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Retrobyter

How do the believers in Christ differ from Israel?

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On 7/1/2017 at 3:16 AM, Marilyn C said:

 

Hi Retro,

I will just focus on one point, and we can get back to the others later. Let`s just recap so we can focus.  We are looking at whether the Lord and the believers in their new bodies can go through dimensions. You say we don`t really know this and that when `Jesus came, the doors being shut, stood in their midst,` (John 20: 26) you believe that there could be many reasons for that.

I brought up that verse to show that the Lord has abilities far beyond what we have, and then concerning the transfiguration of Christ, I believe we would both agree that it revealed His Deity.

So now we are looking at our glorified bodies like unto Christ`s, but obviously not His Deity. I stated that - God`s word also tells us that `there is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.`  (1 Cor. 15: 44)  

Clearly the earthly body made of the dust returns to it, but we shall bear the image of the heavenly man. And that is like the Lord, who has a spiritual body that is not limited by earthly limitations.

Thus, (I concluded that) there is a natural dimension and a spiritual dimension. The Lord is quite able to operate in each as shown in His word.

You replied and brought up the scripture where the Lord said He had hands and feet, and that a spirit does not have flesh and bones. (Luke 24: 38 - 40) You say my `..conclusion that there is a "spiritual dimension," containing "spiritual bodies" that are "not limited by earthly limitations" is faulty. It doesn't fit the facts of Scripture! `

So I now reply saying our new gloried bodies will be -

-Not of the earth, dust, therefore not flesh and bones of the earth.

 

`The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly man, so are those who are heavenly.  And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image o the heavenly man.` (1 Cor. 15: 47 - 49)

 

- Of heavenly material, substance. (2Cor. 5: 1)

-Not corruptible but incorruptible, (1 Cor. 15: 53)

-Not mortal but immortal. (1 Cor.15: 53)

 

God`s word also tells us that `there is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.`  (1 Cor. 15: 44)   This `spiritual body` or body with a spirit, is clothed from heaven as the Apostle Paul tells us.

`For we know that is our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.

For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.`` (2 Cor. 4: 1 - 4)

Thus I conclude that the glorified body of the Lord Jesus Christ, with flesh and bones, is from heaven and not flesh and bones as we have, from the earth, dust. The glorified body is a covering and structure over the spirit, so we will not be naked, as scripture says. What this bodies abilities are will be glorious and wonderful, and far beyond what we can do in these earthly bodies.

 There is more but will give you time to address this.

 

 Marilyn.

Shalom, Marilyn.

Thank you for this synopsis. I really appreciate it. And, thank you for allowing me to address these points.

I feel that where we mostly differ is in your statement here: "Clearly the earthly body made of the dust returns to it, but we shall bear the image of the heavenly man. And that is like the Lord, who has a spiritual body that is not limited by earthly limitations."

The problem is that the RESURRECTION EVENT is not possible if there is no true resurrection. The "spiritual body" MUST be the original body transformed or there's really no resurrection. Resurrection suggests continuity, and that's even MORE important when you realize that we ARE our bodies! We don't "leave our bodies behind" in the dust, in the earth. We ARE OUR BODIES!

When the Master Yeshua` the Messiah (the Lord Jesus the Christ) was resurrected, IT WAS HIM! It was NOT His "spiritual body" that merely LOOKED LIKE His "crucified body." Furthermore, His "spiritual body" would not have the marks of His crucifixion, if it was a different body!

You've got to understand that the Last Adam originally had the same type of body as the First Adam:

1 Corinthians 15:45
45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
KJV

1 Corinthians 15:45 was quoted from Genesis 2:7:

Genesis 2:7
7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
KJV

Such a quote gives us LOTS of information: First, it gives us a word-by-word equivalence of the words of the quoted language (Hebrew) translated into the words of the receiving language (Greek). Regardless how these two verses are translated into English, we know that...

(Greek) = (Hebrew)

haa'aadaam = ho anthroopos
vayhiy = egenato
l- = eis
nefesh = psucheen
chayaah = zoosan .

Second, the definitions of the two words, nefesh and psuchee, are basically synonymous. Therefore, we can test the definitions of both against each other in Strong's Concordance's Dictionaries:

OT:5315 nefesh (neh'-fesh); from OT:5314; properly, a breathing creature, i.e. animal of (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental):
KJV - any, appetite, beast, body, breath, creature,  dead (-ly), desire,  [dis-] contented,  fish, ghost,  greedy, he, heart (-y), (hath,  jeopardy of) life (X in jeopardy), lust, man, me, mind, mortally, one, own, person, pleasure, (her-, him-, my-, thyself-), them (your)- selves,  slay, soul,  tablet, they, thing, (X she) will,  would have it.

OT:5314 naafash (naw-fash'); a primitive root; to breathe; passively, to be breathed upon, i.e. (figuratively) refreshed (as if by a current of air):
KJV - (be) refresh selves (-ed).

NT:5590 psuchee (psoo-khay'); from NT:5594; breath, i.e. (by implication) spirit, abstractly or concretely (the animal sentient principle only; thus distinguished on the one hand from NT:4151, which is the rational and immortal soul; and on the other from NT:2222, which is mere vitality, even of plants: these terms thus exactly correspond respectively to the Hebrew OT:5315, OT:7307 and OT:2416):
KJV - heart (+-ily), life, mind, soul, us, you.

NT:5594 psuchoo (psoo'-kho); a primary verb; to breathe (voluntarily but gently, thus differing on the one hand from NT:4154, which denotes properly a forcible respiration; and on the other from the base of NT:109, which refers properly to an inanimate breeze), i.e. (by implication of reduction of temperature by evaporation) to chill (figuratively):
KJV - wax cold.

(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

One can see that the concordance's writers of the dictionaries either

(1) didn't check their work between languages, like this, or
(2) allowed their own teaching and upbringing to influence how they wrote the dictionaries.

In either case, we can see the discrepancy between the definition for nefesh and the definition for psuchee, even though there's no discrepancy between the definitions of naafash and psuchoo. It's a little like the old Sesame Street jingle, "One of these things is not like the others." And, the one of the four that sticks out so differently from the other three is the definition for "psuchee."

That's enough for now, but I hope you can see these points.

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13 hours ago, wingnut- said:

 

Hey retro,

Yes, I agree with you.  I would say the most clear example we have of this is in regards to the prophets, who are specifically mentioned in Revelation in regards to the time for rewarding.  I am sure there will be others as well based on their faithful service, but I suppose my reaction to the post was in regards to the implication that someone like myself would be destined for a greater inheritance than OT saints, which the vast majority of the prophets would be included in.

God bless

Shalom, wingnut-.

All I can ask is, Why? Why should you be "destined for a greater inheritance than OT saints?" See, it's THIS mentality that never really sat right in my gut.

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42 minutes ago, Retrobyter said:

Shalom, wingnut-.

All I can ask is, Why? Why should you be "destined for a greater inheritance than OT saints?" See, it's THIS mentality that never really sat right in my gut.

 

Well, hopefully we will both discover the answer to that question, because I am wondering the same thing.  Not only does it not sit well in my gut, but it seems to fly in the face of what Paul had to say in Romans.

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19 hours ago, Swords99 said:

True, believers will have a glorified body like Christ's which will go through doors and windows and be from one place to the next in a second as Christ demonstrated after His resurrection.

The Jews never had a heavenly kingdom promised to them but an earthly one where Christ will be their king and rule in Jerusalem.

Shalom, Swords99.

The Kingdom that Yeshua` offered to Israel when He was here during His first advent was taken with the King when He left this earth. It had not yet arrived, nor was it scheduled to arrive before His return. He IS the embodiment of that Kingdom! NO KING, NO KINGDOM! When the King can arrive, so can His Kingdom. We are instructed to make subjects FOR His Kingdom, but that's not the same as having the Kingdom here!

Actually, a "heavenly kingdom" means that the "Kingdom" comes "out of the sky." Yeshua` the Messiah (the Christ) will return out of the sky just as He left this earth. (Acts 1:9-11.) When He (and it) returns, the "heavenly Kingdom" BECOMES the "earthly Kingdom," as promised!

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12 hours ago, Marilyn C said:

Hi wingnut,

I`ll just do a point at a time. See the bold phrase I have highlighted, that is an error I believe. Being grafted in, is a picture of us under the authority of Christ. Israel and also the nations (of the saved) will also be under the authority of Christ. being part of the `same olive tree,` is all of us under Christ`s supreme authority, and placed where He says we will serve.

Marilyn.

 

So how then do you understand this passage?

 

John 15  “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another."

 

What in there do you see addressing authority of believers and their placement?  Again, the only distinction I see being made is between belief and unbelief.  Also the most interesting part in this passage is verse 16, where we are specifically told He chose us, a clear reference to election which is an all inclusive statement for everyone associated with the vine (Jesus).

God bless

 

 

 

 

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16 hours ago, Marilyn C said:

Hello Marilyn,

Yes, we also agree that we are grafted into the Lord Himself, which by definition is the Body of Christ.

 

16 hours ago, Marilyn C said:

Hi wingnut,

I`ll just do a point at a time. See the bold phrase I have highlighted, that is an error I believe.

 

In regards to this in particular, the first statement being mine, and your response to it. I am confused then by what you mean in your original statement to me that I responded to, which was this below statement of yours?

 

21 hours ago, Marilyn C said:

Concerning what or who we are grafted into, it is the Lord Himself. He is the holy root that nourishes us not Israel.

 

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17 hours ago, Marilyn C said:

Hi wingnut,

Wonderful promises to the believers, the overcomers -

- eat of the tree of life, (Christ Himself, his character and life)

- pillar in the temple of my God, (Temple - is Christ, and we shall be part of worshipping Him and the Father.)

- name of my God, (name meaning authority - of the Father throughout God`s great kingdom - all realms)

- name of the New Jerusalem, which comes down from my God our of heaven, (Authority in the city also which will be just above the earth). 

- my (Jesus`) new name, (authority from the third heaven the seat of Christ`s authority and power.)

 

Hello Marilyn,

I am not sure I'm understanding you here, specifically in regards to the authority issue.  Where exactly in scripture is this idea located?  I think maybe you are seeing all of these things in a spiritually symbolic way maybe?  I would say if that is the case, here are a couple of thoughts to consider in that regard.

 

Revelation 21:9 Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God,

 

John tells us that the New Jerusalem is the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.  Now according to scripture, that is a reference used to describe believers, some would argue that it is only a reference in regards to the church even.  Of course as you pointed out in one of your posts, that is not true, it is also promised to Israel.  Once again though we find ourselves back to the same result from scripture, one body all in the same place.

Another problem I see with looking at this as strictly a spiritual reference is in the physical description.  John goes into great detail describing measurements and other physical attributes of this city, not to mention the aforementioned Old Testament prophecies that are promised to Israel with no spiritual aspects included at all, just the physical elements.

 

Revelation 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God."

 

This particular verse also is a statement being made by God directly, a promise.  This is not a spiritual reference, it specifically states that He will dwell with them, and will be with them as their God.  We all know now as believers that we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, so this declaration is speaking to something physical.

 

17 hours ago, Marilyn C said:

As a royal priesthood, (Kingpriests) we, the Body of Christ have the highest serving responsibility in all realms of God`s great kingdom.

 

We are also told in Revelation by God that He is making all things new, all would include all realms wouldn't it?  It does say directly that not only a new earth but a new heaven as well correct?

 

Revelation 21  Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

 

Revelation 21:5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

 

God bless

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18 hours ago, Marilyn C said:

That is who the city, the New Jerusalem has been prepared for, not us for we have a `better,` a greater dominion to serve in.

`God having provided something BETTER FOR US...` (Heb. 11: 40)

 

Hello Marilyn,

I think my previous post covered everything in this post, except for this particular quote.  That's only half of the verse you posted there and does not at all represent the context.

 

Hebrews 11:40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

 

Apart from us they should not be made perfect, this speaks to the opposite of the separation you are suggesting.  What was required for all was a Savior, it is Jesus that makes them perfect, just like us.  Having been born before the Messiah came does not diminish that all of the people mentioned in Hebrews 11 had great faith in the promise that was to come.   And what God provided that was better for us, was Jesus.  This is clarified in what follows.

 

Hebrews 12  Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

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8 hours ago, Retrobyter said:

Shalom, Marilyn.

Thank you for this synopsis. I really appreciate it. And, thank you for allowing me to address these points.

I feel that where we mostly differ is in your statement here: "Clearly the earthly body made of the dust returns to it, but we shall bear the image of the heavenly man. And that is like the Lord, who has a spiritual body that is not limited by earthly limitations."

The problem is that the RESURRECTION EVENT is not possible if there is no true resurrection. The "spiritual body" MUST be the original body transformed or there's really no resurrection. Resurrection suggests continuity, and that's even MORE important when you realize that we ARE our bodies! We don't "leave our bodies behind" in the dust, in the earth. We ARE OUR BODIES!

 

Hi Retro,

OK, so our changed bodies have the appearance of our earthly bodies but are made from heavenly substance, `desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven.`  Our bodies now are made from the dust of the earth, but one day, (soon) we will be changed, and be clothed with our new covering from heaven. (2 Cor. 5: 2)

Marilyn.

 

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6 hours ago, wingnut- said:

 

So how then do you understand this passage?

 

John 15  “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another."

 

What in there do you see addressing authority of believers and their placement?  Again, the only distinction I see being made is between belief and unbelief.  Also the most interesting part in this passage is verse 16, where we are specifically told He chose us, a clear reference to election which is an all inclusive statement for everyone associated with the vine (Jesus).

God bless

 

Hi wingnut,

I see that the Lord is talking to the disciples on the eve of His being betrayed. He is encouraging and comforting His disciples with those wonderful truths. I believe they are truth for us also. I do not so much see authority spoken of but a close relationship - servants to friends.

As to election - to me it is like going through a door, on the outside is a sign, `whosoever will may come,` and then on the inside, another sign, `chosen, elect of God,` in that He knows who will go through the door - accept Jesus as Saviour.

Marilyn. 

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      Psalms 83:3-8 ISV They plot against your people and conspire against your cherished ones. 4) They say, "Let us go and erase them as a nation so the name of Israel will not be remembered anymore." 5) Indeed, they shrewdly planned together, forming an alliance against you— 6) the tents of Edom, the Ishmaelites, Moab, the Hagrites, 7) Gebal, Ammon, Amalek, Philistia, and the inhabitants of Tyre. 😎 Even Assyria joined them to strengthen the descendants of Lot. Interlude.
      Psalm 83 has similarities to what we see in Ezekiel 38 and 39, but what I don't see is Cush, and Put – Egypt and Libya. I am not sure those nations can be excluded as the descendants traveled extensively.
      Ezekiel 38:8 CJB After many days have passed, you will be mustered for service; in later years you will invade the land which has been brought back from the sword, gathered out of many peoples, the mountains of Isra'el. They had been lying in ruins for a long time, but now Isra'el has been extracted from the peoples and all of them are living there securely.
      “After many days have passed,”
      Far too many read this and think it merely means weeks later. This phrase, like “the prince that shall come,” that is defined for us in Daniel 9:26, has several encroachments into history. The problem is, these intrusions are spread across thousands of years.
      Many is the Hebrew word rab meaning much, many, numerous, and abundance, among others.
      Verse eight is clearly a description of Israel.
      Ezekiel 38:9 CJB You will come up like a storm, you will be like a cloud covering the land—you and all your troops, and many other peoples with you.'
      “You will come up like a storm,”
      Sudden and overwhelming. Are all storms sudden? No, in many cases people will say, this is storm weather and it always starts like this. So, the implication is that we have a strong probability of knowing when this will come. Just today (6/29/2018), through the MEMRI website, I learned of a Middle Eastern newspaper that leans heavily toward Erdoğan, publishing an article calling for the Muslim of the world to gather in Jihad against Israel (this article was published in Dec of 2017 – not that long ago. An aspect of the article was a map which showed Israel surrounded on every side with army tanks. Surrounded on every side sounds very much like Ezekiel's words.
      “you will be like a cloud covering the land.” - Clouds are formed by thousands of drops of water. We are told that the number seems innumerable.
      “you and all your troops, and many other peoples with you.” - These are people of a like mind – Muslims may not be unified in “religion” but they all seem to understand the idea of Jihad.
      Ezekiel 38:10-12 CJB "Adonai Elohim says: 'When that day comes, thoughts will well up in your mind, and you will devise a sinister scheme. 11) You will say, "I am going to invade this land of unwalled villages; I will take by surprise these people who are at peace, living securely, all in places without walls, bars or gates. 12) I will seize the spoil and take the plunder." You will attack the former ruins that are now inhabited and come against the people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and other wealth and are living in the central parts of the land.
      “ When that day comes,” - Question, does God do anything at random? The answer is NO, as everything is part of a precise and well thought out plan; a plan which includes giving man a free will and the opportunity to choose life or death.
      Regardless of the optional qualities, the plan is still in place and intact. So, is it possible that God would leave the option for Gog to design and plan out “his” own destiny? Not a chance and verse ten is no different, as “that day” is entirely in God's hands, and, a part of God's plan.
      Another consideration is the terminology “that day.” The phrase is attributed to several events; one of which is the return of Jesus as the warring and conquering Messiah, who also fights a bloody battle in the Jezreel Valley; there is the great white throne judgment and the entirety of the seven-years of God's wrath upon the earth.
      Are any of those events what we are looking at here? I do not believe so as there are always other events associated, which we do not see here.
      “thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil plan,” - 
      The Hebrew word for thoughts is dāḇār and literally means words. I could read this when that day comes, words will pop into your head, you are going to think this is your sinister scheme, but in reality, you will be doing what I have planned all along.
      Mind is the Hebrew word lēḇāḇ and also means heart. In God's understanding, the heart and the mind are one in the same.
      Devise is from the Hebrew word châshab and means to weave, fabricate, or plot.
      “You will say, "I am going to invade this land of unwalled villages; I will take by surprise these people who are at peace, living securely, all in places without walls, bars or gates. 12) I will seize the spoil and take the plunder.”
      The context of Deuteronomy 3:5 is applied to Israel's conquer of Og, the King of Bashan. Having destroyed Og's fortified cities they were never rebuilt by Israel. It also demonstrates that cities were typically fortresses; this is not what you see in Israel today.
      Deuteronomy 3:3-6 NASB "All these were cities fortified with high walls, gates, and bars, besides a great many unwalled towns.
      Zechariah 2:4 NASB and said to him, "Run, speak to that young man, saying, 'Jerusalem will be inhabited without walls because of the multitude of men and cattle within it.
      I like the way the ISV version translates Ezekiel 38:12, “the people … who live at the center of the world's attention.” Currently, all the world seems to be looking at Israel, once again. Whether Israel is at the center of the world or not is debatable, but God is making that nation the center of attention.
      And, although we have not covered the verse yet, it sums up the reason behind all this tumult.
      Ezekiel 38:16 ERV...I will bring you to fight against my land. Then, Gog, the nations will learn how powerful I am! They will learn to respect me and know that I am holy.
    • By omharris
      I was asked by my pastor why I study eschatology (end times events.) Ignoring the negativity of a challenge like this, I find that "end times events" are tied in with almost everything I read in scripture. Ezekiel 38 and 39 is such an event, as it speaks of a horrific situation that may happen at any minute.
      Try opening a conversation about what you find in Ezekiel 38 and 39 and the eyes of your audience will glaze over and you can watch them begin to look at their watches, wondering if there isn't somewhere else they need to go. There are reasons behind this lack of interest, and they stem from confusion; a lack of understanding; the inability of the speaker to put flesh and blood on the characters; and, the worst part is that there is a veil over the eyes and ears of the hearer so that they cannot comprehend. Along with those factors, there is a multitude of answers as to who the players are and when this event will take place. Ambiguity plays a role in the disinterest because an honest dissertation of an end-times scenario will typically put you in the ballpark, perhaps even provide the audience with the team name, but at this point, I am not sure we specifically say who the main characters are. Furthermore, two simple sentences can inspire books of commentary. I am going to try and condense but still give you an understanding of this prophecy.
      An introduction to Ezekiel:
      He was a priest, the son of a priest, and he was taken captive into Babylon. Already, you should be thinking, odds are not in his favor. Ezekiel was one of the few that give us precise dates.
      According to Dr. John Gill's commentary, chapter 38 gives an account of "an enemy of the Jews, under the name of Gog, that shall invade their land, and disturb their peace after they are settled in it;"
      J. Vernon McGee, in his commentary, demonstrates some classic old-school thinking as he tells us the theme of Ezekiel 38 is Russia's invasion of Israel. McGee is making his case for Gog to be Russia.
      I happen to think McGee's assessment is wrong and we should not be focused on the Russian President Putin. You have to keep in mind what was going on in the world that would have inspired the McGee's particular emphasis on Russia in his commentary. For example, The United States was deeply entrenched in the Korean war; the Vietnam conflict, with the cold war with Russia waiting just around the corner. I too assumed that Russia would be one of the major players (and no doubt they are, but we are trying to think biblically while paying attention to the context.) as we lived with the verified threat of Russian missiles 90 miles off our coast in Cuba - a Russian ally, as children.
      The Summarized Bible commentary conveys that “God does not only see those who are now the enemies of His people, but foresees those who will be so in the last days, and lets them know by His Word that He is against them, and will make their movements to serve His own purposes.”
      I know, every generation has had those that have said, "we are in the last days," and I would tell you that they were right.
      Now how would I come to the understanding that every generation comprehended that we are in the last days?
      Daniel chapter 9, spells out a seventy-week decree against Israel. Sixty-nine of those weeks have been fulfilled. The seventieth week of years (7years) has been on hold for over 2000 years. Therefore, we, the church, have been in the last days for over 2000 years. 
      Peter, on the day of Pentecost, filled with Holy Spirit, preached to the thousands milling about the streets of Jerusalem that day. An aspect of what Peter said came from Joel chapter 2 which speaks about the time of God's wrath which the seventieth year portrays. However, within that period, people are acting out in the power of the Holy Spirit as the prophets of old did. Peter said this part of Joel's prophecy had been fulfilled in your hearing.
      What did he say? We are living in the last days.
      Since the last days seems to be very focused on the seven-years of wrath, are we, at the moment, living in the seventieth week? No, and that will not come until the church is removed from the earth. 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8
      The NASB opens our look into Ezekiel 38 with:
      Prophecy Against Gog
      Ezekiel 38:1-2 NASB And the word of the LORD came to me saying, 2) "Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him
      Note how the passage provided has no appropriate punctuation at the end. That is because the thought continues and we will pursue that shortly. But for the moment let's dissect the verses.
      “Son of man,” Is there any question as to whom the Lord is talking? The answer is Ezekiel.
      “set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him,” Okay, what just happened? Ezekiel was told to prophesy against two entities:
      Gog; this person also happens to be the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.
      And, the land of Magog; If Ezekiel is told to prophesy against him, and "him" includes the land, then we should be considering the possibility that this is:
      A nation? A people group? A demonic operation that controls a people group? As I try to understand, I turn my attention to my concordances and look up the word Gog.
      BDB Definition: Gog = “mountain” - A Reubenite, the son of Shemaiah (1 Ch 5:4); The prophetic prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and Magog (Read Ezekiel 32)
      Strong's concordance merely adds Gog, the name of an Israelite.
      The KJC keeps us in Ezekiel with one exception: 1 Chronicles 5:1-4 MKJV And the sons of Reuben, the first-born of Israel (for he was the first-born; but since he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph the son of Israel, and the genealogy is not to be counted according to the birthright; 2) For Judah prevailed among his brothers, and from him came the chief ruler, but the birthright was Joseph's); 3) the sons of Reuben the first-born of Israel: Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. 4) The sons of Joel: Shemaiah his son, Gog his son, and Shimei, his son.
      The dishonor carried by the family due to Reuben's indiscretion, which excluded them from any rights of birth, surely plays a role in all of this.
      The Word Study Dictionary tells us this about Gog:
      He is pictured as a great enemy against God's people. Ezekiel 38:9 NASB "You will go up, you will come like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you."
      He is from the land of Magog or possibly "from the land of Gog." Gog. i.e., mountain, in reference to the Caucasus mountains, the chief seat of the Scythian people. Note: Rather, "Gog (the prince) of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal." The Ultimate Cross-Reference Treasury
      The Lord sets Himself against Gog (Eze_38:2). Gog will lead a coalition of nations against God's people who are then dwelling securely in the land of Israel (Eze_38:14-16).
      With the addition of the words, God's people who are then dwelling securely in ...Israel. They have turned this so that we are looking at the church and not Israel, which is incorrect.
      But God, in fact, will bring Gog forth and will destroy him and his people. Ezekiel 39:1-2; Ezekiel 38:19-23
      The Lord spoke about this through other prophets (Eze_38:17-18). Ezekiel 38:17 MKJV So says the Lord Jehovah: Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days, by the hand of My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in those days and years that I would bring you against them?
      The multitudes of Gog will be buried in the Valley of Hamon Gog, that is, "multitudes of Gog" (Eze_39:11), Ezekiel 39:11 CJB " 'When that day comes, I will give Gog a place there in Isra'el for graves, the Travelers' Valley, east of the sea; and it will block the travelers' passage. There they will bury Gog and all his horde, and they will rename it the Valley of Hamon-Gog [horde of Gog].
      The Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature informs us that: They are the name of a mixed race dwelling in the extreme north, comprehended by the Greeks under the name of the Scythians; (2.) to the center and representative of their race, i.e. their king (Ezekiel 38:39). Gog comes forth from the distant north (Eze_38:15-23; Eze_39:2), ... And, if you are stickler for history - Interpreters have given very different explanations of the terms Gog and Magog; but they have generally understood them as symbolical expressions for the heathen nations of Asia, or more particularly for the Scythians, a vague knowledge of whom seems to have reached the Jews in Palestine about that period. Thus Josephus (Ant. 1:6, 3) has dropped the Hebrew word Magog, and rendered it by Σκύθαι;
      See attachment - Classic Bible Maps, The World as known to the Hebrews
      Of the maps, I looked at to better understand this ancient classic version shows me more and divergent details than any other map, as it points out Gog and Magog, and where they were located. I have also provided a link to Wikipedia which continues to fill in the blanks in understanding and prophecy with highly detailed information about the Scythians. Because of the quantity of information found there, which all seems important, I am only going to suggest that the interested pursue that there. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scythians]
      As you read the information, consider where Gog might come from. It may help you to understand more clearly how the Turkish "president" Recep Tayyip Erdoğan might best fill the role of Gog.
      Just for the fun of it, I searched the internet to find out if Genghis Khan could have been a Scythian. The Headline read, “Not Just Genghis Khan - Scythians Show Genetic Blending With Europe 2,000 Years Ago.” http://www.science20.com/news_articles/not_just_genghis_khan_scythians_show_genetic_blending_europe_2000_years_ago-96314
      Here is was I gather so far.
      Gog, from the disinherited family line of Reuben, moves North and becomes a nomadic mounted and warring nation known as the Scythians. They ranged into China, Siberia, Egypt, Asia Minor and as far south as the Northern African nations, however, they seem to be centrally located around Turkey and the Caspian Sea. They are heavily influenced and integrated by the surrounding nations such as Persia, Syria, and the Caucasus regions. They conquered Nineveh, the Assyrians, and the Medes. Having relations as violent as Genghis Khan one can assume that slaughter was their general theme. This is the people that God sees as one of Israel's few remaining thorns in the flesh.
       
       

    • By Sojourner414
      Iran Fires Rockets Into Golan Heights From Syria
      From NY Times:
      (more)
      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/09/world/middleeast/israel-iran-attack.html
    • By Jonathan BeWell
      Dear Lord, in Jesus Christ's name I pray.   Welcome Holy Spirit, embody this nation, government and military. God bless Donald Trump, keep him protected, helped and leading your nation strong and free. God bless Justin Trudeau, bend his will to yours, humble him and teach him what he needs to know of You. Thank you Lord for the peace talks in Korea! This is an appreciated answer to so many pleading prayers! We pray for the same peace and understanding in Cameroon, please have mercy and save its people. Please forgive us of all our sins. Especially excuse evil where we oppose, mock and vilify You. Please Lord, we know not what we do. Bless and revive us Lord, thy kingdom come. Put us through the painful process of cleansing this world, nation, generation and church of backsliding, sleepiness, enemies within, blasphemy, watering down of God's truth, word and law. Prune and throw such chaff into the lake of fire. Have us accept and cherish your free gift of salvation and eternal life immediately through your Son's sacrifice in place of our sin debt. May we all pray for this in our life now! Heal, restore and revive your body of Christ saved to do good works in the Lord. May we be light, salt and disciples to this desperate world. Hallelujah, he is risen, he is risen indeed!   I pray this sincerely for all lost, enemies and loved ones in Jesus Christ's name, amen!   GregoryB
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