Jerusalem & Judah by Pastor Don
We were very talkative at this Bible study and went on several rabbit trails of discussions. I have presented it faithfully as I can, but there is a lot. It is really neat to see how the rabbit trails come together in the end, and this time it did come together in a beautiful way!
Pastor Don started out our study by talking about a new phenomenon he saw on the news – Shopping Rage. He said they are calling it a psychological condition that brings out the worst in people who have to stand in line for so long and compete for a limited number of products. Pastor Don stated we have gotten to a place where we are taking idol worship very seriously, rock stars, dignitaries, and lust for things have become idols that we worship.
The book of Isaiah is a good place to see the background for what is in the news.We are the first generation to clearly have world-wide information that proves Bible Prophecy. In our fear of terrorism, to get on a plane and go through baggage and person checks, is an example of how we are giving up our freedom for fear. Pastor Don mentioned there is now a machine that airports are testing to reduce standing in long lines – it involves thumb prints and eye scans to identify the traveler. And there are also people who are suggesting chips be put in the hand for identification purposes. The European Union is already giving chips for ID for their employees. In America there is a push for this chip when there are health issues. Pastor Don says that one day they will go into the nursing homes and “for the resident’s own good” give them the chip to prevent the residents from getting lost. As usual, they will target the weakest, and then move on to the general population, after citing a few examples of how the chip has saved lives.
Pastor Don then asked, “Where is America in the Bible?” It isn’t mentioned in precise detail, although some do find references that they feel point to America.
In the Bible is mentioned “The Day”, “The Day of the LORD”, “The Day of Vengeance,” These references are pointing to end times events when the antichrist has made an appearance on the earth.
When God mentions Israel, He breaks it into two categories: Jerusalem and Judah. In this is a hidden message, for Jerusalem refers to the Jews, and Judah to the Gentiles when we are looking at prophetic passages. Another way to break it down is Jerusalem – natural born Jews, Judah – Bride of Christ. Many of the prophecies in Isaiah have a near fulfillment with the natural Jerusalem and Judah of Isaiah’s day, but also Israel and the Bride of Christ in the end times prophecies.
There is a dangerous theory going around called Replacement Theology, which says that Jesus came and the Jews did not recognize him as Messiah, so God will replace the Jews with the Church. When prophetic history unfolds, there will be no Jews.
This is wrong! A careful reading of Romans and the Bible shows that that is not what God will do. Paul talks about one new man, and even though Paul mentions that He doesn’t know how God will save the Jew, he knows that God will. The Jews are the People of the Promise, sons of Isaac. We gentiles are spiritual sons of Abraham, as is the Jew.
Isaiah 50:1 Thus says the LORD: “Where is the certificate of your mother’s divorce, whom I have put away? Or which of My creditors is it to whom I have sold you? For your iniquities you have sold yourselves, and for your transgressions your mother has been put away.
Pastor Don said that we have to be careful of people who refuse to acknowledge that scripture does not promote divorce. God let Moses permit divorce because of the hardness of the Israelites’ hearts, but Jesus made sure that they knew that God did not approve of divorce.
In Isaiah 50 God gives a divorce to Israel, and out of that we will see that He will restore and reclaim the children who came from that divorced union. Messianic Jews and descendants of the scribes and pharisees are part of the remnant restored by God.
An aside: Children of divorce should not be punished. When a child is born out of wedlock, it is called illegitimate, but really it is the “parents” who should be called illegitimate.
In the Bible prophecy is progressive.
In A.D. 70 many Jews were won to the Lord when Jerusalem fell. There was an active Christian community on the south side of the Temple. Within those 70 years after Jesus’ death the community of believers had risen to number about 10,000. Remember, after Peter’s first sermon 3,000 were saved. The Jews of that day were not upset with the denominations. Even today, the orthodox Jew may not like all the practices of the reformed Jew, but the orthodox Jew would still consider the reformed person to be a Jew. In A.D. 70 the Christians were accepted until persecutions increased, then the non-Christian Jews made a deal with the Romans to separate the Christians out for persecution.
Is God concerned about these Jews? Yes. He touches their hearts and calls to them, He wants them to change their ways and come to Him. God calls these unsaved Jews – “Jerusalem.”
“Judah”, whose name means praise, yada praise – hand raising praise. We are yada folks. We get included into the family of God due to the sacrifice of Jesus. We see this also in Isaiah 7 & 9. Jesus will be the light of the gentiles and God makes a place to include us, calling it “Judah”.
We asked Pastor Don how do we know if the “Judah” referred to is Judah at the time of Isaiah or the end times “Judah”, and Pastor Don told us that we have to read it according to context.
Hosea 6:1-3 Come, and let us return to the LORD, for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight. Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, like the latter and the former rain to the earth.
(Heather’s note: Kay Arthur and others use this passage as a reference to the end times, to Daniel, etc. so this is the Judah of the end times, as well as a prophecy for the time it was made. Hence the former and later rains.)
Hosea 6:4 O Ephriam, what shall I do to you? O Judah, what shall I do to you? For your faithfulness is like a morning cloud. And like the early dew it goes away.
The Bible tells us how you believe is important. If God sets up and establishes a system of laws under Moses by which the Jews or anyone is to obey, and they fail to obey, they are subject to the Mercy of God. Before Jesus, people met God at the Mercy Seat, their sin was covered, but it was not eradicated. The sacrifice at the altar only covered the sin and had to be repeated every year at the Day of Atonement.
God says, that whoever calls on Him shall be saved. That is the Grace of God. When we look under the covering of the Grace of God (provided by Jesus sacrifice) we see that the sin is gone. Grace gives us the opportunity to, by faith, accept the act of Jesus to remove sin and accept that as done. By our faith we are empowered to believe beyond the Mercy of God to the Grace of God. Salvation by Grace (sin eradicated) is superior to salvation by Mercy (sin covered), for Grace removes sin by the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus, the Lamb of God. The blood of bulls and goats is not sufficient to remove our sins.
Those Jews who lived under the law of Moses up until the time of Jesus, and even the time when Jesus was in the tomb could be saved. But there was a problem that Paul pointed out, no one could perfectly keep the laws of Moses. We all fail in that, so no one could be saved under the law.
Because we are all sinners in need of a savior, God tells us he loves us and will not forsake us, so He provided a savior, Jesus, to reconcile us to Himself.
Scripture tells us that God holds a special dispensation for the Jew. There will be judgment, but we are not told what that judgment will entail. Paul called it a “mystery”. We can’t take the fact that it is a mystery and infer that all Jews are going to hell. Hosea 6 points out that God will reconcile, and Hosea 6:6 For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
Hosea 6:4 (see above) Ephriam was not faithful. This tribe that chose to not cross the Jordan into the Promised Land and did not provide for the Israelites when they needed help.
The Judah mentioned in Hosea 6:5-10 is the Judah of the natural realm of that day, and they messed up. But look at verse 11: Also, O Judah, a harvest is appointed for you, when I return the captives of My people.
Why is the word “also” there? This is a different Judah, a prophetic Judah, a Spiritual Judah, which includes Christians (gentiles), and Messianic Jews – the Bride of Christ.
The Gentiles were not under the law of Moses, they were of the covenant of Abraham.
It is during these current times that we can see that there is a difference between Judah of the time of Israel and the Judah of today, it was not apparent to Biblical scholars 100 years ago because events of history hadn’t occurred. Before 1948 the Jews were scattered, but when the Jews returned to their land as prophesied, the prophetic clock has started up again. But not all Jews have called out to God as prophesied, and accepted Christ as the Messiah, but that will come, and then God will save that remnant.
Psalm 126 and 107 talk about the returning of the Jews to the land.
The Last days refer to Jerusalem and Judah when God unites all together.
In an aside: Pastor Don spent some time talking about the 10 regions that the world will be divided up into (as mentioned in Daniel). That the European Union has already split out which countries will be in these ten division. From a spiritual point of view, God is not concerned about what we call ourselves, He has named the nations and He is concerned about Ethiopia, Rome, Jerusalem, Medes, Persians, Iraq, Iran, etc. He is concerned with the saved nations and the unsaved nations.
As we watch the news we will begin to see who are the players in this day and age.
For example who are the Edomites, the spiritual line that descends from Esau, who was a betrayer, wanted to kill his brother, and did not recognize Israel as blood brothers? Edom is in the land of Jordan, and helped to create the Palestinian problem.
Babylon will be utterly destroyed, and the descendants of Ishmael will amass from the East and North and come together and fall upon Babylon in the Day of the Lord. The prophets saw great destruction in the form of lightning, mountains falling, and great chariots in the sky. We can see that these can also, with a bit of imagination, describe the weapons of mass destruction that we have today.
A look at the clock brought Pastor Don back to the Bible verses he wanted to cover, and we did a whirlwind tour.
Isaiah 1:2-3 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the LORD has spoken; “I have nourished and brought up children and they have rebeled against Me; The ox knows its owner and the donkey its master’s crib, but Israel does not know, My people do not consider.
This can describe Israel back in the time of Isaiah and also today.
Isaiah 1:4-9 Alas, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked to anger the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away backward. Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more, the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faints. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; they have not been closed or bound up, or soothed with ointment. Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire; strangers devour your land in your presence; and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. So the daughter of Zion is left as a booth in a vineyard. As a hut in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. Unless the LORD of hosts had left to us a very small remnant, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been made like Gomorrah.
Another aside: The land was filled with sexual sin (Sodom & Gomorrah). We can see that today if we just turn on the TV. The US sells more porn to people than any other nation in the world. Our nation was born in freedom, but we want freedom without principles, freedom without morality and ethics, and freedom without morality and ethics is anarchy.
Why did God destroy the earth in the time of Noah, because everyone was doing what was right in their own eyes, and they kept transgressing against God. We are coming to that today in our country.
A great nation is a nation that gives freedom within the guidelines of morals and ethics.
The cry of the 60’s was more freedom, freedom to sin, sex – drugs – and rock and roll. This led to anarchy, civil liberties reduced morals and created more “freedom.” And in the three generations since, there is an increase in “freedom” but ethics have been severely curtailed.
Europe has thrown off its morals, and religion became based on buying their way out of moral restrictions. The church of England broke off with the Papacy so that the king could marry another wife. Power and money moved the morality and ethics of the day.
Today there is a push for the freedom to sell porn, to go beyond the ethical limits that our country was founded on.
We have seen this in our country with the current election. First we went very conservative because we were sick of unlimited freedom, then the people did not want to lose their “freedom” so they swung to the other side of the pendulum. We are going to end up with a reduction of freedom and rights, and a decided lack of morals in our country.
Back to the whirlwind tour of Isaiah:
Isaiah 2:12 For the day of the LORD of hosts shall come upon everything proud and lofty, upon everything lifted up–and it shall be brought low.
Isaiah 2:19 They shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, from the terror of the LORD and the glory of His majesty. When He arises to shake the earth mightily.
Pastor Don commented that this would happen physically first, then spiritually. The Day of the LORD will affect people both physically and spiritually.
Isaiah 2:20 In that day a man will cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold, which they made, each for himself to worship, to the moles and bats.
Isaiah 3:1-4 For behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, takes away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stock and the store, the whole supply of brad and the whole supply of water, the mighty man and the man of war, the judge and the prophet, and the diviner and the elder, the captain of fifty and the honorable man, the counselor and the skillful artisan, and the expert enchanter. I will give children to be their princes and babes shall rule over them.
(Heather’s note, this is mentioned in Revelation).
Isaiah 3:6-8 When a man takes hold of his brother in the house of his father saying, “You have clothing, you be our ruler, and let these ruins be under your power. In that day he will protest, saying, “I cannot cure your ills, for in my house is neither food nor clothing; do not make me a ruler of the people. For Jerusalem stumbled, and Judah is fallen, because their tongue and their doings are against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of His glory.
Isaiah 3:18-23 In that day the Lord will take away the finery; the jingling anklets, the scarves, and the crescents; the pendants, the bracelets, and the veils; the headdresses, the leg ornaments, and the headbands; the perfume boxes, the charms, and the rings; the nose jewels, the festal apparel, and the mantles, the outer garments, the purses, and the mirrors, the fine linen, the turbans, and the robes.
(Heather’s note: See Revelation 18:9-24)
Isaiah Chapter 4:1-2 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, “We will eat our own food and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by your name, to take away our reproach.” In that day, the Branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious; and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing for those of Israel who have escaped.
There will be a remnant.
Isaiah 5 talks about God’s vineyard, and we are grafted in. Isaiah 5:7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are His pleasant plant. He looked for justice, but behold, oppression; for righteousness, but behold, a cry for help.
Isaiah 5:20-23 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and prudent in their own sight! Woe to men mighty at drinking wine, woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink, who justify the wicked for a bribe and take away justice from the righteous man!
Then we have the promise of salvation, of Jesus in Isaiah 9:6-7 For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Praise God for Jesus and His salvation, without that none of us would be saved, Jew or Gentile.
We ran out of time, sigh.
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