Time Beyond Years – Omega

Revelation 1:8 KJV

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

Briefly, we considered creation (day 1 before measurable time). Look at the timeline as if the mark on the left is creation. Suppose man (adam) is a second mark and Noah a third. Then Abraham and Moses followed by David, with generations and centuries unmarked.

CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=548363

A notable mark of the division of time follows, which we note as B.C. (or BCE) and A.D. (from the Latin: Anno Domini – ‘In the year of our Lord’).

Before this dividing mark of time between BC and AD, David has reigned and the Prophets have spoken.

Jesus Christ is born, teaches, crucified and resurrected (a challenge to mortal time). His life as God With Us (Immanuel) delineates a beginning to these last days. Our timeline endures through persecution of the faithful while the Lord wins repentant sinners.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. – 2 Peter 3:9

Following the fall of Rome and rise of false prophets the church witnesses the way of Christ Jesus. History records the printing of the Bible, reformation of the faith and enlightenment of mindful godlessness. The nations learn of Christ, empires rise and fall toward an inevitable end, the omega of time. Christ IS near in the omega of these last days, the end of time measured by the created of the Lord God Almighty.

 Ω Ō, o’-meg-ah; the last letter of the Greek alphabet, i.e. (figuratively) the finality:—Omega.

Observe any line, even a timeline of history.  


It has a beginning (Α, ἄλφα) and an end (Ω, Omega). Yet look beyond the visible beginning and visible end of the line and in your mind’s eye observe the infinite extension of that which is visible. 

Look above (heavenward) and below: consider the expanse of so much which the line does not touch.

Our created living souls can barely grasp it!

The refracted light of our postmodern enlightenment clouds the clarity of the One true Light.

Time and creation have cause. The Lord will surely accomplish His purpose and the saving of His own at the end.

Before the Α, After the Ω

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. – Genesis 1:31

One commandment from God to man, a simple life in paradise:

“.. of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” – Genesis 2:17b

Yet man chooses trespass to just one simple command from God. A just and righteous LORD must punish sin.

The Lord God said.. to Adam he said: “.. for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.” – Genesis 3 excerpt

Living toward life’s end

Job 7:

“Has not man a hard service on earth…? 

… so I am allotted months of emptiness,
and nights of misery are apportioned to me.

When I lie down I say, ‘When shall I arise?’

But the night is long,
and I am full of tossing till the dawn.

5 My flesh is clothed with worms and dirt;
my skin hardens, then breaks out afresh.
6 My days are swifter.. and come to their end without hope.

7 “Remember that my life is a breath;
my eye will never again see good.
8 The eye of him who sees me will behold me no more;
while your eyes are on me, I shall be gone.

17 What is man, that you make so much of him,
    and that you set your heart on him,
18 visit him every morning
    and test him every moment?

Why do you not pardon my transgression
and take away my iniquity?
For now I shall lie in the earth;
you will seek me, but I shall not be.” – Job 7:21 

The time and place of punishment

Luke 16:

… and in Hades, being in torment… And he called out, ‘… have mercy on me.., for I am in anguish in this flame.’

ᾅδης – hadēs

  • What do you expect of inevitable death and deserved hell? (Or do you yet claim blemished goodness with eyes that will not see death?)

Hell [Hades] holds captive many living souls by the certainty of our own sins.

Roman, Hellenist and Hebrew understanding of Jesus’ mention of Hades fits the definition:

  1. name Hades or Pluto, the god of the lower regions
  2. Orcus, the nether world, the realm of the dead
  3. later use of this word: the grave, death, hell

Yet note a subtlety of the root word of Hades: From the negative participle of Alpha and εἴδω – eidō, a word meaning ‘to see’ or ‘to know.’

And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. – Revelation 20:1

Do you yet see our vulnerability to the punishment for sin after our end without Christ?

“Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not, for they are a rebellious house. – Ezekiel 12:2

After the Omega, saved in Christ

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.. – 1 Timothy 1:15

The gospel εὐαγγέλιον of John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…

“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

.. and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”

“We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ)…

Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.

Omega – for those with eyes to see

Revelation 22:

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb…

“And behold, I am coming soon. 

12 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

“Come.”

And let the one who hears say, “Come.”

And let the one who is thirsty come;

let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.

Amen.

Time Beyond Years – Alpha

Time before the beginning

‘I AM the alpha and the omega,” says the LORD!

What can it mean? Can you, o man, measure the time before the beginning?

The alpha of man’s measurement of days and years:

Consider generations, centuries, the millennia of temporal days beginning with the creation of man. How can the created explain the ways of our Creator beyond the alpha or our temporal days? Can we know the ceasing of man’s measurable time?

Surely the Lord will bring to completion all He has created and man’s will be marked by the omega of time.

Revelation 1:

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place…

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”


Yet prior to the Apostle John’s interment on Patmos and prior to his revelation from the risen Christ Jesus, John had written the Good News of the place of Jesus in creation.

John 1:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.


The logos λόγος was God θεός !

Time of the Beginning

Therefore He spoke all things into existence and He created life and light, shining through the darkness and void.

You have heard it, as the story of creation unfolds as revealed by the LORD to Moses. And in the Pentateuch (five books) Moses reveals a history of man peering back beyond our own sin, even into the depths of nothingness and dark skies of chaos and emptiness void of the LORD.

Genesis 1:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.


The LORD spoke the heavens and the earth into existence, then began the measurement of days – temporal, created days – for the heavens, for the earth, and finally for the creation of the first man until the last.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.. – Gen. 1:26a

The LORD creates the heavens and the earth in His unmeasured time explained in simplicity to Moses as days. Then the LORD creates ‘man’ (actually, man and woman) ‘in our image, after our likeness.’ God gives us a glimpse of time beyond our understanding, the Creator revealing what was to be measured my man as the alpha of all time and beginning of creation.

Jesus reveals His timeless Presence

Christ, Son of Man, born of a virgin, revealed to those with ears to hear the divinity of His own presence and relationship to God our Father.

John 3:

2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him,

“Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”

3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”


And if you listen carefully to Jesus in the ensuing conversation you will hear with certainty the divinity of the life-giving Spirit required of all those who will receive life eternal, life with resurrection from certain death by sin.

5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit…

12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.

Is Jesus telling the learned Pharisee Nicodemus that He IS descended from heaven into the flesh of a son of man?

Yes. And Jesus further confirms His eternal status before the alpha of time.

John 8:

12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Debate ensues between pharisees and the rabbi Jesus.

 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one.

19 They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”

The pharisees accuse Jesus of being illegitimately born to Mary, who by the Lord had born a child as a virgin. Jesus later replies:

56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.”

57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”

58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

Only the LORD God could have claimed to have lived before Abraham. Jesus answers with the LORD’s words to Moses’ question after the LORD appeared to him in a burning bush. 

Exodus 3:13-14 KJV

And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.


Jesus: He IS before David, before Moses, before Abraham; yes, even before Adam. The Lord God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, before time and before creation.

Revelation 1:8

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

If Christ Jesus IS the beginning and the end, what must you do?


To be continued…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Beginning of the End – A Burden of the Prophets – 4

Amos

Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 

Remember the predictions of the holy prophets

Previously: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

Think back beyond your years and perhaps you may recall an event  just two generations past in the days of your grandfather. But who can understand the times a hundred generations before us, even the lives of those living when Christ was born.

Even before Christ the impatience of man questioned the patience of the Lord. Early Prophets like Amos had been long forgotten by the time some promises had been fulfilled by the birth of a Messiah.

Just as now the unexplored landscape of our new world would have been completely unimaginable to Columbus, men in the days of the first century did not remember Moses or David or the Prophets with any contemporary context of understanding. Yet in each generation before Christ men and women of those days could hardly imagine the promise of the Messiah to come.

Each century between the Prophets and Christ would have seemed unmeasurable with the century’s beginning unfamiliar to the generations of its completion. Think about each hundred years of history as if today you looked back upon the just ending World War I [November 11, 1918], then multiply our forgetfulness of the promise by 21 centuries since the manger of Bethlehem.

Promise of a Messiah a long time away

How far away could you imagine the promise of hope spoken by a Prophet of the LORD in each of these centuries, so many generations ‘Before Christ?’

A thousand years, ten centuries, uncountable generations from the success of Solomon to the hope of a Savior.

Challenge: Scroll slowly through the centuries between David and the Son of David, the promised Messiah. 
         
       
* Date estimates by Roger Harned http://talkofJesus.co
      Source: TOW
         
   Period / Century

 


Northern Kings – Israel (Samaria)


Northern Prophets Israel Sararia


Southern Kings – Judah (Judea)


Southern Prophets Judah 


United kingdom under Saul, David, Solomon, c. 1030 – 931


         
10th c. B.C.
       
Divided kingdom Jeroboam (931-910)   Rehoboam (931-913)  
  Nadab (910-909)   Abijah (913)  
  Baasha (909-886)   Asa (911-870)  
9th c. B.C.
       
  Elah (886)      
  Zimri (885)      
  Omri (885-874)      
  Ahab (874-853) Elijah
Jehoshaphat (873-848)
 
  Jehoram (852-841)   Jehoram (853-841)  
  Jehu (841-814) Elisha Queen Athaliah (841-835) Obadiah
  Jehoahaz (814-798)   Joash (835-796)  
8th c. B.C.
       
  Jehoash (798-782)   Amaziah (796-767)  
  Jeroboam II (793-753) Amos    
  Zechariah (753-752) Jonah   Isaiah (760-700)
  Shallum (752)      
  Menahem 752-742)      
  Pekahiah (742-740) Hosea (c. 792-740 B.C.) Uzziah (790-740)  Joel
  Pekah (752-732)   Jotham (750-731)  
 Israel ruled by other nations Hoshea (732-722)   Ahaz (735-715) Nahum
      Hezekiah (715-686) Micah
7th c. B.C.
       
      Manasseh (695-642)  
      Amon (642-640)  
      Josiah (640-609) Jeremiah
        Zephaniah
      Jehoahaz (609) Huldah
      Jehoiakim (609-597) Nahum
6th c. B.C.
      Habakkuk
Judah ruled by other nations – Babylonian exile (597 – 538 BC)     Jehoiachin (597)  
      Zedekiah (597-586) Ezekiel
Persian Period (539-322 BC)     Zerubbabel, governor {538-520 BC) Daniel
Post-exilic prophets       Haggai
5th c. B.C.     Darius I (521-486), king of Persia Zechariah (520-???)
      Nehemiah, governor (445-425) Malachi
4th c B.C.     Artaxerxes II, king of Persia (404-358 BC)  
Hellenistic Period (332-141 BC)
Alexander the Great Macedonian Greek empire 356 – 323 BC
     
 
Ptolemaic (Egyptian) Seleucid rule in Jerusalem
     
 
Seleucos I (Persian) 321-215
     
3rd c. B.C.
Antiochos III inherited in 223 BCE
     
2nd c. B.C.
       
1st c. B.C.     Herod the Great, Roman appointed king of Judea 37–4 BC  

John the Baptist

c. 5 BC – AD30

* Period summary source  


 


 


 


Prophets Predicted Christ

How long did you consider the generations between the time of David, 3000 years ago and the thousand years until the birth of the Messiah?

The LORD saved and redeemed a people who in every generation believed that God had forgotten them.

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old..

Luke 1:68-70 ESV

A short list of Prophecies: Promises of many generations

Joel 1:

15 Alas for the day!
For the day of the Lord is near,
and as destruction from the Almighty it comes.

19 To you, O Lord, I call.
For fire has devoured
the pastures of the wilderness,
and flame has burned
all the trees of the field.

Joel 2:28  “And it shall come to pass afterward,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
29 Even on the male and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit.

Joel lived about eight centuries before fulfillment of his prophecies.


Micah 1:

2 Hear, you peoples, all of you;
pay attention, O earth, and all that is in it,
and let the Lord God be a witness against you,
the Lord from his holy temple.

Speaking of ‘Peace’

Micah 3:
5 Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets
who lead my people astray,
who cry “Peace”
when they have something to eat,
but declare war against him
who puts nothing into their mouths.

Micah 4:

(Some may recognize this scripture forgotten from the charter of the United Nations at a time Israel was reborn as a nation in 1947.)

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

3 He shall judge between many peoples,
and shall decide disputes for strong nations far away;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore;

4 but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree,
and no one shall make them afraid,
for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.

The Place of Birth of the Messiah

Micah 5:

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days.
3 Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of his brothers shall return
to the people of Israel.
4 And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth.
5 And he shall be their peace.

Micah’s promise of the birth of Christ would not be fulfilled for about 700 years.


Zephaniah 3:

16 On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Fear not, O Zion;
let not your hands grow weak.
17 The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.

Zephaniah is the great-great grandson of Judah’s King Hezekiah from the time Micah prophesied. He prophesied during the time of a successful and good King Josiah ( 640 to 609 BC). Zephaniah saw in the day of the Lord the destruction of his country, his neighbors, and eventually the whole earth. Source.


Malachi 1:

2 “I have loved you,” says the Lord…

Should this not be sufficient for worship of the Lord our God? 

Over the centuries and generations Israel repeatedly has turned from the Lord, rejecting God’s love. Yet the Lord is merciful and promises a Messiah, the Savior of the faithful.

The Messenger of the Lord

Malachi 2:

17 You have wearied the Lord with your words.

But you say, “How have we wearied him?”

By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?”


Are we so different, even in these last days? Has Christ not promised an eternal redemption for our sin? Yet we remain impatient with mortal life.

Malachi was a late messenger among the Prophets, one after whom a great silence from the Lord would follow until another messenger of the Messiah would appear to announce the onslaught of these last days. 


Malachi 3:

“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts.

The Book of Remembrance

16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name.

17 “They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. 18 Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.

Malachi likely delivered his message many years after the Israelites rebuilt the temple in 515 BC. The prophet’s concerns mirror those of Nehemiah’s, suggesting that Malachi prophesied to the people while Nehemiah left the city for several years, beginning in 432 BC. Source.


Generations of silence without prophecy, then the LORD sends a messenger to the wilderness and a Messiah to a manger in Bethlehem.

Judgment and mercy will be in His right hand. He will be a Savior of the Remnant and Hope to the Nations. 

A messenger will announce the Son of David, the Promised One…

In the LORD’s time… the Messiah of Israel and Savior of the Nations; predicted by the Prophets, proclaimed by angels, born in a manger, worshiped by shepherds and kings: Jesus, Son of God, Son of man!


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The Beginning of the End – A Burden of the Prophets – 3

Amos

I don’t understand what is going on. Who will tell us?

Earthquakes, fires, famines, rulers we never thought would come to power… What is going on?

It’s an age-old question. A king’s messengers may proclaim his threats, but who can the faithful believe? Only a true prophet of the Lord. And many have claimed their own messages falsely. Even now lies live in the deceitful hearts of evil men.

In case you missed the beginning of our Advent series:

https://talkofjesus.com/beginning-end-prophets-1/ ‎
https://talkofjesus.com/beginning-end-prophets-2/ ‎

We have only briefly spoken of the Prophets, so far focusing on Jeremiah in the 7th century before Christ; however now we return to the 8th century B.C. during a specific time at the beginning of the end of Israel and later Judah. Many have only heard of Isaiah, whose prophesies confirm Christ as part of our annual Gospel readings of the births of John the Baptist and Jesus, the Messiah.

The prophesies of Amos warn the shaken residents of lands facing destruction around 1750 B.C., including Israel and its neighboring countries.

Amos 1:

The words of Amos, who was among the shepherds of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.


You have heard of it from this same proximity:

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. – Luke 2:8 KJV

Only Amos, a keeper of sheep in these same hills lived not only prior to the nativity of Christ, but even before the fall of Israel and Judah.

The LORD gave the prophet Amos powerful words which accurately predicted the fates of Israel and her neighbors.

Yet even as in these last days, only a remnant of the faithful would listen and be saved.

A true Prophet is no popular leader, only a messenger of the LORD

Amos 7:

12 And Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there, 13 but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.”

14 Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, “I was no prophet, nor a prophet’s son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs.

15 But the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ 16 Now therefore hear the word of the Lord.


The Destruction of Israel

As messenger of the LORD, Amos continues warnings through his unpopular visions [Chapter 9]:

I saw the Lord standing beside the altar, and he said:

“Strike the capitals until the thresholds shake,
and shatter them on the heads of all the people;
and those who are left of them I will kill with the sword;
not one of them shall flee away;
not one of them shall escape…

8 Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom,
and I will destroy it from the surface of the ground,
except that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,”
declares the Lord.
9 “For behold, I will command,
and shake the house of Israel among all the nations
as one shakes with a sieve,
but no pebble shall fall to the earth.
10 All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword,
who say, ‘Disaster shall not overtake or meet us.’


In the two years preceding the earthquake (around 750 B.C.) Amos warns kings of Israel and Judah of the consequences of their sin. He speaks against their surrounding kingdoms as well. The coming disasters are the judgment of the Lord. It will surely come.

Did it happen?

Look to the timeline of Prophets and you will see that it did. A century before Amos, Elijah and Elisha had challenged evil kings and queens like Ahab and Jezebel of the northern kingdom. By the close of the 7th century B.C. Israel would exist no more. Only Judah would survive; and that, only for a brief time.

Is there no hope?

“The Lord roars from Zion,” we hear not only from Amos, but also the prophet Joel in Judah. The destruction would seem to be both certain and complete.

And yet, the Lord always speaks hope to those who will listen to His true Prophets.

Amos 9:

11 “In that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen and repair its breaches, and raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old…


A booth is a temporary shelter, rather than the golden palatial place of worship built by Solomon. Here the Lord promises repair after punishment. Yet from the house of David generations will pass, hundreds of years until the promised king is born into a manger in a captive Judea.

Amos 9:

14 I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel,
and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine,
and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit.

15 I will plant them on their land,
and they shall never again be uprooted
out of the land that I have given them,”
says the Lord your God.


Amos: His name means “Burden,” and he is called the prophet of righteousness. His home was at Tokea, a small town of Judea about twelve miles south of Jerusalem…

Generations, the voices of many prophets, centuries and even a time of silence would all pass before the coming of the Messiah and hope of Israel.


To be continued..

Until He comes

 

 

 

 

The Beginning of the End – A Burden of the Prophets – 2

Amos

The Hope of a Savior King

Previously - Part 1
Jeremiah 23:

5 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’

יְהֹוָה צִדְקֵנוּ Yĕhovah tsidqenuw 

Matthew 1:

20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying,

“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).  24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

The Messiah Prophets Predicted

His Name IS Jesus, the Christ and Messiah. Only a remnant of faithful would come to the Messiah and recognize this King of righteousness. Many are called; few are chosen. He came to his own, yet they received him not.

In the seventh and sixth century before Christ idolatry would replace worship of the Lord. The Temple would fall, though prophets warned the people of the error of their ways.

Are we so much less idolatrous?

Do more than a few, a mere remnant, even now remain faithful to God?

In addition to holding out the hope of a Messiah to come, Jeremiah warns against evil leaders and false prophets:

Jeremiah 23:

Their course is evil,
and their might is not right.
11 “Both prophet and priest are ungodly;
even in my house I have found their evil,
declares the Lord.

Lies of evil leaders and false Prophets

Do shepherds of these last days seem ungodly? Do false prophets since Christ yet stir hatred into the evil hearts of violent men?

Will any nation, shepherd, priest or prophet endure the wrath of the LORD when judged apart from the holy, sinless and risen Savior of lost sheep?


Jeremiah 23:16 Thus says the Lord of hosts:

“Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. 17 They say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.’”

21 “I did not send the prophets,
yet they ran;
I did not speak to them,
yet they prophesied.

23 “Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? 24 Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord. 25 I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’

Power Prevails against False Prophets and Evil Shepherds

Yes, men seeking power will claim gods or prophets of their own desires. Idolatry against the Living God!

Men seeking power will always deny the Lord. Evil men will always lead others toward their own destruction, rejecting the Lord who forgives through Christ’s sacrifice. They do not bow down to to God’s own love for those He made in His own Image, but rather wallow in their own inevitable hopelessness. Vain hopes.

God only will judge. He will lead. And to those called to His love, the Lord will redeem them in love with great grace through His own sacrifice.

True Prophets such as Jeremiah and true kings such as David have spoken the word of the Lord. They have pointed to the truth of the Messiah, truth for those ‘with ears to hear‘ of His great love and mercy.


To be continued…

Next: Amos

The Beginning of the End – A Burden of the Prophets

Amos

Prophets – Predictions of Destruction, Redemption and the Messiah

How many Prophets can you name?

Why do some prophets have a book and others do not? Is every prophet of God? Why all the predictions of destruction? These are but a few of the unanswered questions about the prophets.

Major prophets, minor prophets, false prophets, seers, and more… No wonder we seldom hear preaching from their harsh messages of doom.

Yet more important than the messenger would be the message of the LORD.

What is the God trying to tell these people to whom the LORD sent prophets? What is the LORD telling us through the warnings of the prophets?

Is He speaking to me? What messenger can we believe?

What must I do now that we have heard the burden of the prophets?

In this year’s Advent series we will explore an even more important prediction of the prophets: the burden of the end times and coming of the Messiah King.


The Righteous Branch

Jeremiah 23 

“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. 2 Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people:

“You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord.

3 Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4 I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the Lord.

5 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely.

And this is the name by which he will be called:

‘The Lord is our righteousness.’


The short answer 

Returning to our initial memory test of Names:

Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel… Let’s see: Ezekiel and then Elisha, but they don’t have books.  (Why not, we wondered?) Then there are a whole bunch with shorter books… Let’s see: Zechariah (or was he a priest?), Micah… Malachi (I remember it, the last one). We are hard-pressed to remember them all, let alone know or understand what they wrote and why they wrote it.

In fact, most books or the minor prophets are short and their message of the LORD directed to specific lands of their day. Yet I caution that the message of the LORD remains applicable in these last days.

Here’s a quick look at the 12 minor and 4 major prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, and (oops, I forgot briefly) Ezekiel.

We find references to Elijah, Elisha and many others in several books of the Bible, largely the historical books of Kings and Chronicles. The Old and New Testaments also list those who are false, guiding God’s faithful to discernment of the agendas of evil lying men of every age.

A brief overview of Jeremiah 23

Jeremiah lived in the 7th century B.C. He is called the weeping prophet for good reason. Lamentations looks back to the destruction of Israel (the northern kingdom). Jeremiah and Zephaniah both prophesy the beginning of the end for Judah as well. King Josiah, who was the last king to do good in the sight of the Lord, would die (as do all earthly kings). A succession of evil kings would bring about the end of Judah as well. The Assyrian empire fell, but the ten banished tribes would not return to the land the Lord had promised.

The imagery of the shepherds and the sheep is common to leaders and their followers. 

“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” 

Kings, religious leaders, even military or political leaders of families or tribes. Shepherds. We could apply it to a governor or bishop, a president or leader of false religion.

“You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord.

Pretty harsh condemnation of powerless leadership leading their followers like sheep to the slaughter. Has so much changed in these last days? I will repay, says the Lord, the God of Israel.

 


To be continued…

Next: Jeremiah’s Hope