Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The 3 Questions in Matthew 24.3



 Last week's Blog concluded with the following comment:


‘The First Resurrection’ events described in Matthew 24, 1Corinthians 15, 1Thessalonians 4, and Revelation 20, ALL happen at the same time....immediately following 'The Last Trumpet' on Rosh HaShanah, when  the LORD Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with The Trumpet of God.....at His Second Coming.

The evidence is clear when we put together the relevant passages. But, of course, there are many additional questions....

For example, we read in Matthew 24.3:
As He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your Coming, and of the end of the age?"

There are 3 separate questions in this verse:
       1. when will these things be?
       2. And what will be the sign of Your Coming?
       3. and of the end of the age?’ 


However, before we correlate the passages in which Jesus answered the 3 separate questions that the disciples asked....let's deal with the two misunderstood problems of Matthew 24.36-37 and the 'Rapture'.

Matthew 24.36-37:
....of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the Coming of the Son of Man be.   

The phrase of that day and hour no one knows  has been accepted as proof that  no one  knows when Messiah will return.  However, the text refers to that day and hour , and it does NOT mention the season.

Messiah will return at the season of Rosh HaShanah because it is the only Festival that begins on the first day of the month.  The month begins when the New Moon is sighted by at least two witnesses.   Therefore, of that day and hour no one knows until the time arrives because the New Moon appears on either the 29th or 30th day of the lunar month.


Matthew 24.36-37 is a further confirmation that Messiah will return at Rosh HaShanah!


The 'Rapture':   

Because the Tribulation period will be such a frightening experience (of which more later), many have tried to suggest that believers will be spared the Tribulation by being ‘raptured’ before it begins.  

This mistaken theory of the ‘Rapture’ before the Tribulation was promulgated by JN Darby in 1832 after he had visited Miss Margaret MacDonald who had had a vision of the ‘rapture’ when she was seriously ill.



Countless books and pamphlets have been written over the last 200 years to support this mistaken 'Rapture' theory.  There is no record of any 'Rapture' theory prior to Miss MacDonald's emotional and self induced 'vision' in 1832.  

In addition, there is no Scriptural evidence to support the theory that Jesus returns at His Second Coming rather like a yo-yo; coming down once to 'rapture' believers, returning to heaven, and then coming down again to complete His Second Coming.  This process seems to be like a comic pantomime act....and it should be dismissed.

The Prophet Zephaniah suggests a different course of events:
It may be that you will be hidden in The Day of the LORD’S Anger.   Zephaniah 2.3    

A similar situation happened during the Exodus Plagues when the Children of Israel were protected by the LORD from the effects of the Plagues on the Egyptians: 

The LORD will make a difference between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt. So nothing shall die of all that belongs to the Children of Israel.   Exodus 9.4

So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days. But all the Children of Israel had light in their dwellingsExodus 10.22-23
 

The historical facts that nothing died of all that belonged to the Children of Israel, and all the Children of Israel had light in their dwellings  suggests that, rather than a spurious and unsupportd 'Rapture' escape from the Tribulation, the LORD will protect believers from the effects of the Tribulation....as the Prophet Zephaniah prophesies.


Now let's return to the 3 Questions in Matthew 24.3. The summary answers to the 3 Questions are as follows:

Question 1- 'when will these things be?' is answered by the prophecy in Matthew 24.1
Then Jesus went out and departed from the  Temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the Temple. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.’

The prophecy 'not one stone shall be left here upon another' was fulfilled precisely in 70CE, when the Romans burned the Temple. The gold of the Temple roof melted and ran down the walls. Since the Roman soldiers had not been paid for months they gathered every scrap of gold from between the stones.

Question 2 - 'what will be the sign of Your Coming?', refers to His Second Coming some 2000 years later.




Question 3 - 'and of the end of the age?’, refers to the end of the age, 1000 years after His Second Coming.

 

The 3 Questions , therefore, are a summary introduction for His disciples to the events of the next 3000 years which will culminate in the Great White Throne Judgment, followed by ‘the renewed earth and renewed heavens’ of the World to come.

But first, we must begin with Question 1: 'when will these things be?' 
these things refers to the subsequent events of the years 60 to 70CE, and is answered in Luke: 
  
Luke 21.12-16:
Before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My Name’s sake.....
But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer. For I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.
You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death….
they will put some of you to death…. refers to the murders of Peter, who was crucified, Paul, who was beheaded, James, who was murdered in 62CE, and of many others.

Luke 21.17-23:
But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.    
This verse specifically refers to the siege and destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in the years 66 to 70CE. 


Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

led away captive into all nations is a description of the Diaspora which began in 70CE.



So, the answers to Question 1, when will these things be? refer to the events that would take place some 30 years later, culminating in the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 70CE.



 

Question 2 in Matthew 24.3 And what will be the sign of Your Coming?  is answered in the following verses in Matthew 24:
Matthew 24.4-22: Jesus answered and said to them: Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will  deceive many. 

And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.  
For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and  earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 
But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Then there will be Great Tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

there will be Great Tribulation
is the ‘Day of Wrath’ referred to in Joel and Zephaniah:

A Day of darkness and gloominess, a Day of clouds and thick darkness, like the morning clouds spread over the mountains.   
Joel 2:2 
That Day is a Day of wrath, a Day of trouble and distress, a Day of devastation and desolation, a Day of darkness and gloominess, a Day of clouds and thick darkness,…
Zephaniah 1:15  The detailed events of the Tribulation are described in Revelation chapters 4 to 19.  The LORD appeared to John and instructed him to:
Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. 
Revelation 1.19
There are 3 ‘things’ that John was instructed to ‘write’:
 

1. the things which you have seen refers to John’s vision of the LORD Himself in 1.12-16:

I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands,and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two–edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.




2. the things which are refers to the spiritual state of the ‘seven churches’ summarised in Revelation 2.1-3-22


3.  the things which will take place after this which are the detailed and spectacular events of the Tribulation period described in Revelation 4.1-19.10. 



We will look at the spectacular events of the Great Tribulation in next week's Blog.  The comparison of the Revelation Judgments and the Plagues in Exodus will give us some clear clues about what we might expect....


Until next week.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The Last Trumpet at The Second Coming of Messiah



In last week's Blog, I asked the question, 'Why did John the Baptist ask Jesus a very strange question: 'Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?'.
  
John asked the question because he was expecting the Messiah of His Second Coming ....and he was not expecting the Messiah of His First Coming when He came 'to save His people from their sins'.   

So...following the answer to John's strange question....when will Jesus our Messiah return at His Second Coming? 

In order to arrive at the answer, we must follow the 'rules', the method, the process, of studying the Bible.  This process requires us to assemble ALL the Biblical passages that refer to a particular subject, from both the Old Testament and the New Testament.  We must avoid the temptation to 'cherry pick' specific verses, and ignore the main body of the passages. 

The Biblical passages about the events immediately before, during, and after His Second Coming are not in one clear, coordinated, chronological narrative. They are in various books of both the Old and New Testaments including Isaiah, Micah, Joel, Zechariah, Matthew, Luke, Corinthians, Thessalonians, and Revelation.....and there are lots of them!

However, before we look at the whole body of passages, let's go straight to the answer and then work backwards to answer the questions of detail.  
 
When will Jesus our Messiah return at His Second Coming?

The answer is that Jesus will return at His Second Coming at the Biblical Feast of Rosh HaShanah. The conclusive evidence for this answer is based on the key Hebrew phrase 'The Last Trumpet.'
 

'The Last Trumpet’ is a Hebrew phrase that specifically refers to the Tekiah Gedolah, the last of the one hundred blasts that are blown on the shofar on Rosh HaShanah.

The Shofar is a trumpet made from a ram's horn. There are 4 distinct types of Shofar notes that are blown on Rosh HaShanah: 

1. Tekiah.  This is one long, sharp 'blast' (tekiah) that is sustained for three seconds.

2. Shevarim. These are three one second staccato, 'broken' (shevarim) sounds that rise in tone.

3. Teruah. These are a series of nine quick 'blowings' (teruah) in short succession that extend over a period of about three seconds. 
Leviticus 23.24  In the seventh month,(Tishri) on the first day of the month, (Rosh HaShanah) you shall have a Sabbath rest , a memorial of blowing of trumpets, (Teruah)

4. Tekiah Gedolah. This sounds the same as a Tekiah, but it is a triple Tekiah that extends for three consecutive tekiyot , for a minimum of nine seconds. 
The Tekiah Gedolah (The Great Blast) is known as 'The Last Trumpet’ because it is the final 'blast' of the one hundred 'blasts' that are blown on Rosh HaShanah.


The same Hebrew phrase that specifically refers to the Tekiah Gedolah, is used in:
Isaiah 27.13,
The Great Trumpet,  
Matthew 24.31, a Great sound of a Trumpet
1Corinthians 15.51-52, The Last Trumpet, The Trumpet will sound,  and 
1Thessalonians 4.16, The Trumpet of God.

Isaiah 27.13:  It shall come to pass in That Day that the LORD will thresh, from the channel of the River to the Brook of Egypt; and you will be gathered one by one, O you Children of Israel. So it shall be in That Day: The Great Trumpet (Tekiah Gedolah) will be blown.

Matthew 24.31 He will send His angels with a Great sound of a Trumpet, (Tekiah Gedolah), and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

1 Corinthians 15.51-53  We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at The Last Trumpet,(Tekiah Gedolah)
for The Trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

1 Thessalonians 4.16 For the LORD Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with The Trumpet of God, (Tekiah Gedolah). And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the LORD in the air. And thus we shall always be with the LORD.

1Thessalonians 4.16 describes what will happen when 'The Last Trumpet', 'The Trumpet of God' sounds: the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them.  This is confirmed by Revelation 20.4:


Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the Word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is The First Resurrection.
 
‘The First Resurrection’ events described in Matthew 24, 1Corinthians 15, 1Thessalonians 4, and Revelation 20, ALL happen at the same time....immediately following
'The Last Trumpet' on Rosh HaShanah, when  the LORD Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with The Trumpet of God.....at His Second Coming.

The evidence is clear when we put together the relevant passages. But, of course, there are many additional questions....some of which we will address in next week's Blog.....

For example, we read in Matthew 24.3:
As He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your Coming, and of the end of the age?"

There are 3 separate questions in this verse:

       1. when will these things be?
       2. And what will be the sign of Your Coming?
       3. and of the end of the age?’ 


Until next week.... 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

'Are You the Coming One?'


                
                  
                 
                  In Matthew 11, John the Baptist asks Jesus a very strange question:
                  
When John the Baptist heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, 'Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?'   Matthew 11.2

Since John had announced Jesus’s arrival, AND he had been present at Jesus’s Baptism, AND he had seen the dove descend, AND he had heard the Voice from heaven....why does he need to ask the question? 

He needed to ask the question because he had misunderstood that Jesus the Messiah was, and is, planned by God to make TWO visits to Earth from Heaven:


1. His First Coming was 'to save His people from their sins', which is why He was called JESUS. JESUS means 'deliverance or freedom from trouble.' 

As Paul writes in 1Corinthians 15.20-22:
Now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also, came the resurrection of the dead.   

At His Crucifixion and Resurrection, Jesus destroyed the power of death, as Hosea prophesied:
Hosea 13:14  I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death.
 

and as Hebrews 2.14 describes so clearly that:
He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.   

2. His Second Coming is for a very different purpose, as the Prophet Zechariah 14.1-13 outlines: 

Behold, The Day of the LORD is coming, ...for I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. ....
Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, ...and in That Day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, ...and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two.... 
It shall come to pass in That Day that there will be no light; the lights will diminish.  ...and in That Day it shall be that Living Waters shall flow from Jerusalem, ...and the LORD shall be King over all the earth. 
In That Day it shall be...that this shall be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, and their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths. 
It shall come to pass in That Day that a great panic from the LORD will be among them.  

Zephaniah 1.15-18 describes The Day of the LORD in some detail:
That Day is 
a Day of wrath, 
a Day of trouble and distress, 
a Day of devastation and desolation, 
a Day of darkness and gloominess, 
a Day of clouds and thick darkness, 
a Day of trumpet and alarm against the fortified cities and against the high towers.
I will bring distress upon men, and they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD; their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like refuse. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in The Day of the LORD’s wrath. 

Malachi 4.1 gives a similar description:
'The Day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And The Day which is coming shall burn them up, that will leave them neither root nor branch. 

The vast majority of the Rabbis in the first century expected a Messiah that would only come once, and at His Coming the events of The Day of the LORD would happen.   

The outcome of The Day of the LORD would clearly result in the freedom of Israel from the Roman yoke, and the ushering in of the rule and reign of Messiah in Jerusalem, that most of the Prophets had described so many times. 

For example, Micah 5.1-6 describes: 
It shall come to pass in the latter days that the Mountain of the LORD’S House shall be established on the top of the mountains, ...and peoples shall flow to it. 
Many nations shall come and say, 'Come, and let us go up to the Mountain of the LORD, to the House of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.' For out of Zion the Torah shall go forth, and the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid; for the Mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.   

And the Prophet Isaiah outlines what will happen in the beautiful passage of Isaiah 11.1-9: 

There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.... Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, and faithfulness the belt of His waist.

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, 
The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, 
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; 
and a little child shall lead them.

The cow and the bear shall graze; 
Their young ones shall lie down together; 
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, 
and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den.

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, 
For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

So, this was the wonderful prospect that the Rabbis, the Scribes and Pharisees, the Sadducess, the Elders, the Chief Priests, the sect of the Essenes, and many, many people expected.

In addition to this wonderful prospect, the Prophet Malachi adds some vital information for John the Baptist in Malachi 3.1 and 4.5-6:

Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the LORD, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His Temple, ....
Behold, I will send you Elijah the Prophet before the coming of The Great and Dreadful Day of the LORD. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.'

It is clear from the prophecies in the Old Testament, AND the subsequent confirmation from Jesus Himself, that John the Baptist was 'the messenger', and was to be identified with Elijah the Prophet: 


Matthew 3.1-4:
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!' For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah 40.3, saying: 'The voice of one crying, 'In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make His paths straight.’
 

And John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.
....as described in 2Kings 1:8: A hairy man wearing a leather belt around his waist.  

Jesus affirmed that John the Baptist was to be identified with Elijah:

Matthew 11.14: If you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come.
 

Matthew 17.10-13  His disciples asked Him, saying, 'Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?'
Jesus answered and said to them, 'Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they wished.'
Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist.

With all this confirmation, it is not surprising that John the Baptist expected that the dramatic events of The Day of the LORD were about to happen. In fact, the record of John's preaching in Matthew 3.7-12 confirms his expectation of The Day of the LORD 

When John saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, 'Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?....And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.' 

It is very clear from this passage in Matthew 3, that when John challenged the Pharisees and Sadducess with his question, Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?,  he was specifically referring to The Day of the LORD’s wrath described in Zephaniah 1.

In addition, John was expecting that Jesus would burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire as Malachi 4 prophesied, The Day which is coming shall burn them up.  

So, in conclusion, 
Why did John the Baptist ask Jesus a very strange question: 'Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?'.
  
John asked the question because he was expecting the Messiah of His Second Coming ....and he was not expecting the Messiah of His First Coming when He came 'to save His people from their sins'.   

Until the next Blog when I will outline when Jesus our Messiah will return at His Second Coming.... 


 


Sunday, 11 November 2012

How does the Bible commentate on itself?(6)





Which OT references match which Gospel references?:

The key to matching the references is the use of Word and/or Phrase Association


The answers:

A. Proverbs 30.4                   V.   John 3.13
Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, if you know?

No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.

 =  Jesus gives Nicodemus a clear Phrase Association with the prophecy in Proverbs 30. 


B. Isaiah 45.22                       Y.    John 3.14-15
 Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.

As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have Eternal Life.

 =  Again, Jesus gives Nicodemus a clear Phrase Association that explains how His subsequent Crucifixion is the key to ‘be saved’ and  to ‘have Eternal Life’. His answer is in response to Nicodemus’s failure to make the Phrase Association!!:

Nicodemus answered and said to Him, ‘How can these things be?’ Jesus answered him,‘Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?…’



C. Ezekiel 36.25-26               Z.    John 3.5
 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God…..’

=  Jesus gives a clear Phrase Association to the actions of Messiah prophesied in Ezekiel 36 & 37.  Nicodemus could hardly fail to make the Phrase Association…but he clearly does fail, and Jesus helps him by making additional Phrase Associations in 3.13 & 14-15 above


D. Proverbs 1.28-29               X.   John 7.34-35

They will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.  Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD,

 

 You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come.’ Then the Jews said among themselves, ‘Where does He intend to go that we shall not find Him?….


=  A Phrase association that would have been familiar to ‘the Jews’, most of whom knew their OT by heart.


E. Psalm 2.7                           T.   Matthew 3.17
I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.

Suddenly a voice came from heaven ,’This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’

= Psalm 2 refers to Messiah, and the underlined phrases refer specifically to Jesus at both His First and His Second Comings:
Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His
Anointed, saying, ‘Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.’ He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall  speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure:
 Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’
Now therefore, be wise, O kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.  Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His Wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.


F.  Zechariah 14.8                  R.  John 7.37-38
In that Day it shall be that living waters shall flow from Jerusalem,

Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’

=  The identification of Messiah, and Jesus as Messiah, with the ‘Living Waters’  and ‘The Fountain of Living Water’ is made in several references including Jeremiah 2.13 and 17.13, Ezekiel 47.8-9, and the above Zechariah 14.8.  Jesus refers to Himself as the ‘Living Waters’ in His famous declaration in John 7, and also in His dialogue with the Samaritan Woman in John 4.  For those who heard His declaration in John 7, the Phrase Association with Zechariah 14.8 would have been easily recognized.



G. Deuteronomy 17.6             P.  John 8.17
Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses;

It is also written in your Torah that the testimony of two men is true.

= a clear Phrase Association reference


H. Isaiah 42.1                         W.   Matthew 12.18
Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.

He warned them not to make Him known, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased!   I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will declare justice to the Gentiles.

=  a clear quote…in which Jesus identifies Himself as Messiah. 
Jesus clearly identifies Himself in numerous incidents in the Gospels….but usually by referring to Word and Phrase Associations in the OT, particularly in Isaiah.  His listeners would have made the Associations….and needed to do so in the OT because the OT was the ONLY frame of reference by which Jesus could be assessed whether He was Messiah or not.


I.  Isaiah 50.10                       Q.  John 12.35
Who among you fears the LORD? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the Name of the LORD and rely upon his God.

Jesus said to them, ‘A little while longer the Light is with you. Walk while you have the Light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the Light, believe in the Light, that you may become sons of Light.’

=  Jesus uses the Phrase Association of who walks in darkness  then compares trust in the Name of the LORD and rely upon his God  with  believe in the Light.   He had identified Himself as The Light of the world in John 8.12, and the connection between His identification of Himself as the Light and trusting and relying upon God would have been a clear and unmistakeable challenge to His listeners.


J. Genesis 6.4                       N.  Jude 1.6
There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them.

The angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode,


=  The connection with the incident in Genesis 6 is clear.  For a ‘commentary’ on the Genesis 6 incident you might like to refer to 3 previous Blogs.



K. Psalm 89.48                      U.   John 8.51
 What man can live and not see death? Can he deliver his life from the power of the grave?

Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My Word he shall never see death.

=  This clear Phrase Association answers
1.     the question posed by Ethan the Ezraite who wrote Psalm 89…and more pertinently
2.     the challenge of John 8.48 in which the Jews answered and said to Him, ‘Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?’
     
Jesus identifies Himself, again, as Messiah, and tells ‘the Jews’ that to accuse Him of ‘having a demon’ was ‘to dishonour Him’.



L. Deuteronomy 18.15          S.   Matthew 17.5

The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear,

Behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud,  saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!’

=  The clear Phrase Association in which God recommends the correct response to Messiah!!
To ‘hear’ is the Hebrew word 8085 sh’ma, and it means to hear  someone carefully, as well as responding appropriately in obedience or action.



M. Isaiah 55.1                       O.  John 4.10
 Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

Jesus answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you,  Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you Living Water.’


=    Note the answer/explanation to F.  Zechariah 14.8 = R.  John 7.37-38 

I hope that you enjoyed matching the references.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

How does the Bible commentate on itself?(5)



I wrote in the Blog title 'How does the Bible commentate on itself?'(1) that I posted on 4th May 2012 that it has often been said that ‘the Bible is the best commentary on itself’.  How does this work?

One of the main keys to commentary is Word and Phrase Association.

For example, in Luke 19.10 Jesus said:
The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost

There are clear Word and Phrase Associations with Ezekiel 34 in the underlined words in verses 11 and 16:
34.11 I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.
34.16 I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away

The underlined Words and Phrases connect the passage in Luke 19 with the passage in Ezekiel 34.

But there is more to the commentary than the initial Word and Phrase Association.  It was the custom in the first century to use these Associations to point to the whole passage in which they occur, not just to the specific Associations.

  
                  So, here is another set of Word and Phrase Associations for you to match:


                  Which OT references match which Gospel references?: 


A. Proverbs 30.4                     N.  Jude 1.6


B. Isaiah 45.22                       O.  John 4.10


C. Ezekiel 36.25-26                P.  John 8.17


D. Proverbs 1.28-29               Q.  John 12.35


E. Psalm 2.7                            R.  John 7.37-38


F.  Zechariah 14.8                   S.   Matthew 17.5


G. Deuteronomy 17.6             T.   Matthew 3.17


H. Isaiah 42.1                         U.   John 8.51


I.  Isaiah 50.10                       V.   John 3.13


J. Genesis 6.4                       W.   Matthew 12.18


K. Psalm 89.48                      X.   John 7.34-35


L. Deuteronomy 18.15           Y.    John 3.14-15


                 M. Isaiah 55.1                         Z.    John 3.5  


                 Enjoy the search!!  The Answers will be posted on Sunday.