"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Shiloh Has Come! The Joy of Fulfilled Prophecy

The Old Testament is replete with amazing prophecies that are fulfilled to the detail in the person, ministry and death of Jesus Christ. In many cases these prophecies were given thousands of years before their fulfillment. No other "religious" book, including the Koran, the Book of Mormon, etc ... contains even one prophecy foretold and later fulfilled. The Bible has hundreds. Christians sometimes make the mistake, in my opinion, of ignoring the prophecies that have already been fulfilled to focus primarily on those few they consider to be futuristic (i.e. to be fulfilled in the future). As for me, the fulfilled prophecies of the Bible are a great source of encouragement because they confirm the inspiration of the Scriptures, point to the centrality of Jesus Christ and His work for us, and they give me the impetus to share Christ with those who think Christianity is just one of many other comparable religions. The uniqueness of Christianity is seen in fulfilled prophecy.

My favorite prophecy in the Old Testament, fulfilled in the coming of Jesus Christ, is found in Genesis 49:10.

The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

For the longest time I had very little understanding of what this prophetical utterance from Jacob, given at the point of his own death, really meant. We are all familiar with other prophecies regarding the Messiah, prophecies fulfilled in the life of Jesus, such as . . .

The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem --- (Micah 5:2).
The Messiah would be born of a virgin --- (Isaiah 7:14).
The Messiah would be existent before His birth --- (Micah 5:2).
The Messiah would suffer and die for His people by crucifixion --- (Isaiah 53:12).
The Messiah would become the righteousness of His people --- (Jeremiah 23:6).

But this prophecy, "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and unto him shall the gathering of the people be"(Genesis 49:10), has become my favorite.

Let me try to help you understand it by focusing on four key words or phrases:

Shiloh --- is the Jewish idiom (or name) for "the Messiah," and was often used by ancient Jewish writers in place of "the Messiah."
Judah --- is the name of Jacob's son, but even more importantly, became the name of the entire Southern Kingdom of Israel.
The sceptor --- is the tribal staff or the tribal identity of Judah. It's modern equivalent would be our "national flag" that would cease to exist if we were captured or conquered as a nation.
A lawgiver from between his feet --- is the ability of Judah (or the Southern Kingdom of Israel) to apply and enforce the Mosaic laws. In essence, for Judah to have a "lawgiver between his feet" was an idiomatic expression that spoke of Judah's right to adjudicate and administer capital punishment for violations of the Mosaic laws.

Using the above definitions, a simple descriptive translation of Genesis 49:10 would be as follows:

"The (national identity of Judah) shall not depart from Judah, nor (the ability to enforce Mosaic law, including the right to administer capital punishment) shall leave Judah, until Shiloh come." (Genesis 49:10).

Two questions must now be asked:

(1). WHEN did JUDAH lose her national identity?
(2). When did JUDAH lose the right to administer capital punishment?

According to Genesis 49:10, if you can identify those two dates or occasions, you will know that Shiloh has come.

Rome destroyed the Temple and Jerusalem (capital of Judah) in 70 AD. It was then that Judah ceased to exist as a nation. 70 AD was the culmination of years of conflict between the Jews and Rome.

But Judah's leaders had lost her ability to administer capital punishment for violations of the Mosaic law about 40 years earlier. The Romans took the "lawgiver ability" away from Judah in 30 A.D., though they allowed Judah to retain her national identity. The reason the Jewish leaders brought Jesus before the Romans is because they no longer had the power themselves to put him to death.

"A little more than forty years before the destruction of the Temple, the power of pronouncing capital sentences was taken away from the Jews." The Talmud, folio 24.

Even the Jews themselves understand the significance of this loss

"Woe unto us for the scepter has departed from Judah and the Messiah has not come." The Sanhedrin as recorded by the Babylonian Talmud, Ch. 4, folio 37.

Oh, but Shiloh already had come.

Just a few years before Judah lost her ability to adjudicate and administer capital punishment, God revealed His Son, our Messiah, at Jordan. The heavens opened and God declared, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:16). It was then Jesus' public ministry began. Less than three years later, at the Mount of Transfiguration, God reiterated what He had said of Jesus the Messiah at Jordan and then added these words, "Hear ye him" . The Messiah had been revealed. His words were to take precedence over Moses' words. The Old Covenant would shortly be fulfilled and abolished. The New Covenant would be ratified by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah - the Shiloh that Genesis 49:10 promised would come.

Jacob, under inspiration of God, gave his Shiloh prophecy nearly two thousand years BEFORE Jesus came to earth. Jesus is Shiloh, and just like the prophecy declared, He arrives on earth just prior to the loss of Judah's ability to administer capital punishment (30 AD) and to her loss of national identity (70 AD).

Our sins are forgiven because --- Shiloh has come.
Our lives have meaning because --- Shiloh has come.
Our Bible can be trusted because --- Shiloh has come.

As C.S. Lewis so eloqutently stated: "You must make your choice. Either this man was and is the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

Jesus is the Son of God. He is my Lord.

Shiloh has come.

In His Grace,


Wade

82 comments:

Jeff said...

Wade
Excellent exposition of this very telling prophecy. I came across this understanding many years ago and I have found it to be the only one that makes good sense of the text and gives due honor to the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Great post.

Jeff Rogers

Chris Ryan said...

Amen, He has.

And we pray still, "Maranatha! Come quickly, Lord Jesus. Advent among us."

Christ has come and is yet the substance of things hoped for. What a beautiful paradox.

Security word: factuous (apparently blogger agrees with me;) )

Benji Ramsaur said...

Wade,

"The heavens opened and God declared, 'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased' (Matthew 3:16). It was then Jesus' public ministry began. Less than three years later, at the Mount of Transfiguration, God reiterated what He had said of Jesus the Messiah at Jordan and then added these words, 'Hear ye him' . The Messiah had been revealed."

Praise God the New Testament reveals this.

I like Isaiah 42:4 going with Genesis 49:10 as well.

New law has come.

God Bless,

Benji

P.S. This post reminds me of the one you put up in relation to the timing of Christ's death. I printed that one out. Thanks.

Steve said...

I enjoyed your recorded sermon about this passage and had regretted not being able to access it for a while. Our SS class enjoyed Beth Moore's discussion of the Patriarchs in our literature just last quarter.

ezekiel said...

Yes, But prophecy doesn't end there. There is loads of end time prophecy coming through Joseph.

1Ch 5:2 Judah prevailed above his brethren, and from him came the prince and leader [and eventually the Messiah]; yet the birthright was Joseph's. [Gen. 49:10; Mic. 5:2.]

To understand the Church/Body it appears that we have to track Joseph through Ephraim through the rebellious 10 tribes, captivity in Assyria, Samaria and finally Church today.

The adoption of Ephraim and Manassas (Gen 48:5)by Israel fits real well with our adoption (Romans 8:15,23 11:17).

The blessing of Joseph in 49:22-24 is seen in Ephesians 1:3 The most important thing of all is the reconcilliation in Ephesians 2:16.

By means of the Cross, Jew and Gentile are reconciled to God from Jacob/Esau, Leah/Judah vs Rachael/Joseph, 10 tribes vs 2 tribes, Jerusalem vs Samaria, and today, the Jewish religion and the Church.

All that enmity and feuding brought to an end in Christ and through Christ.

ezekiel said...

Benji,

"New law has come."

I can get sort of argumentative with statements like this, please forgive me.

I have to wonder though, just what is new about the law?

I think that I can make a pretty good argument that the law hasn't changed and that any new commandments in the NT are based on the original 10 that Moses came down the mountain with.

Rom 13:9 The commandments, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet (have an evil desire), and any other commandment, are summed up in the single command, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself. [Exod. 20:13-17; Lev. 19:18.]
Rom 13:10 Love does no wrong to one's neighbor [it never hurts anybody]. Therefore love meets all the requirements and is the fulfilling of the Law.

Is John 13:34 really all that new?

See also Joh_2:5, Joh_13:17, Joh_14:21; 1Jo_5:3

Thy Peace said...

Excellent post. I truly did not know about this prophecy. First time I am hearing about it.

About C.S.Lewis comment ... It is true. In the past, I have talked to some atheists, and to them Jesus was a mad man. They do not see anything divine within Him. Their eyes are blinded.

As for me, this always rings in my mind:

John 6:66-69
66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”
68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Paula said...

Prophecy is indeed the fingerprint of God on His Word. This is yet another reason it so irritates me when people disparage it and refer to it as "a leather-bound book". The Word is not bound at all, and God's words are not devalued when written. They are certainly no less accurate than oral traditions, at the very least.

Trigun said...

This has been the best encouragement I have received all week.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Ezekiel,

You might want to go back to the post entitled "The New Covenant: Christian Living at its Finest" to read some of my comments there in relation to your question--June 29, 2009.

David is not our king. Jesus is our new king.

Aaron is not our priest. Jesus is our new priest.

Moses is not our lawgiver. Jesus is our new lawgiver.

As a new lawgiver He gives new law. Yes, John 13:34 is an example of that.

The object of love in the new commandment is not our lost neighbors, but fellow disciples. We are not commanded to love as we love ourselves in the new commandment. Instead we are commanded to love based on the love example of Christ. Lost neighbors are to observe disciples loving one another and say "hey, those guys must be Jesus' disciples because they sure are acting like Him towards one another" [verse 35].

Yes, both are commands to "love" but once you go past that there are plenty of differences.

A new church constitution might "include" some statements from an old church constitution. However, those statements are not binding because they were a part of the old constitution. Those statements are binding because they are now a part of the new constitution.

The law of Christ "includes" some statements from the law of Moses. However, those statements are not binding because they were a part of the old law of Moses. Those statements are binding because they are now a part of the new law of Christ.

The typical approach of those who disagree with me is to take the buffet bar approach of [arbitrarily] dividing up the law of Moses. The problem is that the Bible itself does not divide the law of Moses.

This approach can also "neuter" the book of Galatians by claiming that Paul is not talking about the law of Moses in and of itself but the "legalistic interpretation of the Judaizers".

I guess Jesus did not come under the actual law [Gal. 4:4], but the "legalitsitc interpretation of the Judaizers" [wink]

The New Testament reveals the law of Moses is a package deal [Gal. 3:10] and that it ended with the coming of Christ [Gal. 3:19].

God Bless,

Benji

P.S. My "church constitution" example might have originally come from John Reisinger, but I'm not sure. I'm just trying to give credit to him if that is who it came from.

Stephen said...

Wade,

God has spoken to me through this at a time when I needed it most.

Thank you.

Paul Burleson said...

Benji,

EXCELLENT summary of the Law of Christ.

It also helps me to remember the distinction Paul made to the Corinthians [1 Corinthians 9:21] where he said he ministered to those "under the law'' [Jews] and to those "without law" [Gentiles] while all the time being "committed to the law of Christ." Pretty clear distinction made I would say.

Christiane said...

A very ancient Christian saying:

"The New Testament
lies 'HIDDEN'
in the Old Testament;

and the Old Testament
is 'UNVEILED'
in the New Testament"

Benji Ramsaur said...

Paul,

"It also helps me to remember the distinction Paul made to the Corinthians [1 Corinthians 9:21] where he said he ministered to those 'under the law' [Jews] and to those 'without law' [Gentiles] while all the time being 'committed to the law of Christ.' Pretty clear distinction made I would say."

Yes, my brother. I agree and also think that since the more clear texts of Scripture should help us interpret the less clear, that this verse needs to be seen as one of those clear texts that help us interpret the less clear.

Grace to you brother,

Benji

Mark said...

Thank you for the great post as a new Jewish believer I had a hardtime understanding that verse- even though I was told it was very prophatic. God Bless!

Benji Ramsaur said...

Paul,

One more thing that goes along with what we are talking about.

I believe the entire Bible is Christological. However, I believe the two testaments are Christological in 2 different senses.

I believe the Old Testament is Christological in its anticipation of the Messiah.

I believe the New Testament is Christological in its revelation of the Messiah.

I think this goes along with what Christiane said above.

Christiane said...

Absolutely, BENJI

love, L's

ezekiel said...

Benji,

It gets too confusing for me to make arguments about how the law that applies to us is different or has changed from the old law.

I think when we do that, we are trying to mix justification arguments and legal arguments together to get something to make sense and it never does. Justification for us is simply outside and seperate from the law.

It is simply easier for me to recognize and understand my justification through Christ alone and not any works of the law while leaving the law intact and unmolested by my own reasoning. I don't really think it has changed at all. What has changed is that I have a better mediator. The law is still in effect and some don't have the mediator, the atonement...the justification that we do. On the day of judgement, I think we will be able to see that the Law hasn't really gone anywhere and it really hasn't changed.

1Ti 1:8 Now we recognize and know that the Law is good if anyone uses it lawfully [for the purpose for which it was designed],
1Ti 1:9 Knowing and understanding this: that the Law is not enacted for the righteous (the upright and just, who are in right standing with God), but for the lawless and unruly, for the ungodly and sinful, for the irreverent and profane, for those who strike and beat and [even] murder fathers and strike and beat and [even] murder mothers, for manslayers,


Rom 3:20 For no person will be justified (made righteous, acquitted, and judged acceptable) in His sight by observing the works prescribed by the Law. For [the real function of] the Law is to make men recognize and be conscious of sin [not mere perception, but an acquaintance with sin which works toward repentance, faith, and holy character].

1Jn 3:4 Everyone who commits (practices) sin is guilty of lawlessness; for [that is what] sin is, lawlessness (the breaking, violating of God's law by transgression or neglect--being unrestrained and unregulated by His commands and His will).

Benji Ramsaur said...

ezekiel,

I don't understand what is confusing about it.

There is the law of Moses. There is the law of Christ. Part of the law of Moses is included in the law of Christ.

Moses pointed to Jesus. Jesus is now here. Follow Jesus. Don't go back to Moses as your personal lawgiver.

The [legal] Old covenant law said "Do this and live". The law said "obey and you will be blessed; disobey and you will be cursed"

It was the "Do not eat" sign on the pizza box. Right in and of itself, but did not work.

Man ate the pizza because man was sinful.

If you ever want to know what you and I would act like under the law of Moses, then look at Israel. Look at them in the book of Judges sinning over and over and over again.

That's you and me without the indwelling presence of the Spirit and a circumcised heart.

Jesus came under that law, obeyed it and took its curse in your place. Since Jesus has obeyed, then we live.

Therefore, what business do you have stepping your pinky toe back into the law of Moses?

The [gracious] New Covenant has come.

We now produce the fruit [through the Spirit] that the law could never produce since we are now married to Jesus [Rom. 7].

God Bless,

Benji

Benji Ramsaur said...

ezekiel,

Let me say one thing about the "ten commandments".

The argument of "one day in seven" concerning the Sabbath does not work with what the text actually says.

The definite article [i.e., the] is in both the Hebrew and the Septuagint concerning THE seventh day.

Not "one day in seven", but "THE seventh day"

In other words, the Sabbath is equated with THE seventh day of a set of seven days [that is commonly called a week].

Therefore, one cannot make the move of saying that the 10 commandments are the "unchanging" moral law of God and yet advocate that Saturday [THE last day of the week] is no longer the Sabbath, but Sunday is.

Either it is unchanging or it is not. Folks cannot have their cake and their ice cream too when it comes to the Sabbath.

There's only one Sabbath day in the Ten Commandments--THE last day of a set of seven days.

God Bless,

Benji

Christiane said...

'When Will We See
The Face of Our God ? '


This post reminds me of how much the Old Testament (the First Testament) revealed a deep human yearning for God. This yearning is revealed perfectly in Psalm 42.

Only by knowing the depths of that longing, can we fully appreciate Christ's Incarnation on this Earth:
that we may finally 'see the Face of Our God', and drink deeply of the Water of Life.

The Old and the New Testaments together are about a great need and its fulfillment in the Person of Jesus Christ.

This story is re-written in each of us.

Here is something I found that expresses this for me:


http://www.thejesustv.com/main/media/2345/Psalm_42_Like_The_Deer_.../


So, I am sharing. Love, L's

ezekiel said...

Benji,

I can see your blood pressure rising and that is not something that I wish to further.

On a final note though, the point that I am trying so poorly to make is that as Christians, we uphold the Law. Romans 3:31 I look at this as being a lot different from being under the law. Even one pinky toe.

We use it to identify sin and be convicted of sin and move to repentance and holyness. Romans 3:20

Unless you can redefine sin or come up with another standard of measurement to show us what sin is then we are instructed to stop sinning.
1 John 3. The only measurement that I know of for that is the law.

Wade Burleson said...

Ezekiel,

It would seem to me that sin is any violation - to any degree - of the command, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind and your neighbor as yourself."

It seems completely unnecessary to delve into Israel's dietary laws, ceremonial laws, new moon and festival laws - or even Israel's Sabbath law - to convince today's sinner of his violation of Jesus' command, and thus, his personal sin.

I think the sinner's conscience and the creation of God (family, neighbors, etc. . .) is enough to convince him of his violation of Jesus' law to love.

Blessings,

Wade

Thy Peace said...

It would seem to me that sin is any violation - to any degree - of the command, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind and your neighbor as yourself.".

Pastor Wade, can ALL sins be deduced from the violation of the above? If it is too long an answer, maybe you can do a post someday about it. Thanks for your help.

Wade Burleson said...

Thy Peace,

I believe it is possible for "all" sins to "hang" on the violation of the two commands Jesus gave regarding love for God and love for people.

The reasons why I believe this will have to wait for another post -

:)

linda said...

Wonderful post today!

Alan Cross said...

Outstanding post, Wade. Very insightful. One of the best I've read anywhere in some time. It caused me to worship the Lord.

ezekiel said...

Wade,

We agree on the second "new commandment" as well as your last comment to Thy Peace. I think any sin today does fall under violation of either of those two commandments.

When we look at those two, we can see most if not all of the original 10.

I don't really think that the ceremonial law, dietary law and the others have any application today any more than you do. All that is past.

It just seems to me that the two commandments to love God and love our neighbor are a condensed version of the original 10. Today though, rather than written on a stone tablet, they are written on our hearts. Jer 31:33

That is where the conscience comes in.

Thanks for your reply. It appears that I derailed your post and I apologize for that.

Aussie John said...

Wade,

Thank you for a great post. You and Benji have hit the nail on the head.

Lydia said...

This is awesome. I had no idea about this prophecy.

Benji,

What a great comment describing the New Covenant.

I do have a question..will unbelievers be judged according to the Mosaic law?

Lydia said...

"If you ever want to know what you and I would act like under the law of Moses, then look at Israel. Look at them in the book of Judges sinning over and over and over again."

Benji, Don't you think a lot of churches look/act like Israel? Even throughout history since the 2nd or 3rd Century?

Benji Ramsaur said...

ezekiel,

I'm sorry how I came across.

Thy Peace said...

In Mathematics and Logic, one needs Axiom(s), Premise(s), to use deductive reasoning from the basic two commands of Our Lord Jesus Christ, that all laws can be deduced from them. This is little bit more involved than most of you think it is.

Christiane said...

GOD'S PRESENCE AMONG US:
Does THE ARK pre-figure THE INCARNATION ?

Are the events described here in the Old Testament a pre-figuring of the Incarnation in the New Testament? Take a look and decide for yourself:

OT
God the Holy Spirit overshadowed and then indwelled the Ark. The Ark became the dwelling place of the presence of God on the Earth.
[Exodus 40:34-35]

NT
God the Holy Spirit overshadowed and the indwelled Mary. At that time Mary’s womb became the dwelling place of the Presence of God (the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.) [Luke 1:35].

********************************

OT
The Ark contained the 10 Commandments [the words of God in stone], a pot of manna, and Aaron’s rod that came back to life [Deuteronomy 10:3-5

NT
The womb of the Virgin contained Jesus: the living Word of God enfleshed, the living bread from heaven, “the Branch” (a title for the Messiah) who would die but come back to life [Luke 1:35]
(Hebrews 9:4).

********************************

OT
God made Aaron’s rod (which would be kept in the Ark) return to life and budded to prove he was the legitimate High Priest [Numbers 17:8].

NT
God would resurrect His Son, who had become enfleshed in Mary’s womb and born to bring salvation to all mankind, to prove He is the eternal High Priest [Hebrews 4:14].

Wade Burleson said...

Lydia,

Great question about unbelievers.

The law of Moses was specifically for the nation of Israel.

Unbelievers in countries and regions of the world other than Israel and in other generations than that of before Christ, will be judged, at least in my opinion, according to violations of natural law (conscience) and violations of the Christ's law (wholehearted love for God and love for man).

I believe all "sins" of mankind are violations of this law, and the righteous judgment of God is based accordingly.

Christiane said...

In the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 98b, Rabbi Johanan said:

"The world was created for the sake of the Messiah, what is this Messiah's name? The school of Rabbi Shila said 'his name is Shiloh, for it is written; until Shiloh come.'"

Benji Ramsaur said...

Lydia,

"Benji, Don't you think a lot of churches look/act like Israel? Even throughout history since the 2nd or 3rd Century?"

I'm probably not enough of a church historian, if you will, to answer your question.

It has been interesting to me in preaching through the book of Revelation to notice the different churches with their different characteristics.

I guess I have been taken back a bit on how severe Jesus can be with different churches.

It's true that He will commend them in whatever areas may be commendable, but, wow, He sure can..I'm not sure how to describe it.

However, that there is life at all in the churches is a miracle when you compare it to Israel.

Israel showed sinful man in his true colors. At least the Spirit gives life in the New Covenant.

Dave Miller said...

I appreciated this post. Interesting perspective.

Rex Ray said...

Benji,
You said, “Moses is not our lawgiver, Jesus is our new lawgiver.”

In Matthew 23:2, the Living Bible adds maybe some ‘imagination’ that I like of Jesus using satire. “You would think these Jewish leaders and these Pharisees were Moses, the way they keep making up so many laws!”

I’m glad you agreed with Christiane repeating an ancient Christian saying: “The New Testament lies hidden in the Old Testament; and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New Testament.”

I understand the Old Testament anticipating the Messiah and the New Testament revealing the Messiah, but I don’t understand “Christological” and neither does Webster. :)

Benji Ramsaur said...

Rex,

Don't sweat it. :)

Rex Ray said...

P.S.
Benji,
You said, “Folks cannot have their cake and their ice cream too when it comes to the Sabbath.”

Hey! Before I got on the ‘sugar wagon’ that would have been fighting words to me; cake without ice cream was never half as ‘good’.

Did you mean, ‘Folks cannot eat their cake and have it too’?

Rex Ray said...

OK, I won't sweat either one. :)

Steve said...

Good post. Interesting stuff.

Paula said...

A question for Wade that I don't think has been brought up yet:

If the scepter had departed by the time of Jesus' death, then how were the Jews able to execute Stephen by stoning after Jesus' ascension?

I'm not doubting any facts presented, but only asking how this and other killings were possible.

Christiane said...

Hi PAULA,

It's me, L's

I did find this, but I don't know if it casts any light on your concern. It is a quote from the writings of Dr. Paul Bett on the martyrdom of St. Stephen: (I direct your attention to the last paragraph.)

"7.60 ‘And he knelt down, and cried with a loud voice, “Lord, do not lay this sin to their charge.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.’

And then as the stones rained down on him he knelt, and crying with a loud voice, pleaded, “Lord, do not lay this sin to their charge.” And with that he ‘fell asleep’. His body ceased to have life but the Lord had received his spirit and he slept with Jesus. He was at peace.

We can again hardly doubt that he had in mind again the words of Jesus on the cross. But this time, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23.34). In Stephen’s case they did know what they were doing. His forgiveness was because he knew that they were spiritually blind.

‘He fell asleep.’ Death was described as a sleep because a dead man looked as though he slept. It was a euphemism because men feared to think of death in all its nakedness. But in Christian belief, and in accordance with the example and teaching of Christ (John 11.11), it came to signify that Christians did not finally die, because they would live on and would one day rise again. The thought of sleep was not of unconsciousness, but of bliss. Paul looked forward to being ‘with the Lord’. It was a picture of repose, of joy and peace.

8.1a ‘And Saul was consenting to his death.’ What a chill this brings on our hearts. He stood there silent and seemingly impassive, but his heart was filled with hate and anger. And as he watched he nodded his approval. This was not passive acknowledgement. It was wholehearted acquiescence. We can even read his thoughts. ‘May such be the end of all these heretics, and I will make it my responsibility to ensure that it is.’

Some may question how this could happen under Roman rule. We do not actually know the circumstances under which the laws of blasphemy could be cited in order to defend the death penalty. Certainly instant death could be demanded on any who encroached on the Temple beyond the allowable limit. It seems very possible therefore that blasphemy was the one crime for which the Sanhedrin could pass the death penalty. But whether it was so or not, Pilate was at this stage in a precarious position and he was in no case to dispute the activities of the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. He was too busy watching his own back. And they were experienced politicians. They knew how far they could go."

Paula said...

Thanks L's. But blasphemy was the charge against Jesus too, so we need to keep looking.

Thy Peace said...

They tried stoning Jesus too for this very same charge, but somehow he walked through them.

John 8:57-59
57"You are not yet fifty years old," the Jews said to him, "and you have seen Abraham!"

58"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" 59At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.

Christiane said...

There appears to be some 'entanglement' of Roman and Jewish authority and this may be part of the puzzle:

"Pontius Pilate's title was traditionally thought to have been procurator, since Tacitus speaks of him as such. However, an inscription on a limestone block known as the Pilate Stone — apparently a dedication to Tiberius Caesar Augustus — that was discovered in 1961 in the ruins of an amphitheater at Caesarea Maritima refers to Pilate as "Prefect of Judaea".

The title used by the governors of the region varied over the period of the New Testament. When Samaria, Judea proper and Idumea were first amalgamated into the Roman Judaea Province,[8] from 6 to the outbreak of the First Jewish Revolt in 66, officials of the Equestrian order (the lower rank of governors) governed. They held the Roman title of prefect until Herod Agrippa I was named King of the Jews by Claudius. After Herod Agrippa's death in 44, when Iudaea reverted to direct Roman rule, the governor held the title procurator. When applied to governors, this term procurator, otherwise used for financial officers, connotes no difference in rank or function from the title known as prefect.

Contemporary archaeological finds and documents such as the Pilate Inscription from Caesarea attest to the governor's more accurate official title only for the period 6 through 44: prefect.

The logical conclusion is that texts that identify Pilate as procurator are more likely following Tacitus or are unaware of the pre-44 practice.

The procurators' and prefects' primary functions were military, but as representatives of the empire they were responsible for the collection of imperial taxes,[9] and also had limited judicial functions. Other civil administration lay in the hands of local government: the municipal councils or ethnic governments such as — in the district of Judea and Jerusalem — the Sanhedrin and its president the High Priest. But the power of appointment of the High Priest resided in the Roman legate of Syria or the prefect of Iudaea in Pilate's day and until 41. For example, Caiaphas WAS APPOINTED High Priest of Herod's Temple BY PREFECT vALERIUA GRATUS. Prefect Valerius Gratus and deposed by Syrian Legate Lucius Vitellius. After that time and until 66, the Jewish client kings exercised this privilege. Normally, Pilate resided in Caesarea but traveled throughout the province, especially to Jerusalem, in the course of performing his duties. During the Passover, a festival of deep national as well as religious significance for the Jews, Pilate, as governor or prefect, would have been expected to be in Jerusalem TO KEEP ORDER. He would not ordinarily be visible to the throngs of worshippers because of the Jewish people's deep sensitivity to their status as a Roman province."

Christiane said...

My point, in summary, is this:

if a 'client' king is appointed by the Romans to rule, he is a Roman puppet, and, in the view of Pilate, AS LONG AS ORDER WAS KEPT, Pilate could have cared less what the Jewish authorities did.

I'm sure that, if the KEEPING OF ORDER was threatened, Pilate would have assumed control over the situation very quickly, or he would have had to face the wrath of his superiors.

Thy Peace said...

Maybe stoning was allowed by the Jews then. But not death by public hanging or being nailed to the Cross. For this maybe they need to go their governing authorities.

Christiane said...

Dennis McCallum has written this:

"The fact that the counsel stoned Stephen without Roman approval is an evident breech of Roman law, even if the crimes of blasphemy were capitol offenses. Bruce is probably correct when he observes that,

. . .during the closing part of Pilate's administration, especially when he was resident in Caesarea, the Jewish rulers knew that they could take certain discreet liberties.29

It remains possible in this author's mind that the counsel simply functioned as an illegal lynch mob.30 "

Paula said...

But they were functioning as such a mob when they arrested Jesus and held a mock trial during the night. The whole thing was a sham and everyone including Pilate knew it.

Christiane said...

I think giving the mob what they wanted (Barabbas) was one way the Romans 'kept order'.

If the mob had wanted to save Christ, well . . .
but it was not to be.

Paula said...

Then why didn't they just take Jesus out and stone Him? Why did they need Pilate's approval for that, but not for killing others after that?

Christiane said...

The mob yelled 'crucify Him'.
So the Romans obliged and 'order was kept'.

Sounds like a prison where the inmates do as they please, horribly bullying each other,
as long as a riot doesn't break out and make the administration look bad.

Just an opinion.

TheWayofCain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thy Peace said...

Wiki > Crucifixion.

But of course, the question then becomes why did the Jews wish to crucify Jesus than just plain stone or kill him by other means.

I understand the prophecies here. But I am curious, if the divine intervention was not there, then how would they have done this.

TheWayofCain said...

Question: I recall you mentioning on Voice of Reason that the septer passed from Judah is accepted by most scholars, even of Jewish and Muslim faiths, as being AD 70, with the destruction of Jerusalem. What is the significance of this from the preterist view, versus a yet future second coming?


Answer: I did a search on Google, on "Genesis 49:10" at one point, and got back an incredible number of websites, of all faiths, and virtually everyone of them agreed that the scepter passed in A.D. 70. The exception was that in the early first century, after the Romans had taken away the right to capital punishment, there were a couple of Rabbis that claimed that this was the passing of the scepter. That was never a widely held view however. It seems that the A.D. 70 date is the one held by virtually everyone.

As to the implication, it is incredibly huge, and yet, it is an issue that is virtually ignored! In one radio debate, my dispy opponent agreed that the scepter passed in 70. I noted that this could not happen until Shiloh came for that gathering of the people (i.e. into the kingdom), and he had no answer at all! He just started regurgitating the same futurist stuff in spite of his admission! I know that John Anderson had an encounter with a couple of Jewish Rabbis also, and it put them to flight!



The bottom line is that the coming of Shiloh in the text is the eschatological coming, because it is the time of the gathering to him, and the taking of the scepter to himself. There is a transference of majesty at work in the text that cannot be ignored. IT is the transference from the political/nationalistic Judah to the spiritual!

When anyone admits that the scepter has passed, they have abdicated any futurist eschatology! This is especially strong in comparison with Matthew 21:43, for it is the leaders of Judah that Jesus is addressing in the text. Clearly the scepter had not passed already, at that time, so Jesus was looking forward to the time when the scepter would pass from Judah in his future and theirs, when the kingdom was taken from them.

http://www.eschatology.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=257:your-questions-aug-132006&catid=66:your-questions&Itemid=180

Christiane said...

Hi THY PEACE,

Jesus 'replaced' Barabbas, who was released to the people.

The mob wanted Barabbas to be freed and for Jesus to be crucified instead: the penalty for the crime of Barabbas was crucifixion.

Thy Peace said...

The question is not why Jews went to the Romans, for crucifying Jesus. Why did they not kill Him themselves, as in stoning?

My reasoning is there was divine intervention for this to happen.

But was there a logical reason for this to happen? Were the Jews hoping then the blood of Jesus death would not be on their heads but on the Romans? Or is this due to Roman occupation of Israel at that time?

Paula said...

The Jews did say "let his blood be on our heads", so we can rule out not wanting to be responsible. But I think one interesting clue would be that they said Jesus would wind up taking "our place and our nation", and another would be when Gamaliel advised not pursuing the disciples since they were not the leaders.

At this point, then, I'm leaning toward the fact that Jesus was a leader and they wanted much more of a public spectacle for Him. But I think there must be more than that, even outside of divine intervention.

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

Fbc Jax Watchdog > Lawsuit Filed Against Brunson, FBC Jax.
A lawsuit against Mac Brunson and FBC Jax has been filed today in Duval County Circuit Court. The lawsuit alleges defamation, fraud, misrepresentation, and abuse of process by Brunson and the church administration for actions taken last year leading to a criminal investigation under false pretenses, and then the resulting statements made to the media.

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

Media Coverage:

Jacksonville News > Jacksonville church blogger sues First Baptist.

First Coast News > Banned Blogger Sues Megachurch and Pastor.

News4Jax > Blogger Files Suit Against Former Church.

ezekiel said...

Paula,

This might help. He was given over to the Gentiles to fulfill prophecy. Jesus said it, it had to happen.

Mat 20:18 Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes; and they will sentence Him to death
Mat 20:19 And deliver Him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and whipped and crucified, and He will be raised [to life] on the third day.

Matthew Henry says this:

He foretels by whom he should suffer, by the chief priests and the scribes; so he had said before, but here he adds, They shall deliver him to the Gentiles, that he might be the better understood; for the chief priests and scribes had no power to put him to death, nor was crucifying a manner of death in use among the Jews. Christ suffered from the malice both of Jews and Gentiles, because he was to suffer for the salvation both of Jews and Gentiles; both had a hand in his death, because he was to reconcile both by his cross, Eph_2:16.

It would seem that rage and riot were the cause of Stephen's rapid demise. Mob mentality/mob rule. Reading it today, it was one heck of a sermon.....Things just got out of control. Add to that the idea that these same people had been instrumental in the same type of judgement of Christ and either didn't have the stomach for going to Pilate again. Maybe by now he was listening to his wife(Matthew 27:19):)

Paula said...

Yes, we know that God knew what would happen. But it still doesn't tell us why the Jews didn't stone Him. They tried it several times before, which makes no sense if it was illegal. And what of the woman they brought to Jesus earlier, and asked whether she should be stoned? Then of course there were stonings later as well.

So I don't see evidence in scripture that the Jews could not carry out executions. They had to change the charges from blasphemy to treason in order to get Rome to do it; that's the only crime they couldn't execute someone for. But why? Why change to treason when they could have done it themselves? And since they were willing to accept blame, we can't say they wanted to shift it.

Rex Ray said...

Paula,
I believe the Jewish leaders wanted Jesus to be made a public display of shame for declaring they were ‘blind leading the blind’ etc.

They wanted him ridiculed and spit on. Stoning would not have accomplished that.

Paula said...

Possibly... but I don't think we really have enough to say for sure.

Point being, I believe that the Jews did in fact have the right to put people to death, and by the method given by Moses. So that would mean that the scepter had not yet passed, and AFAIK, didn't really pass until 70 AD.

ezekiel said...

Benji,

At the risk of giving the appearance of picking a scrap (I am not), are you up to revisiting our conversation?

While researching the answer to Paula's question I ran across some Mattew Henry commentary on Chap 7that may shed some light on our discussion.

[3.] The building up of the family of Abraham, with the entail of divine grace upon it, and the disposals of divine Providence concerning it, which take up the rest of the book of Genesis.
First, God engaged to be a God to Abraham and his seed; and, in token of this, appointed that he and his male seed should be circumcised, Gen_17:9, Gen_17:10. He gave him the covenant of circumcision, that is, the covenant of which circumcision was the seal; and accordingly, when Abraham had a son born, he circumcised him the eighth day (Act_7:8), by which he was both bound by the divine law and interested in the divine promise; for circumcision had reference to both, being a seal of the covenant both on God's part - I will be to thee a God all-sufficient, and on man's part - Walk before me, and be thou perfect. And then when effectual care was thus taken for the securing of Abraham's seed, to be a seed to serve the Lord, they began to multiply: Isaac begat Jacob, and Jacob the twelve patriarchs, or roots of the respective tribes.

What is your take on what Henry is saying here when he says divine law. Would that be what we are today calling the law of Christ?


Now today, it is circumcision of the heart(Romans 2:29, being in Christ that makes us spiritual children of Abraham.(Gal 3:29)

Now to me that is where Ephesians comes in. Notice here that it specifically says "covenants" plural.

Eph 2:12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Eph 2:14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility
Eph 2:15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,

So by looking at covenants as plural, then Gal 3:16-18 makes more sense to me anyway.

I don't want you to think that I wish to get under the law of Moses. Rather I am searching for or erecting for myself guideposts
(Jer 31:21) I want to know what makes me part of the household of God (Eph 2:19) and all that entails.

All my life, I have been told and taught that as a Christian, I am part of the New Covenant and the OT was history and fulfilled prophecy.
But after reading it through a few times, I realized that the New Covenant was for the Jews too. It was first announced to the Jews in Jerusalem.

Then reading 1 Cor 10:11, Romans 15:4 and Hebrews 3:12 and then spending a couple of weeks in Ephesians 2....I realized that all Israel has to be saved. (Romans 11:26)

Maybe you can understand a little better why new, seperate, different, special sound all wrong to me. It sounds more like boasting (Romans 11:18)

By the way, you show me something that Israel did while under the law, some apostacy they committed and I will show you where we as the church do the same things today under Grace. And that isn't good. Heb 10:29, 12:25

Christiane said...

Here is one interesting connection:

Barabbas became a Zealot patriot warrior after witnessing the murder of some of his family by Roman soldiers, according to legend.

The Zealots eventually led the Great Rebellion against Roman occupation in 66 A.D., and from that time on, martial law was declared, in 70 A.D. the Sandhedrin and its powers were dissolved, and the Temple was destroyed.

There is definitely a connection between the figure of Christ and the figure of Barabbas. The Romans let the Zealot go, to please the Sanhedrin who wanted Christ dead. And Barabbas was a Zealot warrior, very popular with the Judeans, who eventually were led to revolt against Roman occupation by the Zealots.

You know the rest: by 70 A.D., the 'scepter had departed' with the dissolving of the Sanhedrin, the Destruction of the Temple, and the Diaspora.

Something BEGAN with the release of Barabbas, perhaps that led to the culmination of the passing of the 'sceptor' and the destruction of Judean identity.

When the crowds voted for the Zealot Barabbas, perhaps it was then that they chose, as a people, the path that led to the fulfillment of the prophecy.

Who knows? But it is an interesting connection, I think.

Benji Ramsaur said...

ezekiel,

I hope to respond on Monday if you are interested. I need to get through this week.

Take Care,

Benji

ezekiel said...

Benji,

That would be great. I look forward to hearing from you!

Grace and Peace!

Anders Branderud said...

The Mashiakh (Messiah)-prophecies in Tanakh are about first century Ribi Yehoshua – see the proper section in our History museum (left menu).

I recommend you and the reader of this post to do an extensive research of NT and Pauls doctrines at the below website (and learn what the followers of first century Ribi Yehoshua (the Mashiakh - Messiah) – the Netzarim - said about Paul and the Church) to find about its origin and the origin of the Church.

www.netzarim.co.il

Anders Branderud
Geir Tzedeq, Netzarim

Paula said...

Hmmm... Hebrew roots/names movement.

"But in Christ there is no Jew or Greek..."

Benji Ramsaur said...

Ezekiel,

"What is your take on what Henry is saying here when he says divine law. Would that be what we are today calling the law of Christ?"

I don't "think" Henry is saying that concerning circumcision. I know I don't. I think what Henry is saying is that it was a command that Abraham was to obey.

"Now today, it is circumcision of the heart(Romans 2:29, being in Christ that makes us spiritual children of Abraham.(Gal 3:29)"

I think so and would add that I think Gal 3:29 strongly implies that we are now spiritual Israel.

In other words, the promise that Abraham would have numerous seed was fulfilled literally in the O.T. and spiritually in the N.T.

"So by looking at covenants as plural, then Gal 3:16-18 makes more sense to me anyway."

I'm not sure what you are getting at. In Galatians 3:16-18 Paul is clearly talking about the law and the promise to Abraham.

I haven't thought a lot about what "covenants" are in view in Eph. 2:12. I wonder if it at least includes the Abrahamic covenant and the Davidic covenant.

* Paul B, could you share your thoughts on this.

"...the New Covenant was for the Jews too. It was first announced to the Jews in Jerusalem."

It wasn't for the Jews in the O.T. because the New Covenant did not exist yet. The Jews were in the Old Covenant. The New Covenant was "promised" in the O.T. [Jer. 31:31].

"Then reading 1 Cor 10:11, Romans 15:4 and Hebrews 3:12 and then spending a couple of weeks in Ephesians 2....I realized that all Israel has to be saved. (Romans 11:26)"

I'm not sure what you are getting at here. Folks disagree on what Romans 11:26 means, but I don't know anybody who says that every, single, Jew who has ever lived will be saved. But, again, I'm not sure that's what you are saying.

"Maybe you can understand a little better why new, seperate, different, special sound all wrong to me. It sounds more like boasting (Romans 11:18)"

I'm not trying to be arrogant toward the Jews. The newness I refer to is not something I have brought about so I can't brag. I refer to the newness that God has brought or will bring about--New name, new wineskins, new heavens and new earth, new commandment, new covenant, etc.

"By the way, you show me something that Israel did while under the law, some apostacy they committed and I will show you where we as the church do the same things today under Grace. And that isn't good. Heb 10:29, 12:25"

It's not about the church doing the particular same sins as Israel. I'm sure the church has. But Israel lived "in" sin whereas the church "struggles" with sin.

At least the Spirit gives life in the church [2 Cor. 3:6]. Israel was dead [overall in their history].

God Bless,

Benji

ezekiel said...

Benji,

Thanks for the response! I will get back to you later this evening. Busy day at work.

ezekiel said...

Benji,

"I don't "think" Henry is saying that concerning circumcision. I know I don't. I think what Henry is saying is that it was a command that Abraham was to obey."

Not really talking about the mark made with hands, we know that today it is circumcision of the heart. What I was getting at was the circumcision of the flesh more or less did the same thing the circumcision of the heart does today.

" by which he was both bound by the divine law and interested in the divine promise; for circumcision had reference to both, being a seal of the covenant both on God's part - I will be to thee a God all-sufficient, and on man's part - Walk before me, and be thou perfect.




I think so and would add that I think Gal 3:29 strongly implies that we are now spiritual Israel.

In other words, the promise that Abraham would have numerous seed was fulfilled literally in the O.T. and spiritually in the N.T.

Strongly agree

"So by looking at covenants as plural, then Gal 3:16-18 makes more sense to me anyway."

I'm not sure what you are getting at. In Galatians 3:16-18 Paul is clearly talking about the law and the promise to Abraham.

I haven't thought a lot about what "covenants" are in view in Eph. 2:12. I wonder if it at least includes the Abrahamic covenant and the Davidic covenant.

The way it looks to me is that the covenants being referred to are the covenant of grace/imputed righteousness through faith that was given to Abraham and the New Covenant we see in Jer 31. Both are outside sort of like bookends to the law of Moses and all that. That is what we base our salvation on these days right?


* Paul B, could you share your thoughts on this.

"...the New Covenant was for the Jews too. It was first announced to the Jews in Jerusalem."

It wasn't for the Jews in the O.T. because the New Covenant did not exist yet. The Jews were in the Old Covenant. The New Covenant was "promised" in the O.T. [Jer. 31:31].

Yes but what I am saying is that the new covenant was/is for both Israel and the church.

Jer 31:31 Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, [Luke 22:20; I Cor. 11:25.]
Jer 31:32 Not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was their Husband, says the Lord.
Jer 31:33 But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel: After those days, says the Lord, I will put My law within them, and on their hearts will I write it; and I will be their God, and they will be My people.

It was inclusive of the people Jeremiah was sitting their talking to. Unless you can make a case that the church was delivered out of the land of Egypt, broke His covenant and was His wife. Fulfillment of that hasn't happened yet. We see the actual fulfillement of that in
Zech 12:10.That is when all our Jewish friends will know that Jesus was/is the Messiah.

ezekiel said...

Continued,

"Then reading 1 Cor 10:11, Romans 15:4 and Hebrews 3:12 and then spending a couple of weeks in Ephesians 2....I realized that all Israel has to be saved. (Romans 11:26)"

I'm not sure what you are getting at here. Folks disagree on what Romans 11:26 means, but I don't know anybody who says that every, single, Jew who has ever lived will be saved. But, again, I'm not sure that's what you are saying.

This more or less boils down to the elect, all the chosen ones, the whole of Israel. Those saved by grace in the OT and in the NT. Jews from the Nation of Israel and Jews. All those Romans 2:28-29 Jews. We have to remember that only a remnant of all the Israelites that ever lived were saved.

"Maybe you can understand a little better why new, seperate, different, special sound all wrong to me. It sounds more like boasting (Romans 11:18)"

I'm not trying to be arrogant toward the Jews. The newness I refer to is not something I have brought about so I can't brag. I refer to the newness that God has brought or will bring about--New name, new wineskins, new heavens and new earth, new commandment, new covenant, etc.

No argument there, just a difference it seems as to who all is included in the new

"By the way, you show me something that Israel did while under the law, some apostacy they committed and I will show you where we as the church do the same things today under Grace. And that isn't good. Heb 10:29, 12:25"

It's not about the church doing the particular same sins as Israel. I'm sure the church has. But Israel lived "in" sin whereas the church "struggles" with sin.

I don't so much agree with that, we will probably have to agree to disagree on this one. Israel was delivered from bondage in Egypt and died in the wilderness or later on from unbelief. Today, we claim deliverance from bondage to sin yet struggle with it and in many cases remain in bondage to it. Dying for unbelief. One physical the other spiritual.

At least the Spirit gives life in the church [2 Cor. 3:6]. Israel was dead [overall in their history].

you just commented a while back that you were preaching through Revelation. Out of the churches you studied there, are there any dead or dying ones?

Peace and Grace to you Benji! I am going to be pretty busy the next couple of days. Anything more here and it will look like I enjoy arguing with you.

I do enjoy the study though. I will leave the last comment to you!

Benji Ramsaur said...

Ezekiel,

Thanks for your comments. I think I want to go broad in my comments to give you a sense of my approach to interpretating the entire Bible.

The O.T. is pictorial. The N.T. fulfills the pictures.

The O.T. shows the picture of a people delivered from physical bondage through a literal Lamb and brought into the literal land of Canaan.

Israel had a great King. His name was David. Ruth has David on her mind even before he comes into existence. David gets the last word [4:22].

We can understand that.

But after David "dies", Jeremiah says he's comin' back [30:9].

Say whaaaaaaaaaa.....?

The Davidic promise is fulfilled in Jesus.

In the same way, the O.T. promises "Judah/Israel" the New Covenant.

The New Covenantal "Judah/Israel" promise is fulfilled in spiritual Israel.

Spiritual Israel fulfills the pictures in the Old Testament. They are delivered from the bondage of sin through the blood of the Lamb of God and brought into the "heavenly country".

In other words, it's not about "Israel & the church".

Israel is fulfilled in the church.

Sure, sometimes those spiritual Israelites need to be shocked out of their deadness.

However, at least they are not dead in their trespasses and sins.

If that were the case, they could not be called spiritual Israelites at all.

The rule [not the exception] of status for Israel in the O.T. was that of being unbelievers. They were not spiritually saved. Just physically saved.

The absolute status of every spiritual Israelite in the N.T. is that of being believers. They are spiritually saved. Even if in physical bondage.

God Bless,

Benji

Benji Ramsaur said...

Folks,

Just to be clear. I did "personalize" the book of Ruth in the comment above [wink].

Irv said...

DAVID LETTERMAN'S HATE, ETC. !

David Letterman's hate is as old as some ancient Hebrew prophets.
Speaking of anti-Semitism, it's Jerry Falwell and other fundy leaders who've gleefully predicted that in the future EVERY nation will be against Israel (an international first?) and that TWO-THIRDS of all Jews will be killed, right?
Wrong! It's the ancient Hebrew prophet Zechariah who predicted all this in the 13th and 14th chapters of his book! The last prophet, Malachi, explains the reason for this future Holocaust that'll outdo even Hitler's by stating that "Judah hath dealt treacherously" and "the Lord will cut off the man that doeth this" and asks "Why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother?"
Haven't evangelicals generally been the best friends of Israel and persons perceived to be Jewish? Then please explain the recent filthy, hate-filled, back-stabbing tirades by David Letterman (and Sandra Bernhard and Kathy Griffin) against a leading evangelical named Sarah Palin, and explain why most Jewish leaders have seemingly condoned Palin's continuing "crucifixion"!
While David, Sandra, and Kathy are tragically turning comedy into tragedy, they are also helping to speed up and fulfill the Final Holocaust a la Zechariah and Malachi, thus helping to make the Bible even more believable!
(For even more stunning information, visit MSN, Google etc. and type in "Separation of Raunch and State," "Michael the Narc-Angel," "Bible Verses Obama Avoids," and "Hate Bill Favoritism.")

Paula said...

Deut. 7:7 The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

2 Kings 19:31 For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. "The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

Ezra 9:13 "What has happened to us is a result of our evil deeds and our great guilt, and yet, our God, you have punished us less than our sins deserved and have given us a remnant like this.

Micah 4:7 I will make the lame a remnant, those driven away a strong nation. The LORD will rule over them in Mount Zion from that day and forever.

Romans 11:1 I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.


Clearly the Lord has not yet begun to rule over Israel so there still remain prophecies to be fulfilled. The promise to Abraham stands, and if anyone thinks "the church" has been more faithful and pure than Israel, they are living in denial. We cannot appropriate Israel's blessings but not her curses!

No one is excusing the evil and hatred done by any unbeliever (or "believer"!), but as a nation God has not abandoned Israel nor left her without a remnant.

It is this very turning against her, whether we think she deserves it or not, that is fulfilling the last days prophecy. But as for Palin, she is being vilified primarily for being a conservative and a patriotic American. There are plenty of other such people who are non-Christians who get similar treatment. Whether some Jews (in name only, I'd bet) are among the haters is really not significant. This is American politics, not a Jew against Christian war.

jessica said...

The Messiah had been revealed. His words were to take precedence over Moses' words.

___________________
Jessica
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