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DISTURBING THE PEACE

An Overview Study on the Message of the Biblical Prophets

The Word of God is prophetic. In Genesis we find God declaring His first covenant with man and His declaration of sovereignty and ownership over everything He has created. In the Psalms we read of various cries to the Lord, each of which can resonate with us. In Revelation, we read of a vision given to John to warn the terminal first century generation of their end. Scripture is replete with prophets and prophetic words that demand examination to the edification of the Believer.

May the words of the prophets invigorate you and give you clarity regarding the Word of God.

(* Not intended to be exhaustive of every person that is or could be a Biblical prophet nor all the prophesies)

 

ADAM
“And the Lord God took the man, and put him in the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man saying, ‘of every tree of the garden you may freely eat, but the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, do not eat, for in the day you eat of it you shall surely die’ (Genesis 2:15-17).

“And the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone, I will make a help meet for him’ (Genesis 2:18).

“And Adam said, ‘This is now flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone, she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of man’. Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed (Genesis 2:23-25)

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took the fruit, ate, and also gave to her husband, and he did eat. And both of their eyes were opened, and they knew they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day; and Adam and his wife hid themselves  from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden (Genesis 3:6-8)

Curse Declarations:
“To the serpent…(Genesis 3:14-15)”
“To the woman…(Genesis 3:16)”
“To Adam…(Genesis 3:17-19)”

“For Adam and his wife, the Lord God made coats of skin, and clothed them…unless He eat of the Tree of Life and live forever, He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden, cherubims, and a flaming sword, to guard the way to the tree of life (Genesis 3:21-24)

 

ABEL
“And the Lord said to Cain,….”The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground (Genesis 4:9-10)”.

“The blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, will be required of this generation. From the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah…(Luke 11:50-51)”.

“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaks (Hebrews 11:4)”.

“Ye have come unto Mount Zion…and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel (Hebrews 12:22,24)”.

 

ENOCH – means “dedicated”
“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him (Genesis 5:24)”.

“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God has translated him: for before his translation he had testimony that he pleased God (Hebrews 11:5)”.

“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these saying, “Behold the Lord comes with ten thousand of His saints, to execute judgement upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him (Jude 14-15)”.

 

METHUSALEH – makes “death shall be sent”; lived the longest in OT
And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died (Genesis 5:27)”.

 

NOAH
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Genesis 6:8-10)”

“And , behold, I, and even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein there is breath of life, from under heaven, and everything that is in the earth shall die. But with you (Noah) I will establish my covenant, and you shall go into an ark, you and yours sons, your wife and their wives. And every living thing, two of every sort, you shall bring into the ark, to keep alive, they shall be male and female….And so Noah did everything the Lord had commanded him (Genesis 6:17-22; 7:1-9)”.

“And the Lord spoke to Noah, saying, ‘Go from the ark, you, your wife, and your sons wives, bring with thee every living thing that is with thee…that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth (Genesis 8:15-17)”.

“And Noah built an altar to the Lord: and took of every clean beast and every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a sweet aroma, and the Lord said in His heart, ‘I will not again curse the ground for man’s sake, for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth, neither again will I kill every living thing, as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease’ (Genesis 8:20-22)”.

“And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth (Genesis 9:1)”.

“And God said, ‘This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a token between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: and I will remember my covenant which is between me, you, and every living creature, and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth (Genesis 9:12-16)”.

“By faith Noah, being warned by God of things not yet seen, moved with fear, prepared an ark  to the saving of his house ; by which he condemned the world, and became the heir of righteousness which is by faith (Hebrews 11:7)”.

 

ABRAM/ ABRAHAM  
“Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Get out of this land, and from your family, and your father’s house, and go to a land I will show you: and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless you, and curse them that curse you, and in you shall all families of the earth shall be blessed. So Abram went, as the Lord has said to him…(Genesis 12:1-4)”.

“And the Lord said to Abram…’Lift up your eyes, and look from the place where you are to the north, the south, and east, and west: for all the land that you see, I will give to you and your seed forever. And I will make your seed as the dust of the earth: so that if any man can number the dust of the earth, then shall your seed be numbered (Genesis 13:14-16)”.

“And My covenant shall be with you, and you shall be the father of many nations. Neither shall your name be called Abram, but Abraham, for I have made you the father of many nations. And I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, kings shall come out of you. And I will establish my covenant between me, you, and your seed after you, in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God to you and your seed after you. And I will give you, and your seed after you, the land which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God (Genesis 17:4-8)”.

“Are you not our God, who did drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and gave it to the seed of Abraham, your friend, forever (2 Chronicles 20:7)”.

“And do not say within yourselves, ‘We have Abraham to our father: I say to you, that God is able to raise up children of Abraham out of these stones (Matthew 3:9)”.

“They answered and to said to Him, ‘Abraham is our father’. Jesus said to them, ‘If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham (John 8:39)”.

“Know that those who are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached the Gospel to Abraham, saying, In you shall all nations be blessed. So then they which are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham (Galatians 3:7-9)”.

“And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:29)”.

“By faith Abraham when he was called to go out of a place to a place that he shall receive as an inheritance, obeyed: and he went out not knowing where he was going. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as a stranger….he looked for a city which had foundations, whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:8-10)”.

“By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac, and he that had received the promise offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, ‘In Isaac shall your seed be called’: accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead: and he was received as a type (Hebrews 11:17-19)”.

“O will you know, oh vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he had offered up Isaac upon the alter? See how his faith was with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which said, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness: and he was called the friend of God. You see then that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only (James 2:20-24)”.

 

MELCHIZEDEK – means “king of righteousness”
“And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And blessed him and said, ‘Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth. And blessed be the most high God, which has delivered your enemies into your hand. And he gave with tithes of all (Genesis 14:18-20)”.

“The order of Melchizedek” – Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5:1-6; 7:1-28)

 

ISAAC
“And God said to Abraham, “Let it not be grievous in your sight because of the child, and because of your bondwoman, in all that Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice, for in Isaac your seed shall be called (Genesis 21:12)”.

 

JACOB – carried blessing of Abraham (cf. Genesis 28:3-4)
“And Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. And he came upon a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun was set; and he took one of the stones  of that place and used it for a pillow, and laid down to sleep. And he had a dream, where he saw a ladder set upon the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, ‘I am the Lord God of Abraham, your father, and the God of Isaac, and the land where you are laying, to you I will give it, and to your seed; and your seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and you shall spread out to the west, the east, the north, and the south: and in you and your seed shall all families of the earth be blessed. And behold, I am with you, and will keep you in the place where you go, and I will bring you back into this land, I will not leave you until I have done that which I have spoken to you’. And then Jacob woke up, and he said, ‘Surely the Lord is in this place; and I didn’t know it’. And he was afraid and said, ‘How dreadful is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven’. And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the same stone he had for his pillow, and set it as pillar, and poured oil on top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel, but the name of that city was called Luz at first (Genesis 28:10-10)”.

“And Jacob was left alone: and there he wrestled with a man until the breaking of day. And when he saw that he did not prevail against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, ‘Let me go for the day has broken’. And he said, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me’. And he said to him, What is your name? and he said, Jacob. And he said, ‘Your name shall no more be Jacob, but Israel, for as a prince you have struggled with God and with men and have prevailed’…And Jacob named the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved (Genesis 32:24- 30)”.

Jacob blesses his sons and prophesies of the last days – “Gather yourselves together so that I may tell you what will befall you in the last days (Genesis chapter 49)”.

 

MOSES – “Song of Moses” (cf. Exodus chapter 15) the entirety of the law and the Old Covenant are understood to be the prophetic words of Moses

SAMUEL
He tried to persuade Israel that they did not want a king and kingdom like the nations around them (1 Samuel chapter 8)

 

ELIJAH
Elijah was known as the “troubler of Israel” (cf. 1 Kings 18:17) and challenged Ahab and the false prophets of Baal to what seemed like a duel. Of course the One True God showed His power and demonstrated the falsehood of Baal worship (1 Kings chapter 18).

 

JOEL
Spoke about the “Day of the Lord”  – a day of visions, judgement, and the Spirit of God being poured out (cf. Acts chapter 2).

 

HOSEA
Spoke of judgement and resurrection; married adulterous wife to exhibit sins of people, Israel.

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. ‘Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I will also ignore your children (Hosea 4:6)”.

 

ISAIAH
Spoke of the “Day of the Lord” and the  “New heaven and new earth”

Isaiah 49:6

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind (Isaiah 65:17)”.

 

MICAH
“For the transgression of Jacob is all of this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? It is not Samaria? And what are the high places of Judah? Are they not Jerusalem? Therefore I will make Samaria as a heap of the field, and as plantings of a vineyard: and I will pour down the stones thereof into the valley, and I will discover the foundation thereof. And all the graven images shall be beaten to pieces, and all the hires thereof shall be burned with fire, and all the idols I will lay desolate: for she gathered it of the hire of a harlot, and they shall return to the hire of a harlot. Therefore I will wail and howl, and will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning like the owls (Micah 1:5-8)”.

“But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, ‘Come, and let us go up the to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore (Micah 4:1-3)”.

“And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as dew from the Lord, as showers upon the grass, that works not for man, not waits for the son of men (Micah 5:7)”.

“With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves that are a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or of ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has showed you, oh man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love mercy, and the walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:6-8)”.

 

JEREMIAH
“Behold the days are coming says the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; the covenant which they broke, although I have been a husband to them, says the Lord. But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, says the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it on their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach not more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord’: for they all shall know me, from the least unto the greatest, says the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more (Jeremiah 31:31-34)”.

Jeremiah also wrote the Book of Lamentations, which contains his prophesies and cries on behalf of the city of Jerusalem during the time of its impending judgement in 586 BC.

 

EZEKIEL
Ezekiel saw the glory of the Lord. This led to him seeing a glimpse of the people being resurrected (cf. Ezekiel chapter 37) and the River of Life flowing from the restored Temple of God (cf. Ezekiel 47:1-12).

 

MALACHI
“For behold, the day comes, that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yes, and all them that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But to you that fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings: and you shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they shall be as ashes under the soles of you feet in the day that I do this, says the Lord of hosts (Malachi 4: 1-2)”.

“Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, unless I come and smite the earth with a curse (Malachi 4:5-6)”.

 

JOHN THE BAPTIST
“In those days came John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying ‘Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’. For this was he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah saying, ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare you the way of the Lord, make his paths straight…Then went out to him, Jerusalem and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized by him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said to them, ‘O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth fruit meet with repentance: and think not to say within yourselves, we have Abraham as our father: for I say to you, that God is able to make children of Abraham out of these stones. And now also, the ax is at the root of the trees; therefore every tree which does not bring forth fruit is cut down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water for repentance, but He that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire: whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the barn, and He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:1-12)”.

 

SIMEON
“And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon: and he was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the Temple, and when the parents had brought in Jesus, to do for him the custom of the Law, then Simeon took the child in his arms and blessed him, and said, ‘Lord, let your servant now depart in peace, according to Your word. I have seen Your salvation which you have prepared before the face of all people: a light to the Gentiles and the glory of Your people Israel…Behold, this child will cause the rising and falling of many in Israel; and a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yeah, a sword shall pierce through my own soul too), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed (Luke 2:25-35)”.

 

ANNA  
“And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity: and she was a wisdom for forty forty four years, and did not leave the temple, but served God with fasting and prayers, day and night. And she came in that instant and gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all of them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem (Luke 2:36-28)”.

 

 

CONCLUSION

This study had begun as an idea to do a skit regarding the prophets. The point of the title, Disturbing The Peace, was to highlight the point that the prophets disturbed the status quo, especially in times when false prophets tried to keep the people content with a false peace. The prophets highlighted the true peace and hope that came from God, and continually called the people to live in line with that.

As I have grown in my understanding of Theology, the shape and purpose of the prophetic literature in the Bible has taken on much more meaning. Namely that the prophetic all mysteriously pointed to the New Covenant that would be made known through Jesus Christ, and the “hope of Israel”, as well as the “living hope”. As accounted by the Apostle Paul, the Gospel is the manifestation of the hope made known through the prophets (cf. Acts 24:14; 26:22) – nothing other than that will fit the “one hope” of Ephesians 4:4. Therefore, I have found it to be important in our continual growth into the Gospel to diligently study through the Prophets.

Prayerfully this study edified your own.

 

For His Glory,

Michael Miano
Pastor, Apologist, Author, & Director

 

 

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Jew and Gentile Reconciled. A Review of Bryan E. Lewis’s book

For the last couple days, I have been sharing quotes on my social media from a book I have just finished called Jew and Gentile Reconciled: An Exploration of the Ten Northern Tribes in Pauline literature. I have appreciated the various writings I have come across by Bible teacher and academic, Mr. Bryan E. Lewis. This book was full of scholarly notations, provided great historical and textual context, and highlighted a topic often confused in theological studies. Mr. Lewis brings us through details regarding the terms of “Jew” and “Gentile” (some of which I detail in this blog), he highlights how the terms are used throughout Biblical literature, and of great importance in my studies, he highlights the confusion many have brought to the study, specifically noting the distorted views that have been offered through Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology.

WHO ARE THE GENTILES
Mr. Lewis wrote, “Paul’s quotation of Hosea has largely been understood as only applicable to first – century Gentiles, even though the original meaning was directed to the northern tribes of Israel.” It’s all to easy for contemporary Bible teachers to assert that the mention of Gentiles spoke to nations outside of Israel. Not so fast. This lends to recent studies I have been engaging. To add a witness to the great insights offered by Mr. Lewis, I would recommend the sermon by Pastor David Curtis, of Berean Bible Church, called “Who Are The Gentiles?”.

http://www.bereanbiblechurch.org/transcripts/ephesians/eph-02_17-18_who-are-the-gentiles.html

SWALLOWED AMONG THE GENTILES
Mr. Lewis went into detail regarding the prophecy that was uttered in Hosea, ultimately that the northern tribes would be swallowed up by the Gentiles (Hosea 8:8) and would become not His people (Hosea 1:8). He writes, “…the northern tribes would become an eclectic mix of people with no discrete national identity, scattered to the Gentile nations, and thus, outside the covenant community of YHWH – effectively becoming Gentiles”. Looking at 2 Kings chapter 17, Mr. Lewis also shares historical mention of those details from 1st century historian Josephus, who in Antiquities writes;

“But now the Cutheans, who removed into Samaria, [for that is the name they have been called by to this time, because they were brought out of the country called Cuthah, which is a country of Persia, and there is a river of the same name in it,] each of them, according to their nations, which were in number five, brought their own gods into Samaria, and by worshipping them, as was the custom of their own countries, they provoked Almighty God to be angry and displeased at them, for a plague seized upon them, by which they were destroyed; and when they found no cure for their miseries, they learned by the oracle that they ought to worship Almighty God, as the method for their deliverance. So they sent ambassadors to the king of Assyria, and desired him to send them some of those priests of the Israelites whom he had taken captive. And when he thereupon sent them, and the people were by them taught the laws, and the holy worship of God, they worshipped him in a respectful manner, and the plague ceased immediately; and indeed they continue to make use of the very same customs to this very time, and are called in the Hebrew tongue Cutlans, but in the Greek tongue Samaritans.”

Furthermore, Mr. Lewis notes that, “…much speculation – both historical and theological in nature – has evolved over the past two millennia about the precise identity and location of the “ten lost tribes”. Where and who are the descendants of the formerly deported Israelites? In my opinion, based on the date available to us, the answer is: they assimilated into the Gentile nations via the Assyrian conquest and became regarded as Gentiles because of their various losses of distinctive identity”.

The point he continues to lead into is that due to the “Assyrianization” of the northern tribes, in the fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel, “…the Gentile nations come to salvation concurrently with the restoration and ingathering of Israel (all twelve tribes). Mr. Lewis quotes Christian theologian and philosopher, Jack Cottrell, “The consensus seems to be that the ten “lost” tribes’ permanent exile has so intermingled them with the Gentiles that the evangelization of the group will necessarily involve the evangelization of the other”.

THE PROPHETIC HOPE OF ISRAEL
In my studies I have come to demand interpretation of the Gospel as the fulfillment of the “hope of Israel” that was made known through the Law and the Prophets (cf. Acts 24:14). I readily note that the fulfillment would also be done in a rather mysterious way (cf.1 Peter 1:10-12), however, that should not allow for all the development of historically detached views of the Gospel. The method through which Mr. Lewis consistently applies the details of the Biblical narrative was so refreshing to read. In talking about Pauline literature, he notes, “Paul’s motive was to create a “theological narrative”, which had immediate significance for his own contemporaries as an exemplary catalyst for eliciting faith in Israel’s Messiah”. In working out the details of how the Apostle Paul would have understood the details of the fulfillment of the Hope of Israel, Mr. Lewis makes the following insightful statements:
“Paul was well aware that all of Israel’s restoration promises encompassed the return of both houses of Israel”.
“Paul likely under that many of the northern tribes of Israel were not, in fact, completely destroyed by the Assyrians in the eight century BCE and lost to time, but instead had acculturated with heathen non-Israelites, thereby losing their identity and effectively becoming “not my people”, or Gentiles”.

“…Paul’s appropriation of Hosea 1:9-10 and 2:23 in Romans 9:24-26 is likely employed intentionally to evoke the promise of Israel’s restoration as a robust metanarrative in Paul’s efforts toward Jewish and Gentile reconciliation”.

“Paul did not view both Gentiles and northern tribes as two distinct unconnected ethnic groups, but instead, as uniformly homogeneous”.
“In other words, Paul’s mission to the Gentiles was the vehicle whereby the northern tribes would be gathered from exile, reconciled, and restored with the southern kingdom of Judah in the land. By extension, those who had always been outside the covenant would also be reconciled to the Lord. In this way, Israel, as God’s special heralds, was the nucleus of the Lord’s plan to save all humanity”.

GENTILE SALVATION
Mr. Lewis quotes, renowned British New Testament scholar, C.E.B. Cranfield, in that “Paul takes this (Hosea’s) promise as a proof of God’s purpose to include the Gentiles in His salvation”. Mr. Lewis couples this thought with a thought of his own, “…the gathering of the outcasts of Israel and the dispersed of Judah is coterminous with the Gentiles putting their hope in “the root of Jesse”. I hope you catch the significance of the point being made here. In God’s demonstration of His faithfulness to the promises He gave to Israel (all twelve tribes), we find the necessary extension of God’s promises to those outside those tribes. Mr. Lewis notes various passages such as Isaiah chapter 11 wherein after the restoration “the nations shall inquire” (v.10) or the “nations shall never again…” which we read of in Ezekiel 37:22, which speak to realities after the restoration. Not only does this highlight that, “…the Gentiles are converted as Israel is restored from exile (Ezekiel 39:21-29)”, but also that there would be a continuance after the restoration. Glory to God!
RESTORATION OF ALL
The conclusive thought I would like to end with is that the faithfulness, the love, and the sovereign wisdom of God are demonstrated by understanding the points Mr. Lewis brings out in his book. In noting the historical details of God’s judgement upon the northern tribes and their being swallowed up among the Gentiles, we come to know that “The Gentiles consisting of eclectic mix of people with no discrete national identity (i.e., the covenantally divorced northern tribes and those who were never a part of the commonwealth of Israel) – would be renewed to the worship of YHWH through Paul’s mission; and as a result, they would ALL flow unto Jerusalem (i.e., the land (cf. Isaiah 2:2)”. The term Gentile therefore “… is a term that both expresses and is inclusive of the ultimate restoration and ingathering of the northern tribes of Israel. Subsequently, it is inclusive of the restoration of all humanity”. Furthermore, noting the Apostle Paul’s nostalgia for Israel’s redemptive narrative as made known through the Law and the Prophets, his “…appropriation of Hosea 1:9-10 and 2:23 in Romans 9:25-26 was neither a radical misreading nor an attempt to change the meaning away from the original context – i.e., the northern tribes. Moreover, nor was it a methodical attempt to appropriate the verses toward a detached group called Gentiles – i.e., they were not detached in Paul’s mind. Instead, it was a deliberate hermeneutical scheme designed to show that the ingathering of the Gentile nations also meant the ingathering of the northern tribes, and thus the end of Israel’s exile. It was the time of universal restoration of all”.

A NECESSARY PARTICULARISM
I appreciated that Mr. Lewis asserted that “Paul continually advances a corporate-community election over an individual election”. I often get frustrated when I read Christian writers completely abusing the textual context of that which the Apostle Paul is speaking to. Corporate salvation not individual salvation. That is not to say that we cannot understand individual election by studying out the concept of corporate election, however that’s a study for another time. I did follow up in discussion with Mr. Lewis regarding the mention of “ultimate restoration of all humanity” and “universal restoration of all”. Too be quite honest, I had a preconceived idea that Mr. Lewis would repudiate any understanding of Universalism, and sure enough he did. He remarked, “It is common among Pauline scholars to understand that Paul was talking about particularism not universalism”. Simply put, “all” doesn’t necessarily mean all, and requires a contextually study of the text it is being used in.

Overall this was an excellent read. If you have questions about the “Jews and Gentiles”, or if you want to get a better grasp on how the Apostle Paul used Old Testament texts in explaining the Gospel, this book is necessary. Here is a link to get a copy for yourself, https://www.glossahouse.com/product-page/jew-and-gentile-reconciled
Blessings in Christ,
Pastor Michael Miano

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Notebook Review: Resurrection of the Dead

As I have studied through the “resurrection of the dead” I have noted the words of Mr. R.C. Sproul, a well-known Bible teacher;

“There is much confusion regarding the “literal” sense of Scripture…To interpret the Bible “literally” in the classic sense requires that we learn to recognize in Scripture different genres of literature. Poetry is to be interpreted as poetry, and didactic passages are to be interpreted according to the grammar of the didactic. Historical narrative must not be treated as parable, nor parable as strict historical narrative. Much of Bible prophecy is cast in an apocalyptic genre that employs graphic imaginative language and often mixes elements of common historical narrative with the figurative language.”

Here are a couple links to resources I have written and compiled on the doctrine of the “resurrection of the dead”.

https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2014/04/17/1-corinthians-15-summaries/

https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/the-hope-of-israel-transition-part-3/

http://www.academia.edu/26905171/One_New_Man_Sermon_Series_Summary

https://powerofpreterism.wordpress.com/2017/05/03/an-introduction-to-and-praise-of-the-corporate-body-view-cbv/

As I reviewed my notebook notes on the “resurrection of the dead”, it revealed the following studies:

1/4/16 – Defining the Resurrection Hope: William Bell

Utilizing this study from Mr. William Bell, which I unfortunately cannot seem to find a link for, will allow for us to see “cuts in the beautiful diamonds of hope”, as well as understand what some “powers of the age to come” are.

In Hebrews 6:1-9  – Resurrection of the dead is among the “elementary teachings”  that the Hebrew Christians were encouraged to  move beyond. This notes the simplistic understanding they would have had through the Law and the Prophets (cf. Acts 24:

In Hebrews chapter 3, the writing contrasts:

The “house of Moses” with the “house of Christ”.

“But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory (Hebrews 3:6)”.  The resurrection of the dead is the “one hope” of Ephesians 4:4, which belonged to the Hebrews (Hebrews 4:6).

Here is a listing of “several cuts of this one hope”:

Heb. 2:14 – release from the power of death and Satan
Heb. 2:14 – release from bondage
Heb. 3:6 – move from servant’s house to Son’s
Heb.  4:1 – entering His rest
Heb. 6:1; 11:40 – maturity/ perfection
Heb. 2:5; 6:5 – age to come
Heb. 6:9; 9:28 – salvation
Heb. 6:19 – entrance into the veil
Heb. 7:12, 23-24; 8:1 – new priesthood
Heb. 8:6, 13 – better covenant
Heb. 8:2 – true tabernacle
Heb. 9:8 – access to Most Holy Place
Heb. 9:12 – eternal redemption
Heb. 9:15 – eternal inheritance
Heb. 10:35 – based on faith and has great reward
Heb. 10:29 – preservation of the soul
Heb. 11:10, 13, 16; 12:22; 13:14 – Heavenly City
Heb. 12:24 – Jesus’ sprinkled blood
Heb. 12:28 – a kingdom that cannot be shaken
Heb. 13:10 – a new altar
Heb. 13:35 – better resurrection

Here are some links to more beneficial studies from Mr. William Bell:

https://www.preteristarchive.com/Hyper/0000_bell_resurrection.html

http://donkpreston.com/the-resurrection-the-kingdom-and-1-corinthians-15-william-bell-part-1/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qz3ml0sgUw8

https://www.allthingsfulfilled.com/a-response-to-kurt-simmons-exposition-of-2-corinthians-5/

Also, it is always good to take a look at teachings you may disagree with you challenge your perspective. Therefore, here are some teachings on the IBV of the resurrection held by Mr. Ed Stevens:

http://www.preterist.org/our-body-collec-individ/

http://lastdayspast.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Change_of_Living-Ed-Stevens.pdf

 

Beginning in December 2016, I began to loosely follow some of Sam Frost’s YouTube videos on “resurrection”.  While much of his videos were him explaining how much he understands Preterism and making claims that Full Preterists to an injustice to Scripture, he did make some good points. Sam highlighted that the resurrection of the dead was the “hope of Israel” and he utilized Romans chapter 5 to out that resurrection is contrasting the death of Adam. I finished watching quite a few of Sam’s videos and left thinking – so when we physically die we still suffer the curse of Adam (according to Sam’s position). Also, the questions I came away asking were: In Scripture what is resurrection of the dead compared to? When does the resurrection of the dead happen according to Scripture? And what are the difference in views? Here is a link to begin watching his videos, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrRhp6iDyHc

 

 

 

 

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The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (It’s a COVENANT Thing)

Last week, I had a man who goes by the moniker “RiversofEden” as my guest on Miano Gone Wild. “RiversofEden” holds to a fulfilled perspective that limits all the implications of the New Covenant to “Israel of the Flesh”. You can listen to the podcast by clicking here:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/mianogonewild/2013/01/23/miano-gone-wild

Now let’s unpack some things before I get to the ‘meat and potatoes’ of what I am looking to say in this blog post. I hold to what is called “Full Preterism” which means that I believe the entirety of Bible prophecy is in the past. This is simply because of the time statements and the context of what was being prophesied in the New Testament- i.e. the fulfillment of the “hope of Israel”. This is where “RiversofEden” and I stand in agreement. Where we differ is how we come at the context of what is occurring. As I made public yesterday, I think the depth of the view I hold is best summarized as “Covenant Eschatology” which would show that in the New Testament a “covenant” was coming to an end (thus “eschatology” meaning “last things”).  “RiversofEden” and I contrast at this point, since he is very adamant about the fact that the promise of the “New Covenant” in Jeremiah chapter 31 was only made to the houses of Israel and Judah, and therefore had no “ongoing effect” for any other people. While I agree that the promise was to the “houses of Israel and Judah”, I completely disagree that this wasn’t intended to have an effect on “other nations”, i.e., “strangers” or “gentiles”. Allow me to explain.

“In the beginning”, God takes man (adam) and places him in the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15). The ‘garden of Eden’ is used as metaphor for land of blessing and promise (Isaiah 51:3; Ezekiel 36:35; Joel 2:3). Through Adam who violated the law given to him, he was removed from the garden and covered by God with animal skins, and given “curses and blessings” (Genesis 3:12-24). Type and shadow of God doing exactly that with Israel? Some have said so. Through Adam comes Cain, Abel, and Seth. After the death of Abel and the driving away of Cain, we only hear the lineage through Seth. Through Seth, Noah would eventually be born. Everyone knows the story of the flood, but oddly many assume this to be a world-wide flood, why? Yeah, something to consider for another time, eh? Noah’s family survives the flood and through his son, Shem, eventually will come Abram (who comes to be known as Abraham).

Abraham is called by the Lord and given blessings (Genesis chapter 12). Abraham has his ups and downs and eventually God establishes a covenant with Abraham (Genesis chapter 15 and chapter 17). The “natural” covenant that God made with Abraham was that his people would possess the land and many nations would come of them, circumcision would “seal the deal” (pun intended).  When God said that all nations would be blessed through Abraham’s seed (Genesis 22:17-18), it is important to remember that many nations were already in existence (Genesis chapters 10 and 17).

Through Isaac, who as given by the grace and promise of God, his seed would be reckoned (Genesis 21:12 although we know that this is truly done in and through Jesus Christ, Galatians chapter 3).  Isaac would give birth to Esau and Jacob, and the blessings would fall into the hands of Jacob (Genesis chapter 27). Jacob is later named “Israel” and it is through him that the 12 tribes of Israel would come into being.

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

So God calls Israel to Himself as He utilizes Moses to lead them out of Egypt, creates a covenant with them, establishes a covering called The Law, and says this:

“You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagle’s wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all the nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Exodus 19:4-6)”.

“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be His people, His treasured possession (Deuteronomy 7:6)”.

So…why did God set apart a nation for Himself? Did this have an effect on the other nations?

“May God be gracious to US (Israel) and bless US and make His face shine upon us, that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations (Psalm 67:1-2)”.

“See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. Observe them carefully, for this will SHOW your wisdom and understanding TO THE NATIONS, who will hear about these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people”. What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to Him?” (Deuteronomy 4:5-7)”

It is my contention that God chose Israel and set them apart as a people unto Himself to demonstrate (show) His will for the nations-a set apart kingdom of wisdom and understanding! God’s presence was known to Israel, His judgments were demonstrated on and through Israel, and His blessing was upon Israel. Matter of fact this is what Paul says in Romans chapter 9:

  “…the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ…(Romans 9:4-5)”.

“He has revealed His word to Jacob, His laws and decrees to Israel. He has done this for no other nation; they do not know His laws. Praise the Lord (Psalm 147:19-20)”.

I call this “Hebrew Exclusivity”, since that is what we read about in the Old Testament. God has chosen Israel and throughout the Old Testament He is dealing with them.  Could others share in this?

“Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you… For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, INCLUDING THOSE BORN IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD OR BOUGHT WITH YOUR MONEY, THEY MUST BE CIRCUMCISED. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people, he has broken my covenant (Genesis 17:9-14)”.

Did you catch that? Even the “strangers” had to be circumcised because they would share in the blessings of Abraham’s people. The Sabbath regulations also were mandated for those in the household (Exodus 20:10).

So when Israel went into slavery in Egypt for 400 years and then God was about to demonstrate His will for Israel, wouldn’t you imagine that this had an impact on Egyptians? Well sure enough when Moses was leading Israel out of bondage it is said that some of the Egyptians left as well.

  “Many other people went up with them, as well as large droves of livestock and herds (Exodus 12:38)”.

“The Lord said these are the regulations for the Passover: NO FOREIGNOR IS TO EAT OF IT. Any slave you have brought MAY EAT OF IT AFTER YOU HAVE CIRCUMCISED HIM, but a temporary resident and a hired worker may not eat if it (Exodus 12:43-45)”.

Well folks, that about sums it up, doesn’t it? No foreigner may eat of it. If they are circumcised they are allowed. Why? Because they have come into covenant as God had proposed to Abraham and was incorporated into the Law of Moses. (This nullifies the argument “RiversofEden” tries to use when citing verses such as Nehemiah 13:3; Ezra 10:11, 43). When a “foreigner is circumcised he is brought into the covenant relationship of Israel (after all, Passover was a thing for Israel, right?).

God fulfilled the exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land and we see that this had an effect on some of those in Egypt who left with the Israelites. They were then circumcised and could participate in the Passover blessings. Interestingly, in the book of Revelation chapter 11 verse 8, the “great city” is “figuratively called Sodom and Egypt”. When compared with Galatians 4:21-31, one can see the parallel of the literal story of Israel leaving Egypt, also the New Jerusalem being persecuted by the physical Jerusalem, but glory to God, Christ is the Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7).

So, I agree that what is written in the Old Testament and the New Testament were promises to Israel. After all, in Acts chapters 24, 26, and 28, the apostle Paul makes it very clear that all he has spoken about what “the hope of Israel”. That was/is the gospel. “RiversofEden” makes it a point to constantly point out that Jeremiah chapter 31 (which speaks of the New Covenant) was a promise made to the houses of Israel and Judah, and was a part of prophecy. This would therefore mean that under the construct of “ALL BIBLE PROPHECY FULFILLED” and Matthew 5:16-18, Jeremiah chapter 31 must be fulfilled.

Is anyone arguing against that? Nope! Heaven and Earth would not pass away until ALL was fulfilled. Sure enough, in Revelation chapter 20, the “heavens and earth” flee when the books of judgment are opened. What do we see happening in Revelation chapter 21? A “new heaven and a new earth” come down from heaven.

I do believe that the “hope of Israel” was entirely fulfilled in AD 70. “The old order passed away”- remember the “order” when Israel constantly had to be atoned for causing tears), or would be judged and displaced (the mourning that occurred), the sin and death under the Law? Do you remember these things? When is the last time you did them? You don’t! Why? Read Jeremiah 3:15-25.

Just as God chose Israel and made a covenant with her (“heaven and earth”), demonstrated His loving kindness to her in judgment and restoration, which served as an example to the nations- for example, those who followed Israel out of Egypt. The would also happen when God fulfilled all prophecy to natural Israel, the passing of “heaven and earth”, and demonstrated his judgment and restoration- this time in Spirit, at the establishment of the “new heavens and new earth”. Philippians chapter 3 gives a great illustration of the old contrasted to the new. Say goodbye to circumcision of the flesh! A temple made with hands. The “body” of sin and death.

Today, what is called “Covenant Eschatology” espouses these truths that come under constant attack. We believe in the fulfilled prophecies of “Israel of the flesh” and through God demonstrating Himself through judgment and resurrection, i.e, “the hope of Israel”. We can now “put on Jesus Christ”, or better said the “robes of righteousness (Revelation 22:14; Matthew 22:1-14; Isaiah 61:10 ) and “come into covenant with God” (Revelation 22:17).

Blessings in Christ,

Michael Miano

For more “good reading” dealing with this subject, check out these links:

http://donkpreston.com/the-mystery-of-god-revealed-guest-article-by-larry-siegle/

http://donkpreston.com/israel-hope-of-the-gentiles/

http://www.postost.net/2011/01/more-salvation-israel-response-nations

http://www.postost.net/2012/06/salvation-gentiles-antioch-pisidia

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