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*Articles 2018


A Potpourri of Bible Truth

The term potpourri speaks of a mixture of things. A bouquet is a potpourri according to the dictionary, in that it is a mixture of flowers that are different from each other. That describes what I shall address in this presentation. We shall begin by addressing the subject: 

The Transfiguration

We find this phrase in Matthew 16: 28, that there were some standing there "... who shall not taste of death, till they shall see the Son of man coming in his kingdom." 

What does this statement mean? 

I was asked this question by two attendees at the Texas Christadelphian Bible School in the Summer of 2014.  I also met with this question regarding that scripture often as I traveled over the years as I worked for Roadrunner Rubber Corporation. 

I was asked to explain that passage, so I replied, "All you have to do to get the answer is not to stop reading at that verse.”  

In Matthew 17: 1, we read, "And after six days, Jesus taketh Peter, James and John (some of those standing there) his brother, and taketh them to a high mountain apart." That mountain is not physically in place yet. An earthquake is soon to establish that mountain (Zechariah 14: 4, 10; Ezekiel 40: 2). 

Verse 2: “And was transfigured before them.” Jesus was mortal at the time he showed them this vision (verse 9), but in the vision he appeared in his exalted, immortal, or transfigured state. 

Verse 2: “His face did shine.”  Consider Daniel 12: 1-3: "They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament...." Also, Matthew 25: 3 "...the Son of man shall come in his glory with the holy angels.” See also Luke 20: 35-37; II Peter 1: 4, both of which describe the nature we all hope to possess (Philippians 3: 20,  I John 3: 1-3.) 

Verse 3:  “Moses appeared with him.”  Moses was the leader of God's people as they emerged from bondage in Egypt, a type of Christ who will lead members of the Ecclesia (spiritual Israel) out of bondage to sin and death. He was also a type of Christ as “the prophet like unto Moses” (Deuteronomy 18: 15-18; Acts 3: 19-23). Therefore, it was proper that he be in the vision. 

Elijah also appeared with Jesus in the transfiguration.  Why?  Malachi 4: 5 and 6 speak of a work that Elijah was to perform. John came in the spirit and power of Elijah and was an earnest or type of what Elijah was to do. The work of turning the children of Israel to the fathers, and of fathers to the children was not completed at the death of John, so Elijah is yet to complete that work  (See Ezekiel 20: 33-40). This is evidently Elijah completing his work.  It was proper that he also should have been in the vision. 

Thus, those three who were standing there when Jesus made that promise, did see a vision (verse 9) of Jesus coming in his kingdom just as had been promised in Matthew 16: 28. 

Without Father, Without Mother

(Hebrews 7: 1-3) 

A question came into my computer in the month of December 2014 asking for an explanation of the difficult passage in Hebrews 7: 1-3 in reference to the "Melchizedek" who Abraham met as he returned from the battle with the eastern kings. What puzzled the questioner were the words of verse 3 which state that he was "without father, without mother, without descent," that is, his being the king/priest of Salem but being without descent from father or mother. 

It helped the questioner to better understand when it was pointed out to her that Hebrews chapter 7 was a comparison of the traditional Levitical order in Israel's history and the superior Melchizedek order that replaced it  (Hebrews 7: 11). 

Before we really get into Chapter seven, let us ponder the words of the Apostle Paul in Hebrews 8th chapter. Paul speaks somewhat of "a better covenant than the one Israel received from God as they took their Exodus out of Egypt into the Sinai wilderness – the covenant that was current during all the 1400 years of the history of Israel as a nation. 

In that the first or Levitical covenant had been faulty, as Paul describes it in verses 7-8, Paul also describes in these verses "a better covenant” that had taken the place of the first, or Levitical covenant. We learn from the words of Paul in this eighth chapter details of a better covenant into which the servants of God could enter, and into which Israel will enter in the future kingdom of God. In that new, better covenant, it is obvious that a new, better priest, (Jesus) was needed. 

That is what chapter 7 is about. Let us see what we shall see. 

As we contemplate the traditional Levitical order, we are aware that in the beginning of Israel's history, Aaron was placed as the first Levitical priest over Israel. From that time, Aaron's sons were priests-designate, that is, when Aaron died, the high priesthood "descended" onto one of his sons.  Down through the history of Israel, we see the same; when the high priest died, the priesthood descended to his son. Therefore, the succession was "by father" as mentioned in Hebrews 7: 3.  

Also, regarding the kingship in Israel, when David died, his son Solomon became king. so that office was also by a "descent from his father.” In countries of today whose government is of the "royal" order, a queen may pass her throne to her son or daughter as of course can also a king.  When David was about to die, his queen Bethsheba was prominent in causing the crown to descend upon Solomon. She and Nathan teamed up to work together to get Solomon crowned as king while David was still alive. 

Now, the Melchizedek order was a "priest/king order” (Hebrews 7: 2, 3).  Melchizedek of ancient time did not receive the king/priest position by descent from a from father or mother, but from God (Hebrews 7: 5-6).  It was the same with Jesus. He did not receive his king/priesthood from Joseph and/or Mary, but by an oath from God (Hebrews 7: 21; also 7:16-17).

            Wayne R. Tanner

AVesture Dipped in Blood

Today, there is a concerted attempt to identify Revelation 19: 13 with Isaiah 63: 1-6.  That attempt is certainly a futile attempt, for the vesture of the individual in Isaiah 63 is only “sprinkled” (stained, or spattered) with blood, while the vesture of the individual of Revelation 19: 13 is “dipped” in blood, meaning completely submerged.  This is a departure from the established belief of more than one hundred and fifty years. 

 Students should be wary of changes in doctrine; far too often it is a departure into error.  In Revelation 19: 14  the Revelator reveals that the vesture which the followers of the individual on the white horse are wearing are garments that have been cleansed, meaning they have put off the flesh and blood nature and have put on the “righteous” garments of the Bride of Jesus (Revelation 19: 7-8). Revelation 19: 7-8 cannot be understood to be speaking merely of the outer clothing of the redeemed. 

 Revelation 19: 13-14 speaks exactly of the same thing.  Jesus there is shown to have descended as a perfected, former-partaker of human nature; note that His vesture has been “dipped in blood,” which indicates his sacrificial death, while the redeemed who follow him, have been exalted to the nature of Revelation 19: 7-8 and verse 14, which clearly indicates immortality.

 In the book Apocalypse Epitomized, page 231, there is a two-paragraph commentary on Revelation 19: 13. The verse is explained:     

“(John) Thomas renders the phrase ”He that hath been clothed with a garment dipped in blood… Accordingly, (John) Thomas identifies the “garment” as “human nature.”

 The balance of that commentary, authored by H. P. Mansfield, is well worth reading. It goes on to show that verse 14 depicts the followers of Jesus as having had their garments cleansed, meaning having become immortal. It is quite obvious that the passage has been violated in order to make it prove what modern students want us to believe.  As for us, we will continue to believe and teach what the passage clearly teaches, and as faithful scholars have known for more than one hundred and fifty years.

 In God’s holy word, He has shown that when He speaks of an individual’s clothing, He is often speaking of their nature of descent.  We see this in Revelation 19: 8 where He reveals that the white garments of the redeemed is a reference to their “righteousness.” 

 We see it again in 2 Corinthians 5:  1-2, where Paul speaks of the, redeemed being clothed upon with “our house which is from heaven.”  In this, he speaks of a change from mortality to immortality.

 In Zechariah 3: 1-4 it has long been known that the nature of Jesus (not Joshua) was changed from mortality to immortality, and is referred to as a change of raiment. Notice that (H.P.) Mansfield makes mention of this also, in Apocalypse Epitomized, page 231, right column, paragraph 2. We must not allow ourselves to be pulled away from the doctrines that have been held sacred for much longer than a century. 

 Mistaken students of the word need to take notice of the fact that Revelation 19: 14 speaks of the followers of him on the white horse, as being clothed in fine linen “clean and white.”  Clearly, that is the clothing of the bride of Christ as described in Revelation 19: 7-8, and is there said to refer to their righteousness, and not to the outer clothing they are wearing, or whether or not they have yet been in a battle. 

 We must seek to understand what we are reading. We must not do as the apostate religions do and seek to make scriptures say what we want them to say.  Verse 14 is not talking about the literal clothing that they are wearing.  These are by such terms being identified as the Redeemed, the Bride of Christ.  The clean and white linen speaks of their righteousness, not of their outer garments (Revelation 19: 7-8).  Again, such language is referring to the righteousness of the bride of Jesus, not to the literal garments she is wearing, and not revealing whether or not she has yet been in battle.       

It also is a fact that the weapon of the rider of the “white horse” is not the literal sword of battle, but is the sharp sword of the “word of God” (Hebrews 4: 12; Revelation 19: 15).  This is the final battle upon the earth and concerns the doctrinal conflict as much as anything.  The warfare here is the same warfare described in Revelation 16: 17-21 as Rome, latter-day Babylon, is destroyed.

 The Singular Language 

of Isaiah Sixty Three

 It is clear that the singular language of Isaiah 63 causes some to make a mistake when dealing with the multitudinous Christ.  I Corinthians 12: 12-31 tells us that many members constitute the one body of Christ, and both singular and plural language occurs throughout the chapter in reference to that one body. Similarly, the combatants of Isaiah 63 are made up of Christ and the Saints, in our opinion.

 Also, in Revelation Chapter one, the Apostle John encounters an individual with feet of brass (as have the cherubim – the Redeemed – of Ezekiel 1: 7), and the voice of many waters, (as have the Redeemed of Revelation 17: 15).  In Revelation 1:  18, that individual who has the voice of peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues uses the singular personal pronoun “I,” twice. 

 Therefore, Scripture truly demonstrates for us that singular language does not always denote a singular person. 

 Psalm 149: 5-9 declares it is the honor of Saints to execute the “judgments written.” Notice the concise language of these verses: “5 Let the Saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. 6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; 7 To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; 8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; 9 To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his Saints. Praise ye the LORD.”

 Likewise, Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 28:  25-26 contain God’s written judgments upon the “nations round about,” indicating the same outcome. Therefore, it is the honor of saints to execute those judgments that are written, as surely implied in verses 9-18.

 Ezekiel 38 and 39 contain the judgments that are written against the Gogian Host. Again, scripture assures us that it is the honor of the Saints to execute God’s judgments that are written in this chapter.

 Revelation 17: 12-14 contain the judgments that are written against the emergent ten toes of the Image of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of Daniel 2: 42-44, who are identical to the ten horns of Revelation 17: 12. In these narratives, it is decisively the collective forces of the Almighty who execute the judgments written – the “one Man” consisting of the LORD Jesus and His Redeemed Saints!

 Who dares step forward with the position that it is not the honor of saints to execute the judgments that are written?  Psalm 149: 6-7 is the word of the Almighty. Those verses declare: Psalm 149:6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; 7 To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people;”

  Mortal men do not have the power to deny the truth of Almighty God.                                  Wayne R. Tanner


Update on the Messy Middle East

Strategy Page, an Israeli news service, summed up the messy Middle East in an article entitled “Israel Happy and Heavily Armed” several days ago. It is such a good summary we have decided to quote sections of it verbatim. It is an attempt to understand the latest changes in Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Gaza and the “West Bank.” We have highlighted the various players in yellow, and by underlining and bolding. 

“March 16, 2018: One of the things Israel and Egypt agree on is the danger to everyone created by the Islamic radical Hamas government in Gaza. Hamas has always called for the destruction of Israel but the more radical Hamas factions have always wanted to impose a religious dictatorship (similar to Hamas) on Egypt. Most Egyptians do not want this and remember that Hamas began as a Palestinian branch of the Egyptian Moslem Brotherhood (which has failed several times to impose religious rule on Egypt most recently in 2012.)

“Another problem with the Palestinians in general is that there can be no peace with Israel until there is some kind of real unity among the Palestinian factions. Egypt tried to broker such a reunification (of Palestinian governments in Gaza and the West Bank) and thought it had a deal in October 2017. But that deal is still waiting to be finalized and that means there is no peace among the Palestinians and radicals are free to make trouble with the neighbors. That has come to include Egypt with is running out of ideas on how to make peace with Hamas.

“Despite all the noise the Palestinians make Israel is concentrating on what it perceives is its greatest threat; war instigated and backed by Iran on two fronts. In the north there are over 100,000 rockets in Lebanon and Syria aimed at Israel. In the south there are over 50,000 rockets in Gaza, where Iran is once again a major backer of Hamas. Iran does not have sufficient ground forces available in Gaza (Hamas) and the north (Hezbollah and Iranian mercenaries in Syria) to invade Israel.

The coming war (sic) involves Israel invading Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza to stop the massive rocket attacks. Thus thousands of Israel ground troops are constantly taking short (usually a week or so) courses at special facilities that provide them realistic replicas of what they will face on the ground and instruction on how best to deal with it. There's some urgency to this training effort because Israel knows from recent experience (several wars with Hamas or Hezbollah since 2006) that the best preparation is detailed training based on the latest techniques the enemy is using and the latest tech and tactical ideas Israel has available.

“Meanwhile there is the mess in Syria. This is not of Israel’s making but Israel is left to deal with the side effects. Iran, Russia, Turkey, the United States and Israel are all present in Syria along with the Assad government and a considerable number of Syrian rebel groups who are still not united.

Everyone has different goals and a different (often constantly shifting) set of allies. Keeping track of who is doing what to whom and why (and for how long) has become increasingly difficult. A current summary of allies, foes, frenemies and chimeras goes like this...

Israel wants to keep Iran out of Syria and Lebanon and avoid a war with Iran. For this Israel has the support of the U.S., Russia and most Gulf Arab states. None of these supporters is willing to provide any military assistance, at least not until Iran actually attacks Israel.

Russia wants to get Turkey out of NATO, to keep the Iranians from starting a war with Israel and make the Americans look bad. At the same time Russia needs to do this on the cheap and make Russia look good, especially to Russians back home. That is proving difficult as most Russians were not enthusiastic about the Syrian operation in the first place and popular support has been declining. Israel sees Russia as being of limited use because of the Russian strategy. Moreover, Russia is not as militarily powerful as it pretends to be. Privately the Russians agree with Israel on that and appreciate any help the Israelis can provide in this area.

“Turkey wants to create a security zone on the Syrian side of the border that has no Kurds or Islamic terrorists in it. Turkey also wants to show the Sunni Moslem world that it can handle Iranian aggression (without going to war with Iran) and keep the Israelis out of Lebanon and Syria. Turkey is willing to play diplomatic games with Russia and Iran to achieve these goals as well as send troops into Syria to fight, and get killed. Turkey also likes to play (or pretend) tough with Israel. Turkish military experts know better but many Turkish politicians are clueless and that is very dangerous in this part of the world.

“The U.S. wants to ensure that ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) does not reestablish itself in Syria. To help with that the American are doing what they can to help the local Kurds maintain autonomy in northeast Syria (east of the Euphrates) where the Kurds have always been dominant. Secondary objectives are keeping Iran, Turley, and Russia out of Syria. The U.S. and Israel are allies and any attack on Israel will trigger American intervention on the Israeli side. But short of that the Americans are quite blunt about stating that their troops are in Syria to deal with terrorists, not Iranian preparations for an attack on Israel. The Americans will not stop Kurds in the northeast from going to the aid of Kurds defending Afrin. The Turks asked the Americans to stop the Kurds and the U.S. refused.” 

Our Comments:

The picture is incredibly complex ... difficult to comprehend.

It is interesting that the authors chose to use a manufactured word, “frenemies,” to describe some of them!

Note also that the authors entertain no delusions about the coming conflict that will engage all the resources of Israel.

The conclusion we must draw is that current events in this arena of the next war of Israel with her Islamic foes are in a constant state of flux – of rapid change, and sudden loyalty shifts, as well as abrupt changes in centers of intense activity.

In our opinion, one cannot draw final conclusions as to local conditions based on the picture of this mess at any given time ... no final conclusions that is, because the picture always moves to the next frame ... much like the frames of a cinema production (which is how we view this dynamic situation, always providing a moving center of interest, the end having not yet been attained).

It is interesting that the authors feel that Russia and Israel both realize that Russia is not presently strong enough to wage a war (see above discussion). It is partially for that reason that Russia sponsors Iran in the theater while seeming to agree with Israel’s concerns about the proximity of Iranian proxy forces near the Golan and the northern border of Israel (represented by Hezbollah) – who are reported to have a hundred thousand missiles in place and targeted upon Israel.

And their intention is to have over a quarter million missiles in place by the end of next year, according to recent reports.

In addition to these grave threats, President Erdogan of Turkey has just announced that he will assemble a five million man Islamic army from all the Muslim states, that they will be armed with all the necessary equipment and training to perform one task: to overrun and wipe out Israel.

These are not idle words of intent. But they are also evidence of a completely failed concept in Erdogan’s mind because Israel cannot be defeated by any force whatever as time moves forward. The reason for this statement is given further down...

In case of such an overwhelming attack both by missiles and ground troops, we believe there is evidence that at some time in the future Israel may be attacked with such overwhelming force and firepower that it might be incapable of defeating the assault on its own.

But we know that there is One Who IS able to counter such an assault.

Several of the prophets have stated unequivocally that Messiah’s appearance will be for the primary purpose of “...saving Israel from its enemies, and those who hate us.”

This statement is not indicative of spiritual deliverance, although that benefit shall come along with their physical deliverance (shall come afterward). All these factors are coupled with Jesus’ quickly and decisively clearing the Land of Promise of all Israel’s vile enemies between the Nile River and the Euphrates River, and from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. (The Promises referred to are those given to Abram, Isaac, Jacob, and David – all identical.)

In this manner, the “messy” situation that we see today in the Middle East shall become markedly simple and easy to comprehend. After the dust of battle has settled the scriptures indicate that the LORD Jesus will appear upon Mt. of Olives and show Himself to His people openly and frankly. And that the people will as one man accept with profound humility and repentance, His proof of His identity as their Messiah, Who shall have come to them in this end time in the guise in which they have expected His appearance from time immemorial: as a great soldier and liberator of Israel, and as an irresistible power among the nations of the earth as King over His people.

He shall at that time raise up the Throne of David and occupy it as King, and begin to rebuild the wrecked Land of Israel, laying out the divisions of the Twelve Tribes throughout the Land, disarming the nation entirely, removing all walls and barriers (including the great Wall of Protection now in place for hundreds of kilometers) as well as military strongholds, military airfields, combat equipment such as tanks, aircraft, anti-missile systems, mustering out all military personnel, turning their arms into ploughshares, essentially creating the conditions described by Ezekiel 38 and 39 – a people returned from the nations, dwelling in complete peace and safety, none making them afraid throughout their expanded Land, which shall stretch from the Nile to the Euphrates rivers!

This solution is the ONLY solution that we can conceive to the current “mess” in the Middle East.             <HEL IP> ~1800 words.  March 2018

Out of Zion Shall Go Forth the Law

(And the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem)

 Conflicting plan and purpose

Israel With no Enemies any Longer

         Every Latter-day prophecy regarding Israel depicts the fact that every nation in the Middle East and elsewhere is a hateful enemy of Israel with the desire to destroy her ( Zechariah 14th Chapter; Psalms 83: 2-9; Ezekiel 28: 20-26). But the significant events of the latter days leaves Israel in complete safety with no Islamic enemies left to desire her destruction.

         Obadiah 18 foretells that in those latter-day attempts to terminate the nation of Israel, there is not one descendant of Esau left in existence. Throughout the history of Israel, she has been at odds with the descendants of Esau.

          Likewise, the remainder of Israel’s kindred, enemies is outlined by name in Psalms 83: 6-7.  These nations constitute “The Nations Round About” the reestablished State of Israel (as in today). In Psalm 83: 9-12, God decrees that of all those named nations, it is to be done to them what the early Israelites had done to the Midianites. 

        In Numbers 31: 7, we learn that early Israel completely slew “all of the males of the nation of Midian.”  Therefore, the “Nations Round About” Israel will no longer exist. We also are aware from Ezekiel 28: 25-26, that when God has executed His judgments on the ”Nations Round About” Israel, Israel will dwell safely and will prosper greatly. 

We also learn that Russia, later, finds Israel in the ‘safe’ and ‘confident” position as she makes her advance against Israel (Ezekiel 38th and 39th Chapters). The forces of the Gogian host are then wiped off the land in one day.

 Then one more battle will ensue before the world is forever a safe and peaceful planet toward which God has been working for six thousand years.  In that, we speak of the troops of NATO, the defense forces of Europe, which will finally move against Jesus and his saints because they think he is “the antichrist.”  After those forces are driven to the four winds, (Daniel 2: 34-35; Revelation 17: 14); it is prophesied:

         "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.”  (Isa, 11: 9). 

        “And round about the throne there was a sea of glass (still waters, meaning a still, peaceful population) like crystal, and round about the throne were four living creatures (meaning immortal creatures) full of eyes before and behind (meaning all-seeing ones).” (Revelation 4: 6). From that point forward God’s Kingdom stretches to the far corners of the earth, involving every living creature ... and the Kingdom shall be the Lord’s.                              Wayne R. Tanner


Jerusalem - City of Peace

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Day to day pours forth speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
where their voice is not heard.
Psalm 19:1-3

As described on Wikipedia.com*

Jerusalem is a city in the Middle East, located on a plateau in the Judean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea.

Israelis and Palestinians both claim Jerusalem as their capital, as the State of Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there while the State of Palestine ultimately foresees the city as its seat of power; however, neither claim is widely recognized internationally.

One of the oldest cities in the world, Jerusalem was named as "Urusalima" on ancient Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets, probably meaning "City of Shalem" after a Canaanite deity, during the early Canaanite period (approximately 2400 BCE (BC)). During the Israelite period, significant construction activity in Jerusalem began in the 9th century BCE..., and in the 8th century, the city developed into the religious and administrative center of the Kingdom of Judah.

During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. The part of Jerusalem called the City of David was settled in the 4th millennium BCE (BC).

In 1538 (AD), walls were built around Jerusalem under Suleiman the Magnificent. Today those walls define the Old City, which has been traditionally divided into four quarters—known since the early 19th century as the Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Quarters. The Old City became a World Heritage Site in 1981 and is on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Modern Jerusalem has grown far beyond the Old City's boundaries.

*Italics and underline added.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem

The Old City (2017)

https://wikitravel.org/en/Jerusalem/Old_City

 

 

Graphical overview of Jerusalem's historical periods

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Jerusalem

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/timeline/4cfe1a61907b74801e81606146be6ec3.png

 

Recent Boundaries of Israel and Jerusalem (1916-2017)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/middle_east/03/v3_israel_palestinians/maps/html/british_control.stm

 


British control: Sykes-Picot (1916)

The Sykes-Picot agreement was a secret understanding concluded in 1916 between Great Britain and France, with the assent of Russia, for the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire. The agreement was not implemented, but it established the principles for the division a few years later of the Turkish-held region into the French and British-administered areas of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine.

 

 

British control: Mandate Palestine (1920-1948)

Palestine - comprising what are now Israel, the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jordan - was among several former Ottoman Arab territories placed under the administration of Great Britain by the League of Nations. The mandate lasted from 1920 to 1948. In 1923 Britain granted limited autonomy to Transjordan, now known as Jordan.

 

 

Israel founded: UN partition plan (1947)

The United Nations General Assembly decided in 1947 on the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem to be an international city. The plan, which was rejected by the native Arabs, was never implemented.

 

 

Israel founded: Armistice (1948)

War broke out in 1948 when Britain withdrew, the Jews declared the state of Israel and troops from neighbouring Arab nations moved in (attacked). After eight months of fighting an armistice line was agreed, establishing the West Bank and Gaza Strip as distinct geographical units.

   

 

Jerusalem: Before 1967

The armistice line drawn at the end of the 1948 war divided Jerusalem into two. Between 1949 and 1967, Israel controlled the western part of Jerusalem, while Jordan took the eastern part, including the old walled city containing important Jewish, Muslim and Christian religious sites.

 Jerusalem: After 1967

Israel captured the whole of Jerusalem in 1967 and extended the city's municipal boundaries, putting both East and West Jerusalem under its sovereignty and civil law. In 1980 Israel passed a law making its annexation of East Jerusalem explicit. The city's status remains disputed, with Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem considered illegal under international law. Israel is determined that Jerusalem be its undivided capital, while Palestinians are seeking to establish their capital in East Jerusalem.




Recent Historical Boundaries of Jerusalem (1923-1993)

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/map-of-jerusalem-municipal-boundaries


Selected Biblical References (far too many to recount all!)

Jerusalem = City of
Peace

1.      ~1500 BC
Melchizedek, king of Salem, brings out bread and wine for Abraham and blesses Abraham. (Type of Christ.) 
Gen. 14:18

2.      ~1500 BC
Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice on a mountain in Moriah. (Type of Christ.)

Gen 22:1-2, 8-14

3.      ~1000 BC

Sons of Korah (David’s musicians) sing of Zion (Jerusalem), declaring Mt Zion to be the city of God the Great King. The singers sing: “Great is YHWH and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, His holy mountain. Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mt. Zion in the far north, the city of the Great King!”

Psalm 48:1-2
Matt. 5:35

 

4.      ~1000 BC

Sons of Korah (David’s musicians) sing of Zion (Jerusalem), declaring God’s attention to those who are born in her. The singers sing: “All my springs of joy are in you.”
Psalm 87

5.      ~1000 BC

David prophetically sings of the gladness of going to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem and asks us to pray for her peace: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, may they prosper who love you.”

Psalm 122

 

6.      ~1000 BC
Solomon builds first temple on Mt. Moriah.
The Holy Place was a type of Gods abode in heaven where Christ now dwells:
“For Christ did not enter a holy place made with Hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in
the presence of God for us.”
II Chron. 3:1, Heb. 9:24

 

7.      ~730 BC Isaiah prophetically speaks of the peaceful kingdom age when all nations would learn the beautiful law of the LORD: “For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the LORD form Jerusalem…and never again will they learn war.”

Isaiah 2:3, 4

 

8.      ~730 BC Isaiah further prophecies of the rejoicing in Jerusalem upon our Heavenly Father’s creation of the new heavens and new earth: “But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing and her people for rejoicing. I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people!”

Isaiah 65:18-19

 

9.      586 BC After first temple was destroyed, Jerusalem sung of as the chief joy of the captives in Babylon! “Jerusalem above my chief joy.”
Psalm 137:4-6

10.   538-450 BC Persian king Cyrus releases the Jews and decrees rebuilding of temple. The Jews subsequently rebuild the temple and dedicate it.  “In the first year of Cyrus the king the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be built, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid…
And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity,
kept the dedication of this house of God with joy.”
Ezra 6:3,16

 

11.   ~520 BC Zechariah prophesies twice that Jerusalem would be the central focus of conflict and a burdensome stone to the nations prior to Christ’s return and that He would defend Jerusalem and usher in His kingdom:
“Behold I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples round around; and when
the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Jerusalem. And it will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples, all who lift her will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.
And it will come about in that day that I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
And I will pour out my Spirit upon the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over him like the bitter weeping over a first-born.”
Zech. 12:2-3, 8-9

And again...

“Behold a day is coming for the LORD when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle, and half the city will be captured, the houses plundered and the women ravished, and half the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city.

Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when he fights on the day of battle. And in that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east…And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one and His name the only one.”
Zech. 14: 1-4

 

12.   ~30 AD Jesus prophesies concerning Jerusalem for not dealing peacefully:
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
who kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a chick gathers her chicks under her wings and ye would not. Behold your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you shall not see me, until you say “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! ... Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here shall be left upon another, which will not be torn down.”

Matt 23:37-39\

13.    ~33 AD Jesus also prophesied that the captivity of Jerusalem would last throughout the times of the Gentiles: “and Jerusalem will be trodden under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”

Matt. 21:24

14.   ~33 AD Jesus crucified outside Jerusalem’s walls:
“They took Jesus therefore and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha.
There they crucified him.”
John 19:17, 18

“Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people
through his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Hence let us go out to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.

Heb. 13:12-14

15.   ~33 AD Jesus raised from the dead at garden tomb just outside Jerusalem:

“And the angel answered and said to the women,” Do not be afraid for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for he has risen just as he said. Come see the place where he was lying.”
Matt. 28:5-6

 

16.    ~50 AD Stephen reminds the leading religious rulers that God does not dwell in physical buildings built by men: “And David found favor in God’s sight, and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob, but it was Solomon who built a house for Him. However the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands.”
Acts 7:48

 

17.   ~ 50 AD Paul writes to the Galatians to explain the difference between Jerusalem of the time (representing trying to serve God by Law) and the true Jerusalem of God (service of God in hope of the promise):  “The present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.”
 Gal. 4:25-26

 

18.   ~ 60 AD Paul writes to the Ephesians letting them know that Jesus is our Peace:

For he himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in his flesh the enmity, which is the law of commandments contained in ordinances that in himself  he might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace.”
 Eph. 2:14-15

 

19.   ~90 AD John speaks of the new Jerusalem the Jerusalem from above, the glorious fulfillment of the city of peace established in Christ before the foundation of the world; “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them, and he shall wipe away every tear form their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying or pain; the first things have passed away!

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.””

Rev. 21:1-5

Conclusion

God dwells in the heavens. Our Lord Jesus Christ has entered the most holy place of His presence to make intercession for us, and also bring us into our Heavenly Father’s presence. This purpose will be culminated in the descending of New Jerusalem from above when our Heavenly Father will transform the repentant from mortality to: immortality, righteousness and love, and make His abode with us by His grace!

Jerusalem, the city of peace, represents the true peace of our Heavenly Father’s presence. In the present age, our Heavenly Father has established physical Jerusalem and its temporary temples to typify this hope. When we men were looking to God with a humble spirit (such as David) He allowed temples to be built on Jerusalem to symbolize His desire to redeem us and dwell with us. God, in his love, even provided His own son as a sacrifice for us outside the city walls when we were yet sinners! When we were unwilling to turn from our ways, God removed the physical temple from Jerusalem and left it desolate, that we might still see our ways and repent.

Our Heavenly Father in His great love and mercy has set physical Jerusalem as an object lesson for us to understand His plan. The current contention of the nations over the City of Peace is meant to reveal our hearts to us, the contention of our prideful self-will vs. His glorious and good will; that we might learn of His righteous mercy, repent and participate in Jerusalem’s rejoicing to be established by our Heavenly Father on His appointed day.

Our Heavenly Father is calling us, seeking us, through His son. If we do not listen and continue in contention (vs. submission) we will not endure the brightness of his coming. If we hear Him, and humble our hearts, Jesus will be our peace both now and for all eternity as we look forward to the establishment of New Jerusalem where there will be no darkness at all.

Hallel YHWH
 

 

Jerusalem Thought Questions

 

1.     Is there peace now in Jerusalem (the city of peace)?

2.     Are nations currently trying to secure Jerusalem by force?

3.     Can the Kingdom of Heaven be taken by force (Matt11:12)?

 

4.     Will there ever be true peace on Mt. Zion?

5.     When?

6.     Can we have any peace now?

7.     Why should Jerusalem be our chief joy? 

 

Indicated actions

1. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!”

2.
“Let us go out to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach!!

For here we do not have a lasting city,

but we are seeking the city which is to come.”


Hallelujah, Praise the LORD!!
 

Philip Sweeny, Atlanta, Georgia USA


Man, His Origin, Nature, and Destiny

 The Bible foretold a complete apostasy would occur after Jesus and his apostles had all passed away (2 Timothy 4:  3-4).

There is a reason why apostasy entered into the Ecclesia and fables took the place of truth in the Ecclesia.  As long as the Ecclesia followed the example of Jesus and his apostles, the truth was easier to be maintained.

In Romans 15: 4 it was made clear that the Old Testament was written for our learning, as it was also in 2 Timothy 3: 16-17.  The very basis of truth was the Old Testament, and as long as a person considered truth from both Testaments, the truth was more obvious.

Let us peruse this avenue for a moment and consider the mistake of considering the “Nature of Man” only from the New Testament as the Apostasy is prone to do.  Not as much is clearly set forth as to man’s nature in the New Testament as in the Old Testament.  As one reads the testimony of Jesus, one is carried to his words in Matt. 10: 28:

“And fear not them who kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Geenna).

A person who is not really adept at Bible Truth, who has no knowledge of Old Testament truths, looks at Matthew 10: 28, and thinks immediately that the passage seems to teach that men are unable to kill the soul.  Thus, the doctrine of the immortality of the soul seems to be the Bible truth.  

 But notice the last part of the verse which declares that God is able to destroy both body and soul. They don’t consider that, but have already thought the New Testament teaches an immortal soul that cannot be destroyed. All four gospel accounts are accounts of the same event.  Compare Matthew 10: 28 with Luke 12: 3-4, and the message Jesus was making takes on a completely different tone.  Notice:

“…be not afraid of those that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do … fear him who, after he hath killed, hath the power to cast into hell” (geenna). 

The Jews and Romans killed Jesus the Christ and there was no more they could do to Him, for He was dead and unaware of anything. He even knew not when Joseph took Him to his own tomb in which He lay for three days and nights.  However, God raised Him up, made Him immortal, and brought Jesus to his side in heaven (Psalms 110: 1), where He has been for two thousand years.

As with all other righteous souls, men can and have killed them.

However, God is able to raise them up and give them eternal life.   God will, at the appointed time, raise up those souls in Christ.  Those who are approved will put on the immortal nature (2 Peter 1: 4; I Corinthians 15: 52-57) and they will be a kingdom of priests upon the earth for a thousand years, and will live forever (Revelation 5:  8-10).

It is a fact that Matthew 10: 28 cannot be examined alone, for if Matthew be taken alone, one does not get the message Jesus was setting forth; he may not do so unless Luke’s record is compared with Matthew’s.  The message is that men can kill a person but God has the power to save or destroy that soul (or life) of a person, as we shall see as we progress.

Let us now follow what the Apostle Paul is showing us in Romans 15:4:

“For whatever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we, through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”

Notice also what Paul in 2 Timothy 3: 16-17 says about Old Testament writings. They are profitable for

1. Doctrine,

2. For reproof,

3. For correction, and for

4. Instruction in righteousness…” 

As long as a person does as Paul is telling him, and considers the truth from both Old and New Testaments, one can rest securely in truth.  Fail to do this and apostasy develops, for a wrong message comes forth.

What will an examination of the Old Testament reveal to us?

Genesis chapter one reveals to us that God set about six thousand years ago to bring the earth once again into a condition to support all manner of life upon it.  Notice Isaiah 45:18 where God declares that He established the earth to be inhabited.”

We read that for the first four days, God brought the earth into that very condition, and finally, there was oxygen on earth to support life.

On that fifth day, we read in Genesis 1: 20 that God caused to come forth the “moving creature (chai nephesh) as well as the fowl flying above the earth.  By considering also verse 21, we find that He created “great sea monsters that were “chai nephesh” or living, moving souls, and all winged fouls, that were also “chai nephesh.”

Then, on the next day, the sixth day, we read:

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostril the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (chai nephesh) the same as all other forms of life had become.

Notice, that the verse in no way said that Adam received anything but the breath of life.  He did not receive a soul, but he BECAME a living soul, a “chai nephesh.” 

Consider, as God gathered that dust together to form the man, was there any mentality in that dust to  perform any task?  No!

God took dust and formed Adam.  When Adam was formed, as he lay there, a body without life, was there yet any mental capacity, any ability in him whatever?  No; but when the breath of life was breathed into his nostrils,  he became a “chai nephesh,” a living soul, just as had happened with all other forms of life, sea life, fowls of the air, and every creeping thing.  Now, the earth was filled with chai nephesh or “living souls.”  None of these was said to be eternal, immortal and deathless.

To prove that man, after being created was no higher physically than any other creature, all we have to do is to consider the testimony of Solomon in Proverbs 3: 17-21.  Let us recall before we begin, that in Solomon was “the wisdom of God” (I Kings 3:28). Now consider “the wisdom of God that was set forth by Solomon in that passage; then consider the truth that God revealed through the psalmist in Psalm 146: 4: 

Of man He declares:  “His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; and in that very day his thoughts perish.”

Just as in his initial formation, there was no thought or activity in him until the breath of life was breathed into him.  When that breath departs, there again is a condition such as existed before he was brought to life, as Adam was at that moment still of the dust of the ground.  He is no longer a” chai nephesh”, but is again the dust of the ground.

Consider also Isaiah 38th Chapter and Hezekiah; and Ecclesiastes 9: 3-10.  Hezekiah was about to die, and cease being a “chai nephesh”.  He was filled with anguish.  Why, if he was immortal, and about to ascend up to God in heaven as is popularly believed in the apostate world of religion? 

Also Ecclesiastes 9: 3-10 shows that men really die and go to the grave, not into heaven.

Consider also I Corinthians 15:  16-19 - “If Christ be not crucified, and raised – all the dead are perished.”  How so, if they are already in heaven?

If one is in possession of these O.T. truths, Matthew 10: 28 would not lead one into apostasy, but a person would be able to better understand Jesus in Matthew 10: 28.

Also, a capable Bible student would recall and know that when Jesus returns, after judgment, this mortal will put on immortality….

The Apostasy does not believe that an immortal soul is (destined) to put on immortality.  They believe the soul is already “immortal.”  If men were already immortal, such passages as those above would make no sense whatever.

In view of the above errors, the beliefs in further errors come forth.

 What are they to do with the righteous immortal souls? – Consign them to heaven?  However, consider John 3: 13; Proverbs 10: 30; Psalm 37: 29;  Matthew 5: 5.

 What to do with unrighteous immortal souls?  Consign them to a burning hell forever. However, consider Romans 6: 23; Ecclesiastes 9: 3-5. Proverbs 10: 30; Psalm 37: 29.

The Destiny of Man

Accordingly, God made promise to Abraham and David that concerned the eternal plan of God for the righteous.  He promised Abraham the earth for his descendants and the whole world. 

He made promise to David regarding the eternal governing of the earth which included Jesus and his immortal saints; and finally God Himself.

Regarding the nature of the Saints of God at that time, please see I Corinthians 15: 52-54; 2 Corinthians  5: 1-3; Revelation 2: 26; 3: 21.

Then there will forever be goodwill and peace among men.

Wayne R. Tanner



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