On Sunday afternoon, April 9, AD 30, Jesus joined two of His followers, a married couple named Cleopas and Mary, as they walked to their home village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem.
The couple, at first, did not recognize their fellow traveler. Mary had been at the foot of the cross three days previously, watching Jesus die a brutal death (John 19:25). She and Cleopas knew that Jesus’ dead body had been carried from the cross and placed in Joseph of Arimathea’s unused tomb.
Their hoped-for Messiah was dead.
As the trio walked to Emmaus, they conversed about the crucifixion of the Man some called the Messiah. The resurrected Jesus then did something extraordinary:
“Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, Jesus explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself.” (Luke 24:27).
Jesus explained to Cleopas and Mary how everything in the Hebrew Scriptures, sometimes called the Old Testament, points to the Messiah.
Sadly, few today, including Christians, know the Old Testament well. This lack of knowledge means people don’t fully comprehend who Jesus is or what Jesus did. Simply quoting “whoever believes in Jesus will not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16) doesn’t mean one understands why believers in the Messiah will not perish.
This post explains how the Hebrew Scriptures, from the Pentateuch through the Prophets, are about the Messiah (Jesus, the Christ).
In the biblical world of types and metaphors:
- The Nation of Israel pictures the Life of Christ
- The Captivity of Israel pictures the Cross of Christ.
- The Restoration of Israel pictures the Resurrection of Christ.
- The Faithful Remnant of Israel pictures the Repentant Believers in Christ.
A few have recently said to me: “Wade, I’ve listened to you teach for years, and your message is always one of grace and encouragement for God’s people! But in these recent months, your words seem focused on warning our nation of God’s impending judgment. Why the change?
Answer: Neither I nor my message has changed.
I continue to deliver the same biblical message. However, it is now being spoken to different people for a distinct purpose. My new audience includes skeptics of the Bible and scoffers of God’s character.
In 2022, I entered politics. I ran for United States Congress from Oklahoma. I desired to help my fellow U.S. citizens comprehend how every nation that rebels against the Creator and despises His Laws, called the Laws of Nature by our nation’s Founders, is doomed. The Creator will pour into “the cup of His wrath,” and rebellious people will drink the dregs of famine and thirst, plagues and pandemics, poverty and war, and ultimately untimely deaths.
That, of course, is not a popular message in 2022.
The Apostle Paul tells us that the message of God’s wrath poured out on the cross for man’s sin is “foolishness” (I Corinthians 1:18) to those who are perishing. The word “foolishness” is the English translation of the Greek word moros, from which we get our English words “moron” or “moronic.”
In other words, “those who are perishing” think I’m a moron. Yet, it is to them that I now speak a warning of God’s coming judgment.
I’ve turned from pastor to prophet.
If you have known me as your pastor, and Jesus is your LORD and Savior, this article will help you answer several important questions:
- Who are the recipients of God’s wrath for their sins, known as “those who are perishing”?
- What is the difference between God’s covenant with the nations of the earth and God’s covenant with the believers in the Messiah from every nation of the planet?
- When will God’s wrath fall on the nations of the earth who reject the Laws of Nature?
- Where precisely is the Messiah seen in the Hebrew Scriptures?
- Why are God’s blessings to nations conditioned on the people’s obedience to the Laws of Nature, whereas God’s blessings to believers in the Messiah are said to be “yes, and amen” (sure and certain)?
Before we see how the nation of Israel in the Hebrew Scriptures is a type or picture of the Person and Work of the Messiah, we must come to an understanding of what the Hebrew Scriptures teach about the accountability of all nations and peoples on the earth to the Creator and obeying the Laws of Nature which He has established.
Buckle up. Let’s begin.
Principle #1: The Creator, known as Nature’s God, has established the Laws of Nature for all nations.
These Laws of Nature, summarized in the Ten Commandments, are imprinted in the human conscience (see Exodus 20:2-17; Romans 1:18-32). These Laws may be summarized as follows:
- God the Creator is to be revered and loved more than everyone and everything else in your life.
- God’s name or character should never be denigrated, treated lightly, or despised by you.
- One day out of your week should be set aside for rest and worship, concentrating on eternal matters.
- Your father and mother should be obeyed as a child and respected when you are an adult.
- You should never intentionally end or harm human life, for every person is created in God’s image.
- Sexual acts are sacred within the marriage bond of a man and a woman, but not outside marriage.
- You are not to steal from another person, for that is treating with contempt what God gives to others.
- You should never lie about or attack another person’s reputation, which denigrates God’s creation.
- You must not desire your neighbor’s spouse, for thoughts in your mind will lead to actions in your life.
- Don’t desire another’s possessions but learn to be humble and content with what God gives you.
Reverence for God and obedience to the Laws of Nature are commanded. No exemption or excuse exists for any nation, ethnic group, or family. (Romans 1:20).
Throughout history, civilized nations and even what some might call “uncivilized tribes (families)” have proven that they intuitively understand the Laws of Nature. They might call the Creator by various names, but written within the hearts of people within every nation is an understanding of how they are to live in the Creation and a deep respect for the Creator.
Principle #2: God holds all peoples and nations accountable for obeying the Laws of Nature.
The Hebrew Scriptures are clear about this principle. In 633 BC, King Josiah of Judah noticed that the people of Judah lived contrary to God’s Commands with no respect for their Creator. Josiah began instituting reforms within the nation of Judah (2 Kings 22-23).
Around the same time, the prophet Zephaniah began proclaiming judgment on Judah, something he called “The Day of the LORD (Zephaniah 1:14-2:3). But Zephaniah also declared coming judgment from God on all the nations around Judah, not just Judah (Zephaniah 2:4-15)
- God’s judgment was on Philistia to the west.
- God’s judgment was on Ammon and Moab to the east.
- God’s judgment was on Cush (Ethiopia) to the south.
- God’s judgment was on Assyria-Babylon to the north.
Every nation is accountable to God.
“All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name” (Psalm 86:9).
‘For the kingdom is the Lord’s, and He rules over the nations.” (Psalm 22:28).
“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and He has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries” (Acts 17:26).
“’Are not you Israelites the same to me as the Cushites?’ declares the LORD. ‘Did I not bring Israel up from Egypt, the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Arameans from Kir?’” (Amos 9:7).
“There is no authority except that which God has established. For the ruler is God’s servant to do you good” (Romans 13:1, 4).
National reverence for the Creator and obedience to the Laws of Nature bring economic prosperity, good health, peace with others, and long life as a nation.
Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, proud rulers, nations, and people who refuse to respect the Creator and obey the Laws of Nature will be humbled by God. Tall trees (either rulers or people) will come crashing down. God humbles the proud that He may exalt the humble who trust Him.
The punishment for any nation or people who rebel against God is always the four same things: famine and thirst (poverty), plagues and pandemics (disease), crime and violence (war), and ultimately deaths.
The collapse of a nation is the consequence of rejecting God and the Laws He’s established for all.
Unfortunately, many Christians have little idea that the Hebrew Scriptures declare that all nations – whether it be Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome, or Russia, China, Ukraine, Canada, and the United States – are all obligated to revere the Creator and obey His Laws.
Any nation that refuses to respect God and obey Natural Law will not be long-standing. But how can someone know if God and His Laws of Nature are being rejected?
Read the Hebrew Scriptures.
When a nation is in rebellion against its Creator, it will be clear as you read the Scriptures. But if you wish for a more detailed answer, I’ll show you 10 Signs of a Nation Rejecting the Creator and His Commands from Ezekiel 23. I could have chosen any Hebrew prophet, for they all spoke to the nations of their day, but I’ll select Ezekiel
10 Signs of a Nation Rejecting the Creator and His Commands from Ezekiel 23.
A lust for power and wealth as the people desire to be rich above all else (v.5).
Attention to one’s outward physical beauty to the neglect of one’s character (v.6)
A devotion to material things with no thought of worship for the Creator (v. 8)
An infatuation with sex and a lack of fidelity to the covenant of marriage (v.7)
Captivated by pornography “carved on the wall” and normalizing the obscene (v. 14).
Lusting after penises the size of donkeys and for ejaculations like that of a horse (v. 20).
Note: Madeline Murray Ohare pointed out the lewdness of Ezekiel 23:20 as the reason she rejected the Bible and became an atheist. Ironic since the verse is about why God rejects people.
Sacrificing their children whom God gave by killing them to the idol of convenience (v. 37)
An obstinate refusal to listen to God and or to consider they are in rebellion to Him (v. 38).
While reveling in sins and rebellion against their Creator, pretending to worship Him (v. 39).
Both verbal and physical violence toward those who dare to speak God’s truth (v. 45).
The ultimate end of a nation that rejects God and rebels against the Laws of Nature is made clear in Ezekiel 23.
“Therefore, this is what the Lord God says: ‘Because you have forgotten Me and discarded Me behind your back, suffer on your own part the punishment for your outrageous sins and your obscene practices.‘” (Ezekiel 23:35)
“You will suffer the penalty for your lewdness and bear the consequences of your sins of idolatry. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.” (Ezekiel 23:49)
Ezekiel is saying what all the Hebrew prophets said to all the nations of their day. When a people or a nation turn against God and practice rebellion against the Laws of Nature, there will be punishment.
It is worth repeating that the punishment of a nation includes FOUR THINGS: Famine and thirst (poverty), 2. Plagues and pandemics (disease), 3. Crime and violence (war), and 4. Ultimately, death.
Principle #3: God chose the nation of Israel to be “a light of the nations” (Isaiah 42:6).
The Creator chose the nation of Israel to illustrate how well a people can live and how peaceful their lives can be when a nation obeys God’s Laws.
Most important, God chose the nation of Israel to reveal HIS NAME to the nations.
“In Jerusalem, will I put my NAME.” (II Kings 21:4)
The Name of the Creator God is YHWH.
YHWH – four letters in Hebrew – is the personal NAME of God. Unfortunately, our English translations of the Hebrew Scriptures translate this name as LORD (all capital letters) or GOD (all capital letters). In the English-speaking culture, we think of LORD and GOD as a title, not a name. YHWH is God’s name. I wish our English translations of the Scripture put the four letters YHWH.
Why is the name of God important?
YHWH – the four consonants with no vowels is the SOUND YOU MAKE WHEN BREATHING.
“Let everything that has breath praise YHWH.” (Psalm 150:6).
YHWH is the name of God, and Israel was chosen as a light to the nations to show nations the name of the Creator. He is the God who gave you breath. His name is YHWH. By the way, YESHUA (Jesus), in Greek, is a derivative of YHWH with vowels. Jesus is His name. Christ (Messiah) is His title.
The nation of Israel FAILED their “agreement” with God (e.g., “The Old Covenant”). God, in love for sinners who fail, sent His Son – the Messiah – to be the true Israel and succeed where the nation failed.
But before we compare Jesus with national Israel, let’s look at the passage where the NATION of ISRAEL under Moses entered into an agreement with God that they would obey Him, be a light to the nations on how to live and be blessed.
Of course, violation of this agreement – as is true for every nation – leads to hardships and curses. In Deuteronomy 28, the conditions of the NATIONAL COVENANT that YHWH made with the nation of Israel are revealed. Please read the conditions of the national covenant with Israel carefully.
1 “Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I am commanding you today, that the Lord your God will put you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings will come to you and reach you if you obey the Lord your God:
3 “Blessed will you be in the city, and blessed will you be in the country.
4 “Blessed will be the children of your womb, the produce of your ground, and the offspring of your animals: the newborn of your herd and the young of your flock.
5 “Blessed will be your basket and your kneading bowl.
6 “Blessed will you be when you come in, and blessed will you be when you go out.
7 “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated by you; they will go out against you one way and will flee at your presence seven ways. 8 The Lord will command the blessing for you in your barns and in everything that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 9 The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, as He swore to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways. 10 So all the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will be afraid of you. 11 And the Lord will give you more than enough prosperity, in the children of your womb, in the offspring of your livestock, and in the [l]produce of your ground, in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. 12 The Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless every work of your hand; and you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow. 13 And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will only be above, and not be underneath, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God which I am commanding you today, to follow them carefully, 14 and do not turn aside from any of the words which I am commanding you today, to the right or the left, to pursue other gods to serve them.
Consequences of Disobedience
15 “But it shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord your God, to be careful to follow all His commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:
16 “Cursed will you be in the city, and cursed will you be in the country.
17 “Cursed will be your basket and your kneading bowl.
18 “Cursed will be the children of your womb, the produce of your ground, the newborn of your herd, and the offspring of your flock.
19 “Cursed will you be when you come in, and cursed will you be when you go out.
20 “The Lord will send against you curses, panic, and rebuke, in [s]everything you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have abandoned Me. 21 The Lord will make the plague cling to you until He has eliminated you from the land where you are entering to take possession of it. 22 The Lord will strike you with consumption, inflammation, fever, feverish heat, and with the sword, with blight, and with mildew, and they will pursue you until you perish. 23 The heaven which is over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you, iron. 24 The Lord will make the rain of your land powder and dust; from heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed.
25 “The Lord will cause you to be defeated by your enemies; you will go out one way against them, but you will flee seven ways from their presence, and you will be an example of terror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 Your dead bodies will serve as food for all birds of the sky and for the animals of the earth, and there will be no one to frighten them away.
27 “The Lord will strike you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, the festering rash, and with scabies, from which you cannot be healed. 28 The Lord will strike you with insanity, blindness, and with confusion of mind; 29 and you will be groping about at noon, just as a person who is blind gropes in the darkness, and you will not be successful in your ways; but you will only be oppressed and robbed all the time, with no one to save you. 30 You will betroth a woman, but another man will violate her; you will build a house, but you will not live in it; you will plant a vineyard, but you will not make use of its fruit. 31 Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will not eat of it; your donkey will be snatched away from you, and will not]be restored to you; your sheep will be given to your enemies, and you will have no one to save you. 32 Your sons and your daughters will be given to another people, while your eyes look on and long for them constantly; but there will be nothing [ac]you can do. 33 A people whom you do not know will eat the produce of your ground and every product of your labor, and you will never be anything but oppressed and mistreated continually. 34 You will also be driven insane by the sight of [ad]what you see. 35 The Lord will strike you on the knees and thighs with severe boils from which you cannot be healed, and strike you from the sole of your foot to the top of your head. 36 The Lord will bring you and your king, whom you appoint over you, to a nation that neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods, made of wood and stone. 37 And you will become an object of horror, a song of mockery, and an object of taunting among all the peoples where the Lord drives you.
The FAILURE OF NATIONAL ISRAEL to Reveal God’s Character to the Nations
God chose Israel to be a Light to the Nations, but Israel failed to reveal the true glory of YHWH to the nations. The Hebrew Scriptures are clear: “Blessed is the nation whose God is YHWH” (Psalm 33:12 ).
But the nation of Israel became like all the pagan nations around them. The people of God turned their backs on the Commandments of the Creator (the Laws of Nature) and the punishment for Israel (“The Day of the LORD”) became like the punishment for every nation that turns its back on God:
The nation of Israel failed in its agreement with YHWH to be “a light to the nations.”
But God… The two greatest words in the Scriptures. But God, who is rich in Mercy, sent His Son to accomplish that which the nation of Israel failed to accomplish.
PRINCIPLE #4: God sent the MESSIAH, the True ISRAEL OF YHWH, to save sinners from the just punishment due them.
Jesus the Messiah, born in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago, came as the MESSIAH to bear the righteous punishment of God for the sins of the world and to reveal God’s name of YHWH to the nations.
The Messiah Is the TRUE ISRAEL Who Reveals the Name (Character) of the Creator to the Nations. The nation of Israel was supposed to be the nation that was the Light of the Lord. The night before the crucifixion, Jesus said to the Father, “I have revealed your name” (John 17:6).
Everything about the Life of Jesus parallels the nation of Israel in the Hebrew Scriptures:
- Jesus is in Egypt as a child, just as the nation of Israel was in Egypt as a new nation.
- Jesus was baptized in the Jordan at Beth-Araba, where Israel crossed the Jordan into Canaan.
- Jesus is tempted in the Wilderness for 40 days (40 years for the nation of Israel).
- The Shabbats (national holidays of Israel) picture the Life of the Messiah.
- The cross of Christ pictures the captivity of the nation of Israel in Babylon (as we’ll see).
- The resurrection of Christ pictures the forgiveness and restoration of the nation of Israel.
- Those who trust in the Messiah are pictured as a humbled, redeemed, and restored Israel.
Natural Law is an obligation for every human being. The 10 Commandments are fulfilled when you love God and your fellow man. But you’ll only love God deeply when you recognize the love of God for you in sending His Son.
Sometimes people read the Hebrew Scriptures and mock all the ceremonial and festival laws of the nation of Israel. They don’t understand the specificity of the laws for the nation of Israel to reveal the Messiah. For example, the LIFE OF JESUS is pictured in the national festivals (Shabbats) of the nation of Israel.
Lets examine the SEVEN NATIONAL HOLIDAYS (holy days) of the nation of Israel.
THE THREE SPRING HOLIDAYS OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL: The Feast of Passover, The Feast of Unleavened Bread, The Feast of the Waving of the Sheaf of Firstfruits.
These three feasts were often viewed together and collectively called either “Passover” or “The Feast of Unleavened Bread,” though there were three separate and meaningful feasts
First is the Feast of Passover. “When I see the blood, I will pass over you and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you when I smite the land of Egypt” (Exodus 12:13).
The Hebrew phrase “Passover” is in the Greek “pascha” thus the Passover lamb is the Paschal lamb, and all that pertains to the appointed Lamb, the person and work of Jesus Christ, the Paschal Lamb of God.
We know this to be true because of several events prophesied by the prophets regarding the Messiah’s death:
- (1). Genesis 49:10 describes the precise age in which the Messiah would come.
- (2). Daniel 9:26 describes the precise year in which the Messiah would die.
- (3). Amos 8:9-10 describes the exact day on which the Messiah would die.
These three prophecies point us directly to the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on behalf of sinners as our Paschal Lamb. He (the Messiah) took our punishment for sins.
Jesus died when the Jews were slaying their lambs to celebrate The Feast of Passover. Jesus died on the 14th day of the Abib (also called by its Babylonian name Nissan).
The Abib (notice the definitive article ‘the’) means “the act of parching by burning.” Is it any wonder that when Jesus Christ died on the cross on the 14th day of the Abib, the fires of God’s holiness and righteous judgment parched the life of His Son, the very One who became sin for us?
The Passover was established and prescribed by God for Israel 1400 years before the death of Christ. In the fulness of time, Jesus fulfilled what the Passover represented. The Lamb was slain so that the righteous punishment of God for sins might “pass over” those who trust Him.
Jesus could not have died at any other time, during any other day, for His death was prescribed by God and pictured in the Feast of Passover.
When people sought to kill Jesus earlier in His ministry, He walked through them saying, “My time has not yet come” (John 7:30). A person may think he escapes God’s judgment apart from the cross, but that kind of thinking is foolish and contrary to the explicit teaching of Scripture.
In love for sinners, God swept away the punishment sins of His people through the death of His Son, who bore the punishment for the sins of the world.
This sweeping away of sin is pictured in the second feast of the Jews called The Feast of Unleavened Bread. This feast was seven days long, and within the week of Unleavened Bread, Passover Day and the Feast of First Fruits were included. Because all three feasts occurred during the same week in the spring, all three are often placed under the name of Passover or The Feast of Unleavened Bread.
During this Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Jews were to sweep out all leaven in their homes. Leaven is a picture of sin in the Bible. The sweeping away of leaven pictures all our sins being carried away from us by the Lamb of God. God does the sweeping in the fulfillment of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. He removes our sins from us “as far as the east is from the west.”
God’s forgiveness is an act of grace and judgment. It is the work of God, and it is accomplished by removing our sins from us, placing them on Christ, and pouring out His righteous judgment on His beloved Son.
The wages of sin is death. Every person, even believers in Christ, will one day die! Every person, even believers in Christ, will struggle with personal sins until we all die. What is our assurance that God has removed judgment and condemnation from us? What assurance do we have that we are truly the recipients of His unconditional love, favor and acceptance?
The answer is found in third spring feast, The Feast of the Waving of the Sheaf of Firstfruits. Jesus Christ rose from the grave on the very day the Jews were celebrating this feast.
This feast was prescribed by God to be celebrated “on the morrow after the Sabbath” during the week of Passover (Lev. 23:9-14). God told the Jews to go to the Temple on the “morning after the Sabbath” (Sunday morning) and wave a “sheaf” of the first fruits of their grain harvest before the Lord. As they waved their first fruits of grain before God and then gave it to the priests, they were told that God would prosper and bless “their entire harvest” because of the firstfruit offering accepted by Him!
When Paul writes of the resurrection in I Corinthians 15:20 he calls Jesus Christ “the firstfruits” of the resurrection–pointing out that God accepts and blesses all those whom Christ represents in His death and resurrection. In other words, your life–your eternal life–of God’s blessing, favor, and prosperity is based on the offering of the firstfruits–Jesus Christ.
You are guaranteed God’s favor because by faith you wave Christ’s life, Christ’s death, and Christ’s resurrection before God as the basis of your acceptance!
You acknowledge that any blessings to be received from God are due to Jesus Christ! God raised “His cursed son” (Galatians 3:13) from the dead as proof of His pleasure in His Son’s sacrifice (Eph. 1:15-23). Those sinful and cursed people (like me and you) who trust in the firstfruits offering of Jesus Christ are accepted and blessed by God because of the first fruits (the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus the Anointed One)! T
The significance of Easter is that the resurrected Christ is THE GUARANTEE of God’s blessings to those who trust Him, just as the later harvest of the Jews was blessed because the first fruit offering was acceptable to God.
THE ONE SUMMER HOLIDAY OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL – PENTECOST
Pentecost is the Greek name for “The Feast of Weeks”
It is known by various other names including “The Feast of Harvest” and most commonly as “The Feast of Weeks “(or Pentecost). A week in Scripture represents the number seven (either days or years). In the case of this feast, it represents days. Seven weeks (49 days) from the “Festival of the Sheaf of the Firstfruits” (on a Sunday) with Sunday being day one.
When you reach the 49th day, you arrive at a Saturday (The Jewish Sabbath). On the “morrow after the sabbath” (Lev. 23:15-21) you arrive at “The Fiftieth Day” (thus the Greek “Pente” meaning 5). Just like the day of Resurrection on the Festival of the Sheaf of Firstfruits, the fourth major Jewish festival (Pentecost) occurs on a Sunday (e.g. “the morrow after the Hebrew Sabbath).
The number 50 is used throughout Scripture to represent liberty, freedom or deliverance. Every 50th year was the year of Jubilee for the nation of Israel. When Christ died in 30 A.D. the people of Israel were celebrating a year of Jubilee; 50 days after Christ died the disciples were in the upper room when the Spirit of God fell and empowered them. This day of Pentecost is the anti-type of the Old Testament Pentecost — 50 days after Passover.
*Compare the differences between the Old Testament Pentecost vs. The New Testament Pentecost.
God gave Israel the Law written on stone on the 50th day after the original Passover. On the 50th after the Passover of Christ’s death, God gave His people new hearts with a willingness to obey His Law imprinted within them, summarized by Christ’s Royal Law of Love, the ultimate and most complete fulfillment of Natural Law.
On the day of the Old Covenant Pentecost (50 days after leaving Egypt), 3,000 people died at the giving of the Law, for the Law condemns. However, on the day of Pentecost in the New Testament–fifty days after the resurrection of Jesus Christ–3,000 people were saved, for the Spirit gives life.
The glory of God shone on the face of Moses in the Old Covenant, but the glory of God lives in the hearts of His people through the Spirit in the New Covenant. The Old is the letter of the law, but the New is life in the Spirit.
When the Spirit fills Christ’s followers with the power of God, God’s people begin to focus their lives on fulfilling the Royal Law of God – loving others as Christ has loved us—and they pay scant attention to little else.
In other words, the Laws of Nature come naturally to those who trust the Messiah.
THE THREE FALL HOLIDAYS OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL – The Feast of Trumpets, The Day of Atonement, and The Feast of Tabernacles.
These three feasts occurred within the seventh month of the lunar calendar (Ethanim, also called Tisri). This month corresponds to September/October. This month, the fruit harvest (mostly grapes) occurred.
These Fall feasts correspond to the two “comings” of Christ to earth–His first coming (to Bethlehem) and His Second Coming (to establish His eternal kingdom). His birth in Bethlehem is pictured in The Feast of Tabernacles when God came to earth and tabernacled among men (see John 1:1). The intercession of Jesus as the High Priest for His people is pictured in The Feast Day of Atonement. His Second Coming is pictured in The Feast of Trumpets. Time does not permit us to show the significance of these three Jewish feasts, but needless to say, all three of them, like the other four feasts, all point to Jesus Christ and He fulfilled them precisely.
So, in summary:
Jesus the MESSIAH came to earth during the Feast of Tabernacles. He died on the Feast of Passover and was buried in the tomb during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Jesus rose on the day of the Waving of the Sheaf of First Fruits, and He sent His Spirit as a gift on the Feast of Pentecost. He now intercedes on our behalf as our Great High Priest in fulfillment of the Feast of Atonement, and He comes to establish His eternal kingdom and judge the world in fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets.
The Hebrew Scriptures are not a self-help manual. They are the metanarrative of God’s plan to redeem the world. The Hebrew Scriptures point to the Messiah, the only Savior this world will ever see.
Principle #5 – The Captivity of the Nation of Israel in Babylon is Fulfilled by the Messiah at the Cross.
Now we come to the reason for this post.
There is a little-known statement in Isaiah 40:2. God speaks to the nation of Israel after they’ve been in Babylonian Exile as punishment for their sins. YHWH says:
“Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins.” (Isaiah 40:2).
Pay attention to that verse. The first 39 chapters of the prophet’s scroll are filled with warnings of the punishment that comes for Judah’s sins against YHWH. Those punishments are described by Isaiah later in the scroll: “These calamities have come upon you: desolation and destruction, famine and war. (Isaiah 51:19).
The nation of Israel was defeated in 586 BC by the wicked King Nebuchadnezzar and the mighty Babylonian army. God “blew the whistle and raised the flag” (Isaiah 5:26). and called for Nebuchadnezzar to come and capture the Jews and remove them into exile.
The nation of Judah, starving and thirsty, sick and dying, was placed in shackles and chains by a foreign enemy and carried outside the gates of Jerusalem into Babylon. They lost their prosperity, they lost their homes, and they lost their national identity. This punishment came to Israel for their sins and rebellion against the LORD.
But yet, AFTER the PUNISHMENT in BABYLON, the LORD states: “Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins.” (Isaiah 40:2).
There is no forgiveness of rebellion against the Creator and His Laws without punishment.
ENTER JESUS THE MESSIAH AND THE CROSS
You will never understand the full impact of God’s love until you recognize JESUS as the TRUE ISRAEL.
JESUS FULFILLED THE LAW OF GOD IN LIFE, YET HE DIED ON THE CROSS IN PUNISHMENT FOR OUR SINS. The death of Christ on the cross of Calvary fulfills the type of Babylonian Captivity for Israel.
- He was beaten, whipped, shackled in chains, and forced to carry a cross by His enemies.
- He was hungry and thirsty, thrown into a dungeon, and given only vinegar to drink.
- He was taken “outside the city” and died outside the walls of Jerusalem.
- He was mocked and ridiculed, including a “crown of thorns” and laughingly hailed as the “King of the Jews.”
- He was abandoned by the Father as He cried, “Why have you forsaken Me?”
- “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes, we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way, and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
- He was taken down and buried in a tomb. The Son of Man experienced our punishment.
Of course, three days after Jesus was placed in the unused tomb of Joseph of Arimethea, He rose from the dead.
Jesus CHRIST endured CAPTIVITY on the CROSS for our sins
SPEAK COMFORTABLY TO (put your name here) Your war is over. Your iniquity is pardoned. You have received from the LORD’S hand double blessing for all your sins through Jesus the Messiah.
As a believer, the LAW OF THE LORD has become YOUR DELIGHT. The SAME POWER that raised JESUS from the dead is at work in you, changing your old heart of stone into a soft heart of love for God and your fellow man. This is the GOSPEL. This is the GOOD NEWS. Your salvation is secure because your punishment is paid. You are free from God’s condemnation because of the cross. Do you believe it?
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength that He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at his right hand in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 1:18-20).
Believers in the Messiah – from every nation, family, ethnic and linguistic group on earth – are called by God “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation” (I Peter 2:9). The everlasting life you have been given guarantees food and water, healing and life, prosperity and pleasure for eternity!
BUT…and here is the BIG BUT…
Today, nations are still under the Creator’s command to revere Him and obey His Laws. The nation that rebels against the LORD and HIS LAWS will face destruction. God’s people – the holy nation within a nation – are not necessarily exempt from national suffering, disease, war, and death in this life. But the believer’s hope is in the RESURRECTION. All the blessings of God are ours in everlasting life. We also have an incredible peace in this life that the Sovereign Ruler who deigns to love us enough to send the Messiah on our behalf rules over the nations from His throne. Nothing in this world happens without the King of all kings promoting it, permitting it, or prohibiting it. God is good. Natural Law is a packaged blessing for us. Rebellion against God is a disaster for every nation, every family, every ethnic group, and every person.
I was a pastor to believers for 40 years, and my message was all about the goodness of God in Christ Jesus.
I am now a prophet to skeptics, and it is all about the coming national judgment for people ridiculing God and rebelling against His Laws (The 10 Commandments).
I prefer the prior calling, but I will fulfill the latter call in faithfulness because the LORD has called me to speak the truth to scoffers and skeptics. My hope is when things begin to collapse in our nation, the people of the United States will place their hope in trust in the One who endured captivity on the cross that we might live and be blessed by the Creator against whom we have rebelled.
There is a television commercial going around telling our society about Jesus. It says, “Jesus was wrongly judged. He’s like us. He gets us.”
I must politely disagree.
Jesus was righteously judged.
He died at Calvary because He chose to come and bear the punishment due to us for our rebellion against Him. Emmanuel – God with us.
In the cross of Christ, God’s justice and mercy meet.