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

21   He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

22   Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

23   Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

24   He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

25   These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.

26   But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

If God comes and makes an abode with us, we become the house of God—living temples in which God’s Spirit dwells inside our bodies with our spirit.

1 Corinthians 3:16

16   Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Why would God want to do such a thing? Possibly, the extent of God’s love for us is much greater than many have comprehended. Our gracious Father in Heaven desires this closeness with us, even though we might be like grass. Through faith in Christ, we become beloved adopted sons and daughters of God—eternal creatures. Yet God loves us even before we accept God’s plan of salvation.

Romans 5:8

8   But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Digging Deeper

4)     If the LORD has chosen different places to dwell throughout history, where does the LORD dwell now: In Heaven, in the believers in Christ via the Holy Spirit, in Jerusalem, somewhere else, or in various places at the same time—where is God’s house?

5)     Is God omnipresent, present everywhere at the same time, and existing at all places simultaneously?

6)     Does the LORD manifest his presence more magnificently at certain locations, due to various situations?

7)     Under what circumstances might God more magnificently reveal his presence?

8)    Show examples in the Scriptures where people realized dramatic demonstrations of God’s presence.

9)     Why would God want to dwell inside of us?

 

Yeshua is the Gate of Heaven. Yeshua is the entrance point to the Father.

John 10:7–9

7   Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

8   All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

9   I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

Digging Deeper

10) Is Yeshua the Gate of Heaven?

11)  If Yeshua is the Gate of Heaven:

a.      How does one open this gate and find pasture?

b.      How difficult or easy is this?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                               27                I have seen God face to face

Israel (Jacob)

Yeshua’s Preexistence & Israel’s Homecoming

Genesis 32:22–32

22   And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok.

23   And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had.

24   And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.

25   And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.

26   And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.

27   And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.

28   And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.

29   And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.

30   And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

31   And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.

32   Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew that shrank.

 

Who exactly was this being, referred to as both man and God, with whom Jacob wrestled? When Israel asked his name, he did not give a name, but asked a question back to Israel. (Israel formerly primarily used the name Jacob, but this being renamed Jacob during this encounter.) This being said to Israel, “Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name?” Was this an appearance of Yeshua, the Son of God, before his miraculous arrival in Bethlehem?

Digging Deeper

1)      Who was the being with whom Jacob wrestled?

 

In the midst of struggling with his brother Esau, Jacob was struggling with God; in the midst of struggling with the descendants of Ishmael, the descendants of Israel are struggling with God. The descendants of Ishmael are also known as the Arabs.

Esau had previously planned to kill his brother Jacob, because Esau thought Jacob had deceived his father Isaac and received his blessing in his stead. In addition, while famished, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob. While in fear of meeting his possibly angry brother, Jacob ran into another situation. In the midst of struggling with man, he was struggling with God.

It seems very interesting that as Jacob was struggling with his brother, so now the children of Israel are struggling with their cousins. The Palestinians who are Arab are the descendants of Ishmael, who was the half-brother of Jacob and Esau’s father, Isaac. Many children of Ishmael living in Palestine feel that the children of Israel have unjustifiably supplanted them from areas that they consider their land. How could God resolve such tensions? We could learn much from this passage of Scripture.

It would certainly make perfect sense, in godly allegorical form, that this is also a sign of the times at hand. As Israel wrestles with the descendants of Ishmael (the Arabs), does not Israel also wrestle with God? Even though the children of Israel seem to be currently wrestling with both man and God, will not this wrestling end with a blessing, as did the wrestling matches of Jacob? Has not God foreseen and predicted that the current wrestling matches of Israel will end with a blessing, just as God blessed Israel after wrestling with him at Peniel?

Digging Deeper

2)     Is there a parallel between the stories of Jacob wrestling this being and the children of Israel of today wrestling with God over the issue of whom the Messiah is, and if this Messiah is God’s Son?

3)     When we face earthly trials (for example, when we wrestle with humans or situations), how might these sometimes result in our resolving issues with God?

4)     When we resolve issues with God, possibly via our submission to God after wrestling with him, how could this result in our earthly trials resolving?

 

This being, called both man and God, told Jacob that his name is changing to Israel, as God is telling the children of Israel to be born again. (Being born again is discussed further in the “later part” of “Chapter 29 Put away the strange gods”—two chapters ahead.) Jacob was told, “Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” Genesis 32:28 in the Revised Standard Version (RSV) translation reads, “Then he said, ‘Your name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.’”

The name Israel means “he struggles with God” or “he will rule as God; Jisrael, a symbolical name of Jacob; also (typically) of his posterity.” He was formerly called Jacob, which means “he grasps at the heel, heel-catcher, deceitful, supplanter” or even “crooked”; now, he is being called Israel, or even “straight.”

Therefore, in the same sense, the children of Israel (or the children of Jacob), it seems, God is calling into a relationship of even greater intimacy through the forgiveness of sins and redemption of souls as brought about by God the Father’s obedient Son, Yeshua. We are all crooked when apart from God’s grace, but strait when God straightens us out through Christ.

Isaiah 40:3–5

3   The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

4   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:

5   And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

Moreover, could it be that the name Jacob represented non-Messianic children of Jacob and the name Israel represented Messianic children of Israel in this passage, as a prophetic foreshadowing? The revelation of Yeshua as the Messiah came to many (children of Jacob) yet it has lighted upon those who understood it (children of Israel) and will light upon those who come to understand it. As the Lord sent The Word, Christ Jesus, into Jacob, he has lighted upon Israel, or those who understand him.

Isaiah 9:8

8   The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel.

Digging Deeper

5)     Give definitions of the following names:

a.      Jacob

b.      Israel

6)     Was God’s changing of Jacob’s name to Israel also a foreshadowing of the rebirth and renewal of the children of Israel through their faith in Christ, the one Jacob was wrestling with, and the one Israel seems to be symbolically wrestling with today?

 

Which of God’s prophecies have not come true? Surely only God’s prophecies whose times have not yet come remain unfulfilled. Therefore, the return of Israel through the redemption of the living Savior, Yeshua Mashiach, is a sure thing. God foretold us this in the Scriptures. Nevertheless, God foretold Abraham that his descendants would inhabit the land of Canaan, yet Abraham’s descendants, who were the children of Israel, wandered in the desert for forty years because of many of the children of Israel having a lack of faith in God, a lack of faith in God’s ability to keep his promises. It is nice not to wander from our faith in God.

Proverbs 4:25–27

25   Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

26   Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

27   Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

The living Savior can save the people of Israel along with the entire world. Yes, all who put their faith in Yeshua for their own personal salvation can receive salvation. The salvation that God offers is to individuals. Eggs are sold by the dozen, and apples by the bushel, but souls are won and lost one by one.

Luke 15:10

10   Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

The continuance of the redemption of Israel could begin with you. Then quite soon, like wildfire, all the children of Israel could be acting in accordance with the prophecies regarding Israel’s homecoming that were written for us—by Moses and all the others. Those who come to God in earnest and accept the work he has done for the salvation of their souls, God transforms into children of God through their faith in Mashiach. You could accept this gift of God, and realize the salvation of your soul through faith in the unblemished Lamb of God, Yeshua.

My hope is to be there in an agreeable fashion when the will of God is accomplished.

Digging Deeper

7)     Are fulfillments of God’s prophecies a sure thing?

8)    Do we play a part in the fulfillment of God’s prophecies, or are we just innocent bystanders, unable to affect their fulfillment neither positively nor negatively?

9)     To whom does God offer relationship and eternal salvation: Ethnic groups, nations, governments, political parties, corporations, packs of wolves, groups of small raccoons, or individuals?

10) Do you hope to be there in an agreeable fashion when the will of God is accomplished?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                                                  28                Arise, go up to Bethel

Israel (Jacob)

Holy Spirit & Israel’s Homecoming

Genesis 35:1

1   And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.

 

God tells Jacob to go to Bethel (or house of God), much like as he is calling the children of Jacob to become the house of God through faith in Yeshua and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Through faith in Yeshua and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, God sets up house in our hearts. This is a marvelous passage for discussing the Holy Spirit and Israel’s homecoming.

Like Jacob, after deliverance, we can commemorate and remember God’s deliverance.

Digging Deeper

1)      Has God set up house in your heart?

2)     Is God working to the aim of seeing even more of the children of Israel allowing God to set up house in their hearts?

3)     Regarding occasions of our remembrance of God and of his deliverance, what has God recommended?

4)     Are there other occasions we should remember God?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                                    29                Put away the strange gods

Israel (Jacob)

Israel’s Homecoming & Gospel Foreshadowing

Genesis 35:2

2   Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:

 

As Jacob said to his household, “Put away the strange gods that are among you,” God calls the children of Israel and all of us to put away the strange gods among us. We can put away strange gods by putting away our allegiances to or dependencies on ungodly sources, or seemingly greedy things that appear to cling to our hearts, or that we cling to, which prevent us from following the Lord wholeheartedly.

Digging Deeper

1)      Should God be concerned with who or what we worship?

2)     Should God treat us the same regardless of whether or not we love God?

3)     Name some strange gods that worshipers of God should put away.

4)     Why might God not like us to worship strange gods?

 

The worshiping of a strange god one might display in one’s arrogance. The trusting in one’s own might, intellect, or self-diagnosed state of spiritual etherealness might be a signpost of lurking arrogant thoughts and of a stubborn disposition toward God. The desire to be the god of one’s own life can obstruct one’s submission to God.

1 Samuel 15:23

23   For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

Concerning 1 Samuel 15:23, the Hebrew word patsar that was translated “stubbornness” we could also translate “arrogance” if we liked.

Digging Deeper

5)     Why is arrogance as the sin of idolatry?

 

Strange gods could be loved ones whom we have let supersede God in the authority that they have in our lives, making them our gods. Although truly loving our family members and others is highly recommended by God, following others before God or worshipping those outside of the Godhead is not.

Matthew 10:34–39

34   Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

35   For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

36   And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

37   He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

38   And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

39   He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

We need not be miserable if a group of people do not respond to us as well as we would like them to, be they family, or friends, or a congregation, or a club, or a society. God loves us, so we can celebrate that—regardless of how well others receive us.

Digging Deeper

6)     If a family member, whom you loved, wanted you not to go down a path that you believed God wanted you to go down, what would you do?

7)     What tragedies have occurred because people focused on how dismally others treated them instead of on how much God loved them?

 

A strange god could be money, exemplified by one’s love for it or service to it. When people are so preoccupied with treasures on Earth that they bat away treasures in Heaven, this might demonstrate a deification of money. Money is a very popular strange god to have.

Those who are overly judgmental in the hope of starting or continuing a combative issue primarily to financially benefit themselves and other issue profiteering plutocrats might be exhibiting the worship of money.

Blessed are those whose God is not money.

Yet just because we should not make money our God, this does not mean we should be foolish with our money or our abilities to earn it. Through these, God can bless us. We could use the gains God has blessed us with to help further his kingdom. We can invest in the kingdom of God. Investing in the kingdom of God has high returns; the profits are out of this world.

Jeremiah 17:11

11   As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.

Matthew 6:19–21

19   Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

20   But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

21   For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Matthew 6:24

24   No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Mark 8:36–37

36   For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

37   Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Mark 10:17–31

17   And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

18   And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

19   Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

20   And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

21   Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

22   And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

23   And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

24   And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!

25   It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

26   And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?

27   And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

28   Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.

29   And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,

30   But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

31   But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.

1 Timothy 6:9–11

9   But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

10   For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

11   But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

Digging Deeper

8)    How could you tell if someone worshipped money?

9)     What is the difference between being in control of your money and your money being in control of you?

10) “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

11)  “Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

 

Strange gods could also be false doctrines not supported by the Word of God, even if people falsely proclaim that the Word of God supports such doctrines. Strange gods could be traditions, when these traditions disregard or are used to supplant or displace the teachings of God. In the Scriptures, there are instances of false prophets promoting false doctrines after falling victim to swaying from the path of God, and of people observing the traditions of humans before obeying God.

Jeremiah 28

1   And it came to pass the same year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year, and in the fifth month, that Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet, which was of Gibeon, spake unto me in the house of the LORD, in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying,

2   Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon.

3   Within two full years will I bring again into this place all the vessels of the LORD’s house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place, and carried them to Babylon:

4   And I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah, that went into Babylon, saith the LORD: for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.

5   Then the prophet Jeremiah said unto the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests, and in the presence of all the people that stood in the house of the LORD,

6   Even the prophet Jeremiah said, Amen: the LORD do so: the LORD perform thy words which thou hast prophesied, to bring again the vessels of the LORD’s house, and all that is carried away captive, from Babylon into this place.

7   Nevertheless hear thou now this word that I speak in thine ears, and in the ears of all the people;

8   The prophets that have been before me and before thee of old prophesied both against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence.

9   The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the LORD hath truly sent him.

10   Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck, and brake it.

11   And Hananiah spake in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years. And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.

12   Then the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the prophet, after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying,

13   Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Thou hast broken the yokes of wood; but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron.

14   For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also.

15   Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie.

16   Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the LORD.

17   So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.

Mark 7:6–13

6   He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

7   Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

8   For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

9   And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

10   For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:

11   But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.

12   And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;

13   Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

Yet try not to go crazy while verbally beating up others while claiming that you can rightly judge what is and what is not in accordance with the Word of God, but seek the loving guidance of God.

Digging Deeper

12) Why might some people try to form God into the image they think they want God to be?

13) Why might some people portray God to others in an untrue manner?

14) If someone portrayed God to others in an untrue manner, how might this lead to the making of false gods, or false doctrines about the true God?

15)  Why would someone try to use the Word of God to beat up others verbally more so than share God’s mercy?

16) Give examples of this.

 

Other strange gods to put away might be human leaders. The worship of human leaders we could demonstrate by giving divine rights to our lives to them. Blindfolded commitment to human leaders might coincide with the signing over of blank checks to our wills. These blank checks we could sign over to governments, institutions, parties, political leaders, so-called religious leaders, rock stars, pop idols, or any other person or persons that might guide us down the paths of unrighteousness.

If any leader leads you in direct opposition to the will of God or the teachings of God recorded in the Word of God, you might want to consider not following. Any leader that leads while not being submissive to the Holy Spirit of God, whether claiming to be a leader with godly intentions or not, might have trouble going in the direction of the light.

God can accomplish tasks without forcing people to do things outside of their wills.

Judges 7:1–7

1   Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.

2   And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.

3   Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.

4   And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go.

5   So he brought down the people unto the water: and the Lord said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink.

6   And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.

7   And the Lord said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.

In God’s Word, in Romans 13:1, Paul wrote, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” Yet also, in Acts 5:29, Luke wrote, “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” Even Benjamin Franklin has put forth, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!”

Benjamin Franklin believed freedom and education should walk hand in hand, for he said, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” Benjamin Franklin also said, “…whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that, whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them right.”

Daniel 3:15–18

15   Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?

16   Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.

17   If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

18   But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Digging Deeper

17)  If a leader told people to go down a path that God did not want you to go down, how would you know whether to go down that path?

18) What role does lack of understanding of God’s Word play into the hands of a ruler leading others in ways contrary to God’s way?

19) Under what circumstances would God not want you to obey the authorities?

20)            What are good things for a people or country to study in order to stay well informed and close with God?

 

Strange gods could also be wooden, silver, golden, or other material statues or images. Although possibly not as common today as in antiquity, the worship of things that do not move, think, or have the breath of life in them seems to have occurred.

Exodus 20:2–4

2   I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

3   Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

4   Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

Digging Deeper

21) Why would someone (in the past or in current times) worship an inanimate object or image?

 

Some consider worship of the Son of God to be idolatry. Some deem this true for everyone, while others believe this true only for Jewish people. However, according to the Scriptures, Father and Son are both part of the unified Godhead and worthy of our praise, service, and worship.

Isaiah 49:7–8

7   Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, 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.

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;

Daniel 7:13–14

13   I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

14   And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

Matthew 2:11

11   And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

Matthew 28:8–10

8   And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

9   And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

10   Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

Let me quote a passage of scripture, Deuteronomy 13, that one might quote while trying to nullify the roughly 453 passages in the Tanakh that reference Yeshua as the Messiah or the Son of God:

Deuteronomy 13

1   If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,

2   And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;

3   Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

4   Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

5   And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

6   If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;

7   Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;

8   Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:

9   But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.

10   And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

11   And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.

12   If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the LORD thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying,

13   Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known;

14   Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you;

15   Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.

16   And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the LORD thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again.

17   And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and shew thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers;

18   When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD thy God.

Yeshua is part of the supreme (singular yet unified plural) Triune Godhead referenced by the Hebrew word 'Elohiym (translated “God”), not a false god referenced by the Hebrew words 'acher 'elohiym (translated “other gods”).

When someone does not acknowledge God as God is—including the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—we might call this a case of selective worship of God. As one would like to perceive God, God is not always such. Uninhibited love and worship of God as God is, this is what God wants. The unity of God, as portrayed through the love between the Father and the Son, is sometimes a difficult concept for us to grasp entirely. Who can grasp God without an outpouring of the Spirit of God for understanding?

Using analysis, let us relate the worship of the Father and the Son to the story of Elijah atop Mount Sinai—where the LORD spoke to him in a still small voice and not in the great and strong wind, in the earthquake, or in the fire.

1 Kings 19:11–13

11   And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:

12   And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

13   And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?

Elijah could have said, “I will not listen to the still small voice of the LORD, this is not how I want to accept God. I want to accept God as he spoke with Moses from the burning bush, or as he demonstrated his power to the children of Israel by swallowing with the earth Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, and those who were with them, who transgressed against God by transgressing against Moses. I would rather, even, accept God in a great wind as he parted the Red Sea and provided escape for the children of Israel from the pursuing Egyptians.” Elijah could have said, “I will accept God as a pillar of cloud or as a pillar of fire as he appeared to Israel when he led them through the wilderness, but I most certainly will not accept the LORD speaking to me with a still small voice.”

If Elijah had done this, surely he would have been choosing not to listen to the voice of God. God speaks to us as God’s will dictates, not as our wills dictate for God to speak to us. Yet God can speak to us in accordance with both God’s will and our wills if our wills are as one.

Not hearing all of what God speaks to us, no matter what he says or how he says it, is selective hearing. Not following where the LORD leads us, no matter where he leads us, is selective following—not complete submission.

For example, would we really be being submissive to God if we said to God the following? “I will not listen to you speaking to me from the voice of a man—even a God-man like your Son, who humbled himself, took on flesh, and was bodily resurrected with an eternal and everlasting body. Father, even if your Son now sits at your right hand as a mediator and means of salvation for those of us who place our faith in him, I will still pass. Although God’s Son might be able to understand in intimate detail the struggles we go through in the flesh, for he even did so perfectly and without sin, I maintain that God should have just stayed in Heaven. Therefore, I will not accept that he has come down from Heaven.”

Would we be being submissive to God if we continued on, and said the following? “Even if God’s Son, Yeshua, provided of himself an acceptable sacrifice for a righteous God, and a perfect atonement for us sinners, and we, through this sacrifice, can be atoned for and put at peace with God, since I think God could have done this better some other way or through someone else, no thank you.”

Yet if saying such things were not in line with what God hopes and desires for us, should we not seek something else to say?

The plan of God’s redemption of people, some consider far-fetched fiction; but others accept God’s plan of salvation for their lives. My mother calls the plan of God’s salvation through his Son, “the smartest thing he’s ever done.” Surely, it is a beautiful plan—showing God’s love for us and our love for God.

The LORD demonstrated his love for us by sending his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, down to Earth as the means for our salvation. We demonstrate our love for God the Father by accepting the Son of God whom God the Father sent to us, even while coming to us in the flesh and in humility.

John 14:7–11

7   If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

8   Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

9   Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?

10   Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

11   Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

Although being a separate being, Jesus is still one with his Father. Jesus came to us as the Son of God and the Son of man. Jesus came to us in humility, not in his majestic majesty. As a poor man does not have to wonder if he is loved only for his money, and not for his true self, so God, by his wonderful plan of forgiveness and salvation offered through his Son coming down from Heaven and speaking his Father’s words in humility, can see that we love him in his essence. Is not God more pleased if we come to him loving who God really is, rather than if we come to him in fearful, not rooted in love, cowering to the boss of all there is (even though he is the boss)?

The essence of the God of the Tanakh is the same essence of the God of the B’rit Hadasha. Throughout both the Old Testament and the New Testament of the Bible, the same God reveals himself more and more clearly. As sheep know their shepherd’s voice, so we can know the voice of our God. If we hear God call, we can respond.

John 10:1–8

1   Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

2   But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

3   To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

4   And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

5   And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

6   This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.

7   Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

8   All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

John 10:14–27

14   I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

15   As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

16   And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

17   Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

18   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.

19   There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings.

20   And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?

21   Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?

22   And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.

23   And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.

24   Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.

25   Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.

26   But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

27   My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

Digging Deeper

22)Why might God want us to worship God as God is, rather than worship God as we might think we want God to be?

23)How could people recognize the voice of God if they heard it?

24)Why do you or do you not consider worship of the one they call the Son of man and the Son of God, Yeshua, to be idolatry?

 

In Genesis 35:2, Jacob said, “be clean,” as God calls us to be clean. God calls us to let God wash us clean by the forgiveness of God. God can bathe us in pools of mercy and oceans of tenderness. God can transform our sins, though as scarlet, to as white as snow by the Lord’s redemption.

Isaiah 1:18

18   Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Isaiah 4:4

4   When the Lord 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.

Digging Deeper

25) If God offered to forgive you and wash you clean in pools of mercy and oceans of tenderness, how would you respond?

26)If God has already washed you clean, how did this feel and how does this now affect your life?

27) If you have yet to experience the forgiveness of God, God wiping away your sins, honestly, what are you waiting for?

 

Jacob also said to those with him, “change your garments:” as God calls us to change our garments and put on garments of salvation. God calls us to change our garments in the sense of putting off the things that separate us from God and putting on the robes of Yeshua’s righteousness.

Isaiah 61:10

10   I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

We are very well dressed if clothed in God’s righteousness, available through the LORD’s Son. Therefore, after being born again in accordance with our Father’s compassionate plan for our lives, we can put away the old self by putting on the new self in Christ.

John 3:1–8

1   There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:

2   The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

3   Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

4   Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

5   Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

6   That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

7   Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

8   The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Ephesians 4:22–24

22   That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

23   And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

24   And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Digging Deeper

28)            How does one have God change one’s filthy garments for garments of salvation?

29)How is one born again?

30)            How does one put on the new man (or person)?

31) What is the difference between being born again and putting on the new man (or person)?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

     30                did not pursue after the sons of Jacob

Israel (Jacob)

Israel’s Homecoming

Genesis 35:3–7

3   And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.

4   And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.

5   And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.

6   So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, that is, Bethel, he and all the people that were with him.

7   And he built there an altar, and called the place Elbethel: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother.

 

As Jacob resolved to listen to God and go off to Bethel, and his household put away the strange gods among them, God provided safe traveling for them. “House of God” is the meaning of the Hebrew word Bethel. The children of Israel, after becoming the house of God via God sending the Holy Spirit to those who place their faith in Christ, and after possibly putting away any false gods, thereby having their lives less hampered by the obstacles that so persuasively and deceptively avert our paths from the Lord’s way, could experience greater safety.

The respect of the Lord by even more of the surrounding nations and peoples could cause them not to pursue after the children of Israel—out of fear for God, or more hopefully out of love for God.

Genesis 12:3

3   And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Digging Deeper

1)      Is peace in Israel even possible?

2)     If so, how could this peace come about?

 

Israel’s homecoming is something all who love God could celebrate. It shows the unending mercy of God and the keeping of his promises. Israel’s homecoming is a precursor to the resurrection of all the children of God through faith in Christ.

Romans 11:15

15   For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

To an enemy of God, Israel’s homecoming might not be as much of a great celebratory happening. Nevertheless, praise be to God. Through repentant hearts turned toward God’s unfathomable mercy, we can see enemies of God turn into friends of God, even children of God.

God indicates in the Scriptures that we should pray for our enemies and seek to share God’s great message of salvation and forgiveness with even those who from behind the cobwebs of deception seek our harm.

Digging Deeper

3)     Is God more pleased when we: a) While goggling with hatred, seek to destroy our enemies, or b) While filled with mercy and forgiveness, pray for our enemies?

 

How could God in the Scriptures indicate a period of security for the children of Israel, maybe even the land of Israel, through God’s Son? Around the time of the children of Israel’s return to the LORD via entering into an even closer relationship than had been previously experienced by many of them, peace could come.

Yeshua, the one crucified for our sins, suffered on his path to the cross and back to the right hand of his Father. Furthermore, Yeshua’s disciples and followers have faced many trials, tribulations, and persecutions. There has indeed been suffering for the children of God through faith in Christ. Yet possibly, the suffering of the children of Israel since the coming of the Lord and Savior of Israel over two thousand years ago has been enough. Maybe a little peace, outward and inward, could come. Surely inward peace can come for all eternity, but maybe a little outward peace could come also—followed by eternal inward and outward peace while Yeshua rules atop mount Zion after a brief God versus Satan rematch.

Maybe God in his mercy, who has mercy on whom he will have mercy, in celebration of seeing even more of his children of Israel returning to him, will throw a party. About the time of their repentance and coming home to him, God could provide a wonderful dwelling place for them. God could grant peace on land, but peace in spirit is more important. God delights in delighting his children.

Digging Deeper

4)     Which would you choose if you had to choose between peace on Earth and peace with God?

5)     Show Scripture passages demonstrating that God sometimes blesses his followers with abundant peaceful life situations on Earth.

 

God’s delight in the children of Israel’s repentance, demonstrated by their acceptance of the grace offered through God’s Son, Yeshua, would be immense. The children of Israel, as well as many others throughout the world, might be in need of repentance. Any who do not always draw near to God through his mercy might stand to show some repentance. As God leads, let us all repent. If we do not know whether we should repent, or what it is we might need to repent of, we could ask God, “Dear God, what is my problem, if I might have one?”

Digging Deeper

6)     Describe why repentance would be desirable of the following:

a.      Yourself from people who might have wronged you

b.      Others from yourself, whom you might have wronged

c.       God from those who might have wronged or neglected him

 

Whether there are prophecies about a difficult time to come later for the children of Israel, we could further investigate. However, there does seem to be a period of great joy for the children of Israel to enjoy.

Digging Deeper

7)     After a miraculous time of peace for the children of Israel, might there still be some times of suffering for them to endure prior to their eternal peace with God?

8)    Give Scriptures to support your point of view.

 

Surely, following the will of God is what we all should pursue. If while following the will of God in our lives God blesses us with wonderful moments of peace and joy on this Earth, then thank God. If while following the will of God we face worldly persecutions even to the point of death, then thank God as well. God is the giver of life; God can certainly give us our lives back again if he so desires.

We can enjoy all things while close to God, but being separate from God is the saddest place to be. Even being separate from God’s will for our lives could be a sadder place to be than where we could be.

Digging Deeper

9)     Why should we keep our trust in the LORD even while going through difficult circumstances?

10) Note Scripture verses that encourage us to keep our trust in the LORD even while going through difficult circumstances.

11)  Where is a happy place to be?

12) Where is a happy place to be in your life?

13) Where is the happiest place to be?

14) Where is the happiest place to be in your life?

15)  Where is the happiest place to be for all eternity?

16) Where is the happiest place to be in your life for all eternity?

17)  Where is a sad place to be?

18) Where is a sad place to be in your life?

19) Where is the saddest place to be?

20)            Where is the saddest place to be in your life?

21) Where is the saddest place to be for all eternity?

22)Where is the saddest place to be in your life for all eternity?

23)How do we stay on the happier side of life while living?

 

Let’s look at some more passages concerning Israel’s homecoming. Israel’s homecoming is a glorious thing. Here are some more biblical passages that demonstrate the blessings God will pour out on his people Israel:

Isaiah 4:2–4

2   In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.

3   And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:

4   When the Lord 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.

Digging Deeper

24)Concerning Isaiah 4:2–4, how might this apply to the children of Israel?

Isaiah 32:1–8

1   Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.

2   And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.

3   And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken.

4   The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly.

5   The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful.

6   For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the LORD, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.

7   The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right.

8   But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand.

Digging Deeper

25) Concerning Isaiah 32:1–8, how might this apply to the children of Israel?

Isaiah 32:15–18

15   Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest.

16   Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field.

17   And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.

18   And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;

Digging Deeper

26)Concerning Isaiah 32:15–18, how might this apply to the children of Israel?

Isaiah 33:20

20   Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.

Digging Deeper

27) Concerning Isaiah 33:20, how might this apply to the children of Israel?

Isaiah 33:24

24   And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.

Digging Deeper

28)            Concerning Isaiah 33:24, how might this apply to the children of Israel?

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.

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;

3   And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.

4   Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the LORD, and my work with my God.

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.

6   And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to 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.

7   Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, 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.

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;

9   That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.

10   They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.

11   And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.

12   Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.

13   Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.

14   But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.

15   Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.

16   Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

17   Thy children shall make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee.

18   Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, and come to thee. As I live, saith the LORD, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, as a bride doeth.

19   For thy waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away.

20   The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other, shall say again in thine ears, The place is too strait for me: give place to me that I may dwell.

21   Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been?

22   Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.

23   And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.

24   Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?

25   But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.

26   And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.

Digging Deeper

29)Concerning Isaiah 49, how might this apply to the children of Israel?

Isaiah 61

1   The Spirit of the Lord GOD 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;

2   To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

3   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.

4   And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.

5   And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.

6   But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.

7   For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.

8   For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.

9   And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed.

10   I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

11   For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

Digging Deeper

30)            Concerning Isaiah 61, how might this apply to the children of Israel?

Isaiah 62

1   For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.

2   And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.

3   Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.

4   Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.

5   For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.

6   I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence,

7   And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

8   The LORD hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou hast laboured:

9   But they that have gathered it shall eat it, and praise the LORD; and they that have brought it together shall drink it in the courts of my holiness.

10   Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people.

11   Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

12   And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.

Digging Deeper

31) Concerning Isaiah 62, how might this apply to the children of Israel?

Jeremiah 23:1–8

1   Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.

2   Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.

3   And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.

4   And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.

5   Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, 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.

6   In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

7   Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;

8   But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.

Digging Deeper

32)Concerning Jeremiah 23:1–8, how might this apply to the children of Israel?

Zechariah 9:1–8

1   The burden of the word of the LORD in the land of Hadrach, and Damascus shall be the rest thereof: when the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, shall be toward the LORD.

2   And Hamath also shall border thereby; Tyrus, and Zidon, though it be very wise.

3   And Tyrus did build herself a strong hold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets.

4   Behold, the LORD will cast her out, and he will smite her power in the sea; and she shall be devoured with fire.

5   Ashkelon shall see it, and fear; Gaza also shall see it, and be very sorrowful, and Ekron; for her expectation shall be ashamed; and the king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.

6   And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.

7   And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth: but he that remaineth, even he, shall be for our God, and he shall be as a governor in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite.

8   And I will encamp about mine house because of the army, because of him that passeth by, and because of him that returneth: and no oppressor shall pass through them any more: for now have I seen with mine eyes.

Digging Deeper

33)Concerning Zechariah 9:1–8, how might this apply to the children of Israel and to the Palestinians?

Luke 15:11–24

11   And he said, A certain man had two sons:

12   And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.

13   And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

14   And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

15   And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

16   And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.

17   And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

18   I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,

19   And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

20   And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

21   And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

22   But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

23   And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

24   For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

Digging Deeper

34)Concerning Luke 15:11–24, the parable of the prodigal son, how might this apply to the children of Israel?

35) How might the parable of the prodigal son apply to you?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                                            31                Israel shall be thy name

Israel (Jacob)

Yeshua’s Preexistence & Israel’s Homecoming

Genesis 35:9–10

9   And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him.

10   And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel.

 

Here we see a confirmation of the name change that occurred previously while Jacob wrestled with a man and later said, “I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” During that earlier encounter, the one Jacob wrestled with changed Jacob’s name to Israel. Here we see a confirmation of the name change, possibly to show a correlation between the dealings of the Son with the dealings of the Father. God might have shown this confirmation of Jacob’s name change to show the unity that exists between Father and Son, and to typify their not existing as competitive entities, as some might portray them, but as one.

Digging Deeper

1)      It seems that the name, Israel, which God gave Jacob in his previous wrestling match with him, was indeed Jacob’s new name. Concerning Genesis 35:10, why does God reaffirm to Jacob that he is to go now by his new name, Israel?

2)     What was so significant about God changing Jacob’s name to Israel?

3)     Did God’s changing of Jacob’s name to Israel signify anything about the modern day children of Jacob, or children of Israel?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                                                32                God went up from him

Israel (Jacob)

Israel’s Homecoming & Yeshua’s Post Resurrection Glory

Genesis 35:11–15

11   And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;

12   And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.

13   And God went up from him in the place where he talked with him.

14   And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon.

15   And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel.

 

God’s words about the establishment of Israel ensure and relate to the possibility of its reestablishment or of its homecoming. God told Jacob to be fruitful and multiply, that a nation and a company of nations will be of him, that kings will come out of his loins, and that the land that God gave Jacob’s fathers would be his and his seed’s after him.

Digging Deeper

1)      After being fruitful and multiplying, name two countries that came out of Jacob, a couple of kings who have come out of his loins, and a land or two in which his descendants have dwelled.

2)     God said to Jacob, “And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.” What does this tell you about Israel’s homecoming?

 

Ascending to Heaven is a dramatic exit strategy. The similarity between how God went up from Jacob and how Christ Jesus went up to his Father in his ascension from Bethany is interesting.

Luke 24:44–53

44   And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

45   Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

46   And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

47   And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

48   And ye are witnesses of these things.

49   And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

50   And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

51   And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

52   And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:

53   And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.

Digging Deeper

3)     After speaking with Jacob, why did God choose to depart from him in such a dramatic fashion as going up into Heaven?

4)     Why did Jesus choose to part from his friends by going up into Heaven in his ascension?

5)     Name other biblical figures who ascended into Heaven.

6)     Why might have these other ascensions taken place?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                                   33                Rachel died…in…Bethlehem

Israel (Jacob)

Yeshua’s First Coming & Gospel Foreshadowing

Genesis 35:16–20

16   And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour.

17   And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also.

18   And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.

19   And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.

20   And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave unto this day.

 

In Bethlehem, the same town where Rachel passed from this Earth, the LORD prophesied that someone who is to be ruler in Israel who comes from everlasting would be born. Yeshua was born in this town.

Micah 5:2

2   But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Yeshua is a leader, the King of the Jews and the King of kings, and he came “forth unto me” (or came from Earth to the right hand of his Father) and will one day visibly rule in Israel, and his “goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Who other than someone who was part of the Godhead, like the Son of God, could have come from everlasting to Bethlehem?

Matthew 2:1–2

1   Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

2   Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

Digging Deeper

1)      In fulfillment of the Micah 5:2 prophecy, which person who is King of the Jews and who will be ruler in Israel and who came from of old, or from everlasting, was born in Bethlehem?

 

As Rachel lost her life after birthing Benjamin in Bethlehem, so many of the children in Bethlehem, following Yeshua’s birth there, lost their lives subsequent to Yeshua’s escape to Egypt. After Yeshua’s birth in Bethlehem, Herod sought to destroy the newborn Savior. Rachel called her newborn son Benoni (which means “son of my sorrow”), yet Jacob called him Benjamin (which means “son of the right hand”).

Jeremiah 31:15

15   Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.

Hosea 11:1

1   When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.

Matthew 2:13–18

13   And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

14   When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:

15   And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

16   Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.

17   Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying,

18   In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

Digging Deeper

2)     Do you believe God allowed Rachel to die after birthing Benjamin; and if so, why do you believe God allowed this?

3)     Do you believe God knew beforehand, as indicated by prophecy, that Herod would kill many children while trying to kill the Christ child and allowed this to happen; and if so, why do you believe God allowed this?

4)     Relate Herod killing children in Bethlehem in the hope of killing the Christ child to the work of dark spiritual forces, or people with misguided intentions, trying to keep people from life in Yeshua.

 

Death at birth and birth at death, the bringing forth of life can come with loss. It’s in the give and take of existence that appreciation for life can take hold. It’s in the death of one’s former life that life in Christ can come forth.

2 Corinthians 5:17

17   Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Digging Deeper

5)     Relate Rachel’s death at the birth of her son Benjamin to a person’s spiritual birth at the death of one’s former self.


LarrowUparrowRarrow

JOSEPH


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                    34                Joseph brought…their evil report

Joseph

Yeshua’s First Coming & Israel’s Homecoming

Genesis 37:2

2   These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.

 

Joseph was what you might call another type of Jesus, or prefiguring of Yeshua. Joseph’s life foreshadowed the life of the latter coming Messiah. Yeshua arrived on Earth as the incarnate Son of God approximately seventeen and one half centuries after Joseph’s time on Earth.

Digging Deeper

1)      What were the names of Joseph’s brothers who were the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah?

2)     Name any other type of Jesus, or prefiguring of Yeshua, revealed in the Tanakh.

3)     Did God use the actual life of Joseph to foreshadow Jesus’ life? (If you are not familiar with the lives of Joseph and Jesus described in the Bible, you might need to read further before answering.)

 

Joseph gave a bad report about some of his brothers, as Jesus spoke harshly at times about a number of folks from certain Israeli towns and various religious groups. Joseph’s ill report might have been important for their father, Jacob, to hear, so Jacob could possibly straighten them out, just as Yeshua was trying to bring about the repentance of his hearers then and his hearers now.

Matthew 11:20–24

20   Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:

21   Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

22   But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.

23   And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

24   But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

Matthew 23:13–39

13   But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

14   Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

15   Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

16   Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!

17   Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?

18   And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty.

19   Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?

20   Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.

21   And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein.

22   And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.

23   Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

24   Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

25   Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

26   Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

27   Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.

28   Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

29   Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,

30   And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.

31   Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.

32   Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.

33   Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

34   Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:

35   That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

36   Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

37   O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

38   Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

39   For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

As there was a time when some of Joseph’s brothers did not warmly accept him, there was a time when the children of Israel in Jerusalem, for the most part, would not allow God to gather them together as a hen gathers her chickens.

Yet now, we are in a time of the children of Israel allowing God to gather them together as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings. God is doing this now. Look forward to see God do more of this in the future.

Digging Deeper

4)     Hard words can be tough to swallow. Yet are honest, hard admonishments from a loving source better than lying, sweet flatteries from an indifferent or hateful source?

5)     Why is this so?

6)     Hearing evil reports about ourselves can be difficult to deal with. The following questions are regarding an evil report that might have been given about yourself or someone you knew:

a.      Have you ever been objectionable about an evil report?

b.      Did the evil report eventually lead to vindication, exoneration, disciplining, or reproving?

c.       Was the evil report from a loving, indifferent, distasteful, or hateful source?

d.      Was the evil report ultimately beneficial?

7)     As Joseph’s hard words concerning some of his brothers were ultimately beneficial to them, how might have any hard words from Jesus about some of his fellow Israelis ultimately have benefited them?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                                                     35                coat of many colours

Joseph

Yeshua’s First Coming

Genesis 37:3

3   Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.

 

As Joseph’s father loved Joseph in a very special way, so Jesus’ Father’s love for him was, and is, immense.

Mark 1:9–11

9   And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.

10   And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:

11   And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Digging Deeper

1)      If God is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient, God can love all of his children personally. Even throughout the entire world and the outer bounds of Heaven, God can favor or not favor individuals in the right measure. Yet Israel, being human, seemed to favor his son Joseph.

a.      Why did Israel seem to favor Joseph?

b.      If Israel indeed favored his son Joseph, was this justifiable?

c.       What is the best way to deal with not being favored as much as we would like?

 

As Joseph’s father made him a coat of many colors, Jesus’ Father has made him the means of salvation for people of many colors. Joseph was clothed in a colorful jacket; Jesus is clothed with the world’s salvation.

Isaiah 49:6

6   And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to 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.

Daniel 7:13–14

13   I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

14   And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

Revelation 7:9–10

9   After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

10   And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

Digging Deeper

2)     How might have Joseph felt having a coat of many colors because of how much his father loved him?

3)     If people of all colors have had their souls saved through Jesus, how might Jesus feel being clothed in the world’s salvation because of how much people love him and his Father?

4)     Would you like to have a coat of many colors because of how much love there is for you?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                                        36                Joseph dreamed a dream

Joseph

Yeshua’s First Coming

Genesis 37:5–8

5   And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.

6   And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:

7   For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.

8   And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.

 

As God gave to Joseph a dream about his brothers’ sheaves making obeisance to his sheaf, in the same sense, Jesus’ Father gave him words to convey to us while Jesus walked among us. As God through Pharaoh glorified Joseph (Pharaoh later made Joseph second-in-command of Egypt), so God the Father through himself glorified Jesus (Jesus now sits at the right hand of his Father).

In his high position, Joseph helped the survival of his father, siblings, and many others through a great famine. Jesus sits in his high position having provided the way by which a person can have one’s sins forgiven and obtain eternal fellowship with God. However, in this similar phase of their lives, regarding the revelations that the LORD gave to each of them, not all who heard them accepted them, or their revelations.

Mark 6:4

4   But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

Digging Deeper

1)      Why was the revelation of Joseph’s God-ordained glorification, revealed via his dream, difficult for some of his brothers to accept?

2)     Why was Jesus’ revelation that he was the Son of God and close with his Father difficult for some of his brothers and others of the children of Israel to accept?

3)     If the LORD lifts someone up, or puts someone in a position of high authority, should other people accept or reject this person, if this person enters and maintains this position?

 

As if Joseph’s sufferings conspired to bless Joseph and his family, Jesus’ sufferings seemed to collude to bless Jesus and others. As his story continued, we see that God allowed this young brother, Joseph, to go through hardship for his and his family’s benefit (even those of his family who were against him), just as Jesus went through hardship for his and the entire world’s benefit (even those who were against him).

While here as a young, little brother, Joseph was walking into the authority that God was granting him, even while many of his brothers were not accepting him in this role. When here in humbled, human form, though still the Son of God, Jesus’ words, even those given to him by his Father, could be received by those who were in love with the Father’s true nature. Those who are in love with God, in God’s true essence, recognize God’s voice and words even when not coming from a burning bush or (as recorded in Exodus 19:16) “thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.” God had spoken to the children of Israel in these and other manners before the entrance of God’s Son in humility and humanity.

John 10:26–42

26   But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

27   My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

28   And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

29   My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

30   I and my Father are one.

31   Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.

32   Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?

33   The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

34   Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

35   If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

36   Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

37   If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.

38   But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

39   Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,

40   And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode.

41   And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true.

42   And many believed on him there.

Digging Deeper

4)     How did God work even the mistreatment of Joseph by his brothers eventually to their benefit?

5)     How has God worked even the actions of those who worked to have Jesus crucified eventually to their potential benefit?

6)     How can God work even our sins against God eventually to our benefit?

7)     How can you recognize the voice of God?

8)    Why would God want to talk with us from a voice that was intimidating?

9)     Why would God want to talk with us from a voice that was humble and loving?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

          37                whether it be well with thy brethren

Joseph

Yeshua’s First Coming

Genesis 37:12–15

12   And his brethren went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem.

13   And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I.

14   And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.

15   And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou?

 

Joseph said, “Here am I”; Jesus said, “Lo, I come”—each answered positively to their father’s calling. As Joseph responded favorably to his father’s want to send him to his brothers, even at the risk of his own life, so Jesus responded favorably to his Father’s desire for him to check on and save us, even by the payment of his own life.

Psalm 40:6–10

6   Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.

7   Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,

8   I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.

9   I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.

10   I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.

As Joseph went to see how his brothers and his father’s flocks were, Jesus came to see how the children of Israel and other human beings were. The Father sent his Son to live the kind of life that we live here on Earth. Possibly, the Father did this so that his Son would know firsthand what we go through on Earth. Now, we have a mediator between God the Father and humankind who can relate to the weaknesses and struggles that we encounter.

Hebrews 2:14–18

14   Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

15   And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

16   For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

17   Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

18   For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Hebrews 4:14–16

14   Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

15   For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

16   Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Digging Deeper

1)      Although Israel loved Joseph in a very special way, it seems he loved his other children deeply as well, as Israel sent Joseph to find out how they were doing. What does this tell you about the character and loving nature of Israel?

2)     Although God the Father loves his only begotten Son in a very special way, God the Father sent Jesus to check on and deliver us. What does this tell you about the character and loving nature of God the Father?

3)     Did Joseph and Jesus know that the possibility existed that they might face harm if they obeyed their father’s requests and went off to those whom their fathers sent them to check on?

a.      Answer regarding Joseph

b.      Answer regarding Jesus

4)     What does the going forth of both Joseph and Jesus to check on those whom their fathers asked them to check on in lieu of their own safety tell you about their character and loving nature?

a.      Answer regarding Joseph

b.      Answer regarding Jesus


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                                                                      38                let us slay him

Joseph

Yeshua’s First Coming & Israel’s Homecoming

Genesis 37:18–20

18   And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.

19   And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.

20   Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.

 

As jealousy and envy filled the hearts of some of Joseph’s brothers, jealousy and envy stirred in the hearts of some of those who heard Jesus while he was here on Earth. As some of Joseph’s brothers thought to slay him for a dream he shared, that seemed to exalt Joseph, and possibly for his closeness with his Father, so some of Jesus’ fellow Israelites thought to slay him for sharing truths that his Father wanted him to reveal to us, and for talking about his closeness with his Father.

Matthew 26:3–4

3   Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas,

4   And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him.

John 11:45–53

45   Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.

46   But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.

47   Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.

48   If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.

49   And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,

50   Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.

51   And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;

52   And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.

53   Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.

The closeness that Jesus revealed he had with his Father, some spoke of as blasphemy.

Mark 14:60–64

60   And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?

61   But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?

62   And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

63   Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses?

64   Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.

Digging Deeper

1)      What were the motives of those who wished to kill Joseph?

2)     What were the motives of those who wished to kill Jesus?

3)     What thought, counseling between those involved, justification, and the like might have taken place before the kidnapping of Joseph?

4)     What thought, counseling between those involved, justification, and the like might have taken place before the arrest of Jesus?

5)     How does the occurrence of premeditation affect your opinion of crimes carried out?

 

I am perplexed when people blame Jews of today more so than they blame others for the death of Jesus, which occurred nearly two thousand years ago. I am also perplexed when people blame Christians of today for the past deaths of Jewish people, which might have occurred generations ago. The Lord God, in his Word, counsels us against holding the children accountable for the sins of their fathers.

Ezekiel 18:18–22

18   As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity.

19   Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live.

20   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.

21   But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

22   All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.

Sometimes, we even go beyond holding the children accountable for the sins of their fathers by blaming entire groups of people because a small group of these people carried out awful acts. At other times, we hand the blame to an entire people group, even when those who went falsely in the name of that larger group executed the sins exposed.

God is true and loving, regardless of whether those who claim to be following him are now acting or have ever acted in accordance with his will. Let us not disregard God’s truth by pointing out the mistakes of God’s so-called, or even true, followers. Let us assess God by who God is. Let us read the Word of God and seek God with all our hearts to find him. If everyone in the whole world who claims to be following God is doing evil, God is still good.

Not all who might deserve blame for Jesus’ crucifixion realize it. Christ died for my sins. To save my life, Jesus accepted death on the cross. Jesus died to pay for the sins of all who put their faith in him. God’s plan of salvation is available to us through the sacrifice of the Father’s only begotten Son, Jesus. Blame for Jesus’ crucifixion we could place on the saints of God through faith in Christ, for it was for the redemption of their souls that Christ died.

Psalm 50:5

5   Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.

Digging Deeper

6)     Have you ever witnessed prejudicial judgment cast on an entire group of people because of the actions of their ancestors?

a.      What happened?

b.      Why did this happen?

c.       Was this prejudicial judgment fair?

7)     Have you ever witnessed prejudicial judgment cast on an entire group of people because of the actions of some from this group?

a.      What happened?

b.      Why did this happen?

c.       Was this prejudicial judgment fair?

8)    Give Scripture verses that show us that we should not be prejudiced.

9)     Who is responsible for the death of Jesus?

10) For whom did Christ die?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                                                             39                Let us not kill him

Joseph

Yeshua’s First Coming & Israel’s Homecoming

Genesis 37:21–30

21   And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.

22   And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.

23   And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;

24   And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.

25   And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.

26   And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?

27   Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.

28   Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.

29   And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.

30   And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go?

 

Joseph’s life had similarities to Jesus’ life in that they both had those who wanted to save their lives. Some of Joseph’s brothers were fighting for him, as some of Jesus’ fellow Israelites were fighting for him.

Reuben and Judah wanted to save Joseph’s life, also Benjamin was not with them, was much younger, and had no part in the plotting to kill or sell Joseph into slavery. Some of Joseph’s brothers seemed to have a gang mentality to bring him harm, yet Reuben tried to show mercy to Joseph. Judah successfully influenced his brothers not to kill Joseph, but to sell him into slavery. Although Joseph probably was not overly excited about the fact that some of his brothers sold him off into slavery, I imagine he was still glad to be alive.

It is interesting how God used the Midianites and the Ishmaelites to save Joseph. The Midianites sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver, and the Ishmaelites sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt. Although selling people into slavery is not often considered a wonderful, kind thing to do, God used even this: first, to deliver Israel and his family from starvation, even those who sold Joseph off into slavery, and ultimately, to foreshadow the salvation that later came for all people, even those who at first did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.

Some of Joseph’s brothers wanted to take his life, but Joseph also had brothers who wanted to save his life. Jesus was among Israelites who wanted to take his life, yet he also was among Israelites who did not want to see him harmed. Many of those who showed love and positivity to Jesus were his fellow Israelites.

John 7:40–53

40   Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.

41   Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?

42   Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?

43   So there was a division among the people because of him.

44   And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him.

45   Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him?

46   The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.

47   Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived?

48   Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?

49   But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.

50   Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,)

51   Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?

52   They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.

53   And every man went unto his own house.

Matthew 26:47–56

47   And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.

48   Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.

49   And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.

50   And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus and took him.

51   And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear.

52   Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

53   Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?

54   But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?

55   In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.

56   But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.

Digging Deeper

1)      Describe a situation where a minority tried to show mercy even though the majority wanted to bring harm.

2)     Describe a situation where you felt you were in the malevolent majority.

3)     Describe a situation where you felt you were in the merciful minority.

4)     Give Scripture passages that encourage us to be merciful to others.

5)     How could God work crimes carried out against us, or even crimes we carry out ourselves against others, to our own or others’ benefit?

6)     If God can extract good even out of the evil that can be among us, is there any reason for us to seek the higher of two roads?

 

If there is anti-Semitism in the world today, a true, full understanding of the Tanakh and B’rit Hadasha of the Bible should not have spawned this. Many of the children of Israel in the land of Israel in Jesus’ time were not his enemies; in fact, many were his diligent followers. Jesus himself was Jewish. His disciples and apostles were all children of Israel. The children of Israel wrote almost every book in the Bible, including books from both the Tanakh and B’rit Hadasha, except for possibly Job, Luke, and Acts. How could people blame all Jews of today for the sins of a small portion of their ancestral society from about two thousand years ago?

(Concerning the three books of the Tanakh and B’rit Hadasha possibly not composed by those of the children of Israel, consider the following: If the author of the book of Job—be it Job himself or another—wrote it before Abraham lived, surely a child of Israel—or even a child of Abraham—could not have written it. Yet if Moses or Elijah wrote the book of Job, as some think, indeed a child of Israel did write it. Furthermore, Luke, the author of Luke and Acts, might have been Jewish, but possibly not by blood, as there are those who believe that he was a convert to Judaism.)

People often use the word Semite to describe a person of Jewish descent, but a Semite more universally refers to anyone who is a descendant of Shem, one of the three sons of Noah. Shem’s descendants include Arabs, Israelis, and many other peoples. Although Arabs are a Semitic people, the modern meaning of the word anti-Semitism in the Arab world refers to discrimination against Jewish people.

The B’rit Hadasha contains the words, “salvation is of the Jews.” Through the Apostle Paul, God also revealed, “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”

Isaiah 59:20–21

20   And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.

21   As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.

Jeremiah 31:31–33

31   Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

32   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 an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

33   But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

John 4:22

22   Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

Romans 11:25–32

25   For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

26   And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

27   For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

28   As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes.

29   For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

30For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

31   Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

32   For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Digging Deeper

7)     How can people blame all Jews of today for the sins of a small portion of their ancestral society from about two thousand years ago?

8)    Can a Semite be anti-Semitic?

9)     How could a misunderstanding of the Bible lead to anti-Semitism?

10) Why would a true, full understanding of the Bible not lead to anti-Semitism?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                                               40                his father wept for him

Joseph

Yeshua’s First Coming

Genesis 37:34–35

34   And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.

35   And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.

 

Jacob’s mourning for his son relates to the anguish that God the Father might have experienced concerning the torment that his Son went through. Is it possible that both Jesus and his Father suffered distress in the bringing forth of the salvation of our souls?

Jeremiah 9:1

1   Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!

Through faith in Jesus, in accordance with God’s plan of salvation, we can witness the void of sin that can separate us from the Father eradicated. Often, the depiction of the sufferings of Christ, of his enduring torture and crucifixion, horrifies us; but as awful as that was, there was a moment described in the gospels of Matthew and Mark that possibly revealed an even greater distress.

While hanging on the cross, Jesus said, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Jesus was speaking the words found in Psalm 22 of David. Christ took upon himself the just punishment for our sins. As Christ called out these words, he might have been feeling the agony of separation from his everlasting Father, temporarily. Possibly, Jesus’ Father also felt this horrible separation from his beloved, only begotten Son.

Digging Deeper

1)      As Jacob mourned and wept for the supposed loss of his son Joseph, did God the Father suffer the anguish of separation from his Son Jesus while Jesus took upon himself the punishment for our sins?

 

To show that Psalm 22 relates to Jesus, let me list next for you Psalm 22, with the fulfillment of God’s Prophetic Word through David recorded in the B’rit Hadasha listed after each applicable Psalm 22 passage. David was born approximately 1,085 years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem, so this Psalm 22 that prophesied events in Jesus’ crucifixion, David wrote as inspired by God over 1,000 years before the fulfillment. Be thinking, “How does Psalm 22 correlate to events in Jesus’ crucifixion?”

Psalm 22:1

1   My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

Matthew 27:46

46   And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Digging Deeper

2)     How does Psalm 22 Verse 1 correlate to events in Jesus’ crucifixion?

Psalm 22:2–7

2   O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.

3   But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

4   Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.

5   They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.

6   But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

7   All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,

Matthew 27:39

39   And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,

Digging Deeper

3)     How does Psalm 22 verses 2 through 7 correlate to events in Jesus’ crucifixion?

Psalm 22:8

8   He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

Matthew 27:40–43

40   And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.

41   Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,

42   He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

43   He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.

Digging Deeper

4)     How does Psalm 22 Verse 8 correlate to events in Jesus’ crucifixion?

Psalm 22:9–15

9   But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts.

10   I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.

11   Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.

12   Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.

13   They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.

14   I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.

15   My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.

John 19:28–30

28   After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

29   Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.

30   When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Digging Deeper

5)     How does Psalm 22 verses 9 through 15 correlate to events in Jesus’ crucifixion?

Psalm 22:16

16   For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

John 19:18

18   Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.

Many consider it customary of Roman crucifixions of this period that people crucified would have their hands and feet pierced.

Digging Deeper

6)     How does Psalm 22 Verse 16 correlate to events in Jesus’ crucifixion?

Psalm 22:17

17   I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.

John 19:33–36

33   But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:

34   But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

35   And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.

36   For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.

The Scripture referenced in John 19:36 is Exodus 12:46—relating the Passover lamb to the Lamb of God, Jesus.

Exodus 12:46

46   In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof.

Further, regarding the second part of Psalm 22 Verse 17, “they look and stare upon me”:

Matthew 27:36

36   And sitting down they watched him there;

Digging Deeper

7)     How does Psalm 22 Verse 17 correlate to events in Jesus’ crucifixion?

Psalm 22:18

18   They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

John 19:23–24

23   Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.

24   They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.

Digging Deeper

8)    How does Psalm 22 Verse 18 correlate to events in Jesus’ crucifixion?

Psalm 22:19–31

19   But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.

20   Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.

21   Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

22   I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.

23   Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.

24   For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.

25   My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.

26   The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.

27   All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.

28   For the kingdom is the LORD’s: and he is the governor among the nations.

29   All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.

30   A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.

31   They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

Revelation 7:9–11

9   After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

10   And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

11   And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,

Digging Deeper

9)     How does Psalm 22 verses 19 through 31 correlate to events in Jesus’ crucifixion?

 

Anyone whom God loves, who loves God also, could possibly see why this moment was so sullen, yet also so joyful. Christ, being just and sinless—the unblemished Lamb of God—took on the punishment for our sins so that we would not have to suffer eternal separation from God. The separation that Jesus and his Father experienced while Jesus was saying, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” seemed to be a temporary suffering that they undertook for us; but then after their suffering, they were reunited.

Christ rose to life from the dead and went to sit at the right hand of his Father. Their separation is over, and so is our separation from God over if we come to God humbly and accept this gift of life that God offers us through faith in the LORD’s Son.

When we see the suffering of a child, or even the death of a child, in this life, we often express our consolations and sympathies to the parents of the child. The parents’ anguish can greatly envelop them when faced with the suffering or loss of their child. In the same way, God the Father’s heart must have been broken in the temporary separation that occurred between Father and Son—who were in union since before the creation of Heaven and Earth.

As parents who bring up children in love so great that these children express their love by even risking their own lives for the sake of others could be thanked, so God the Father who brought up his Son so wonderfully that his Son willingly offered his life for our lives could be praised and thanked—but even more so.

John 15:12–13

12   This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

13   Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Digging Deeper

10) Did the Father mourn and feel anguish, sorrow, and heartache while his Son went through suffering on the road to the cross and on the cross for our salvation?

11)  Compare the sorrow that Israel experienced while believing his son Joseph to be dead with the heartache that the Father might have endured while placing the punishment for the sins of the people of the entire world—from the past, present, and future—on his Son, Jesus, at his crucifixion.

12) Some might consider God an impersonal, unemotional, unsympathetic, and apathetic being; what biblical passages show otherwise?

13) If Christ paid the penalty for the sins of all who place their faith in him throughout the world and throughout the ages, might the occurrence of a temporary spiritual separation between the Father and the Son on the cross have been plausible?

14) If this temporary separation took place, why would this be such a vast sorrowful experience for both the Father and the Son?

15)  If this separation is now over, why is this exceedingly wonderful?

16) If we can choose to have eternal separation from God replaced with eternal fellowship with God through our faith in Jesus, why might this be amazingly magnificent?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                    41                blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake

Joseph

Yeshua’s First Coming

Genesis 39:5

5   And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.

 

As the LORD blessed the Egyptian Potiphar’s house for Joseph’s sake, so the LORD blesses all houses of the Earth via faith in Christ for Jesus’ sake. Blessings can come to those who peaceably coexist with the servants of God the LORD.

Digging Deeper

1)      Compare the blessings the LORD put on Potiphar’s house for Joseph’s sake with the blessings that the LORD puts on the houses of believers in Christ for Jesus’ sake.


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                                 42                Joseph was a goodly person

Joseph

Yeshua’s First Coming

Genesis 39:6

6   And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.

 

We might compare the trustworthiness of Joseph with Jesus. As Joseph was called “a goodly person,” Jesus was called “Good Master”—each was well favored and trustworthy.

Mark 10:17–18

17   And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

18   And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

Jesus responded to the one who came running who kneeled before him by saying, “Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.” Jesus might have been hinting that if this fellow calls him “Good Master,” that he was in fact calling him God. For Jesus knew that he was the Son of God and a member of the Triune Godhead.

Jesus was indeed good, as he was without sin.

Hebrews 4:14–16

14   Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

15   For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

16   Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Digging Deeper

1)      Give reasons why a master, father, or employer might consider trustworthiness an important characteristic of a servant, child, or employee.

2)     Compare the trustworthiness of Joseph with Jesus.

3)     Why or why not is God concerned with our trustworthiness?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                             43                I lifted up my voice and cried

Joseph

Yeshua’s First Coming

Genesis 39:7–19

7   And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.

8   But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;

9   There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?

10   And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.

11   And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within.

12   And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.

13   And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth,

14   That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice:

15   And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out.

16   And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home.

17   And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me:

18   And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out.

19   And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled.

 

As Joseph was falsely accused, so was Jesus. Both Joseph and Jesus had lies hurled at them.

Mark 14:55–59

55   And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none.

56   For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together.

57   And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying,

58   We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.

59   But neither so did their witness agree together.

Digging Deeper

1)      How do you think Joseph felt being falsely accused?

2)     How do you think Jesus felt being falsely accused?

3)     Give Scripture passages that encourage us not to lie, or bear false witness.

4)     Note possible differences in reaction of being falsely accused between the following:

a.      Someone with faith in God

b.      Someone without faith in God

5)     Could God justify the falsely accused—if so, how?


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                                      44                he was there in the prison

Joseph

Yeshua’s Post Death Experience

Genesis 39:20–23

20   And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.

21   But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

22   And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it.

23   The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.

 

As Joseph’s master put Joseph into the prison, so Christ went into the throes of death for three days. Both Joseph and Jesus went to realms evacuated from the previous states of liberty that they experienced. Joseph was put in prison; Jesus was killed.

Matthew 16:21

21   From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

Digging Deeper

1)      Can God bring about good through difficult circumstances?

2)     Give other instances in the Scriptures where God prevailed to bring about good through the circumstance of prison, or even death.

 

As the LORD was with Joseph while he was in prison, the LORD was with his Son Yeshua after his death on the cross. About Joseph is written, “the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it”; similarly, about Jesus is written, “the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son”—both abounded in trustworthiness.

John 5:21–23

21   For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.

22   For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:

23   That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

As the LORD was with Joseph, and what he did, the LORD made it to prosper, so the LORD is with his Son Yeshua, and what he has done, and is doing, the LORD makes it to prosper.

Digging Deeper

3)     Does the LORD being with Joseph and his Son while in prison and in death inspire you to believe that the LORD is with you even if going through difficulties?

4)     Why do you think the keeper of the prison trusted Joseph with so much?

5)     Why do you think God the Father has trusted, and still trusts, his Son with so much?

6)     Why is it that the LORD has, or has not, made it to prosper for:

a.      Joseph

b.      Yeshua

c.       Yourself


LarrowUparrowRarrow

                                   45                Wherefore look ye so sadly

Joseph

Yeshua’s Post Death Experience & Gospel Foreshadowing

Genesis 40

1   And it came to pass after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker had offended their lord the king of Egypt.

2   And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers.

3   And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound.

4   And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them: and they continued a season in ward.

5   And they dreamed a dream both of them, each man his dream in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, which were bound in the prison.

6   And Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, and, behold, they were sad.

7   And he asked Pharaoh’s officers that were with him in the ward of his lord’s house, saying, Wherefore look ye so sadly to day?

8   And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you.

9   And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me;

10   And in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes:

11   And Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand.

12   And Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days:

13   Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy place: and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh’s cup into his hand, after the former manner when thou wast his butler.

14   But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house:

15   For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.

16   When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said unto Joseph, I also was in my dream, and, behold, I had three white baskets on my head:

17   And in the uppermost basket there was of all manner of bakemeats for Pharaoh; and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head.

18   And Joseph answered and said, This is the interpretation thereof: The three baskets are three days:

19   Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree; and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee.

20   And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants.

21   And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand:

22   But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them.

23   Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.

 

Joseph was able to continue to serve the LORD in prison; Jesus was able to continue to spread the gospel in Hell. As Joseph, after going into prison, was still able to work for the LORD by offering God’s interpretations of dreams to two of the prisoners he was serving, so Jesus, after going into the lower earthly regions, or Hell, was able to offer deliverance to those there to whom he was serving salvation.

Isaiah 44:23

23   Sing, O ye heavens; for the LORD hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel.

Ephesians 4:8–10

8   Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

9   (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

10   He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

1 Peter 3:18–20

18   For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

19   By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

20   Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

Digging Deeper

1)      To two fellow inmates in prison with him, Joseph gave good news to one and bad news to the other. What would have made the difference between someone in the lower part of the Earth perceiving the coming of Yeshua as a good, inconsequential, or a bad thing?

2)     If the LORD sent Jesus even to Hell to offer deliverance to those there who might want to receive it, what does this tell you about the depth of God’s mercy, God’s desire to give us second chances, and God’s longing for us to choose him?

3)     If the saddest part about Hell is the separation from God, describe what kind of joy some of the people Yeshua met in the lower part of the Earth might have experienced when they realized their salvation had come down after them.

 

The cupbearer and the baker symbolize our options for life or death. Those who accept God’s offer of salvation cross over from death to life, while those who refuse it might suffer eternal separation from God. This is similar to how the cupbearer went back to serve the king, while the baker was hanged.

John 5:24–30

24   Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

25   Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

26   For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

27   And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

28   Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

29   And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

30   I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

Digging Deeper

4)     Who is the traffic cop that crosses us from death to life?

5)     Have you passed from death to life?

 

The three branches and three baskets signified three days; Yeshua spent three days before his resurrection. As the three branches and the three baskets represented three days before the butler and the baker would meet their destinies, so the Son of man, Jesus, spent three days and three nights in the heart of the Earth offering salvation and new destinies to those there.

Matthew 12:40

40   For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Christ is the ticket to life. Christ is the ticket to life for all those alive today. Christ is also the ticket to life for all those from the past who were born after the resurrection of Jesus, and all who died before his resurrection. God in his forbearance provided the sacrifice of his Son to be the means of salvation for all from all times.

The same Jesus Christ who brought about my salvation has also brought about salvation and forgiveness of sins to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Elijah, and all else who have freely given their hearts into the hands of their heavenly Father.

Acts 4:12

12   Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Romans 3:22–26

22   Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

23   For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

24   Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

25   Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

26   To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Digging Deeper

6)     Who is our ticket to life?

7)     Why would God provide just one ticket to life for all humans from all times?

8)    Why would God have been inspired to declare his righteousness to us, mere humans, through justifying us by way of the atoning sacrifice of Yeshua via our faith in him?

 

Was God’s sure salvation so sure that it was available even before Christ’s victory over death? These servants of God mentioned previously, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and Elijah, and possibly others, might not have gone to lower earthly regions in waiting for the fulfillment of their prophetic writings or lives. These, who with much hope and expectancy looked forward toward the time of God’s redemption through Yeshua, might have transferred into God’s presence before Yeshua’s resurrection.

Luke 20:27–40

27   Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him,

28   Saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man’s brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.

29   There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children.

30   And the second took her to wife, and he died childless.

31   And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: and they left no children, and died.

32   Last of all the woman died also.

33   Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife.

34   And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:

35   But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:

36   Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.

37   Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.

38   For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.

39   Then certain of the scribes answering said, Master, thou hast well said.

40   And after that they durst not ask him any question at all.

Moses and Elijah appeared atop a mountain in Israel, and they talked with Yeshua, during Yeshua’s transfiguration before Peter, James, and John.

Matthew 17:1–8

1   And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,

2   And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

3   And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.

4   Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

5   While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

6   And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.

7   And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.

8   And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.

Digging Deeper

9)     Was it possible to accept Jesus as your Savior before he was born in Bethlehem?

10) Was God the Father so sure of Christ’s victory on the cross that he allowed the salvation that was still forthcoming to save those who had faith in God’s Son and coming plan for their salvation before Christ accomplished this task?

 

During one of your Shabbat sermons or discussions, you referenced how this Genesis 40 passage relates to a messenger’s reception. You shared that when someone gives messages or interpretations from God, as Joseph did, that sometimes, people receive it with joy; but at other times, this can get the messenger in trouble. I was pleased to hear your observations on this matter, being encouraged that the message I am bringing to you would not get me in trouble with you and the others at the synagogue. Due to the warmth and kindness that I sense from all of your hearts, I am hopeful that you will see that I wrote this book in a spirit of love, and that you will receive it in like manner.

Digging Deeper

11)  If a messenger receives a message from God that the messenger believes God wants the messenger to deliver, and the messenger feels that some who might receive the message possibly would not receive it well at first, should the messenger deliver the message, and why?

12) God has worked to bring forth good even through seemingly bad circumstances many times:

a.      Describe other events in the Bible that reflect this

b.      Describe events that you are familiar with that reflect this

c.       Describe events in your own life that reflect this


LarrowUparrowRarrow

               46                only in the throne will I be greater

Joseph

Yeshua’s Post Resurrection Glory

Genesis 41:39–43

39   And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:

40   Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.

41   And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.

42   And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;

43   And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.

 

As Pharaoh did not leave Joseph in prison, the LORD did not leave his Son in Hell. Each experienced freedom from seemingly difficult surroundings.

Psalm 16:10–11

10   For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

11   Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Acts 2:22–31

22   Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

23   Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

24   Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

25   For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:

26   Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:

27   Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

28   Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.

29   Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

30   Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;

31   He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

Digging Deeper

1)      Why did the Father allow Joseph to go to prison?

2)     Why did the Father allow Jesus to go to Hell?

3)     Why did the Father allow Joseph’s deliverance from prison?

4)     Why did the Father allow Jesus’ deliverance from Hell?

 

As Joseph became second-in-command to Pharaoh, so Jesus sat down at the right hand of his Father. Both Joseph and Jesus were visibly elevated.

Psalm 110:1

1   The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

I would rather be Jesus’ friend than his footstool.

Mark 16:19

19   So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

Acts 2:32–39

32   This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

33   Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

34   For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

35   Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

36   Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

37   Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

38   Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

39   For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.

Joseph and Jesus both experienced marvelous transformations in their lives. Pharaoh made Joseph second-in-command of Egypt after Joseph spent some time in prison; and then Joseph helped provide deliverance from starvation to the many people who came to him. The LORD had Jesus sit back down at his right hand after his resurrection from the dead; and Jesus provides salvation to everyone who chooses him, or has chosen him.

Digging Deeper

5)     Compare the transformations that occurred in the lives of Joseph and Jesus.

6)     How do you think Joseph felt after victoriously emerging from prison and becoming second-in-command of Egypt?

7)     How do you think Jesus felt after victoriously emerging from Hell and sitting at the right hand of his Father?

8)    How did the victories of Joseph and Jesus benefit others?

9)     What do you think about this?

10) Would you rather be Jesus’ friend or his footstool?

 

As they shouted, “Bow the knee” before Joseph, God through Paul indicated, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow”—wow! As Joseph was honored before the people about him, Jesus was and is now honored, and he will be further honored before all people.

Philippians 2:9–11

9   Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

10   That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

11   And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

As Joseph was mistreated and imprisoned, but then lifted up to the right hand of Pharaoh and honored, Jesus was rejected by many and crucified, but then lifted up to the right hand of his Father and worshiped.

Psalm 118:21–29

21   I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.

22   The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

23   This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.

24   This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

25   Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.

26   Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.

27   God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.

28   Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee.

29   O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Matthew 21:8–9

8   And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.

9   And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.

Luke 24:50–53

50   And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

51   And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

52   And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:

53   And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.

Digging Deeper

11)  Why was “Bow the knee” shouted before Joseph?

12) “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,” why is this?

13) Compare the honor that Joseph was due by the Egyptians and others saved from starvation through him with the honor that Jesus is due by all people.

14)